The Macedonian Tendency: Book Review: Edmund Wilson

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Book Review: Edmund Wilson

By David Edenden

Edmund Wilson was a famous American writer and critic whose writing spanned five decades from the 20's to the 60's. These are his memoirs from the sixties. He met a yound Macedonian student and unlike other people today in Skopje, young Ivanka Koviloska can prove that she was "rather cool about Tito" 40 years ago! If Ivanka is still with us, I would love to publish her recollections of Edmund Wilson.

Bugaromani please note that the "Macedonian dialect has been lifted to the dignity of a literary language", with the help of comrade Tito!

Wilson, Edmund, The Sixties. Harper Collins 1993

Page 232 - 1963

Ivanka Koviloska, a young woman from the University of Skopje, who is working on Scott Fitzgerald. I had already begun hearing about the Macedonian language and wondering what it was.

It seems that Tito, since 1949, has ben building up Skopje as a great industrial center, and the Macedonian dialect has been lifted to the dignity of a literary language.

One of the great authorities on it is a Harvard professor, who has written a Macedonian grammar. They have already short story writers - though no novelists - and a highly esteemed poet. it is a curious example of the growth of minority nationalisms within the big federations.

Miss Koviloska, when I said something favorable about Tito, was rather cool about him. She spoke of the bureaucracy of Belgrade, and said that she never spent much time there, merely passed through in going north.

She seemed rather proud of the fact that the language was unique among the Slavic languages in having a definite article - which seems to me - as I suppose Russian "to" and "zto" are - derived from Greek "outos" and "autos". I bought the grammar and found the language perfectly simple - the meaning, as in the cases of the other Yugoslav languages - usually recognizable from Russian. (As I write, July 27, Skopje has just been wrecked by an earthquake).

1 comment:

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