Blaze Koneski was a celebrated Macedonian poet, novelist, literary translator, and linguist. He was the author of the Macedonian language’s foundational works, defining its grammar, dictionary, and history. Since childhood, he has been an avid learner and developed an early interest in literature. After a brief stint studying medicine, he decided to pursue a career as a literary artist and switched his major to Serbian language and literature. He wrote poetry and prose and established a reputation as an accomplished translator of German, Russian, Slovenian, Serbian, and Polish poetry. Following Macedonia’s liberation, he rose to prominence as one of the Macedonistics’ most prominent figures. He taught at a university and institutionalized a comprehensive study of the Macedonian language, its history, dialects, and standardization principles. He was involved in a variety of educational and cultural activities, including the establishment of Skopje’s Faculty of Philosophy. He founded the ‘Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts’ and was a member of several foreign academies. He is best remembered as a prominent member of the Macedonian literary language’s committee for standardization and as its most outstanding representative.
Childhood & Adolescence
He was born in Nebregovo, near Prilep, Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, on December 19, 1921, into a prominent family with pro-Serbian sentiments.
He enrolled in his first primary school when he was six years old. He moved to Prilep after completing the first grade, where he completed his primary education until the eighth grade.
When the General Secondary School in Prilep was closed, he enrolled in Kragujevac’s Secondary School and graduated in 1939. He developed a strong interest in literature and became the school magazine’s editor.
He joined the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Belgrade after much persuasion from family and friends.
However, after a semester at the faculty, he realized he was not interested in studying medicine in the slightest.
In the summer semester of 1940, he obtained admission to the Faculty of Philosophy by selecting an unusual combination of subjects: Yugoslav Literature, Russian Literature, and Russian Language.
The outbreak of World War II on Yugoslavia’s territory prevented him from continuing his studies in Belgrade and forced him to continue in Bulgaria. He enrolled at Sofia University’s Law Faculty in 1941 but did not complete his studies.
Career of Blaze
He began his career as a lector at Macedonia’s National Theater. In 1946, he joined the faculty of Skopje’s ‘Saints Cyril and Methodius University”s Philosophy Department. He remained employed at the university until he retired.
He was a founding member of the Macedonian Writers’ Association (1947), the Institute for Macedonian Language (1953), and the Association (Union) for Macedonian Language and Literature (1957). (1954).
He served as Dean of Skopje’s Faculty of Philosophy (Philology) and as Chancellor of Skopje’s Saints Cyril and Methodius University from 1958 to 1960. He was also a member of the Croatian (1962), Serbian (1963), Slovenian (1963), Bosnia and Herzegovina (1969), and Austrian and Polish Academies of Science and Arts.
He was elected to the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts in 1967 and served as its president until 1975.
He authored a number of significant academic works, including ‘Normative Guide with a Dictionary of Standard Macedonian with Krum Toev’ (1950), ‘Grammar of Standard Macedonian’ (1952), ‘Standard Macedonian’ (1959), ‘Macedonian Dictionary’ (1961), ‘A History of Macedonian’ (1965), ‘The Language of Macedonian Folk Poetry’ (1971), ‘Speeches and Essays’ (1972 (1991).
Among his poetic collections are ‘Land and Love’ (1948), ‘Poems’ (1953), ‘The Embroideress’ (1955), ‘Sterna’ (1966), ‘Hand-shaking’ (1969), ‘Poems Old and New’ (1979), ‘The Fountains’ (1984), ‘The Epistle’ (1987), ‘Meeting in Heaven’ (1988), ‘A Diary after Many Years (1993).
Among his translated works are Njegosh’s ‘The Mountain Laurel’ (1947), Heine’s ‘Lyrical Intermezzo’ (1952), Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’ (1953), and F. Preshern’s ‘Savica’s Baptization’ (1980), as well as poems by Aleskandar Blok, Adam Mickiewicz, Vladimir Mayakovski, and Desanka Maksimovic.
Significant Works of Blaze
He is best remembered for his work on the Macedonian standard language’s codification. Among his authored works are ‘Standard Macedonian’, ‘Standard Macedonian Grammar’, ‘Macedonian History’, and ‘Macedonian Dictionary’ (Three volumes).
Awards and Accomplishments
He was the recipient of numerous literary awards, including the ‘AVNOJ prize,’ the ‘Njego prize,’ the ‘Award of the Writers Union of the USSR,’ and the ‘Herder Prize.’
Personal History and Legacies
He died in Skopje on December 7, 1993, at the age of 61. He was accorded a state funeral in recognition of his distinguished literary career and contribution to the codification of the standard Macedonian language.
Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje has named the Faculty of Philology after Blaze Koneski in his honor.
Estimated Net Worth
Blaze Koneski’s estimated net worth or net income is between $1 Million and $2 Million dollars. He has amassed such wealth through his primary career as a poet.