The Macedonian Literary Society "Loza"
Not until we have examined the periodical press and the archives of the nineties of the last century in detail shall we be fully capable of making the necessary historical evaluation of the history of the Young Macedonian Literary Society in Sofia and its magazine Loza (The Vine). We shall, however, try to recall some at least of the more significant moments of its history in so far as they are known today since this society was a real landmark between two important epochs in Macedonia’s national and cultural history. In order to do so we shall make use here of the terms Lozarstvo (Viniculture) and Lozarite (The Vinegrowers) which have already become the customary terms when referring to this important movement among the Macedonian intelligentsia.
Unquestionably, Lozarstvo (Viniculture) was not the first or the most important public expression of Macedonian nationalist thought during the nineteenth century since what happened in Sofia during the years 1891-92 was merely the expression of a reaction to what had been developing for a long time in Macedonia itself and among its emigrants abroad. It was, in fact, part of a continuous process, which developed more rapidly after the fifties of the last century and passed through numerous forms, achieving the most varied results. These confirm that the entire force of this national movement was directed primarily against the penetration of Bulgarian propaganda into Macedonia where it had already begun to have a profoundly destructive effect on pro-Greek and pro-Serbian propaganda. The newly established Bulgarian eparchy of 1870 had, by means of various societies, reading-rooms and educational facilities, got in its grasp all ecclesiastical and educational authority in Macedonia. Its greatest concern was, however, to stifle at birth any signs of Macedonian national activities. This created an anti-exarchate, anti-Bulgarian mood. When the Russians liberated Bulgaria and the Berlin Congress had disturbed the dream of San-Stefano Bulgaria, Macedonia had been promised certain reforms and the status of an autonomous region. These promises had, however, never been honored by the Ottomans. Bulgaria was largely responsible for this failure to implement the reforms since at the time when the Great Powers reminded Turkey of her obligations and requested her to follow up the 23rd article of the Berlin Agreement, the Bulgarian government hastened to demand the appointment of Bulgarian bishops to the Macedonian eparchies.
In the eighties of the last century Macedonia already had some sufficiently well-organized institutions which were attempting to unite internal forces with those of the emigrants, in Bulgaria in particular, to obtain national, cultural, educational and religious autonomy and to defend the people of Macedonia from division by the propagandists. The Secret Macedonian Committee in Sofia had active cells in Ohrid, Salonica (today Thessalonica), Skopje, Veles and other places throughout the country and it had also established relations with sympathizers in Rumania, Serbia and Russia. It made an attempt in 1887 to publish a newspaper in the Macedonian language but the Ottoman government refused permission for it to be issued in Istanbul. It was at this same time that the work of the Macedonian committee Makedonsko bratstvo (Macedonian Brotherhood) began in Athens and subsequently in 1893 developed into the Committee for the Autonomy of Macedonia and Albania with its headquarters in London. Also at this time, or rather after 1888, Serbian propagandists began to print some “primers”, almanacs and other “booklets” in which they used the Macedonian language and thus attacked the Exarchate’s influence in Macedonia, having realized that the Macedonians could only be attracted by the use of and respect for their language in education and literature. This action on the part of the Serbs forwarded Macedonian nationalist aims at a critical moment and thus the nationalist movement among the intelligentsia and the artisan class came to open rebellion and in the larger towns of Macedonia this took the form of pupils’ demonstrations in the Exarchate’s secondary schools. Serbian propaganda took advantage of these revolts and Macedonian pupils began going in ever-larger groups to study in Belgrade. Serbia promised some Macedonian district councils that it would give them help in opening Macedonian schools where the textbooks would also be Macedonian. Some steps were taken but it was soon recognized that this aid was given with other ends in view.
