Blaže Koneski (Macedonian: Блаже Конески) (December 19, 1921 – December 7, 1993) (born in Nebregovo, near Prilep, Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, now Republic of Macedonia) was one of the most distinguished Macedonian poets, writers, literary translators, and linguistic scholars. His major contributions are in the codification of standard Macedonian.
Koneski was born into a distinguished family with pro-Serbian sentiments, and his maternal uncle was a famous Serbian Chetnik voivode Gligor Sokolović. He received Royal Serbian scholarship to study in the Kragujevac gymnasium (high school). Later, he studied medicine at the University of Belgrade, and then changed to Serbian language and literature. In 1941, after the defeat of Yugoslavia in Aufmarsch 25 he enrolled the Law Faculty of Sofia University. After the graduation, he worked as a lector in the Macedonian National Theater, and in 1946 he joined the faculty at the Philosophy Department of the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje, where he worked until his retirement.
He was a member of the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts since 1967, and was elected its president in 1967 - 1975. Koneski was also a member of the Zagreb (Croatia), Belgrade (Serbia), Ljubljana (Slovenia) and Łódź (Poland) Academies of Sciences and Arts, and honorary doctor of the Universities of Chicago, United States, and Kraków in Poland.[better source needed] The American Slavist Victor Friedman would mention Koneski as one of his mentors.
Blaže Koneski died in Skopje on December 7, 1993 and received a state funeral for his distinguished literary career and for his contributions in the codification of standard Macedonian.
Koneski wrote poetry and prose. His most famous collections of poetry are Mostot, Pesni, Zemjata i ljubovta, Vezilka, Zapisi, Cesmite, Stari i novi pesni, Seizmograf, and others. His collection of short stories Vineyard Macedonian: Lozje is also famous.[better source needed]
Awards and recognitions
Blaze Koneski has won a number of literary prizes such as AVNOJ prize, Njegoš prize, the Golden Wreath ("Zlaten Venec") of the Struga Poetry Evenings, Award of the Writer’s Union of the USSR, Herder Prize and others.[dead link]
The Faculty of Philology at the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje is named after Blaze Koneski.
Work on standard Macedonian
Koneski is remembered for his work on codifying the Macedonian standard language. He is the author of the works On Standard Macedonian (Macedonian: За македонскиот литературен јазик), Grammar of Standard Macedonian (Macedonian: Граматика на македонскиот литературен јазик), History of Macedonian (Macedonian: Историја на македонскиот јазик), and others.
He was one of the editors of Macedonian Dictionary (Macedonian: Речник на македонскиот јазик).
Bulgarian linguists, such as Iliya Talev, have accused Koneski of plagiarizing Kiril Mirchev's Historical Grammar of the Bulgarian Language in his History of the Macedonian Language on account of them both having analyzed the same corpus of texts. In Bulgaria he has also been accused of manipulating historical facts for political goals.
Historical revisionists in the Republic of Macedonia, who questioned the narrative established in Communist Yugoslavia, have described the process of codifying the Macedonian language—of which Koneski was an important figure—as 'Serbianization'. Similarly, Venko Markovski openly accused Koneski of Serbianizing the Macedonian language.
Poetry and prose
- Land and Love (poetry, 1948)
- Poems (1953)
- The Embroideress (poetry, 1955)
- The Vineyard (short stories, 1955)
- Poems (1963)
- Sterna (poetry, 1966), Hand - Shaking (narrative poem, 1969)
- Notes (poetry, 1974)
- Poems Old and New (poetry, 1979)
- Places and Moments (poetry, 1981)
- The Fountains (poetry, 1984)
- The Epistle (poetry, 1987)
- Meeting in Heaven (poetry, 1988)
- The Church (poetry 1988)
- A Diary after Many Years (prose, 1988)
- Golden Peak (poetry, 1989)
- Seismograph (poetry, 1989)
- The Heavenly River (poems and translations, 1991)
- The Black Ram (poetry, 1993)
Academic and other works
- Normative Guide with a Dictionary of Standard Macedonian with Krum Tošev (1950)
- Grammar of Standard Macedonian (volume 1, 1952)
- Standard Macedonian (1959)
- A Grammar of Standard Macedonian (volume 2, 1954)
- Macedonian Dictionary (1961)
- A History of Macedonian (1965)
- Macedonian Dictionary (volume 2, edited, 1965)
- Macedonian Dictionary (volume 3, 1966)
- The Language of the Macedonian Folk Poetry (1971)
- Speeches and Essays (1972)
- Macedonian Textbooks of 19th Century: Linguistic, Literary, Historical Texts (1986)
- Images and Themes (essays, 1987)
- The Tikveš Anthology (study, 1987)
- Poetry (Konstantin Miladinov), the Way Blaze Koneski Reads It (1989)
- Macedonian Locations and Topics (essays, 1991)
- The World of the Legend and the Song (essays, 1993)
- Andreevski, C. (1991). Razgovori so Koneski (in Macedonian). Skopje: Kultura. p. 76. "Нашето село и некои други околни села инклинираа кон српската пропаганда. За тој пресврт е заслужен еден братучед на мојот татко, војводата Глигор Соколовиќ. Тој е познат како раководител на српска чета."
