Serhiy Zhadan – Іншае імя любові (Another name for love)


Serhiy Zhadan – Іншае імя любові (Another name for love)
Illustration: Tanya Pukhnavtseva
hochroth Minsk
Berlin, 2023
ISBN 978-3-949850-32-5
Language: Belarusian
Translator: Andrej Chadanovič

The first acquaintance with this book by the Ukrainian poet Serhiy Zhadan translated by Andrej Chadanovič risks turning into the veneration of the award-winning greatness of its author. Zhadan is the well-known cultural figure, whose work has been attracting interest in Ukraine and abroad for several decades (seven books were published in Belarus alone). His civil stance has deserved admiration, too. And yet, the new collection impresses in other ways. Here there is the poignant tone, the undisguised pain, the rupture that emerges from the first pages. It is only intensified by Tanya Pukhnavtseva’s illustration – severed hands with slits through which light reaches the reader.

The artistic world of the texts created between 2015 and 2023 contains darkness, gloom and fragile rays of hope for personal life, and through it – for social life. There is also the creative reflection, a sense of poet’s special role in society and even in history – the fate of “the condemned to death who keep letters in their pockets like yesterday’s bread crumbs.” Therefore, the poet gives his own voice not to the modern reader, but to those who will manage to survive, creating a foundation for the songs of the future.

Serhiy Zhadan is a famous Ukrainian poet, novelist, essayist, musician, activist and volunteer. He is one of the opinion leaders in Ukraine. Born in 1974 in Starobelsk. Lives in Kharkiv.

Zhadan is the author of numerous poetry collections, including “Цитатник” (“Quotations”, 1995), “Балади про війну і відбудову” (“Ballads about War and Reconstruction”, 2000), “Історія культури початку століття” (“The History of Culture at the Beginning of This Century”, 2003), “Марадона” (“Maradona”, 2007), “Вогнепальні й ножові” (“Gunshot and Knife Wounds”, 2012), “Життя Марії” (“Life of Maria”, 2015), “Список кораблів”, (“List of Ships”, 2020) and others. His prose books are “Біґ Мак” (“Big Mac”, 2003), “Депеш Мод” (“Depeche Mode”, 2004), “Anarchy in the UKR” (2005), “Гімн демократичної молоді” (“Anthem of Democratic Youth”, 2006), “Ворошиловград” (“Voroshilovgrad”, 2010), “Месопотамія” (“Mesopotamia”, 2014) and “Інтернат” (“The Orphanage”, 2017).

Takes part in the musical projects “Zhadan i Sobaky”, “Mannerheim Line” and “роздІловІ”. Translates poetry from English, German, Polish, Belarusian. His poetry has been translated into dozens of languages. Five prose books and two collections of poetry were published in Belarusian.

Zhadan is the winner of numerous awards, including the BBC Book of the Year (thrice), the Joseph Conrad Award, the Angelus Award, Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels, and the Hannah Arendt Award for Political Thought. In September 2022, the Polish Academy of Sciences nominated Serhiy Zhadan for the Nobel Prize.