All this took place at a time when the world was more and more active on the Macedonian Question and when Slavistics had made a serious beginning in research into the language and nationality of the Macedonian Slays. The slavophils associated with Ivan Aksakov were not alone in supporting the Macedonian nationalists’ ideology and there were others who realized that this was a question not of Serbs, Bulgars or Greeks but of a separate Slav people. Furthermore, in 1886 Aksakov supported the idea that the Macedonians should raise “their Macedonian dialect” to the level of a literary language, which in his opinion, was “close to Russian”. A year later the Bessarabian Bulgar, Petar Draganov, a distinguished Russian ethnographer and Slavist, began to publish a lengthy series of studies on the ethnography and language of the Macedonian Slays in which for the first time in Slavistics the Macedonians were clearly distinguished from the other Balkan Slays. This further provoked Sofia and Belgrade to defend their nationalistic positions with regard to Macedonia. In 1890 the Slav Charity Society of St. Petersburg published Komarov’s famous ethnographic map in which the Macedonians for the very first time received a special ethnic color. No doubt special importance should be attached to the activities of the Austrian Macedoniologist Karl Hron who just at this time published his pamphlet on “The Nationality of the Macedonian Slays” in which the historical facts and his personal observations on the nationality and language of the Macedonian Slays are systematically presented and a lively polemical discussion carried on with certain Bulgarian and Serbian scholars and publicists.
Because of all this it is only natural that the question of the nationality and language of the population of Macedonia was the most vital problem in the lives of the contemporary Macedonian intelligentsia and of the young among them in particular. There is, moreover, the example of Teodosie Gologanov, Bishop of Skopje, who, supported by the people, threw off the control of the Exarchate and tried to proclaim an independent Macedonian Church, even inclining towards union with Rome. In 1891 he tried to print Macedonian books and textbooks in Skopje for use in the local schools. He also engaged a number of important Macedonian intellectuals to work on the same objective. On his visits to other Macedonian towns the people received him with enthusiasm and it was only by force that the Turkish police were able to drag him off to Istanbul, never to see Macedonia again. Generally speaking, the Bulgarian government and its Exarchate revealed themselves to be the greatest and most uncompromising opponents of the Macedonian national revival. The atmosphere became particularly unbearable when Stefan Stambulov was in charge of Bulgaria’s affairs and when the Macedonian emigrants in Bulgaria tried on several separate occasions to organize their own societies outside those which the state had organized for them and where all questions were settled by the Minister for Internal Affairs.
What the Bulgarian government’s attitude to Macedonian self-organisation was is evidenced by a distinguished participant in these national demonstrations and in the pogroms, which followed them. Kosta Shahov, President of the Young Macedonian Literary Society, writes in his newspaper Borba (Struggle) in 1905:
“Stambolov never allowed the Macedonian emigrants to think or work freely and quietly for the freedom of Macedonia. Through his enormous network of spies, who then terrified every Bulgarian citizen, he prevented the existence of even the most innocent patriotic society. He consecutively paralyzed and destroyed the following societies: Makedonsko chitalishté (The Macedonian Reading-room), Makedonska zaemnospestovna kasa (The Macedonian Loan Bank), Tatkovina (The Fatherland) and Mladata makedonska knizhovna druzhina (The Young Macedonian Literary Society). He imprisoned, interned or ruined many of its first members. He put an end to the Macedonian Committee formed round Major Panica. Henceforth (1891) among the Macedonian emigrants, that is among the young, appeared the idea of secret organization even in the Princedom”.
In order that the atmosphere at the time when the Young Macedonian Literary Society was founded may be more understandable, and to comprehend the methods employed by the Bulgarian government against every manifestation affirmative of the Macedonian nationalist ideal whatsoever, while at the same time recognizing the critical stage reached in the Macedonian struggle for liberation, we shall quote here the narrative of one who took part in the events, the future legendary revolutionary, Dame Gruev. This is related to a Macedonian society unexamined to date which was formed in Sofia in 1891 immediately after the flight from Belgrade of a large group of Macedonian students and pupils among whom was Gruev himself.
“The first idea of working for Macedonia,” says Gruev, “came to me when I was at the high school in Sofia, and that, as I recall, meant that my future was firmly fixed in that direction immediately after the murder of the minister, Belchev, in Sofia (May, 1891, Author’s note) when fiercer persecution of the students at the high school began which also concerned the circle to which I belonged. Namely, three or four months before the afore-mentioned event we Macedonian students decided to organize ourselves with the aim of educating ourselves to influence each other in our preparation for common action, when we determined that all of us should return to Macedonia after we had finished our studies because we knew that there was a need there for intelligent forces.
“In this close circle the idea of forming a revolutionary organization had already taken shape.
