volume XIV, 1991, ¹ 2


Trayan Radev

This work is the result of the author's previous intensive studies in the Bulgarian National Revival, in certain periodicals of that time and of their authors in particular. Owing to the recent unfavourable political situation in Bulgaria, the lack of state independence and the distortion or suppression of numerous facts in Bulgaria's national history, only a slender, but generalising publication, Macedonia, the important National Revival paper of P. R. Slaveykov could be issued in Constantinople.

This article, or study (deliberately reduced in volume to be more accessible to the non-specialist reader) is a kind of quintessence of sections of his notes. Its topicality, at present even further enhanced by the opportunity, renewed now after nearly half a century, to tell the truth about Bulgarian history and the key role in it of Macedonia in the course of the Bulgarian National Revival, is determined also by its contributive character. Here it is summed up succinctly: 1) It turned out that Slaveykov's so-called Little Macedonia was not, as was believed and qualified, a “supplement”, but a separate, actually independent newspaper with its own physiognomy and more specific tasks. 2) That the claim that there were no issues of it preserved at the National Library in Sofia is wrong. There are such issues (nearly two complete files), but they had been hidden from people trying to retrieve them in the past under a different numerical arrangement. 3) What is most essential, in a cultural and historical respect, is that Slaveykov's Little Macedonia consisted the first practical attempt to publish a Bulgarian daily, and a social newspaper at that. We say “practical attempt” because, in this case, the endeavour did not remain an intention only, was indeed realised, although only for about four months, 134 years ago! The essential cause for the brevity of the undertaking was the irregular payments of subscriptions, namely that numbers were delivered without payment, despite Slaveykov's moving endeavours and calls to extend the life of Little Macedonia, renamed before its demise as Makedonche, (This was later to hamper and stop the publication of many newspapers in this country). The cultural and political goal of the editor of Little Macedonia is indicated by very concise, but eloquent and striking examples. This gives the authorthe chance to compare hisgeneral goal and activity in a national, cultural and educational respect with those of St. Clement of Ohrid, and in a sociopolitical respect with the objectives of Lyuben Karaveylov.

All this, no doubt, constitutes an interesting addition to the still incomplete, but rich and, in many respects, edifying biography of one of the most far-seeing and active figures of the Bulgarian National Revival, the first accomplished modern Bulgarian poet and distinguished publisher, P. R. Slaveykov, whose family came from Macedonia.

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