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Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2015

Svetlana Alexievich

Svetlana Alexievich

Prize share: 1/1
The Nobel Prize in Literature 2015 was awarded to Svetlana Alexievich "for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time".

 Belarusian author Svetlana Alexievich, known for chronicling the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, was awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize for literature Thursday "for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time."
She is only the 14th woman to win the prize, which has been awarded 107 times.
On her website, Alexievich says she records conversations with 500 to 700 people for each book she writes.
"Real people speak in my books about the main events of the age such as the war, the Chernobyl disaster, and the downfall of a great empire," she says. "Together they record verbally the history of the country, their common history, while each person puts into words the story of his/her own life."

Her books are described as a literary chronicle of the emotional history of the Soviet and post-Soviet individual, as told by means of a carefully constructed collage of interviews.[12] According to Russian writer and critic Dmitry Bykov, her books owe much to the ideas of Belarusian writer Ales Adamovich, who insisted that the only way to describe the horrors of the 20th century was not to create fiction but to document the testimonies of the witnesses.[13] Belarusian poet Uladzimir Nyaklyayew called Adamovich "her literary godfather". He also named the documentary novel I'm from the Burned Village (Belarusian: Я з вогненнай вёскі) by Ales Adamovich, Janka Bryl and Uladzimir Kalesnik, about the villages burned by the Nazi troops during the occupation of Belarus, as the main single book that has influenced Alexievich's attitude to literature.[14] Alexievich admitted the influence of Adamovich and added, among others, Belarusian writer Vasil Bykaŭ as another source of impact on her.[15] Her most notable works in English translation include a collection of first-hand accounts from the war in Afghanistan (Zinky Boys: Soviet Voices from a Forgotten War)[16] and a highly praised oral history of the Chernobyl disaster (Voices from Chernobyl).[17] Alexievich describes the theme of her works this way:
If you look back at the whole of our history, both Soviet and post-Soviet, it is a huge common grave and a blood bath. An eternal dialog of the executioners and the victims. The accursed Russian questions: what is to be done and who is to blame. The revolution, the gulags, the Second World War, the Soviet–Afghan war hidden from the people, the downfall of the great empire, the downfall of the giant socialist land, the land-utopia, and now a challenge of cosmic dimensions – Chernobyl. This is a challenge for all the living things on earth. Such is our history. And this is the theme of my books, this is my path, my circles of hell, from man to man.[18]
Her first book, War's Unwomanly Face, came out in 1985. It was repeatedly reprinted and sold more than two million copies.[16] The book was finished in 1983 and published (in short edition) in Oktyabr, a Soviet monthly literary magazine, in February 1984.[19] In 1985, the book was published by several publishers, and the number of printed copies reached 2,000,000 in the next five years.[20] This novel is made up of monologues of women in the war speaking about the aspects of World War II that had never been related before.[16] Another book, The Last Witnesses: the Book of Unchildlike Stories, describes personal memories of children during war time. The war seen through women's and children's eyes revealed a new world of feelings.[21] In 1993, she published Enchanted with Death, a book about attempted and completed suicides due to the downfall of the Soviet Union. Many people felt inseparable from the Communist ideology and unable to accept the new order surely and the newly interpreted history.[22]
Her books were not published by Belarusian state-owned publishing houses after 1993, while private publishers in Belarus have only published two of her books: Voices from Chernobyl in 1999 and Second-hand Time in 2013, both translated into Belarusian.[23] As a result, Alexievich has been better known in the rest of world than in Belarus.[24]
She has been described as the first journalist to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature.[25]

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Department of English, Payyanur College is very happy with its fifth faulty to have PhD.  Dr A C Sreehari after Dr V V Balakrishanan, Dr K C Muraleedharan, Dr /V M Santhosh and Dr Premachandran Keezhoth has successfully defended his thesis on Masculinities (The Making of the Male: A Study of the Popular Art Films in Malayalam) in front of a quite scholarly audience.  The defence was in the presence of the well-known scholar and bilingual writer Prof. P P Raveendran, Professor Emeritus of MG University and former Dean of  School of Letters, MG University and his guide 'Prof Bhaskaran Nair, Pondichery University and Co-guide, Prof. T Pavithran, Calicut University.    The session was intensely academic and the presentation was followed by a bouquet of  questions raised by the Chairman himself on his own behalf and on behalf of other examiners.   Sreehari maintained the stance he took in the thesis excellently well and then questions came from the audience as well in plenty which also were given proper responses.  Spontaneity was the most apt word to describe the spirit of the situation.  The defence which started at 10.50 went on upto 1.30 without a moment of low spirit.  The following aspects of the thesis needs special mention:
1. A topic of current relevance
2. About an aspect of human (s)existence (masculinity) which creates its binary femininity and urges people to continuous performativity draining off their creative energy.
3. Deals with the subtle politics of films in gendering human realities and evoking a potential space for exploitation.
4. Highly commendable for its attempt at evolving a language to go beyond binaries of modernity and its epistemological base challenged since the time of Nietzsche through Derrida, Foucault, Deleuze and Guttari and also more sharply by ideologues of feminism like Helen Cixous whose polemic writings (for instance, Laugh of Medusa) collapses borders and violates genre rules in the attempt of gong beyond restricting linguistic and epistemological framework. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

 Congratulations, Divya Padmanabhan.
 This is the letter from Divya Padmanabhan, our former student who won the Commonwealth Scholarship, joined Cardiff University for research, completed her research work and successfully reached the stage of viva.  Now it is your turn to congratulate her.  To know more about her visit: 

Dear Sir
I am really excited to inform that I ve passed my viva examination. I wish to thank you for your blessings and help.
Once again thanks

Kind Regards