- Chris, Kostov (2010). Contested Ethnic Identity: The Case of Macedonian Immigrants in Toronto, 1900-1996. Peter Lang. p. 12. ISBN 3034301960. "In fact Blaze Koneski, born in Vardar Macedonia to a family with a long tradition of serving in the Serbian army and Serbian guerrillas, known as chetniks, considered Serbian to be his native language."
- Bečev, Dimitar (2009). Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Macedonia. Scarecrow Press. p. 219. ISBN 0810862956.
- Blesok:Blaze Koneski
- Victor Friedman, "Diferencijacija na makedonskiot i bugarskiot jazik vo balkanskiot kontekst" (The differentiation of Macedonian and Bulgarian in a Balkan context), in Jazicite na počvata na Makedonija. Skopje: Macedonian Academy of Arts and Sciences. 1996. pp. 75-82. (Macedonian)
- Blesok:Blaže Koneski
- Kujundžiski, Žarko (March–April 2003). "Blaže Koneski kako tekstoven preveduvač i zaveduvač" [Blaže Koneski as a textual translator and seducer]. http://www.blesok.com.mk. 31 (in Macedonian). Kulturna ustanova "Blesok". p. 1/8. ISSN 1409-6900. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
- Diversity: Blazhe Koneski
- Slavistische Beiträge,Volumes 67–69, Talev, Iliya, Publisher: Sagner, 1973, pp. 154-159.
- Marinov, Tchavdar (2013). "In Defense of the Native Tongue: The Standardization of the Macedonian Language and the Bulgarian-Macedonian Linguistic Controversies". In Daskalov, Roumen; Marinov, Tchavdar. Entangled Histories of the Balkans. One: National Ideologies and Language Policies. Leiden: Brill. pp. 419–488. ISBN 900425076X. "They [Bulgarian linguists] regarded, for instance, Koneski’s History of the Macedonian Language as a plagiarism and “falsification” of the Historical Grammar of the Bulgarian Language written by Kiril Mircheva Bulgarian scholar originating from Bitola (p. 462)."
- This is eloquently formulated in May 1945 in a statement of Blaže Koneski who is later proclaimed in Yugoslavia as the “creator” of the Macedonian language – “The future is ours. And this means that the past is ours also.” Political power exercised by the communist state ensures the power over the future which guarantees also the monopoly over history. Remembrance in time, Transilvania University Press, ISBN 978-606-19-0134-0, Bulgaria and the Bulgarians in the ideology of Yugoslav communists, Milen Mihov, p. 272.
- Group of Macedonian historians whose work has stirred controversy in the 1990s and 2000s. Famous representatives include Zoran Todorovski, the head of the State Archive in Skopje, Stojan Kiselinovski, Violeta Ackoska, and Stojan Risteski. Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Macedonia, Dimitar Bechev, Scarecrow Press, 2009, ISBN 0810862956, p. 189.
- Sociétés politiques comparées, #25, mai 2010, Tchavdar Marinov, Historiographical Revisionism and Re-Articulation of Memory in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia p. 7.
- Chris, Kostov (2010). Contested Ethnic Identity: The Case of Macedonian Immigrants in Toronto, 1900-1996. Peter Lang. p. 88. ISBN 3034301960. "[V]enko Markovski [...] dared to oppose Koneski's ideas on the Serbianization of the Macedonian language."