Who was Sava Popov? The Unlocking of an Archive
Who was Sava Popov? The Unlocking of an Archive


Who was Sava Popov? The Unlocking of an Archive

Life Goes On

We do not know the exact date when Sava Popov managed to stop boiling glue, but in 1955, when his daughter Antonina was born, the family was already living together in Sofia. He returned to his profession as a journalist, probably with the help of a writer acquaintance with whom he had worked before September 9, 1944. He was ordered to collect and describe publications in the press dedicated to Yavorov and the revolution in Russia from before the socialist period. In parallel, Sava Popov edited his own texts with the hope of publishing them. His wife Rayna worked as a typist; her norm was 50 pages a day, which was a lot even for a “keyboard percussionist,” as she is described on the back of one of her photos.

Letter from Sava Popov’s mother, 1955

The supply of products and the household hardships were a constant theme in the family’s letters in the 1950s. In a letter from Bozhana, Sava Popov’s mother, we read:

My dear children,
I’m sorry I haven’t written you until now. It’s good here only for the fresh air, but in terms of food – we are not well, everything is lacking. Butter, and cheese is hard to find. My soul is withering from waiting for the corn to ripen, but we’ll pick it tomorrow, if the weather is good. There are 2-3 notebooks of manuscripts of yours here, but they are attached to other books and in other folders. About Ognyan, his grandfather writes that he was very obedient, but I don’t know whether to believe it. Kisses to your whole family.
Your mother Bozhana Popova,
24 September 1955, village of Dolets

His childhood friend Doncho, who had settled in Germany as a doctor in private practice, sent him postcards from Italy and France, where he spent the holidays with his family. He would write about his life, his newly acquired house and car. He rejoiced at the news that his friend would publish a book very soon and encouraged him to write. He asked if he needed to send any medicines, because he knew there was a shortage in Bulgaria. After 1944, Sava Popov, like most citizens of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria, did not travel outside the country. No other letters from western countries were found in his correspondence.

Twenty years after the student Sava Popov interviewed the famous writer Angel Karaliychev, he received a gift – another edition of the famous book Toshko the African, with illustrations by Iliya Beshkov.