with Michael Seraphinoff
Books :: by Michael Seraphinoff
The folk lore collector and tailor from the Macedonian town of Prilep, Marko Tsepenkov (1829-1920), heard this tale from one of his visitors some time in the mid-nineteenth century. Tsepenkov collected many such Macedonian folk tales from the oral folk tradition and wrote them down for the first time. The tale of Silyan the stork is probably the best known and the longest of all Macedonian folk tales. It tells the story of a young man, Silyan, who is transformed into a stork after a series of misadventures. During his life as a stork he observes his family from a perch on the roof of their home and learns some important lessons about the value of the family life.
In this book you will hear the authentic voices of the people of Macedonia, voices that to this day have been drowned out by the stronger voices of those Balkan neighbors with territorial claims on the land of their Macedonian neighbors. Authors Michael Seraphinoff and Chris Stefou chronicle Macedonian resistance to foreign occupation beginning in 1389 with the Battle of Kosovo and the Turkish conquest of the independent Balkan kingdoms and ending with the history of the most recent war in Macedonia in the year 2001.
The stories in this book are great old stories from the oral folk tradition of the ancient land of Macedonia. They are meant to make us laugh and to make us think. They are fun to share with both young and old. The authors of this collection of stories are unknown Macedonian storytellers.
The author Stale Popov was born in a small isolated mountain village of Macedonia in the final, turbulent decades of the Turkish Empire. From this background he is able to write a story for us in a voice of the traditional village storyteller that takes us on a journey into the heart and soul of the medieval Turkish Empire in Europe. His story of the brave peasant girl Andja is based on an old legend and a documented peasant rebellion against Turkish rule in the year 1565 in the Mariovo region of Macedonia. Popov offers us a window into a world and a way of life that is foreign to us today. And yet, The Legend of Kalesh Andja’s story of a struggle for freedom and justice, from far away and long ago, can still move readers, both young and old.
“What if” is the beginning of the creative process as there is a degree of possibility, no matter how miniscule. Seraphinoff’s book is fiction, though based on a historical certainty: the tomb of Alexander the Great has never been discovered. But suppose an archeological dig discovered it in Macedonia, and not Greece? An anthropologist from an American university joins forces with a Macedonian team to delve into the discovery. Seraphinoff embellishes the storyline with authentic details about Macedonian culture. The reader is carried along with the plot while getting a healthy dose of history for this part of the Balkans.
“The dissertation presented by Michael Seraphinoff is the first effort to present the life and work of Kiril Pejchinovich to the English-speaking world. Pejchinovich is regarded by many to be the founder of modern Macedonian literature and one of the earliest writers to use the dialect that lies at the base of the modern Macedonian literary language. ... Mr. Seraphinoff seeks to establish Pejchinovich’s position in American studies of Balkan culture. He brings together all the rather sparse facts that are known about Pejchinovich’s life and his literary activities, and these constitute a contribution to our understanding of the complicated emergence of Macedonian letters from the cultural backwaters that were the heritage of the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans. The linguistic identity of the Macedonians and their creation of a distinct cultural realm in the center of the peninsula are not just historical questions, as the writer points out: they are topics that still reverberate throughout the area today ...”