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Blaze Koneski

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Blaze Koneski

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,[1][2] and his maternal uncle was a famous Serbian Chetnik voivode Gligor Sokolović.[3] 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 Aufmarsh 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.[4]

He 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.

Literary works

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.[5]

Koneski was distinguished translator of poetry from German, Russian, Slovenian, Serbian and Polish, and he translated the works of Njegos, Preshern, Heine, Blok, Neruda, and others.[6]

Awards and recognitions

Blaze Koneski has won a number of literary prizes and international recognitions among which are the AVNOJ prize, Njegoš prize, the Golden Wreath ("Zlaten Venec") of the Struga Poetry Evenings, Award of the Writer’s Association of USSR, Herder Prize and others.[7]

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 as Iliya Talev,[8] have accused Koneski of plagiarizing and "falsifying" his History of the Macedonian Language.[9] In Bulgaria he has also being accused of manipulating historical facts for political goals.[10]

Venko Markovski openly accused Koneski of Serbianizing the Macedonian language.[11] The Macedonian historian Stojan Kiselinovski, also has made an assertion, that Koneski's advocation of the adoption of the Serbian variant of the Cyrillic script in 1945,[12][13] was a deliberate process of linguistic Serbianization.[14]


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)


Further reading

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