To mark the 75th anniversary of Valiantsina Koutun, Belarusian writer, "The Test of Dedication" exhibition is on show in the Belarusian Literature Reading Room (room 205) from March 19 to April 28.
The name of Valiantsina Koutun (1946–2011) entered Belarusian literature in the mid-1960s and became one of the most significant in its history. She was an original, unique person, distinguished by aphoristic thinking and bright memorable imagery.
The time a writer is remembered depends on how talented his or her works are. The essence of Valiantsina Koutun's lyrics is moral and ethical relations in society, connection with the traditions of the people. Ms Koutun was interested in the topics of motherland and history as a category of place and time. The homeland for the poetess was, first of all, a corner of childhood, where she returned again and again. The exhibition features collections of poems "Coloured Oars," "At the Break of Day," "Metronome," "Letters to You," "The Candle of Love," collections of poems for children "We're Making a Fairy Tale," "Fun Ambush" and others.
V. Koutun is also the author of a number of prosaic works. The visitors are invited to check out the collection of her stories “The Gold Bunch of Guelder-Roses”, in which the author presented herself as the master of psychological and genre, realistically objectivized writing. The novel “The Called” became a noticeable event in contemporary literature. It is dedicated to the Belarusian Enlightener Efrasinia of Polack.
Valiantsina Koutun spent almost fifteen years writing the main book of her life. "The Cross of Mercy" is an intellectual and philosophical novel-dilogy dedicated to the life and work of the great Belarusian poet Alaiza Pashkevich (Ciotka). The figure of A. Pashkevich is the central image of all the works by V. Koutun. The writer approached a complete understanding of this image step by step. First, there were poems, then the poems "At a Lightning Strike" and "Alaiza's Trial". "The Cross of Mercy" is a book with a rich set of topics, it is both documentary and fiction. The work is unusual in its genre, innovative. In 1989–1990, a feature film of the same name was released.
V. Koutun's research work includes the pieces on the history of Belarusian literature and folk art, including "The Light of the Folk Word: Poetic Image of the Belarusian Folk Song", "The Source of Poetry: On the Path of Epization", numerous articles about M. Tank, N. Gilevich, I. Melezh and others. Particularly noteworthy are her excellent translations from Lithuanian, Russian, Ukrainian and other languages.
The literature about V. Koutun's life and work supplements the exhibition.
For more info: (+375 17) 293 27 16.
Special Collections Service Department.