“For the most part we studied together in Sofia. A constitution was worked out for the society, which we intended to organize. This stated the aims of our society, that is its scholarly aims, hut in reality our aim was to meet for future work in Macedonia… It was just then that Belchev was murdered. They arrested Nikola Naumov and myself because we were members of the Socialist group. This meant that we had held an evening school in Sofia (for Macedonians, Author’s note) and it was of participating in this that we were accused. They held us for fifteen days at the Fifth Police Station while they interrogated us and then we were freed. Our society broke up because of this and Naumov and I, so that they shouldn’t put us in the army, (Although they were Turkish nationals, Author’s note) fled to Macedonia a few days after our release. The pair of us had been expelled from the high school while we were in prison.”
Yet, despite the Bulgarian government’s having dealt quickly and effectively with all the Macedonian organs and institutions in the same way as it destroyed this society in 1891, in the very same year, the Macedonians who remained in the Bulgarian capital formed the Young Macedonian Literary Society which we have already mentioned. It too, like the other corporations, had a double purpose: the official one was primarily scholarly and literary; the second, secret one was national-revolutionary in character. We get more light on this from its most famous founder-member, Petar Pop Arsov, who was also one of the founders of the Macedonian Revolutionary Organization:
“The first idea of revolutionary opposition was spread in Sofia by K. Shakov’s newspaper Glas Makedonski (The Voice of Macedonia) (In fact the writer is thinking of the newspaper Makedonija (Macedonia) which came out before Glas Makedonski, Author’s note). There was lively discussion of this topic — some were opposed to the idea. The idea came from the Young Macedonian Society to which the epithet ‘literary’ had been added in order to disguise its real objectives which were to enlist sympathizers who were to transfer to Macedonia, as Levski and his comrades had once done, and prepare the soil for a revolutionary movement suited to local conditions. A committee of cell members prepared a constitution and a set of laws for the organization hut no trace of them has survived: they were burnt together with the printer’s in Rumania where they had been taken by a specially chosen man”.
It is true that even today we know far too little about the important activities connected with the first organized steps of the Macedonian intelligentsia at the opening of the nineties of the last century. The state archives in Sofia still guard the details most carefully. What we can gather from the six numbers of the Young Macedonian Literary Society’s magazine Loza (The Vine), which gave its name to the whole movement, together with what we can glean from the contemporary press, make it clear enough that this was a manifestation of the first degree of importance for the Macedonian national revival in general and for the organization of the national-liberation struggle in Macedonia in particular. Recalling those critical years, Krste P. Misirkov in his book Za makedonckire raboti (On Macedonian Affairs), 1903, tracing the course of the development of the Macedonian national ideal, first, and quite correctly, evaluates the significant position of these eventful processes in the history of the Macedonian nation. Although he is somewhat too categorical in his “dating” of this process, Misirkov writes:
“The idea of national unity for the Macedonians, although to all appearances Bulgarian, came up in 1890. At the end of 1889 thirty to forty people — Macedonian pupils and students — transferred from Belgrade to Sofia. These same pupils have been the soul of all the events in Macedonia from then until now. They were acquainted with both Serbia and Bulgaria and their cultures as well as with their aims in Macedonia. They were also aware of the danger for Macedonia of a division between these two states if the Macedonians did not arm to free themselves by their own forces of liberation and so forestall the partition of Macedonia.
“It was at their instigation that a national separatist movement was formed at the beginning of the nineties. Its aim was to separate Macedonian interests from those of Bulgaria by raising one of the Macedonian dialects to the level of a literary language for all Macedonians. The organ of this Macedonian separatist movement in Bulgaria was the journal Loza (The Vine).”
These people were, in the main, refugees from the Exarchate’s schools and those of the Greater-Serbian clique, dominated by the desire to resist Greater-Bulgarian and Greater-Serbian ideals, for these had saturated the school programs and even the teaching methods. They publicly emphasized their demand for Macedonian teaching in Macedonia. Although they were under continual strict surveillance, the Macedonian intellectuals in the Bulgarian capital tried to organize themselves and work for the ideal of the Macedonian people. It was they who formed the society to which Dame Gruev refers and it was from their ranks that the organizers of the Young Macedonian Literary Society emerged together with the editors and collaborators of Loza (The Vine). Thus, this society was formed half illegally in Sofia during the second six months of 1891 by the founder-members who had fled from Belgrade: Petar Pop Arsov, Gjorgi Balaschev, Dimitar Mirchev, Hristo Pop-Kocev, Kliment Karagulev, Gjorghi Belev and others such as Nikola Dejkov, Kosta Shahov, Grigorchev, Ivan Hadzhi-Nikolov, Adrej Ljapchev, Toma Karajavov, Hristo Matov and N. Tufekchiev. There is some suggestion that Gocé Delchev, Dame Gruev and Gjorché Petrov were either members or collaborators in this movement.
