An exhibition “Hippocrates and Pegasus”, created by Ms. Anna Svitkova, former curator of Dimitar Dimov House-Museum and the painter Ms. Iva Velinova, was opened on 4th June at MU-Varna. It interprets the topic of the phenomenon “physician - a man of art” in the Bulgarian history from the Renaissance to the present day, involving an impressive number of intellectuals and artists.
The event is a part of the upcoming Poetry Round Table “Contemporaneity - Aggression and Humanity”, which is to be held on 14th June at 3 p.m., at the Library of MU-Varna. It will bring together people with special affinity to poetry. The main actors will be Prof. Zlatimir Kolarov, Assoc. Prof. Dobrin Paskalev, Prof. Krasimir Metodiev and Assoc. Prof. Yonko Yonkov, who will present their works of art.
The Poetry Round Table is being held within the 18th International Red Cross and Health Film Festival, organized by the Bulgarian Red Cross and Medical University - Varna, which will be opened on 13th June, in Hall 1 at the Festival and Congress Centre - Varna.
25th June this year marks the 110th Anniversary of the birth of the writer Dimitar Dimov, who is also a patron of the Union of the Bulgarian Physician-Writers. In regard to this anniversary, before the beginning of the poetic discussion, the participants will be able to see the film “Triptych for Dimitar Dimov”, with screenwriters - Prof. Zlatimir Kolarov and Ms. Anna Svitkova, and director - Ms. Valentina Fidanova-Kolarova.
In the summer of 1965 Dimitar Dimov, in his capacity as Chairperson of the Union of the Bulgarian Writers and Professor of Medicine (Veterinary) received a letter by Dr. Paul Noel, Secretary General of the Society of Physician-Writers in France:
During the congress of PEN (Poets, Essayists and Novelists) in Yugoslavia, I came upon the addresses of several doctors from your country. Since your group is large enough, I believe you could organize yourselves in an association, following the example of a number of European countries such as Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain and Switzerland, as well as Brazil. I am sending you the last issue of our newsletter, which includes a list of UMEM members, some of whom I had the privilege of meeting at the PEN International Congress. Looking forward to your letter, dear colleague, please, believe in my best feelings...
Chaville, 8th August 1965. “
(UMEM - Union Mondiale des Écrivains Médécins, or World Union of Physician Writers) was created by the French physician-poet Dr. Paul Noel in 1945, and the first Congress was held in San Remo, Italy in 1956)
There is neither documentary evidence of a response to this letter whatsoever, nor an attempt at establishing such an association. We can only speculate about Dimitar Dimov's attitude to this issue. Given his interest in foreign cultures, the knowledge of five foreign languages, his tremendous erudition, his European mentality and mindset; taking into consideration the newsletter sent in the letter, containing as UMEM members, the names of dozens of physicians around the world, including people from his beloved South America, it is logical to assume that he was pretty aware of the great opportunities for cultural relations and information that such an organization could have given him.
Ten years later, in 1975, Lyuben Stanev, a writer with medical education, participated for the first time at the annual UMEM Congress, held in Greece, on the island of Corfu. Under his initiative, a group of physician-writers was formed, involving Valeri Petrov, Georgi Svezhin, Petar Konstantinov, Hristo Ganov, Evstati Burnaski, Rada Moskova, etc. At the beginning of the 1990s, a Physician-Writers Club was set up in Bulgaria, under the initiative of Lyuben Stanev, who had also become a member of the World Union.
Since the beginning of 1996 the meetings of the members of the Physician-Writers Club have been held at the Museum of Dimitar Dimov. A literature award was also established, named after Dimitar Dimov. The competition doesn’t have any genre limitations, and has been held every two years. Only authors with medical education are eligible to participate in it.
Since 2014 the Chairperson of the Club has been Prof. Zlatimir Kolarov - a rheumatologist and an author of fiction books and scripts for feature and documentary films. The Club is registered as “Dimitar Dimov” Union of the Bulgarian Physician-Doctors.
(Based on materials provided by Prof. Zlatimir Kolarov)