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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 61-62 | volume XI | July-October, 2008



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 61-62July-October, 2008

Prince Marko's Strength is Broken – The Day After

(Interpreting the poem "The Breaking of the Strength" by Blaže Koneski)

p. 1
Gjoko Zdravеski

1. Kitančev and Koneski, and their prototext

The more I read and re-read, the more I understood I was swimming deeper and deeper, to the places in the ocean where it was impossible to touch the bottom. Many ideas were born in my head, numberless ways of approaching the text, but each idea gave birth to a new one, and the new one to an even newer one. I felt that I was becoming part of the story too. As if my strength, which had been given to me, was also breaking. I had to choose a single path that I was to follow and that was what I did.
    At the very beginning when I said – I would sit down and write an essay about Blaže Koneski, I remembered Trajko Kitančev and his mystification “Prince Marko's Strength Is Broken” (Todorovski; 1993: 287). I recalled that Koneski has an intertext placed even before the very beginning of “The Breaking of the Strength” and I was sure that this quotation was referring precisely to this poem by Trajko Kitančev. When I opened the book to read the poem once again, I realized that I had been mistaken – Koneski is in fact quoting a folk story, not a poem. Nevertheless, I did not give up my intention, I knew that the first idea in my had was in fact the same angel that stood on David's shoulder when he was writing the psalms.
    Although Koneski does not directly quote Kitančev, we can not easily ignore the fact that these two poems are mutually connected. If nothing else, we could assume with a great certainty that these two poems are connected by the same prototext, i.e. that Kitančev himself was inspired by the same folk story that inspired Koneski. If we think a while, this thesis sounds very logical.
    Nevertheless, both authors have used their inspiration in a different way. Kitančev has fully used his prototext and only stylized it, i.e. he has replaced the prose discourse by verses; Koneski, on the other hand used his inspiration to build upon what has already been written. Thus, one can freely say that Koneski's poem “starts where the oral stories and Trajko Kitančev's poem end” (Vangelov: 1981: 143).
    It is not by accident that I called this text “Prince Marko's Strength Is Broken – The Day After”. When I read Koneski's poem, this was the impression that I

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