Krste Petkov Misirkov

1874 - 1926

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

country of citizenship:  Bulgaria
languages spoken, written or signed:  BulgarianMacedonian
occupation:  historianwriter

Krste Petkov Misirkov (Macedonian: Крсте Петков Мисирков, pronounced [kr̩'stɛ pɛ'tkɔf mi'sirkɔf]; Bulgarian: Кръстьо/Кръстю Петков Мисирков; Serbian: Крста Петковић Мисирков; 18 November 1874 – 26 July 1926) was a philologist, journalist, historian and ethnographer from the region of Macedonia. In the period between 1903 and 1905, he published a book and a scientific magazine in which he affirmed the existence of a Macedonian national identity separate from other Balkan nations, and attempted to codify a standard Macedonian language based on the central Western Macedonian dialects. A survey conducted in the Republic of Macedonia (now North Macedonia) found Misirkov to be "the most significant Macedonian of the 20th century". For his efforts to codify a standard Macedonian language, he is often considered "the founder of the modern Macedonian literary language".On the other hand, he was one of the founders of the pro-Bulgarian Secret Macedonian-Adrianople Circle established in 1900 in St. Petersburg. In 1905 he began publishing predominantly articles, written from a Bulgarian nationalist perspective in the IMARO-affiliated press. In his diary written during the Balkan Wars, he espoused pro-Bulgarian views. During the First World War, he became a member of the local parliament in Bessarabia as a representative of the Bulgarian minority there. Misirkov returned to Macedonian nationalism for a period in 1919. During the 1920s his views changed again, and he encouraged the Macedonian Slavs to adopt a Bulgarian national identity. Misirkov died in 1926 and was buried in the Sofia Central Cemetery with the financial support from the Ministry of Education, as an honoured Bulgarian educator. Because Misirkov expressed conflicting views about the national identity of the Macedonian Slavs at different points in his life, his national affiliation and legacy remain a matter of dispute between Bulgaria and North Macedonia. While Misirkov's work and personality remain highly controversial and disputed, there have been attempts among international scholars to reconcile the conflicting and self-contradictory statements made by Misirkov. According to historian Ivo Banac, Misirkov viewed both himself and the Slavs of Macedonia as Bulgarians, and espoused pan-Bulgarian patriotism in a larger Balkan context. However, in the context of the larger Bulgarian unit/nation, Misirkov sought both cultural and national differentiation from the other Bulgarians and called both himself and the Slavs of Macedonia, Macedonians. Source: Wikipedia (en)

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