I find it too boring today to distinguish our bright ancestors based solely on their biographies. In our fast-paced daily life, we do not have time to read in detail exactly which villages this or that National Revival ever taught, or in what year each of its hundreds of works is published. This is dry and uninteresting matter. But for all of us who are not indifferent to our glorious heritage, it is important to distinguish the individual presence of deserving Bulgarians in history. At the same time, when characterizing the famous Bulgarian national revivalists, clichéd and impersonal praises are often given. Therefore, it becomes very difficult for the inquisitive reader to navigate among all these "great", "exceptional", "incredible" and "unique" personalities.


Who exactly in character and what kind of trace does it leave in the Bulgarian cultural and political life? What distinguishes one Petko Rachov Slaveikov from, say, Georgi Stoykov Rakovski? That they are great and exceptional Bulgarians, worthy sons of Mother Bulgaria - this is well known. But how many people know that these two are two different universes, that they are the two poles of the Bulgarian revival in their ideas, struggles and aspirations for national welfare and prosperity?


In this text we are going to introduce the biggest Bulgarian Revival educator - Petko Rachov Slaveikov. We will talk more about him as an individual, what sets him apart from the other greats of our rebirth and what we need to know and remember about him. Why do we say that Petko Rachov Slaveikov is the greatest and most important of our enlighteners?


Petko Rachov Slaveikov is the first poet in the history of New Bulgarian poetry. Written by The Belonogat Spring, Do Not Drink, My Cruelty Broken and others. Any serious review of contemporary Bulgarian poetry begins with it. Before "Grandpa Slaveykov", as the contemporaries call it, only Naiden Gerov published the poem "Stoyan and Rada", and Good Chintulov wrote two of his early poems. Petko R. Slaveykov is the first to regularly write and publish poetry, the intensive practice of poetry, and not to publish occasional poems. At the same time, his journalistic articles marked the beginning of modern Bulgarian journalism. In the Bulgarian writing tradition Slaveikov is a creator of gigantic stature - a leading poet, journalist, folklorist, teacher ... The man is a word of the Bulgarian Renaissance.


What do we need to know beyond the clichés about this great Bulgarian and patriot?

Portrait of PR Slaveikov by Ivan Murkvichka

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He was born in Turnovo in the craft family of 17 November 1827. His father is called Racho Kazandzhia and his grandfather is Racho Cechlar. Slaveykov's home is now a museum house and is located in the old part of Veliko Tarnovo. Racho Kazandzhia gives a nice and sweet time to study her son Petko. The child was initially educated in the Turnovo and Tryavna cell schools. She gets a lot of interest in church literature and decides to calligraphy. However, his father disapproves of this, and in his intention to divert him from this path gives him to read and rewrite the Paisii story. "Slavic-Bulgarian History" wins forever Petko Rachov Slaveikov for the patriotic cause.


Subsequently, Slaveykov studied briefly in Svishtov at the renowned school of Emanuel Vaskidovich and Neophyte Bozveli. He also visits the so-called. Nicholas Mihailovsky 's "Dash" (brother of Stoyan Mihaylovski) In Elena. During her education she mastered Greek, Turkish and Russian. For years Petko Slaveikov has been involved in teaching. Constantly moving from place to place, he goes around the whole of northern Bulgaria, from Berkovitsa to Varna. Along with teaching, he collects and records folklore materials. He writes polemical articles against the Greek clergy in Tarnovo, which become the main reason for his wandering and the inability to establish himself permanently in one teaching position.


What is characteristic and characteristic of the young revival PR Slaveikov? It is formed in a completely national environment, living among the people and for the people. He does not go to study abroad like Rakovski, Botev or Karavelov, for example, he has no idea of ​​foreign fashions and is not interested in different intellectual currents in literature and culture. He stepped firmly on earth, a man of practice, not of theory, who knows his people painfully. And he knows him closely. Here, Rakovsky, Levski, Botev are creatively motivated and driven by what is happening in Europe and around the world - the Paris Commune, Garibaldi's uprising in Italy, the republican spirit of the French Revolution. As Slaveykov begins to write, captivated by the stories of his grandfather Dragan from the village of Piperkovo, who "told so fascinatingly" that the young rural teacher Slaveikov wished him well to learn how to tell so well.