In order to understand this phenomenon and the activities of the Young Macedonian Literary Society better we must note that, already in 1888, the distinguished Macedonian textbook writer, lexicographer, historian and leader, Gjorgi M. Pulevski had founded a “Slavo-Macedonian Literary Society” constituted, as D. D. Chupovski later wrote “of Macedonian emigrants in Sofia” and having as its aim “the rebirth of national Macedonian literature”. However, this Society was “dispersed by the Bulgarian authorities and many of its members interned in various parts of the Princedom”.
We know the official aims of the Young Macedonian Literary Society from its constitution, which was published in the first number of Loza in January, 1892. Its object was:
a. to publish a magazine, the title, program and tendency of the same to be determined by a resolution of the Society;
b. to establish the basis for a reading-room in the capital when and if means allow; and,
c. when the Society shall have the means at its disposal, to undertake other charitable work, consonant with its objectives as, for example, supporting members.
Although the Constitution of the Young Macedonian Literary Society was to become the standard for many later Macedonian societies, we should note the fact that nothing at all was said in it about the organizers’ national program.
The editorial of the first number of Loza (The Vine) contained the essence of the Young Macedonian Literary Society’s official program. Instead of a title, the editorial is headed by a motto — the words of Sophocles: “The worthless man is he who has a greater friend than his homeland.” It is particularly interesting to note that the publishers of Loza (‘The Vine) were anxious to support themselves on a certain tradition of more famous predecessors and so they started with an appeal to their compatriots which had been first published in Greek by the “late Kostadin Beli, a Macedonian” in Vienna some fifty-four years earlier.
Using Beli’s words the editors of Loza introduce, in effect, the items of their program as can be seen from their own text, which follows the quotation:
“Yes, our compatriot reminds us of one of our most obvious duties. And indeed is there any greater happiness, is there anything more noble than this: to serve and work for one’s fatherland, for the general good on which one’s own happiness depends.
“So a man has need of his homeland and his people but our homeland also has need of us.
“A simple glance is enough to show the general necessities of our homeland. Owing to the most recent political events on our peninsula and to the geographical position of Macedonia, there are gathering today all sorts of foreign elements who, carried away by their own plans and interests so destructive for our future, freely and with terrifying energy encourage the antagonisms which already, without their aid, exist in the country. Only strong resistance on our part can save us from such insatiable demands. Yet in our present position we cannot do anything much; forces are necessary for that and ours have been extinguished or dispersed. Therefore we must unite. Let us come together in one wide and powerful force — the force of the people — if we wish to preserve the future of our homeland.
“This should he the aim of every feeling Macedonian wherever he may be. The Young Macedonian Literary Society has exactly this aim in view…
“It is in order to attain this object that the Society is publishing its Loza.”
The editorial board appealed to Macedonians for every possible help in these undertaking which, it said, “would be accompanied by a literary under-taking”.
An article by Ezerski (the pseudonym of Gjorghi Balaschev) entitled Some Notes helps to make these ideas clearer since it reminds the claimants to Macedonia of that country’s historical past and reviews the travel notes of various foreigners who wrote up their travels in an attempt to emphasize the independent development of the Macedonian people.
All this was not unknown to the Bulgarian authorities. However, it is characteristic, in this context, that those who attacked Loza were not opposing themselves to a newly published magazine so much as to an already established Macedonian national movement, which they indicted as “separatist”. Although the rest of the material in the first number of the magazine and all that in the subsequent numbers was more than careful, immediately on the issue of the first number, the government newspaper Svoboda (Freedom), on 18th February, 1892 gave the first sounds of alarm. The emergence of the lozars (the Vinegrowers) was interpreted as a natural extension of the movement led by Teodosie, while the magazine Loza was treated as a modified function of the Macedonians in Macedonia and among the emigrant community.
