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Writer Hristo Kalchev passed away

Date: 24.03.2006

In memoriam

Communism failed to scare me and death is hardly that frightening, the author's philosophy was

Yesterday, Hristo Kalchev - one of the most popular contemporary Bulgarian novelists - died at the age of 61. He was a free man and a real Bohemian, talented, unique, scandalous and loved. After he became famous for forecasting the murders of notorious figures in the Bulgarian social life and for describing the shadowy economic games in the years of the so called "transitional period", they used to call him "the black clairvoyant of the underground world".

After November 10, 1989 - the date marking the end of the Communist era in Bulgaria - the essence of Hristo Kalchev's novels abruptly changed and the author's explanation of this fact was that this was because life in Bulgaria turned to be completely different. By then he had written some 50 books, and after the birth of democracy in Bulgaria he started creating "a single book - chapter by chapter". The author gave it the title "Vulgar Novels", because he knew that this was how critics would describe his work.

Kalchev's last volume "The Shot of Amnesty" was published in 2005.

"I'm doomed to write about criminals although I feel fed up with them. If the situation changes I'll immediately forget about them. I'm sure that this time will come - outside superpowers will put an end to the reign of criminality in our country," the writer said in his last interview for the Standart.

Hristo Kalchev confided that his life had been threatened many times, but despite his poor health the author hoped that he would die of natural causes. He was pleased with his life: "I've faced Death several times. I'm not afraid of it and intend to finally meet Her in cold blood. Communism didn't scare me and Death is hardly more frightening than it," the writer said in a philosophical revelation.

Vilified and praised, Hristo Kalchev is a writer whose books sell like hot cakes in Bulgaria. Some people call him a "prophet", others are sure he is "a cop".

"I'm not a clairvoyant - the only thing I see clearly is the logic of the processes going on in the country and this helps me to forecast the development of certain events," was the writer's explanation of his social prognoses.

Hristo Kalchev's funeral will be on Saturday.

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