Belarusian epic
11.10.2012 | 23:09 |
Vasil Yakavenka.A summary of the book "The age of the martyrdom"  presentation which took place at the Arts Palace, Minsk, on December 11, 2009, with writers, literary critics and readers participating

A trilogy by Vasil Tsimafeevich Yakavenka "The age of the martyrdom" is an outstanding literary work in modern Belarusian literature. It is often mentioned by the critics, researchers of the literary processes considering the trilogy in the context of the world and home fiction. The writer V.Yakavenka  embodied the rich life experience of the Belarusian people in an epic form, showed the origins of its viability during two world wars and severe social experiments of the epoch.

The author focuses his attention on the struggle of the people, as represented by its most worthy persons, for the self-assertion in the modern world, freedom and national independence.  The heroes of his trilogy are the historic persons who played a definite role in the dramatic events of the 20th century. The pictures from everyday life and battle scenes are shown, historic collisions are described with a deep insight into the matter of the problem, thus revealing the nature of the global conflicts. Politician Roman Skirmunt and a villager from near Pinsk Petr Romanovich, father Georgiy Razdelovskiy, a captain of the armoured forces Sergey Kalinichenko are the socio-psychological types representing the best features  of the Belarusian people.

A multitude of partisans and underground workers is depicted, who contributed much to the struggle with the German fascists, as well as the national cultural and social figures who participated in the revival and development of the Soviet and Belarusian statehood, those being Kirill Orlovsky, Vasil Zakharka, Radoslav Ostrovsky, Vincent Gadlevsky, a space fuel developer Boris Kit (he was 102 years of late), outstanding and ardent poetesses Larisa Geniyush and Natalia Arsenieva.

The work displays versatile sides of West Belarusian life under the Polish leader Pilsudzski, Soviet reality of the pre-war period. The images of the Soviet tankists Alexeenko and Vinogradov, Stalin, Hitler, Kube, Khrushchev, Mazurov, Zimyanin, soldiers and Soviets patriots Maria Osipova and Alena Mazanik along with many other participants of the historic process have  been vividly depicted in the epic "The age of the martyrdom".

This work can be of  interest to the readers not only because of the rich historic information, vivid characters, but also due to lyrical and epic style, artistic expression of the severe reality which  determined the fates of the people.

The trilogy "The age of the martyrdom" has been published thrice in Belarusian: in 2003 as a novel "The breakdown", 2006 and 2009.

If translated into other languages and republished, this trilogy "The age of the martyrdom"  by V.Yakavenka  can play a very significant role in artistic understanding by the European reader of the epoch and its philosophical perception.

Alexey Rahulay,
Professor of the Belarusian state university of culture and arts,
Candidate of philological sciences


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