19 Facts About Tzvetan Todorov


Tzvetan Todorov was a Bulgarian-French historian, philosopher, structuralist literary critic, sociologist and essayist.


Tzvetan Todorov was the author of many books and essays, which have had a significant influence in anthropology, sociology, semiotics, literary theory, intellectual history and culture theory.


Tzvetan Todorov was born on 1 March 1939 in Sofia, Bulgaria.


Tzvetan Todorov was a visiting professor at several universities in the US, including Harvard, Yale, Columbia and the University of California, Berkeley.


Tzvetan Todorov defines the fantastic as being any event that happens in our world that seems to be supernatural.


Tzvetan Todorov uses Alvaro from Jacques Cazotte's Le Diable amoureux as an example of a fantastic event.


Tzvetan Todorov gives examples of dreams, drugs, illusions of the senses, madness, etc.


Tzvetan Todorov wrote Frail Happiness about the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau.


Tzvetan Todorov focuses on Rousseau's ideas of attaining human happiness and how we can live in 'modern' times.


In one of his major works, Facing the Extreme, Tzvetan Todorov asks whether it is true the Nazi concentration camps and the Soviet Gulags revealed that in extreme situations "all traces of moral life evaporate as men become beasts locked in a merciless struggle for survival".


However, in his reading of actual survivor testimonies, Tzvetan Todorov says the picture is not that bleak, that there are many examples of inmates helping each other and showing compassion in human relationships despite the inhumane conditions and terror.


Tzvetan Todorov concludes that life in the camps and gulag did not follow the law of the jungle and that the counter-examples are numerous, even in Levi's work.


Tzvetan Todorov's honors include the CNRS Bronze Medal, the Charles Leveque Prize of the Academie des sciences morales et politiques and the first Maugean Prize of the Academie francaise and the Prince of Asturias Award for Social Sciences; he was an Officer of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.


Tzvetan Todorov was an elected member of both the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Tzvetan Todorov received the Prince of Asturias Award for Social Sciences.


Tzvetan Todorov was born in the family of Todor Borov, a famous Bulgarian linguist and intellectualist from the early 20th century.


Tzvetan Todorov's brother is the Bulgarian mathematician and theoretical physicist Ivan Todorov.


Tzvetan Todorov died on 7 February 2017, at the age of 77.


Tzvetan Todorov is survived by a son, Boris, from the first marriage, and a daughter, Lea, and a son, Sacha, from the second.