A book exhibition “The Queen of Belles-Lettres” timed to the 170th birthday of Polish writer, public figure and pedagogue Eliza Azheshko (1841–1910) runs at the National Library of Belarus (reading room 205) on 2 – 30 June.
Eliza Azheshko’s literary heritage incorporates more than fifty volumes of prose written in various genres. Moreover, it includes ten volumes of epistolary works: letters to literati, researchers, fellow writers, translators, editors and publishers. Her books are translated into 20 European languages. All novels, short stories, literary essays and articles feature the way of life of the Belarusian and the Polish peoples in the latter half of the 19th century. The author’s works reveal the most urgent issues of her epoch reflecting the essence and the spirit of the age.
Eliza Azheshko’s best works are dedicated to the Belarusian people. The writer, having “entering” the Belarusian peasants’ house, not only got horrified by their crying misery and poverty, but also could see their spiritual beauty, diligence and their sense of nature. Eliza Azheshko’s contemporary, Belarusian poet F. Bogushevich had called her "the Queen of the living word and the sorrowful truth" in that way characterizing the crucial features of her talent – humanism, sincerity and honesty.
The exposition comprises about 180 documents and consists of two sections.
The section “Eliza Azheshko’s literary heritage” presents the writer’s works published in her lifetime in the Polish language. There are collection of the well-known stories such as "Niziny" ("The Lowlands"), "Dziurdziowie" ("Dzyurdzes"), "Cham" ("The Lout"), "Pan Graba" ("Mr. Graba"), "Meir Ezofowicz" ("Meyir Ezafovich"), the short story "Gedali", novels "Nad Niemnem" ("Over the Neman"), "Marta" ("Martha") and others; her epistolary heritage, and also her works translated into Belarusian and Russian by celebrated Belarusian writers Y. Byaganskaya, Y. Bryl, V, Lastousky and others.
The section "The page of time: Eliza Azheshko’s personality and creativity" includes works of Belarusian and Polish researchers and literary critics about the writer’s life and career. Writer and researcher of local lore V. Sodol said: "Azheshko was the first to tell the world about Belarus and the Belarusian people. For our land, she had played the role equal to that of Gogol in Ukraine. He was a messenger between Ukraine and Russia; meanwhile she had connected Belarus and Poland".
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