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Balkan SmokeTobacco and the Making of Modern Bulgaria$
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Mary C. Neuburger

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450846

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450846.001.0001

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From the Orient Express to the Sofia Café

From the Orient Express to the Sofia Café

Smoke and Propriety in the Interwar Years

(p.78) Chapter 3 From the Orient Express to the Sofia Café
Balkan Smoke

Mary C. Neuburger

Cornell University Press

This chapter explores how smoking came to be intertwined with propriety in Bulgaria during the interwar years. In post-World War I Bulgaria, the most dramatic change in the culture of smoking was the partial inclusion of women in a rapidly changing world of public leisure consumption. Women's emergence into a world of public smoking and sociability took place in the shadow of the Europeanization of leisure establishments. Sofia was at the epicenter of an explosion of leisure consumption, cultural production, and political ferment, in which smoking took a central role. This chapter first provides an overview of Sofia before discussing how smoking became an increasingly common social practice among Bulgarian women, who made their way into a few of the more respectable kafenes after World War I. It then examines interwar changes in Bulgarian leisure and sociability that were in no way limited to Sofia. It also considers the emergence of radical models of morality and sobriety as Bulgarians groped for grounding in a rapidly changing landscape of pleasure and propriety.

Keywords:   smoking, propriety, Bulgaria, women, leisure, sociability, Sofia, kafene, morality, sobriety

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