» Culture » Literature in 19 century - Romantycism


In the second half of the 19th century, the middle class in Macedonia grew stronger. The links with the European cultural centers were consolidated. The Macedonian merchants supported the establishment of the Slavonic schools and elimination of the Greek influence. In their irreconcilable struggle against the Greek influence they raise an issue regarding the Macedonian language, textbooks and literature. A great number of Macedonian cultural activists took part in this struggle: The Miladinovci brothers - Dimitar and Konstantin, Jordan Hadzi Konstantinov - Dzinot, Grigor Prlichev, Georgi Pulevski, Rajko Zinzifov and many others.

One of the oldest records regarding the existence of the Old Slavonic folk literature is the one written by the Byzantine author, Theophilakt Simokat. It says that in 592, three people had come to Mauricij, the Emperor of Traki, and said that they were Slavs and armed by kuitars (musical instrument), as they were not used to carry arms, because the people in their country were not acquainted with the steel". Comprehending the fact that the visitors carried musical instruments, indicates to the existence of songs at the South Slavs. The second source which indicates the existence of the South Slavs folk literature is Poucitelno Evangelie (The Moral Gospel) by Constantin the Philosopher, dated from 19th century, where several sermons are mentioned. A century later, Presbyter Cosmas in his sermon against the profanity attacked those who are not Christians and believe in dreams.

The period before the appearance of the Christianity and its spreading among the South Slavs was considered as a first phase of the folk literature development. At that time, the oldest songs had been created: ritual, mythological and religious songs.

Furthermore, as the history of the South Slavs developed, the folk literature improved itself by the appearance of the epics in honor of the feudal heroes. Most famous heroes in the Macedonian epic are: Krale Marko (King Marko), Bolen Dojčin, Dete Golomese.

As a reaction of the terror over the Christian population in Macedonia, after its relapsing under the authority of the Ottoman Empire, the haiduks (freedom fighters) movement and songs in their honor appeared. The most famous haiduks in the Macedonian epic are: Kuzman Kapidan, Strahil Vojvoda, Sirma Vojvoda and others.

In the 19th century, there was increased interest in collecting and publishing the Macedonian folk literature. The most eminent collectors and publishers from that period were: Miladinovi brothers and their monumental work- Zbornik na narodni pesni (The Collection of folk songs), Kuzman Shapkarev, Marko Cepenkov, Dimitar and Kostadin Molerov and others.

At the end of the 19th century, the Macedonian national-revolutionary movement and songs in honor of the komitas (revolutionaries) appeared, inspired by their fight against the Turks. The Ilinden Uprising is the most mentioned event in these songs, together with the ideological leader of that revolutionary movement - Goce Delčev. Besides him, there are some other famous fighters mentioned in the songs: Pitu Guli, Dame Gruev, Nikola Karev, Jane Sandanski and others.

The Second World War and the partisan movement in Macedonia, motivated the creation of a new type of songs - the partisan songs written in honor of eminent partisan commandants and fighters: Christian Todorovski - Karpoš, Elpida Karamandi, Mirče Acev, Mirka Ginova and others. In one occasion, Konstantin Miladinov wrote: There has been a continuous process of creation of the folk songs even today, observing everything that happens in the life and remaining its Mirror.


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