A writer from Petrozavodsk (Russia)
«Invite me to the far distance that is light!»
I’d like to touch upon the problem of a true purpose of literature.
In Bible it is said: «There was a word at the beginning…» A word
contains a thought in itself. A thought, expressed by a word, becomes
stronger and gives birth to an action. Each action has an aspiration.
Everything in this world depends on the aspiration of a human spirit.
Our spiritual development and prosperity or our degradation and
destruction depend on our aspirations. If we aspire to Beauty in our
creative works, we are on the way of perfection of the world. Beauty
provokes high and light emotions and feelings in each person, even if
a person is rude and rough by nature. Everything mean and vulgar
becomes weak and low in the eyes of real Beauty. If Love is a motive
power of any development of life in our Universe, Beauty is the goal
our life aims to. Beauty as God is everywhere and in everything. If a
person is highly developed in a spiritual aspect, he notices more
beautiful things around. One can notice Beauty not only in the
sunshine, in a baby’s smile, in butterfly’s dance but even in a
calm and peaceful face of the dying old man, in a pitiful grimace of a
beggar, in curving sliding movements of a poisoned snake. It’s
important not only to find the Beauty, to see it, but to show it to
all the others. Many classical creative works are devoted to the
beauty of self-sacrifice. Mother lays down her life, saving her child,
a scientist takes poison to discover its influence on a human body and
saves in this way thousands of people, Prophets propagate God’s
Truth notwithstanding mockery, threads and curses of a crowd. In all
these manifestations there is Great Beauty of a human spirit, which
proves the existence of the Mankind. The right understanding of true
Beauty is in direct correspondence with our spiritual development. In
order to see the Beauty a person must have light in his soul. In the
darkness we can’t see anything. Darkness and light are inside us.
at present many Russian writers adapt themselves to the low interests
of a crowd, thus giving birth to such kind of literature, which is
created to while away the time in public transport. Such literature
leaves no traces in a person’s soul. It’s a mere waist of time.
But I have nothing against it. In order to choose something a person
should have something to compare with, otherwise how to make a choice?
Literature has great influence on energy of a person. A Polish
philosopher Alexander Klizovskiy, who was executed in Russia in 1937
for his philosophic works, wrote the following: «While reading the
reader gives his mind to the author, and the author guides him,
captivated and passive, along the labyrinths of his thinking.»
Everyone could notice that one book can give good energy, light and
spiritual strength to its reader, under the influence of the other a
reader can sink into deep spiritual depression, despair and gloom. The
writer is responsible for the level of spirit of the reader who reads
his creative works.
editing line-to-line translation of the ballade «Milga – Otava’s
child», written by Bengt Pohjanen, I was about to burst into tears
being so much impressed by high poetic expressiveness of this prose
thing. Deep inner emotional experience of a small girl, a refugee, who
crossed borders of many countries, touches upon the subtle strings of
a soul. And strong invisible contact between grandmother, who has just
gone, and her granddaughter sitting near the dead body, sounds like a
solemn hymn to eternal connection between generations. The whole thing
has been saturated with a deep philosophical idea. Speaking about
death the author sings a hymn to life. His creative works help the
reader to touch something that is high above him. And I think that
this is the real goal of any creativity. Moreover, this ballade is an
international thing. The proof of it are numerous telephone calls that
came to radio from Russian and Finnish listeners after the ballade had
sounded over the state radio of Karelia in one of the literary
writer should go ahead of life and show direction to looks, likings
and good traditions of people. The greatest masterpieces of the World
literature were created not by a crowd with low interests, but by
individuals, talented and genious, who lead the people to the Truth.
in our virtual century literature and reading are thrown away to the
out-of-way place in the background. From computers, TV programs and
vidio films a dirty currant of poor quality art is pouring out on us.
We are offered pictures and movies impregnated with the spirit of
animosity, violence, dirty temptations, competition, rivalry and
destruction. And all this
is based on corruption, blood and murders. All this does big harm to a
person and the Mankind. «In this epoch of moral degradation high
emotions of love are reducing, spring of spiritual creativity dries
up, art adapts to low interests and literature degenerates at all.»-
wrote A. Klizovskiy at the very beginning of the XX th century. But
these words are burning nowadays too. Some people try to impute all
this to some external reasons. But it’s not true to the fact. The
reason is inside us. Only Beauty can save us from this brutal fight
for existence, from all this shocking things that are going on. All
great creators of Mankind understood this.
«Only Beauty will save the World!!» - said Russian writer
most natural and understandable beauty is the beauty, which springs up
from the love between a man and a woman. If this love is true,
unceasing, exalting, it is a well of all noble, light, cultural. It is
a well of real creativity. A lot of novels have been written about
true love and they all are read with great interest by people of
different age. If we love Beauty, we love God, because God is the
highest Beauty that exists everywhere and in everything. Sorry to say
but our present day life is full of different kinds of ugly things.
The duty of a writer is to remind people about God, Love and Beauty.
