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The Orthodox Nationalist: Agrarian Nationalism in the Belarussian SSR – TON 090419

Dr Matthew Raphael Johnson looks at two influential figures in Belarussian Nationalism this week, Yakub Kolas and Yanka Kupala.

This broadcast begins with a detailed analysis of the Black Monk, a short story by Chekhov about the mental state of a man who believes he's been chosen to "further man's evolution" into the technically dominated future. This serves to introduce two agrarian writers from Belarus, Kolas and Kupala.

Belarussian nationalism was never anti-Russian at its root, but it is rooted in the land. The land is the metaphysical "Substance" of all creation from which all things flow. War, death, technical change, and the endless array of rulers from Germany to Russia to Poland and the USSR, confused and distorted the simple and virtuous views of the peasant.

While Kolas made his peace with the USSR, Kupala did not. Their personal fates reflect this. This broadcast only scratches the surface of some of the major themes in this anti-modernist and nationalist school of agrarian poetry.

Presented by Matt Johnson

The Orthodox Nationalist: Agrarian Nationalism in the Belarussian SSR – TON 090419


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