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What happened to Loza? Numbers One and Two were published and so was the double numbers Three and Four but sometime about the middle of 1892 this important national mouthpiece was stopped. Writing about the Young Macedonian Literary Society in 1894, its founder-president, K. Shahov, says in his paper Glas Makedonski (The Voice of Macedonia):
“The demonical Svoboda threw itself on them at their very inception as if it were a mad dog, attacking the members because they were some kind of “separatists”. When we consider the power of Svoboda at that time relative to that of these rebellious young men, without making mention of the fact that the government even interned one of its members, we shall easily understand how it was that it was extinguished…
In addition to the evidence already cited from the organizers, members and sympathizers of the movement K. Shahov, P. Pop Arsov, Sp. Gulapchev, D. Gruev and K. Misirkov who wrote shortly after its suppression, we know that the Young Macedonian Literary Society had a dual program: public and secret, and two constitutions: public and secret; the first of these the one which was published in Loza No. 1 and the secret one which was taken to Rumania to be printed there and which was destroyed in the fire at the printer’s. This duality can be seen in Loza itself. There are, on the one hand, the articles, which we have mentioned in which the historical, cultural and ethnographic individuality of Macedonia as compared with the other Balkan peoples is emphasized and then, on the other, there are the editors’ negative attitudes to the “Bulgarian” character of the Macedonian language and people. In much the same way the first four numbers of the magazine introduced a Macedo-Bulgarian language but with a completely new phonetic orthography and with a distinct Macedonian alphabet. Both alphabet and orthography were much nearer to Serbian practice and correspondingly far from Bulgarian. Owing to this, and also because of the attacks, which followed the publication of the first number, the editors had to give an explanation of the language, orthography and alphabet in the second issue. The purpose of this was clear: to neutralize the reaction, which Loza had provoked from the Bulgarian public. This duality is apparent in one and the same article where material, which speaks openly of the individuality of the Macedonian people and their language, is accompanied by a commentary on that material which refers to the Bulgarian character of Macedonia.
However, the best proof of the aims and tasks of the Young Macedonian Literary Society was provided during the following year when its members became either founders of or active participants in “The Committee for Obtaining the Political Rights Given to Macedonia by the Congress of Berlin” from which, as Petar Pop Arsov says, there later developed the so-called Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organisation. These were the Macedonian intellectuals who were “the witnesses to the hellish condition of Macedonia and took account of the geographical, ethnographic, economic and other characteristics of the country”.
Although we do not have the acts for the foundation of the secret committee in Salonica (Thessalonica) towards the end of 1893, we can learn something indirectly from a brochure by Vardarski (Petar Pop Arsov) called “Stambolovism and its Representatives in Macedonia”, which was written in accordance with a resolution of the committee and published in 1894. From this we learn that this movement was a modified continuation of the viniculture ideology, which nevertheless was also founded on the ideology of its predecessors. The formation of the Salonica (Thessalonica) secret committee, from which there later developed a powerful revolutionary organization, was hastened by a resolution of the Schools Department of the Bulgarian Exarchate of January 1893 which recommended the formation in Salonica (Thessalonica) of Bulgarian committees for all the larger Macedonian towns. This occasion was only used because of the general atmosphere in Macedonia and among the emigrants, which was in itself due to that development in national consciousness to which the act of the Young Macedonian Literary Society in Sofia had, no doubt, contributed. In the first place this had been a defensive measure against the Exarchate’s pretensions to interference in Macedonian affairs, and for the organization of a campaign to realize the Berlin resolution on Macedonian autonomy within the framework of Turkey, which would have paralyzed the effect of foreign nationalist propaganda. Their determination can be seen from the following highly characteristic words of Petar Pop Arsov in his 1894 brochure which was addressed to the “former minister” Sarafov who was then in charge of the Bulgarian grammar school in Salonica (Thessalonica):
“…It is hard, is it not, Mr. Sarafov, when a man once falls morally in the eyes of the people?… And we promise you that such will continue to be the fate of any of your compatriots who come to Macedonia with pretensions to ‘creating Bulgars’, to ‘cultivating the land’ and to ‘taking over everything’ as you wish to do in Salonica with the Sunday School, with your ‘presidency’ and your ignoring of the rights of the Council — the representatives of the people: even worse will be the position of your chief, let him be who he may, if he goes on giving you similar instructions. The Bulgarian ideal will never triumph if you go on in this mind. Why have we Macedonians got nothing at all? We have gained nothing thanks to our blind trust in our so-called brothers and so we have nothing to lose. It is sad, but what can we do when the majority of our intellectuals have been corrupted by your gold? Once upon a time the gold of our countryman Philip bought the prudent Athenian intellectuals and he conquered Greece. Other days, other ways, conditions are just the reverse now — Brother has sold brother…”
