At the moment of the Macedonian nation’s greatest victory, independence, “the name issue became the new symbol of our defeat”, regrets Denko Maleski. Predictably enough, those in Macedonia to benefit were the nationalist Right, thus confirming Greek fears.
Female Macedonian novelists are reversing the male dominance of the genre, writes Lidija Kapushevska-Drakulevska. In poetry, meanwhile, “a completely individualized form of expression” has developed, and it is here that the biggest innovations are being made.
“We should put a wit virus into the established system of ethnic, religious, language, and any other kind of exclusivism. This virus should empasize the little and seemingly irrelevant things, as opposed to the things that seem great, essential, historic.” Macedonian author Pajo Avirovic on how a joke goes along way in a society riven by ethnic tension.
Between politics and truth
Nowhere is the politics of history more vexed than in the conflict over the use of the name “Macedonia”. Valentina Mironska-Hristovska presents the Macedonian position, arguing that the Greek claim to the historical-cultural legacy of Macedonia is, at heart, paradoxical.
The borders of our minds
“In the minds of all the Balkan nations there are two maps with two different borders. One is the contemporary map, usually called the political map of one’s state. The other is the historical map, a map sometimes secretly and often openly cherished.” Former Macedonian foreign minister Denko Maleski on Balkan nationalism and why, in the conflict between Macedonia and Greece, both sides are debating a non-existent issue.