LONDON, March 16, 4:28 /ITAR-TASS/. Over the past few years, Russian literature has managed “even though partially” to win back in Russia as well as outside it its place lost since the Soviet times, renowned Russian writer Zakhar Prilepin told Tass on the sidelines of SLOVO Russian Literature Festival in London.
“The attitude to books in our society began changing for the better about five years ago,” Prilepin said. “Within this time, quite unexpectedly for itself Russian literature has managed to win back positions lost after disintegration of the USSR. Of course, still not within the framework of the whole country, but only for the most passionate and intellectual part of its society, but even this is a very good result,” Prilepin added.
According to him, the activity of Russian writers at the present time is not limited to just book writing, they are once again playing an important role in the public and political life of the country. “People want to hear what the writer says, what he or she thinks about this or that issue,” he noted. “We often think with nostalgia about the times when (poets) Yevtushenko and Voznesensky rocked stadiums,” he continued. “However, look at what is going on at the moment - thousands of readers attend ‘Evening With…’ events with such persons as Dmitry Bykov, Lyudmila Ulitskaya and Alexander Prokhanov, they want to hear writers’ opinion on the current situation in the country and across the globe,” the renowned Russian writer said.
In reply to the query about the importance of cultural events like SLOVO for better relations between different states, he said “Of course, such initiatives have a positive role”. “One must be aware that this is a long process and must not expect immediate results”. “A cultural dialogue must be continuous to see success on the global scope, and then at a difficult moment of time it will let us hear each other,” the writer continued.
The only festival of Russian literature held outside Russia, SLOVO is taking place in London for a fifth time. This year, 20 writers and poets take part in the forum that will run until March 23, including Olga Sedakova, Diana Arbenina, Alexander Terekhov and Mikhail Shishkin. The forum is organized by Academia Rossica - Russian Arts and Culture Foundation, with the assistance of Russkiy Mir Foundation.