Belarus suffered a tremendous loss, when the world-famous writer Vasil Bykaъ deceased on June 22, 2003. To commemorate the Great Son of his Motherland, DZIEJASŁOÚ opens with a number of works dedicated to Vasil Bykaú, which include poems He Will Be Called by Rimma Kazakova, The Conscience by Zielimcha Jandarbi, and To Make Earthly Life a Bit Warmer by his close friend the People’s Poet of Belarus Ryhor Baradulin. Anatol Kudraviec, ex-editor-in-chief of The Nioman, shares his memories of Vasil Bykaú in The Cross of Time, while poet Siaržuk Sokałaú-Vojuš pays tribute to Vasil Bykaú in his essay The Torment Field. Siarhiej Hryckievič, a young critic from Bieraście, analyses Vasil Bykaú’s short stories from The Wall and parables from The Vagabonds. And you will also find here Apologia for Integration, a pamphlet by Vasil Bykaъ, which has never been published in Belarus before.
As usual, DZIEJASŁOÚ offers you a wide range of contemporary Belarusian poetry. Thus, Uładzimir Niaklajeú introduces The Serpent God, Uładzimier Arłoú brings A Bunch of Golden Immortelles, Ludmiła Rubleúskaja contemplates Between Buffoonery and Reality, Aleś Kamocki says, I Know It Will Get Cold, Maryna Natalič claims Love Is Deeper than Hatred, Andrej Chadanovič has his Genius Locked in a Boat, while Nasta Kudasava, philology student of the Belarusian State University, makes her debut praying, God, Give Me September!
As for prose, it is represented by Leanid Drańko-Majsiuk’s Aúdolka and Michałka, Mikoła Hil’s I Used to Have Magnate, Andrej Fiedarenka’s Graffiti, Juraś Paciupa’s Scattered Chestnuts, The Grey Well by Uładzimir Michno, Nocturnal Conversations about Butterflies by Palina Kačatkova and To Love Belarus, a debut piece by a Navapołacak schoolgirl Zarasłava Kaminskaja.
In the Translations section you can read Poems Have Turned into Tumble-weep by Ukrainian poet Alesia Mamčyč, rendered into Belarusian by Michaś Skobła and Eduard Akulin, the renowned Franзois Jacquemin poems from The Seasons, as well as The Man on the Bottle by the Austrian classic Gustav Meyrink, translated respectively by Nina Maciaš and Vasil Siomucha.
DZIEJASŁOÚ has quite a lot of social writings and literary criticism in stock. Thus, Aleś Hibok-Hibkoúski comes up with Is It Still a Long Way to Belarus?, a contribution with a meaningful subheading, Will Belarus pass her exam in independence? Hanna Kiślicyna has had a talk with young avant-garde poet Andrej Chadanovič, the interview given under the title I Consider It My Task to Break Stereotypes. Vladimir Kazarin, researcher from the Crimea, discusses the issues of protecting and preserving languages of minor ethnic groups in Globalisation and Maintaining Linguistic Diversity in the Modern World. Meanwhile, Jaúhien Lecka endeavours To Unveil the practices of using the national symbols during the 2nd World War and Viktar Chursik features the plight of Belarusians who took Napoleon’s side and joined the French army in the war of 1812 (see They Were in Full Retreat towards Paris). In his contribution With a Noose on His Neck Aleś Daščynski remembers Ihar Hiermiančuk, the untimely deceased editor-in-chief of Svaboda, the first independent Belarusian paper of our time, while Połacak Lives on Literature by Aleś Arkuš marks the 80th anniversary of the legendary literary society Maładniak.
Halina Bahdanava gives the profile of Tamara and Uładzimir Vasiuk, a family of artists, whose pictures among other things adorn DZIEJASŁOÚ’s cover (see The Duet).
It is a good tradition to conclude an issue with reviews of recently published books. This time Anatol Sidarevič in his article The Expected and the Unexpected analyses the sketches by Janka Bryl, while Lera Som evidently took inspiration to write What Poems Are Made From in The Wine from California by Valancina Aksak. And last but not least, Uładzimir Siúčykaú gives his appreciation of The 20th Century Great Writers in The Maths Lesson.