Aspects of Belarusian Verse Parodies


  • Arnold McMillin University College London


Belarusian literature, parody, parodic genres, 20th century poetry, subjects of parodies


Present since the beginnings of modern Belarusian literature along with the adjoining genres of satire and disguise, parody became particularly relevant at the end of the 20th century. Among the most widespread parodic themes in contemporary Belarusian literature are the dreamlike experiences of the past, rejection of the fashions of the present, patriarchy, feminism, the role of women as companions and as obstacles for men, imaginary relationships with great writers of the past, sacrilege, too many 'ordinary' poets, love between passion and comedy, alcohol, food and parasitism. Also prevalent are themes such as self-satisfaction, the professional ambiguity of literature, poetic writing, often implying that the latter must be abandoned, as well as prosody, the privilege of travelling abroad and, finally, obscurity and incomprehensibility. No Belarusian writer is too important to do without parody. Ryhor Baradulin, not mentioned here, Uladzimir Njakljaeŭ and Ales' Razanaŭ were not spared from parody, sometimes successfully, sometimes less so. Humour touched the great poets and the weaker ones alike. It is difficult to say whether this is to be read as a sign of maturity in literature, as some have argued. It is certainly not the victims or their executioners who will say.






European Belarus