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Contest for best translation of Bogdanovich's Distiches to kick off in Belarus


The contest for the best translation from Russian into Belarusian of the never-before-seen poem Distiches by Maxim Bogdanovich will kick off on 18 January, BelTA has learned.

The contest is arranged by the Union State Standing Committee, BelTA News Agency, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the State Museum of the History of Belarusian Literature (its branch Maxim Bogdanovich Literary Museum), and the Union of Writers of Belarus.

To apply, one should be at least 16 years old. Nationality and citizenship of applicants do not mater. Applications are received through 18 March. To learn more about the rules of the contest, please follow the link

Chairperson of the jury, BelTA Director General Irina Akulovich noted that the contest is meant to strengthen cultural contacts, interethnic peace and accord, support Belarus' national literature, and promote the Belarusian language and the works of Maxim Bogdanovich. Apart from that, the contest offers a good opportunity to support talented translators and authors, which gives an additional impetus for writing.

The awards ceremony will take place on 2 April 2019, the Day of Unity of the Peoples of Belarus and Russia. The winners will be given sets of books by the Union State Standing Committee.

As it was reported earlier, the never-before-seen poem by Maxim Bogdanovich was discovered by Deputy Director of the A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences Darya Moskovskaya. She came across a student copybook of the poet in archives. The copybook dates back to 1913-1914, as was indicated by the poet himself. During that time Maxim Bogdanovich lived in Yaroslavl and studied at the Demidov Lyceum.

The finding became a sensation. Belarusian researchers had been looking for this copybook for nearly 100 years. It is mentioned in the correspondence of Maxim Gorky. The copybook was in the archives all this time, it just got into the wrong file. Apart from that, it is not an ordinary copybook, but a collection of several sheets glued together. It is highly likely that these sheets were glued together by Maxim Bogdanovich himself.

The poem Distiches is written in the Russian language. However, Maxim Bogdanovich noted that it was the translation from the Belarusian language. At the same time, researchers assure that neither the Belarusian nor the Russian version of the poem has ever been published.

The news of the discovery came out in November 2018. By the way, a BelTA reporter was the first journalist to get access to this unpublished student copybook. The BelTA reporter was able to make a photo of it at the A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature. Fully aware of the importance of the finding, State Secretary of the Union State Grigory Rapota suggested holding a contest for the best translation of the poem into Belarusian. The initiative was upheld by the BelTA News Agency.