Kosta Abrašević

Kosta Hristić was born in Ohrid in the Manastir Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire (in present-day Republic of Macedonia) on May 29, 1879, to a poor merchant family. His father, Naum Hristić, was Serb and his mother Sotira Greek.

After finishing three years in a Greek school in Ohrid, he continued his schooling at a gymnasium (high school) in Šabac, where he started using patronymic of his father’s nickname “Abraš” as a surname. Early on in his life he came in contact with Socialist ideas, and founded a political-writer group in Šabac, which published magazines Omirov venac and Grbonja. In his poetry social ideas are prevalent. This could be seen in his poem Red, where the expression “Ruby-red” is associated with blood and “Mighty veins,” “lighting” and “dark eyes” all showed the inevitable triumph of the workers and the crushing defeat of tyrants (Turks). He translated German Socialist poets. His original poems are found in socialist magazines after his death, and his collection, which had seen many editions, was printed by high school and college student groups in 1903. His works are translated into Russian, Hungarian, Albanian and Romanian, also some of his works are interpreted by composers such as S. Anđelić and M. Živković. He died in Šabac on January 20, 1898. He was only 19 years old.

Today many cultural and artistic societies throughout Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina carry proudly his name. Unfortunately, of this young poet, very little is known, although many critics consider his poems to be significant for the poetic emergence in the ranks of the former Yugoslav proletariat (1945-1989). The poems of Kosta Abrasević reflect strong dissatisfaction and rebellion against the then-position of the dominant and privileged class—the Turk—and thus are paradoxically and prematurely identified as proletarian and socialist.