Saturday, 19 April 2014

Sviatlana Alexiyevich

Sviatlana Alexiyevich (1948), Belarusian: Святлана Алексіевіч, Russian: Светлана Алексиевич
The key points of her creative work form an intersection of fiction, journalistic and documentary genres, capturing memories of eyewitnesses. (1) Born in Ukraine, she writes predominantly in Russian. 
Her debut book was released in 1975. Alexiyevich's first documentary book "War's Unwomanly Face" (У войны не женское лицо, 1985) represents women's testimonies about World War II. It was published in numerous re-editions and over 2 million copies of it were sold. Later on her books like "The Chernobyl Prayer" (Чернобыльская молитва, 1997, in Belarusian Чарнобыльская малітва, 1999) was also released in numerous issues and all world languages (2). 
Recently, she has worked on an extensive cycle of documentary texts and memoirs about the life of a "Soviet man". The cycle was further called "The Voices of Utopia" (Голоса Утопии). The fifth part of the cycle titled "Secondhand Time" (Время секонд хэнд, 2013) reflects on the period after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Alexievich emigrated and lived in the Western Europe for a period of time, but returned back to Minsk in 2011. In 2013, she was awarded the "Prix Médicis essai" award and was considered one of the most potential laureates for the Nobel Prize for literature in 2013 but did not receive it in the end.

27 comments:

Zuzka Š. said...

Svetlana Alexievich, investigatívna žurnalistka a autorka prózy, získala v roku 2013 cenu za mier, ktorú jej udelila Asociácia nemeckých vydavateľov a kníhkupcov. Spolu s cenou je čakala aj finančná odmena. Autorka vo svojich kronikách píše o tragických osudoch jednotlivcov - tých, ktorých zasiahla Černobyľská katastrofa či vojna v Afganistane.
Zdroj: http://www.dw.de/svetlana-alexievich-of-belarus-wins-german-literary-prize/a-16896105

Zuzka Š. said...

Zaujímavé interview so Svetlanou Alexiyevich na rôzne témy. Rozpráva o svojej práci. Cenu za mier nepovažuje za osobný úspech, ale za oporu pre všetkých Bielorusov. Vo svojej novej knihe "Koniec červených ľudí" hovorí o komunizme.
Viac na: http://www.dw.de/alexievich-an-award-for-all-belarusians/a-16897366

Zuzka Š. said...

Ďalší článok týkajúci sa Svetlany Alexiyevich. Nájdeme v ňom informácie o jej knihe, ktorá má v angličtine názov "Second-hand Time: The Demise of the Red (Wo)man." Je to kniha o osudoch a živote prostých ľudí. Svetlana zozbierala materiál na knihu prostredníctom rozhovorov. Hovorí o osudoch ľudí za železnou oponou a odkrýva katastrofy, ktoré boli dlho skryté. O "malých ľuďoch" sa vyjadruje ako o zrnkách priesku v histórii. Na záver dodáva: "Niekedy sa pýtam sama seba, prečo som zostúpila do pekla. A odpoveď znie: aby som našla ľudí, ktorí sa nachádzajú tam dole."
http://www.dw.de/belarusian-writer-dares-the-unknown/a-17156261

Zuzka Š. said...

Svetlana sa narodila v ukrajinskom meste Stanislav 31. mája 1948. Vyrastala v Bielorusku a po skončení štúdií pracovala ako reportérka vo viacerých miestnych novinách a potom ako spravodajca pre literárny magazín Neman v Minsku. Počas svojho pôsobenia v oblasti žurnalistiky sa venovala aj témam ako je druhá svetová vojna, vojna v Afganistane, Černobyľská katastrofa či pád Sovietskeho zväzu. V roku 2000 opustila Bielorusko a žila v Paríži, Göteborgu a Berlíne. V roku 2011 sa vrátila späť do Minska.
Viac: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svetlana_Alexievich

Veruška Paulechová said...

Svetlanine knihy boli preložené do 35 jazykov, pozorovatelia ju označili za favoritku na Nobelovu cenu, dostáva ocenenia v Nemecku, Amerike, Poľsku, Švédsku, Rakúsku... Avšak veľa Bielorusov ju nepovažuje za "svoju" spisovateľku. V nasledujúcom článku je vysvetlené prečo :
http://belarusdigest.com/story/prisoners-authoritarianism-alexievich-and-her-critics-15749

undertower said...

Svetlana Alexievich gets an honourable mention in the prestigious New Yorker magazine on the matter of this year's Nobel ceremony http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/nonfiction-deserves-nobel?utm_source=tny&utm_campaign=generalsocial&utm_medium=facebook&mbid=social_facebook

Zuzka Š. said...

Svetlana Alexievich and her work
She describes the theme of her works this way:

If you look back at the whole of our history, both Soviet and post-Soviet, it is a huge common grave and a blood bath. An eternal dialog of the executioners and the victims. The accursed Russian questions: what is to be done and who is to blame. The revolution, the gulags, the Second World War, the Soviet-Afghan war hidden from the people, the downfall of the great empire, the downfall of the giant socialist land, the land-utopia, and now a challenge of cosmic dimensions - Chernobyl. This is a challenge for all the living things on earth. Such is our history. And this is the theme of my books, this is my path, my circles of hell, from man to man.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svetlana_Alexievich

Zuzka Š. said...

