Breaking with Tradition
Belarusian Short Prose in the Early Twenty-First Century

Arnold McMillin

Publications of the Modern Humanities Research Association 20

Modern Humanities Research Association

12 January 2018  •  84pp

ISBN: 978-1-781887-70-7 (hardback)  •  RRP £16.50, $21.99, €18.50

ISBN: 978-1-781887-71-4 (JSTOR ebook)

Sample: Google Books  •  Access online: Books@JSTOR

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This survey of young Belarusian prose is in many ways a sequel to Spring Shoots. It follows the same pattern of thematically arranged chapters, but makes less attempt to treat writers in only one chapter, preferring to allow some writers’ works to appear in several different parts of the book. The scope is only short prose (apaviadańni, apovieści), and, once again, debut writers rub shoulders with those of greater experience.

The aim of the book is to show some of the variety and imagination that young prose writers bring to their work, and to illustrate a pragmatic selection of some of the topics in which they are interested. Naturally, some of the themes are far from country-specific (Love and sex; People and animals; Religion and philosophy) whilst others are highly relevant to contemporary Belarus (Leadership and the country; Writing; and History), although all literature written in an oppressed and neglected language is in itself very important for the development of national culture and consciousness.

Arnold McMillin is Emeritus Professor of Russian Literature at UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES) and the author of Spring Shoots: Young Belarusian Poets in the Early Twenty-First Century and Writing in a Cold Climate: Belarusian Literature from the 1970s to the Present Day, both published in the Publications of the MHRA series.

Reviews:

  • ‘This book aims to show the powerful creative urges that continue to mark literature in Belarus, despite the continued denigration of the national language and culture. In this the author has succeeded magnificently.’ — Jim Dingley, Slavonic and East European Review 96.4, 2018, 770-71 (full text online)
  • ‘McMillin’s work makes an invaluable contribution to scholarship on Belarusian literature. Considering the difficulties with accessing the texts (often hard to find in print, as well as on the Internet), McMillin’s successful inclusion of these rare works in his analysis allows him to shed light not only on the writing of the more famous representatives of the Belarusian literary scene, but also on the subtle undercurrents of the literary process.’ — Palina Urban, Australian Slavonic and East European Studies 32, December 2018, 122-25

Contents:

1-14
Chapter 1: Love, Sex and Loneliness
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15-26
Chapter 2: the World and Its Inhabitants: Humans, Fish, Animals and Birds
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27-36
Chapter 3: Religion, Superstition, Philosophy and Fantasy
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37-48
Chapter 4: Leadership, the Country and Squalor
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49-56
Chapter 5: Writing About Language and the Nature of Its Use
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57-66
Chapter 6: History
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67-68
Summary
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69-72
Bibliography
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73-76
Index of Names
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Bibliography entry:

McMillin, Arnold, Breaking with Tradition: Belarusian Short Prose in the Early Twenty-First Century, Publications of the Modern Humanities Research Association, 20 (Cambridge: MHRA, 2018)

First footnote reference: 35 Arnold McMillin, Breaking with Tradition: Belarusian Short Prose in the Early Twenty-First Century, Publications of the Modern Humanities Research Association, 20 (Cambridge: MHRA, 2018), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 McMillin, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

McMillin, Arnold. 2018. Breaking with Tradition: Belarusian Short Prose in the Early Twenty-First Century, Publications of the Modern Humanities Research Association, 20 (Cambridge: MHRA)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (McMillin 2018: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 McMillin 2018: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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