Lebedz' Chornaia [The Black Swan]. Ryhor Krushyna.

Lebedz' