150th anniversary of the birth of Pencho Petkov Slaveykov, writer (1866-1912) (Bulgaria with the support of Italy and Germany) (2016)

Pencho Slaveykov was born in 1886 in Tryavna and passed away in Brunate, Italy in 1912. He was the son of the great Bulgarian enlightener and political activist Petko Slaveykov. From 1892 to 1898 he studied philosophy in Germany. During that period he contributed to the Bulgarian literary magazines with both original works and translations/St. Kliment Library, Bulgarian Collection, Thought/. He published his own literary collections that were designed to be models for epic poetry/Epic Songs, 1896, 1907; Yearnings, 1898/and lyrical poetry/A Dream of Happiness, 1906/.

The activities and the personality of Pencho Slaveykov are a valuable asset in the endeavours to present Bulgarian culture to the European community while his literary work is firmly related to the processes of Europeanization and modernization of Bulgarian culture.

The work of P. Slaveykov is foundational for Bulgarian literature. The founding of the Thought Literary Circle, where Slaveykov participated actively, marked the start of the age of modernism in Bulgaria. The publications of Thought Magazine represented the cutting edge philosophical and aesthetical conceptions of authors like Nietzsche, Wundt, Schopenhauer, Volkelt; the artistic views of Ibsen, Knut Hamsun, Rilke, Goethe, Gorki, and Chekhov.

In his capacity as headmaster of the National Library and the National Theatre, P. Slaveykov made significant changes in bringing the activities of these institutions up to date.

Taking into account extraordinary contribution of Pencho Slaveykov to Bulgarian and European literature, it would be advisable to provide UNESCO association to this anniversary.


400th anniversary of the death of Miguel de Cervantes, writer (1547-1616) (Spain with the support of Colombia, El Salvador, France, Honduras, Portugal and Uruguay) (2016)

Miguel de Cervantes is considered almost unanimously to be the most important writer in the history of Spanish literature. He belonged to the Spanish Golden Age, which essentially corresponds with the Spanish Baroque period; he thus stands out among other geniuses such as Francisco de Quevedo and Lope de Vega. Cervantes cultivated all genres: poetry, theatre and fiction, and passed into universal history thanks to his magnum opus: The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha, a founding work of modern literature.

His masterpiece, Don Quixote, was universally transcendent. Published in 1605, it immediately met with great success and has been translated into practically every language. As a result, its influence on later literature and authors of every period has steadily increased, spreading from literature to universal culture, through music, painting, sculpture and film.


150th anniversary of the birth of the poet Rubén Darío (1867-1916) and 100th anniversary of his death (Nicaragua with the support of Cuba and Ecuador) (2016)

Rubén Darío, pseudonym of Félix Rubén García Sarmiento (born 18 January 1867, Metapa, Nicaragua – died 6 February 1916, León), influential Nicaraguan poet, journalist, and diplomat. As a leader of the Spanish American literary movement known as Modernismo, which flourished at the end of the nineteenth century, he revivified and modernized poetry in Spanish on both sides of the Atlantic through his experiments with rhythm, metre, and imagery. Darío developed a highly original poetic style that founded a tradition.

From the standpoint of artistic resourcefulness and technical perfection, Darío is considered by many to be one of the greatest poets ever who wrote in Spanish. Throughout his career he boldly experimented with many forms of verse, and he probably introduced more metrical innovations than any other Spanish-language poet.


250th anniversary of the birth of Nikolay Mikhailovich Karamzin, writer (1766-1826) (2016) (Russian Federation)

Nikolay Mikhailovich Karamzin is an outstanding Russian writer, poet and historian. He is the author of numerous works, including widely known Letters of a Russian Traveler which he published after travelling in Germany, France, Switzerland and England. His greatest work as a writer and historian is the 12-volume History of the Russian State. Karamzin is credited for reforming and enriching Russian language with new words that enriched the potential for lexical expression. His works are imbued with ideals of humanity and enlightenment for all as well as ideas of mutual development of cultures which have potential to enrich each other.

The celebration of the anniversary will contribute to the mutual enrichment of cultures and help to promote the ideas of peace and tolerance that is at the core of the UNESCO’s mission. The commemoration will serve to unite wide public, scientific and cultural communities, providing opportunities for development in education and better knowledge of literature, establishing closer relations and dialogue among members of different communities.


50th anniversary of the death of Mehmed Fuad Köprülü, scholar (1890-1966) (Turkey with the support of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan) (2016)

Mehmed Fuad Köprülü (1890-1966) was the most outstanding Turkish scholar and intellectual of the twentieth century. Mehmed Fuad Köprülü is regarded as the founder of the modern, scientific Turkish research on the culture and history of the Turks. As a scholar he had an international reputation and many accolades. In the process using modern scholarly methods, he shed light on the main features of the Turkish history and literature. He introduced many poets and writers to the scholarly world. His books and articles touched on many subjects: the history of Turkish literature, literary criticism, Oriental studies, the history of Turkish civilization and culture, language, religion, art, music, political history and ethnology. Köprülü established the basis for the modern study of Turkish literature and history; he was a master at synthesizing great amounts of information and published some 1500 books, articles, essays and other writings.

His first major work, Early Mystics in Turkish Literature, which proved to be his masterpiece, appeared in 1918 when he was only 28, and earned him international reputation. In 1920, he published the first edition of Türk Edebiyatı Tarihi (The History of Turkish Literature), which further established him as a leading authority in Turkish studies. In 1922, he published Islam in Anatolia after the Turkish Invasion (Prolegomena) and The Seljuks in Anatolia: Their History and Culture According to Local Muslim Sources. In 1931 he founded Journal of Turkish Legal and Economic History, in which appeared his long article “Some Observations on the Influence of Byzantine Institutions on Ottoman Institutions”. In 1935 he published Les origines de l'Empire ottoman (The Origins of the Ottoman Empire) which was a series of lectures given at the Sorbonne the previous year.


850th anniversary of the death of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, poet and Sufi (1093 or 1103-1166) (Turkey with the support of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan) (2016)

Ahmed Yasawi, a distinguished Sufi master of the twelfth century, is one of the oldest and most famous poets among the Turkic language speaking countries. The sources differ on his birthday and birthplace. Yasawi was born in Sayram or in Yasi (both cities now in Kazakhstan) in 1093 or 1103. After initial education by his father he studied in Bukhara, one of the principal centres of Islamic civilization at the time. He became an adherent of the celebrated Shaykh Yusuf al-Hamadani. In Bukhara Yasawi studied the exoteric sciences, becoming one of the experts of his day in rationalistic and traditional scholarship alike.

His contribution was crucial for Central Asia, where he popularized Sufism with his numerous students in the region, and contributed to the diffusion of Islam through Sufi order. His understanding of Islam is inspired by principles of love, tolerance, generosity and humanism.

Ahmed Yasawi, with his literary, intellectual and legendary life, was one of the most influential spiritual leaders in the Turkic world of Central Asia and Anatolia. He was the founder of a whole school of mystics, and is as such highly revered. He was a Sufi poet who contributed tremendously to the development of mystical orders throughout the Turkic speaking world.



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