Over the years, Slaveikov managed to establish himself as a leading publicist, abandoned his teaching career and moved to Constantinople. It publishes the extremely popular and patriotic newspapers Gaida and Macedonia. After the Liberation, he is actively engaged in politics, distinguished in the discussion of the Tarnovo Constitution. However, he never gives up on popular affairs. Slaveykov cares about ordinary working people, experiencing their griefs and tribulations. This gives him the confidence to speak on behalf of the people. As he notes Boyan Penev, Slaveikov feels the "soul of the people". This forms the typical only for him psychological nationalism.


During his journalistic activities in the Gaida and Macedonia newspapers, Slaveikov allowed himself to enter into disputes with the Bulgarian revolutionaries. He spoke out against Rakovski's "revolutionary delusions", which "exposed his life to suffering and shortened his days." Has a negative attitude towards the actions of the troops of Hadji Dimitar and Stefan Karadja, discontent even with the April uprising, which led to riots, "which brought greater evil to the Bulgarian people, while peace successes were more salvage and more prosperous." Slaveykov proceeds from the thought that without enlightenment and popular awareness - everything else is meaningless and hasty.
"The unenlightened is always a slave, wherever he may be; if he were to live in the freeest state, he was again a slave to the most cruel tormentors of humanity, a slave to his passions, a slave to his own and to others' prejudices. The common national consciousness and enlightenment is the very source of freedom ... Without being internally independent, one cannot be externally independent. "(PR Slaveikov)


"Freedom may be lost, retrieved, but nationality once lost, never returned, never won." (PR Slaveikov) Knowing his people from his long wanderings and his work as a teacher, P R. Slaveikov is aware that the Bulgarians are not yet ready for an armed struggle against the Turkish government. In this sense, Slaveikov is one of the most prominent representatives of the Enlightenment wing among the Bulgarian national revivalists. The other part of the Revivalists, who are relatively hostile to the Enlightenment, belong to the revolutionary wing.


After the death of "Grandpa Slaveikov" Ivan Vazov remembers with fondness for him: "He first, with his masterly hammer, made statues of fine lines and shapes from the rough rock in the Bulgarian language; he first made those sweet sounds, those dear songs from this primitive instrument. who charmed our youthful souls and produced in them the first seeds of love for the good, for poetry. "


Why do we say that Petko Rachev Slaveikov is the first in the written word? Because they do before him Paisius, Sophronius, Neophyte Rilski, Neophyte Bozveli, with him is GS Rakovski? Because it is Slaveikov's literary heritage that forms the clear appearance of the Bulgarian literary language. Until Slaveikov there is no established literary language for writers to write. Everyone wrote according to their own understanding and depending on their point of view how the Bulgarian fiction should be created. Slaveikov believes that spoken spoken language should be used, others believe that the archaic Old Bulgarian and Church Slavonic forms should prevail. Here is an example. In the same year, PR Slaveikov and Pazardzhik teacher Ivan Emanuilovich translated Aesop fables from Greek. The differences in the two translations of the same fable are eloquent:
Slaveikov: "The eagle and the fox became friends, and they thought to settle close to each other, to become accustomed to their friendship ..."
Emanuilovich: "The eagle, and the fox made friends, live close to each other, you proclaim, the friendship announcement is a creating habit ..."


Slaveikov emphasizes the spoken vernacular, knowing that in this way he will be able to be read and understood, even by the "simple plowmen and diggers" of the people. While writers (Neofit Rilski, Rayno Popovich, Konstantin Fotinov, etc.) who are skilled in Old Bulgarian grammar, hope to protect our literary language from the incoming, they say, conversational forms. Without engaging in grammatical disputes about the Bulgarian literary language, without delving into the wisdom and arguing theoretically - by writing poetry, journalism and translations, Slaveykov outlined the path of the new Bulgarian literary language and became one of his most important ancestors .


The educator Petko Rachov Slaveykov is an institution in the history of our Renaissance culture. Modern Bulgarian journalism and poetry originates from it. He is among the first native translators, among the founders of the most popular party in the Principality of Bulgaria - the Liberal. This irreconcilable fighter for popular justice deserves to be honored forever by his worthy heirs.

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