Young Macedonian Literary Association

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The Young Macedonian Literary Society was founded in 1891, in Sofia, together with its magazine Loza. The society formed primarily as a scholarly and literary organization.

After a distinct Bulgarian state was established in 1878, Macedonia remained outside its borders. In the 1880s, the Bulgarian codificators rejected the idea of a Macedono-Bulgarian linguistic compromise, and chose eastern Bulgarian dialects as a basis for standard Bulgarian. One purpose of the Young Macedonian Literary Society magazine was to defend the Macedonian dialects, and to have them more represented in the Bulgarian language. The articles were historical, cultural, and ethnographic.

An article in the official People's Liberal Party newspaper "Svoboda" blamed the organization for lack of loyalty and separatism. The Society rejected these accusations for linguistic and national separatism,[1] and in a response to "Svoboda" claimed that their "society is far from any separatist thoughts, in which we were accused and to say that the ideal of Young Macedonian Literary Society is not separatism, but unity of the entire Bulgarian nation".[2] Still some linguists identify this magazine as an early platform of Macedonian linguistic separatism,[3][4]

The authors considered themselves Macedonian Bulgarians.[5][6][7] As a whole, the Lozars demonstrated both Bulgarian and Macedonian loyalty, and combined their Bulgarian nationalism with Macedonian regional and cultural identity.[8][9]

The society's founders included Kosta Shahov, its chairman. In May 1894, after the fall of Stambolov, the Macedonian Youth Society in Sofia revived the Young Macedonian Literary Society. The new group had a newspaper called Glas Makedonski, and opened a Reading Room Club. The group included a number of educators, revolutionaries, and public figures from Macedonia—Evtim Sprostranov, Petar Pop Arsov, Thoma Karayovov, Hristo Popkotsev, Dimitar Mirchev, Andrey Lyapchev, Naum Tyufekchiev, Georgi Balaschev, Georgi Belev, etc.—all known as the Lozars.[10] Later, for a short time in the company were involved also Dame Gruev, Gotse Delchev, Luka Dzherov, Ivan Hadzhinikolov and Hristo Matov.[11] These activists went on to various careers. Some became leaders in the Macedonian revolutionary movement—both the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization in 1894, and the Supreme Macedonian Committee in 1895. Others became later prominent Bulgarian intellectuals, and Andrey Lyapchev became prime minister of Bulgaria.


  1. ^ "Loza", Issue 1, p.91-96
  2. ^ "Loza", Issue 1, p.186
  3. ^ "Macedonian Language and Nationalism During the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries", Victor Friedman, p. 286
  4. ^ Nationalism, Globalization, and Orthodoxy: The Social Origins of Ethnic Conflict in the Balkans, Victor Roudometof, Roland Robertson, p. 145
  5. ^ "Though Loza adhered to the Bulgarian position on the issue of the Macedonian Slavs' ethnicity, it also favored revising the Bulgarian orthography by bringing it closer to the dialects spoken in Macedonia." Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Macedonia, Dimitar Bechev, Scarecrow Press, 2009, ISBN 0810862956, p. 241.
  6. ^ The Young Macedonian Literary Association's Journal, Loza, was also categorical about the Bulgarian character of Macedonia: "A mere comparison of those ethnographic features which characterize the Macedonians (we understand: Macedonian Bulgarians), with those which characterize the free Bulgarians, their juxtaposition with those principles for nationality which we have formulated above, is enough to prove and to convince everybody that the nationality of the Macedonians cannot be anything except Bulgarian." Freedom or Death, The Life of Gotsé Delchev, Mercia MacDermott, The Journeyman Press, London & West Nyack, 1978, p. 86.
  7. ^ "During the 20th century, Slavo-Macedonian national feeling has shifted. At the beginning of the 20th century, Slavic patriots in Macedonia felt a strong attachment to Macedonia as a multi-ethnic homeland. They imagined a Macedonian community uniting themselves with non-Slavic Macedonians... Most of these Macedonian Slavs also saw themselves as Bulgarians. By the middle of the 20th. century, however Macedonian patriots began to see Macedonian and Bulgarian loyalties as mutually exclusive. Regional Macedonian nationalism had become ethnic Macedonian nationalism. Region, Regional Identity, and Regionalism in Southeastern Europe, Ethnologia Balkanica Series, Klaus Roth, Ulf Brunnbauer, LIT Verlag Münster, 2010, ISBN 3825813878, p. 127.
  8. ^ "Macedonian historiography often refers to the group of young activists who founded in Sofia an association called the ‘Young Macedonian Literary Society’. In 1892, the latter began publishing the review Loza [The Vine], which promoted certain characteristics of Macedonian dialects. At the same time, the activists, called ‘Lozars’ after the name of their review, ‘purified’ the Bulgarian orthography from some rudiments of the Church Slavonic. They expressed likewise a kind of Macedonian patriotism attested already by the first issue of the review: its materials greatly emphasized identification with Macedonia as a genuine ‘fatherland’. In any case, it is hardly surprising that the Lozars demonstrated both Bulgarian and Macedonian loyalty: what is more interesting is namely the fact that their Bulgarian nationalism was somehow harmonized with a Macedonian self-identification that was not only a political one but also demonstrated certain ‘cultural’ contents. "We, the People: Politics of National Peculiarity in Southeastern Europe", Diana Miškova, Central European University Press, 2009, ISBN 9639776289, p. 120.
  9. ^ "The Bulgarian historians, such as Veselin Angelov, Nikola Achkov and Kosta Tzarnushanov continue to publish their research backed with many primary sources to prove that the term 'Macedonian' when applied to Slavs has always meant only a regional identity of the Bulgarians. "Contested Ethnic Identity: The Case of Macedonian Immigrants in Toronto, 1900-1996, Chris Kostov, Peter Lang, 2010, ISBN 3034301960, p. 112.
  10. ^ "100 years IMORO", prof. Dimitŭr Minchev, prof. Dimitŭr Gotsev, Macedonian scientific institute, 1994, Sofia, p. 37; (Bg.)
  11. ^ History of the Sofia University "St. Kliment Okhridski", Georgi Naumov, Dimitŭr Tsanev, University publishing house "St. Kliment Okhridski", 1988, p. 164; (Bg.)