A very interesting interview in which Svetlana answers questions about her book Voices from Chernobyl.
She talks about the effect she was trying to achieve with her readers, about reactions to her book, abou how long she worked collecting the data and interviewing the witnesses, about how much time she spent working on the book.
She also talks about her main motivation for the book and mentions “In Place of an Epilogue” (she felt like she was writing for the future).
You can read more at: http://www.dalkeyarchive.com/a-conversation-with-svetlana-alexievich-by-ana-lucic/

Zuzka Š. said...

Svetlana Alexievich talks about the way she writes her books...
She says: "But I don't just record a dry history of events and facts, I'm writing a history of human feelings. What people thought, understood and remembered during the event. What they believed in or mistrusted, what illusions, hopes and fears they experienced. This is impossible to imagine or invent, at any rate in such multitude of real details. We quickly forget what we were like ten or twenty or fifty years ago. Sometimes we are ashamed of our past and refuse to believe in what happened to us in actual fact. Art may lie but document never does. Although the document is also a product of someone's will and passion. I compose my books out of thousands of voices, destinies, fragments of our life and being. It took me three-four years to write each of my books. I meet and record my conversations with 500-700 persons for each book. My chronicle embraces several generations. It starts with the memories of people who witnessed the 1917 Revolution, through the wars and Stalinist gulags, and reaches the present times. This is a story of one Soviet-Russian soul."
She also adds some information about her books and works:
The Unwomanly Face of the War
The Last Witnesses: the Book of Unchildlike Stories
Boys in Zinc
The Chernobyl Prayer: Chronicles of the Future
The Wonderful Deer of the Eternal Hunt
More: http://www.alexievich.info/indexEN.html

Zuzka Š. said...

A book War's Unwomanly Face
This book is a confession, a document and a record of people's memory. More than 200 women speak in it, describing how young girls, who dreamed of becoming brides, became soldiers in 1941. More than 500,000 Soviet women participated on a par with men in the Second World War, the most terrible war of the 20th century. Women not only rescued and bandaged the wounded but also fires a sniper's rifle, blew up bridges, went reconnoitering and killed... They killed the enemy who, with unprecedented cruelty, had attacked their land, their homes and their children. Soviet writer of Bychorussia, Svetlana Alexiyevich spent four years working on the book, visiting over 100 cities and towns, settlements and villages and recording the stories and reminiscences of women war veterans. The soviet press called the book"a vivid reporting of events long past, which affected the destiny of the nation as a whole." The most important thing about the book is not so much the front-line episodes as women's heart-rending experiences in the war. Through their testimony the past makes an impassioned appeal to the present, denouncing yesterday's and today's fascism...
http://www.amazon.com/Wars-Unwomanly-Face-S-Alexiyevich/dp/5010004941

Zuzka Š. said...

A biography of Svetlana Alexievich (THE CHRONICLER OF THE UTOPIAN LAND)
http://www.alexievich.info/biogr_EN.html

Veruška Paulechová said...

Something about the life of this talented writer. Personally, I consider Svetlana one of the most talented person in Belarus literature so far. So if you want to know more about her, read this:
http://www.dw.de/belarusian-writer-dares-the-unknown/a-17156261

Veruška Paulechová said...

If you want to know more about Svetlana, you should read this article. It contains several interesting facts about her:
http://lit-bel.org/by/news/5311.html

Andrea Jackuliaková said...

Extract: Voices from Chernobyl by Svetlana Alexievich
On April 26 1986, the No 4 reactor at the Chernobyl power station blew apart. Facing nuclear disaster on an unprecedented scale, Soviet authorities tried to contain the situation by sending thousands of ill-equipped men into a radioactive maelstrom. In an extract from a new book by Russian journalist Svetlana Alexievich, eyewitnesses recall the terrible human cost of a catastrophe still unfolding today

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

Lucia Vavrovičová said...

Interview with Svetlana Alexievich, winner of the 33rd Masi Prize which is a annual recognition of people who have distinguished themselves in their various fields of discipline because of their commitment to certain universal values.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ow6oB0WGqGM

Lucia Vavrovičová said...

Amazing commentary of Alexievich's book, 'Voices from Chernobyl' by Joanna Bernatowicz

http://www.neweasterneurope.eu/interviews/1354-the-solitary-voice

Zuzka Š. said...

Voices from Chernobyl
Svetlana Alexievich
At this website you can read some witnesses statements of the catastrophe at Chernobyl. I have read a part „Lyudmilla Ignatenko Wife of deceased Fireman Vasily Ignatenko“ but it was very difficult for me to finish reading it. I can only imagine what these people must have gone through. At first I thought I would read the whole book because it appeared to be interesting. After reading this story, I changed my mind. It was ready hard to read all those things.
http://www.theparisreview.org/letters-essays/5447/voices-from-chernobyl-svetlana-alexievich

Zuzka Š. said...

