September 17, 1898|
Kukush, Ottoman Empire
|Died||June 18, 1923
|Occupation||poet, prose writer|
Hristo Smirnenski (Bulgarian: Христо Смирненски), born as Hristo Izmirliev, (September 17, 1898 OS - June 18, 1923) was a Bulgarian poet and prose writer. His hometown was Kukush in Macedonia, Ottoman Empire, (today Kilkis, Greece), which had militant traditions and an enterprising population. Hristo was from a poor family, according to Tushe Daliivanov,a close relative and a writer Hristo`s father was important and admired man in Kukush before his political disagreements with the Greek authorities and eventually being put in prison and tortured because of his socialist views. At the 25th of October the First Balkan War started and the Bulgarian troops released Kukush.( Smirnensky was only 13 years old then). But the joy of the people happened to be too short. After the victory of the Balkan allies disagreements arise and Second Balkan War broke out. The threat of invading Greek troops leave Kukush residents, the town was burned. So the family of Dimitar Izmirliev with thousands of others refugees goes in search of salvation and living in Sofia. Despite the poverty in which Dimitar Izmirliev and his wife found themselves, they made sure that their children studied; Hristo was in technical school and his younger brother Anastas helped the family by selling newspapers.
He made his literary debut in 1915 during his second year at College in the satirical newspaper "K'vo da e" ("Anything Goes"). Hristo first called himself "Smirnenski" in the magazine "Smyah i salzi" ("Laughter and Tears"). Amazingly resourceful and prolific Vedbal, despite his youth, became one of the most sought after and popular entertainers of that time. In 1917 first signed with the pseudonym Smirnensky, which remains in the classics of Bulgarian literature.
As a student in a technical school he continued working like a seller in colonial shop. At this time the First World War started . In May 1917 Hristo enrolled as a cadet at the Military School, but raw barracks everyday continues to write and publish in humorous publications. At the end of the year the October Revolution broke out . Command introduced school long quarantine in order to avoid penetration of communist ideas. In April 1918 he released his first collection - "Raznokalibreni sighs in verse and prose." It has a humorous character and comes under the heading of Vedbal but was later criticized by its own author.
Strong impact on the conceptual development of the young poet has Soldiers' Revolt in 1918 rebelled against Ferdinand and government troops were repulsed by the cadets of the Military School. Smirnensky witnessed the bloodiest clash near Sugar Factory in Sofia. Horrified by the cruelty with which the government defeated the rebels, he left the Military School in November and that his father was forced to pay higher compensation.
After entering into civic life Smirnensky became a member of the editorial board of Bulgarin (a popular newspaper), making his living first as a clerk II in the order management Transport, later as karnetist, and then a clerk in the Department of Economic Care, reporter, treasurer, editor, proofreader.
The time of 1919 and 1920 have been a turbulent life in Sofia during social encounters. In November 1919 a decision of the Communist Party is published in the weekly humorous artistic and literary magazine "Red Laughter". His humor becomes more socially inclusive. He participated in demonstrations and rallies, which is asked for amnesty of convicted soldiers, improving the material situation of workers and others. Gradually, social affiliation Smirnensky becomes a crucial factor in his ideological views and he soaked in the knowledge that a fighter of the proletariat. In the spring of 1920 he became a member of the Communist Youth League, and in 1921 - the Communist Party.
1920 was a turning point in the Smirnensky`s creative path .
The communists evaluate his aesthetic pursuits as manifestations of "decadent" symbolism of poetic achievements and " his bright poetic talent."has no limits First real poem as alleged by this socialist literary criticism Smirnensky wrote on May Day issue of "Red Laughter". The poem is called "The First of May "
After that poem Smirnensky began a series published in the pages of "Red Laughter": "Nee" (June 26, 1920), "red squads" (September 3, 1920), "The Street" and "Tomorrow" (September 24, 1920) "herald of the new day" (October 15, 1920) "Northern Lights" (October 29, 1920), "In the storm" (January 6, 1921), "The Tempest in Berlin" (January 13, 1921), "Johan" (January 27 1921) and others. In party publications "Red Laughter" and "Workers' Newspaper" few dozen of his works has being published representing bright new aesthetic line in the works of the poet. At the end of February 1922 party publisher "General Workers Cooperative Society« Liberation »" prints the second and final poetry published during his lifetime - "To be a day". Printed in 1,500 copies, the collection is selling out quickly and a few months later cooperative "Liberation" launches second edition. "To be the day!" Introducing the talented poet as bright and well demarcated individuality - an artist whose work is highly socially engaged, bringing new value model, a new social and aesthetic causes in the varied Bulgarian literature of the second decade of the 20th century. With "To be the day!" Smirnensky go beyond political and ideological commitment and selfless said fervently humanity, dream of happiness of mankind, turned in his creative philosophy. Here lies Smirnensky most vividly is closer to moral charge Botev works and means that Botev finds opposition against anti-human - fight revolution . With his works he inspire millions of people to raise against social injustices. With unique lyrical style Smirnensky sings longing for happiness and everlasting love to the people philosophical summarized in the "herald of the new day" - "What a divine happiness of henbane is to be human" (later Smirnensky off this poem from the book of poetry).
His hard tireless work and deprivations undermined the 25 year-old poet's health and he died on 18 June 1923 from tuberculosis, "the yellow visitor". He had followed political events and kept his faith, optimism and sense of humour right until his last breath. In the eight brief years of his prolific career Hristo Smirnenski penned thousands of pieces of poetry and prose in various genres using more than 70 pseudonyms.
Despite his early death, he is known as a very productive writer - one of the last editions of his collected works consists of eight volumes. Lauded the left literary criticism (and for socialist ideas in the works), but certain of the modern conservative literary circles as the author of "Applied Poetry", Smirnensky is a remarkable poet, his poetry is energetic , his lyrics have a confession character and most characteristic of them is the solemn and festive feeling of a need for change in the world, the bitterness of the harsh reality and the willingness to fight for change. His works are still relevant today and are the subject of public debate (e.g. "Tale of the ladder") and searches of literary criticism. His amazing humor and faith in life among with his humanism are recreated in the finest form in his works. Despite being underrated he is an inspiration to millions and deserve being honored as one.
- Britannica online Encyclopaedia, Bulgarian literature.
- A history of Bulgarian literature 865-1944, Charles A. Moser, Mouton, 1972, pp. 223-226.