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.
How can it be that the primary concern of Macedonian politics is not, as in most other European countries, economic and democratic development, but fear of annihilation? The causes for this “Macedonian safety dilemma” are not primarily external, but internal, writes Denko Maleski. Antagonistic groups some insisting on Macedonia’s “Bulgarian history”, others (pro-Serbian) stressing the “Macedonian present”, and others still concerned with Alexander the Great and the “antique Macedonia” cultivate the fear. There cannot be any real political peace in Macedonia until these groups, through dialogue, decide to put an end to the animosities.
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.