Ales Adamovich

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Ales Adamovich (Belarusian: Алесь Адамовіч, Russian: Алесь Адамович, full name: Александр Михайлович Адамович; September 3, 1927, Hlusha Minsk Voblast, Belarus, USSR – January 26, 1994 in Moscow, Russia) was a Belarusian Soviet writer and a critic, Professor and Corresponding Member of the Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Doctor of Philosophy in philology, Doctorate in 1962 (a degree in Russia corresponding to Habilitation); member of the Supreme Soviet (1989–92). He wrote in Russian and Belarusian.

He is best known for The Khatyn Story and The Blockade Book; he is highly regarded for his austere yet deeply humane antiwar stance, moral courage and uncompromising honesty.

Biography[edit]

During World War II Ales Adamovich, a teenager, still a school student, was to become a partisan unit member in 1942-1943. That was the time when the Nazis systematically torched hundreds of Belarusian villages and exterminated their inhabitants. It was based on his real-life experiences as a messenger and a guerilla fighter during the war-time, that he later wrote one of his most recognized works, The Khatyn Story, and the screenplay for the film Come and See.

Starting in 1944, he resumed his education. After the war, he entered the Belarusian State University where he studied in the philology department and where he completed graduate course; he later studied in Moscow at the Higher Courses for Screenwriters and in the Moscow State University. Starting in the 1950s in Minsk, he worked in the field of philology and literary criticism; later also in cinematography. Was a member of the Union of Soviet Writers since 1957. In 1976 was awarded the Yakub Kolas Belarus State prize in literature for The Khatyn Story. He lived and worked in Moscow since 1986.

Ales Adamovich's writings received translation into over 20 languages.

In 1989 Adamovich became one of the first members of the Belarusian PEN center (Vasil Bykaŭ was founder and president of the Belarusian PEN). In 1994 the Belarusian PEN Center instituted the Ales Adamovich Literary Prize, a literary award to the gifted writers and journalists. The prize is awarded annually on September 3 (Ales Adamovich's birthday) at the award ceremony that is usually part of the annual international conference.

In October 1993, he signed the Letter of Forty-Two.[1]

In 1997 Ales Adamovich was recognized (posthumously) with the "Honor and Dignity of Talent" award (“За честь и достоинство таланта”). Recipients of this noble award include Dmitry Likhachev, Victor Astafiev, Chingiz Aitmatov, Vasil Bykaŭ, Fazil Iskander, Boris Slutsky, Bulat Okudzhava.

Social activity[edit]

After the Chernobyl accident in 1986, of which Belarus has suffered more than any other country, Adamovich started actively raising awareness of the catastrophe among the Soviet ruling elite.[2][3]

In late 1980s Ales Adamovich supported the creation of the Belarusian Popular Front but did not become a member of the movement.

Adamovich was an active member of the Belarusian community of Moscow.

Honours and awards[edit]

Selected works[edit]

Novels and stories
  • The Partisans (in Russian, "Партизаны"), a novel (1960–63) and a film under same name.
  • The Khatyn Story, in Russian, "Хатынская повесть", published in 1972, in Belarusian, "Хатынская аповесць", published in 1976; English translation Khatyn published by Glagoslav, 2012; originally written in Belarusian.[4]
  • Out of the Fire ("Я из огненной деревни"), Adamovich, Ales, and Yanka Bryl and Vladimir Kolesnik, 1977; English translation, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1980.
  • Chasteners ("Каратели"), 1980.
  • The Blockade Book ("Блокадная книга"), in collaboration with Daniil Granin, 1977–81, written in Russian and later translated into Belarusian; in English translation: Peak Independent Publishers, Moscow, 2003.
Criticism
Screenplay

References[edit]

External links[edit]