You can find out about Svetlana´s book „Voices from Chernobyl“ here: http://www.complete-review.com/reviews/ghistory/alexievs.htm#basic
There are: general information, review summaries, links and also some information about the author.

Zuzka Š. said...

Zinky Boys: Soviet Voices from the Afghanistan War
by Svetlana Alexievich
From 1979 to 1989 a million Soviet troops engaged in a devastating war in Afghanistan that claimed 50,000 casualties - and the youth and humanity of many tens of thousands more. In Zinky Boys journalist Svetlana Alexievich gives voice to the tragic history of the Afghanistan War. What emerges is a story that is shocking in its brutality and revelatory in its similarities to the American experience in Vietnam - a resemblance that Larry Heinemann describes movingly in his introduction to the book, providing American readers with an often uncomfortably intimate connection to a war that may have seemed very remote to us. The Soviet dead were shipped back in sealed zinc coffins (hence the term "Zinky Boys"), while the state denied the very existence of the conflict; even today the radically altered Soviet society continues to reject the memory of the "Soviet Vietnam."
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/798665.Zinky_Boys

Zuzka Š. said...

An interesting article written by Svetlana about what´s going on in Russia nowadays. It starts with these words:
The Russian Dream Is All About Empire
The country's old imperialist ambitions are back. If you are inside or outside, and trying to understand Vladimir Putin's 21st century Russia, keep that in mind in making your calculations.
http://www.worldcrunch.com/opinion-analysis/the-russian-dream-is-all-about-empire/russian-freedom-moscow-putin-western-european-union/c7s16578/#.VEbKnPmsXJf

Zuzka Š. said...

Svetlana Alexievich: The Empire Will Not Pass Away Without Bloodshed
„I think the [Soviet] empire has not yet passed away. My personal feeling is that it will not pass away without bloodshed. There will be a war in Ukraine, it’s beyond doubt. And the cease-fire they have agreed upon in Minsk will not last for long,“ said 66-year-old Svetlana Alexievich during a meeting with her readers. „From what I was told by people in Russia, I’ve got a feeling that there may be a civil war in Russia too“.
More at: http://belarusians.co.uk/2014/09/18/svetlana-alexievich-the-empire-will-not-pass-away-without-bloodshed/

Veruška Paulechová said...

Writer Svetlana Aleksievich received the title of Honorary Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters of the French Republic.
The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) is an Order of France, established on 2 May 1957 by the Minister of Culture. Its purpose is the recognition of significant contributions to the arts, literature, or the propagation of these fields.
More about this event ; more about Order of Arts and Letterst

Veruška Paulechová said...

Hľadala som literárnu metódu, ktorá by mi umožnila čo možno najreálnejšie priblížiť reálny život. Realita ma vždy priťahovala ako magnet, mučila a hypnotizovala ma, chcela som to zachytiť na papier. Tak som okamžite schválila tento žáner skutočných ľudských hlasov a vyznaní, databáz svedkov a dokumentov. Toto je spôsob akým vidím a vnímam svet - ako zbor jednotlivých hlasov a koláž každodenných detailov. Je to spôsob, akým moje oči a uši fungujú. Takto je môj mentálny a emocionálny potenciál naplno realizovaný. Umožňuje mi to byť zároveň spisovateľkou, novinárkou, sociologičkou, psychologičkou a kazateľkou.
Svetlana Aleksiyevich, Voices from the Big Utopia, 2007

Svetlana Aleksiyevich je novinárka, ktorá sa snaží zachytiť spomienky ľudí, ktorí prežili sovietske katastrofy 20. Storočia. Ako novinárka sa snaží šíriť pravdu o tom, ako sovietski a post-sovietski občania myslia a vnímajú svet (špeciálne sa venuje ich názorom na vojnu a spoločnosť). Ako umelkyňa sa snaží rozvinúť nové literárne postupy, aby lepšie zobrazila realitu minulého storočia (realitu, ktorá je často obmedzená či skreslená pamäťou a taktiež sovietskou ideológiou). Venuje sa tematike jednotlivca na pozadí Sovietskych udalostí, aby zistila, ako človek pochopil a prijal seba a svet, ktorý ho obklopoval. Niekedy sa označuje za následníčku autorov Ales’ Adamovich a
Vasil Bykaw, ktorí sú predstaviteľmi Bieloruskej disidentskej tradície.
thesis by Doris Scribner, student of Russian and Slavonic Studies, University of Missouri-Columbia

Veruška Paulechová said...

Aj napriek kritikom a neprajníkom bola do Bieloruštiny preložená a publikovaná kniha svetlany - Čas second-hand
http://lit-bel.org/by/news/4603.html

Veruška Paulechová said...

Sviatlana was nominated for the Russian National Literary Prize "Big Book".
http://lit-bel.org/by/news/4942.html

šimon Zvolensky said...

Svetlana Alexievich wins 2015 Nobel prize in literature.

She becomes the 14th woman to win the prize since it was first awarded in 1901. The last woman to win, Canada’s Alice Munro, was handed the award in 2013

šimon Zvolensky said...

http://lit-bel.org/by/news/5311.html

This site has some really interesting facts about Svetlana.