Firmly opposing the Exarchate’s centralization of religious and educational life in Macedonia, Vardarski, and that means the Salonica Committee with the members of the deceased Young Macedonia Literary Society, takes up in a brochure the defense of the Macedonian people’s council which he refers to as “our only parliament” in which through the centuries “the ancient democratic spirit of the Slays in our nation — the basis of the patriarchal Slav assembly-has been supported and preserved,” namely the council, “the one national institution which has preserved our national and human physiognomy for a period of five hundred years, while the Exarchate is now employing every possible means to negate its effect and to stifle our national spirit…”
What was only slightly touched on in the editorial of Loza is here analyzed extensively. Vardarski pounces on the most important questions concerning Macedonian national development and then writes: “The Exarchate has entrusted the most important offices to North Bulgarians: the bishops, abbots, directors, inspectors, first grade teachers, the organizers and the editors, etc., while it drives from the posts which the Exarchate provides, responsible Macedonians against whom it employs all excusable and inexcusable means to make them leave their country and, once away, in the majority of cases, unfortunately, they forget their true homeland and its need of them. It is thus that the “popular” Exarchate quite consciously aims at destroying any more independent movement among us and takes away every Macedonian’s chance to participate in the solution of the more significant social problems…” Vardarski clearly states “despite all the measures taken against her worthier sons… there are people in Macedonia who will not allow the Exarchate to play games with a whole nation just as it wishes.” Thus towards the end of his brochure Vardarski addresses himself to his compatriots: “How long shall we be dependents? Shall we never again stand on our own feet? Or shall we continue crawling?…
This was the first significant call from the Macedonian Revolutionary Organization to the Macedonian nation, primarily addressed to the intelligentsia which was divided into various parties according to how it had been educated, a call which was the prolongation of those activities which had previously developed various “charitable”, “scientific and literary” and other circles and societies in the homeland and among the emigrant communities abroad, and we must emphasize the fact it was a development of Lozarstvoto both as an idea and as a movement.
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The activity of the Young Macedonian Literary Society found a direct response in the formation of the Macedonian pupils’ society Vardar in Belgrade in 1893. This society was composed of those Macedonian pupils and students who had once again returned to school in Belgrade after having fled to Sofia and who tried in the specific circumstances of the Serbian capital to work on “the examination and study of their homeland from the geographical, national and historical aspects”, and “to combine in helping each other both educationally, morally and materially” and as is defined in the Regulations of the society, to work “for the many-sided preparation of its members so that they may be able to the limits of their abilities to help their people in the lands of His Majesty, the Sultan”. It was within the framework of Vardar that two of the most distinguished theorists and organizers of Macedonian nationalist thought, Krsté P. Misirkov and Dimitrija D. Chupovski, began their organized scientific, literary and national liberation activities. This society also had a dual program for, besides that stated in the Regulations, Misirkov is a witness that the true purpose of the society was that “its members should get to know each other and work out a program which would function unbeknown to pro-Serbian propagandists”.
Although the “pay-off” had already come to Loza in the middle of 1892, the Bulgarian government in Sofia, noting developments in Macedonia itself, tried to form a new Young Macedonian Literary Society in Sofia as well and this society began once more to publish the Loza magazine as a direct continuation of the previous four numbers. Nevertheless, neither the society nor the new Loza lasted. Only two more numbers came out and these were diametrically different from the old ones both in their use of the pure Bulgarian literary language and orthography and in their presentation of Bulgarian nationalist ideology. Desirous of becoming the commanding factor in the already active Macedonian revolutionary movement and distrusting its proclaimed independence, the government organized its own “Central” pro-Bulgarian committee in Sofia which almost immediately after its inception in 1895 was exploited for an absolutely unprepared ‘uprising’ which took place in Eastern Macedonia under foreign provocation and led to new mass emigration into Bulgaria, designed to demonstrate the existence of “Bulgarian national consciousness” in Macedonia.
Times had changed, however. The Lozarska ideology had spread and had built up the movement of the so-called Macedonian national “separatists” while at the same time preparing the heroic popular feat of Ilinden. The magazine Loza, despite all its weaknesses and deficiencies, its denials and retreats, has an important place in the history of Macedonian scholarship, language, literature and culture and stands as a real watershed between two epochs of Macedonian history.