Monday, March 09, 2009

Kyiv, Khreshchatyk, a few days ago, but I'm posting it today because the restaurant on the background is called Kobzar, and the guy on the bike is being such a kozak, and it's Taras Shevchenko's birthday today, and I've been reading him these past few weeks, finding his poetry beautiful, moving and/or depressing, comparing the Soviet perspective on his work expressed in my 1988 edition to some of the contemporary views that I'm aware of, realizing that neither is very close to what I feel when I read Shevchenko... Anyway, here's the picture:

P.S. Don't think what I wrote above is what I actually wanted to say: I'm absolutely allergic to the stuff we were fed in the Soviet times, and there's plenty of it in my 1988 edition of Shevchenko, but now it's sort of interesting to read through it - a good reminder of how much everything has changed in the past 20 years. As for the "contemporary" views, I don't really know much about any of them, except really superficially. And the best way for me to read Shevchenko is by pretending that no past or present perspectives exist and I'm completely on my own with his poetry. It's somewhat hard to accomplish, considering his status, past and present. But I don't even want to say that I'm re-reading him, because if I do, then all those other voices start interfering. Well, this is it, sort of.


  1. Hi Neeka!
    Good to write to you again. Well, I do not think I will ever be able to read Shevchenko, unless there are French translation. But my curiosity is teased...

    What amazes me is the miscellaneous content of your posts : after the Eurovision stuff (with this horrible poster, be it the lady's bottom or the horrific title), you take us to poetry reflection. This is also my kind of outlook on life : I have always enjoyed literature, philosophy, sociology. but I also need to turn on a music channel to listen to trivial music... Friends and relatives sometimes look at me like a UFO for that!

    We are boasting to have survived a polar winter, with 15 mornings covered with heavy snow altogether. This arouses the quarrel of global warming or not global warming :).

    Those who for sure enjoyed it are the kids, as I think Marta did

    Take care
    Genia from Switzerland

  2. When I come to think of it, I am also re-reading one of my literary idols, a local writer named Maurice Chappaz. He died on February 15th this year...
    See :

    Some people say that, had he been French, he would have achieved Paul Eluard's fame.

    Very insightful on our local history, he had also traveled to Russia, Afghanistan, China. He said he went to Tibet to plunge himself back into the Switzerland of his childhood ... and found it.

    I have never heard of any translation of his works...


  3. That restaurant's location on Khreschatyk looks very familiar, but I can't place it. I need to go back soon and re-set my bearings!

  4. Markiyan, I was sure I replied to you regarding the location - but now I realize I haven't... I totally need a clone - and this, Genia, explains to some extent why I'm such a messy blogger (but then again, both Shevchenko and Eurovision are part of the story here - and there is so much more, and I wish I had more time to write...)

    Anyway, this picture was taken near the fountain that's right beneath the huge building with a star on top and a movie theater inside it, the part of Khreshchatyk that's closer to Besarabka. I've never been inside that restaurant, but I've spent a few days now trying to remember what used to be there when I was a kid - was there a place called "Grot" in there? I do have a vague visual memory, but am not sure...