Everything that is alive is turning towards the light sometime or
other. Dreams about beautiful things are not of a fantastic nature,
it’s a real thing and powerful means to get rid of vulgar things
that exist in our life.
philosophical teachings say: «Repeat over and over again – Beauty
and Light– even with the tears, till you reach truthful destination.»
now some words about my own creative works. The main topic is
spiritual search, investigation and study of the inner world of a
person, the reasons of his mental suffering and all the misfortunes
that occur in everyday life. By way of investigating another
person’s inner world, with the help of comparison and analyses, the
reader knows himself, finds answers to all the disturbing questions,
rises himself to the higher step of spiritual development together
with the heroes of the novels and short stories. Sometimes critics
reproach me in unwarranted tragism of literary plots. The eternal
fight of evil and good in a person’s soul is brightly revealed in
extreme situations. The most important thing is to let people see the
light of pure human aspirations through the gloom of social being. Our
Russian poet Pasternak said such words in this regard: «If the author
touches subtle strings of a human soul, he is on the way of Truth and
stands on the position of humanity.» I can add only the following:
sometimes tears can be evil and vexing, sometimes they are
caused by strong feelings of love, purity and humanity. Such tears are
heroes of my creative works are not sinless people, but they all are
strong and bright by character and anxious by nature. Very often I
touch upon the topic of destructive power of human rivalry. Many
centuries have been saturated with this devil’s power, leading to
nowhere: fighting between paganism and Christianity, revolutions,
strikes, social upheavals, wars that brought away thousands of human
lives in different countries. There is rivalry between a husband and a
wife, between parents and children, between a monk and a priest at one
monastery, between sisters in one family, colleagues in one sphere of
activities, teenagers of one school or yard.
like to mention one novel, which was published in Finnish in our
magazine «Karelia» and translated by Bengt Pohjanen into Swedish. It
is named «Етишкина
«Etishka» is a masculine name, an ancient one. «Etishka’s life»
is the title. This phrase has become a popular folk saying. When
something unpleasant happens in our life, we say this phrase, it means
like «Damn it all!» As a matter of fact it’s a tragicomedy. The
hero is a person who lives in a village. His language, his looks and
judgments arouse involuntary laughter on the part of the reader and at
the same time his life is full of tragic and irreparable events. The
hero is an openhearted person, very sincere and natural in his actions
and feelings. He can’t understand the true reason of many troubles
that happen with him in his life. He undergoes many severe trials,
which help him in the long run to find God in his soul. Rather
symbolic is the end of the novel. He dies from joy that overflows his
worn out heart.
at the meeting with my readers I’m asked who is my favorite hero or
what is my favorite novel? I love all my heroes. I think that a writer
has no moral right to write about a person whom he doesn’t like. I
love my heroes with all their weak and strong traits and feel
compassion to their inner sufferings.
see the main purpose of my creativity in the following: to help a
person to elevate himself above everyday fuss, to fix the eyes on his
own microcosmos, to study his own inner world, to help a person to
live with joy, having pure designs and love to everything that is
a teacher by my initial profession and I’ve been working at school
for 17 years. I worked with teenagers. It was my favorite age. My
first book was devoted to teenagers. The world of a teenager is very
delicate, complicated, interesting. Teenagers don’t believe in
fairy-tales any more, at least they show and say so. They are eager to
be grown-ups as soon as possible. They want to be respected, they
don’t want obey any limits. They strive to become acquainted with
temptations that grown-ups are subject to. Their world is so drawn
towards severe trials that grown-ups undergo. They hate moral
admonitions. They respect physical strength and will power. Not all of
them are prepared to reading serious classical things without
teacher’s help. So there is a need in such a layer of literature
that would reflect the problems of the grown-up world in the light of
teenagers’ perception. It doesn’t mean that such literature must
exist to please low interests that very often characterize teenagers’
world. The main goal of such literature is to elevate teenagers’
world from low manifestations of adults and to guide them to grown-up
world by the road of love, kindness and beauty. The soul of a child is
unprotected and open to good and evil at one and the same time. It’s
necessary to give children proper moral orientation points.
You probably have heard that at present there is about two millions of
street children in Russia, one million is in Moscow. They don’t go
to school. 700 hundred children have no parents. 700 hundred are
invalids. They all became embittered, like a pack of wolves: dangerous,
ruthless, unmerciful, unjust. It’s our fault that they are in
trouble. They have been brought up to be potential criminals by time,
by regime, by disappearance of spirituality in our world society... A
lot of children are mentally diseased because of the stresses they are
faced with in this life. And this problem will overflow the borders of
one country. Where is the way out? How can we, writers, help to change
this situation? I think – to create, to create on the highest level
of love, purity, light and beauty so that our voice would be heard
through this virtual storm. We
have to draw the public attention to the problems of this category of
children by our creative work. We must prepare young people to
grown-up life and give them useful information and food for moral and
spiritual development without importunity and edification. There is a
deficit of such kind of literature at school. So, being a teacher, I
began writing short stories. There were several main principles that I
worked out for myself:
language should be easily understood by teenagers. The same lexicons,
way of thinking, imagination, feelings and perception.
of edification and importunity.
truthfulness, fidelity to life.
topic itself must be stirring, moving and thrilling.
should be a strong emotional impact on teenagers’ feelings.
happy to mention the fact that my first book, devoted to teenagers, is
included into school programs of our republic.
editor of my second book asked me to write something under my photo on
the cover of my book, concerning the main essence of my creativity,
the so-called creative credo. I had only half an hour at my disposal.
I closed my eyes for several minutes and then a thought has occurred
to me. «Good and evil are not absolute phenomena. There are neither
bad nor good people in the world, there is our misunderstanding of the
Truth. The most difficult thing is the fight with oneself. Therefore -
«don’t judge and you won’t be judged either».
Christ showed us a very good example of how to love, how to forgive,
what tolerance and patience to have. So we, writers, with the help of
our creativity must show the readers the truthful way to go.
To sum up everything, I’d like to express my great gratitude to Bengt
Pohjanen for his creativity, for the arrangement of this very
important seminar, for his high spirit and aspire to support all
truthful ideas, for his ability to combine the respect to old orthodox
traditions with deep philosophic looks. I hope very much that such
seminars will have continuation and will unite people of good will and
aspirations around Bengt Pohjanen (personality plays the greatest part
in every activity!) and this beautiful church.