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The increased interest in Russian literature in Sweden

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Today (April 4th) a new book about Brodsky «Language is god» was published, by the famous Swedish writer Bengt Yangfeldt.
It is generally accepted that the increase of interest in a writer of any country, by Stockholm literary circles, increases the chances of writers from that country to receive a Nobel Prize in the future. In turn, the literature of the countries that already have Nobel laureates, is always more closely monitored by critics from Stockholm. It creates a positive spiral, in which success breeds the new successes. It is possible that at the moment we are witnessing one of these turns of spiral.
Of course, for the perception of the establishment, it is very importantly, who is actually focusing the interest to the literature of a given country? source: This it is not the wide popularity that matters, but official recognition of that writers or critics work.
It should be noted that when viewed from this perspective, the fact that Bengt Yangfeldt was awarded «August priset», the most prestigious national prize in Sweden, his attempt to focus public attention acquires special importance. In addition to literary critics, Yangfeldts work is widely recognized in scientific circles. So the news about the release of the new book by Yangfeld about Brodsky, at once became a sensation in the cultural life of the whole of Sweden. (this is Eglish. vers. of interview, original in this journal here:
 ) The narration in the Yangfelds book is based on his friendship with Brodsky. Of course this fact gives the author a unique opportunity to tell the reader well-known biographical facts of Brodskys life as a wirter in a new light, but also share with the reader details of the inner world of man, a thinker, Joseph Brodsky.
I would like to share with you an interview kindly provided to me by Bengt Yangfeldt:

LP: In your opinion, what does give Brodsky a special relevance today?
BJ: The evidence,of Brodskys relevance is the that fact that he is not an active writer today. In Swedish literary circles recently appeared articles that indicated that it was time to finally begin to take seriously these poets, such as Joseph Brodsky. In my opinion this phenomenon can be described as «sleeping Classics.» The writer dies, the interest fades, but the real but it returns to the ones that are real Writers.

LP: Do you think it possible to draw certain parallels between self-determination of identity by Brodsky, and the search for identity which many of the Russian-speakers are going through today?
BJ: His identity was non conforming with nationality, it existed regardless of religions. For him the language was the identity. He worshiped the language, having lost his homeland, he began to worship the language even more. Ask yourself, are you being honest with yourself? How are you acting towards other people? These were the key issues for its identity. His identity was Russian culture.
 LP: Bengt Yangfeld, dont you think that Brodskys views of religion may be perceived as part of a debate about the role of religion in modern society and literature?
BJ: He was asked «Are you a believer?», he said: «Sometimes yes, sometimes no.» He had a feeling of awe towards the unknown. He did not want to give this feeling of determination. 

 LP: Bengt Yangfeld, in your opinion, can there be a differences in the perception of your book between the Russian-speaking readers and the Swedish? And what are they?
BJ: This is a very interesting question. I am currently preparing the Russian edition, and part will be published in the May issue of «Zvezda» magazine. Not everything interesting for the Swedes, is interesting for Russian. For the Russian edition, I’ll add some pieces. For example, many people in the Brodskys circles are unknown in the west. And the book as a whole for the Russian edition should be written differently. Lecturing in Russia I was told: «the most interesting thing for us was the parts of your speech were you were talking about the USSR, the country that is unknown to us.»

Leonid Pankratov(c)2010  first published in Stockholm, Sweden.

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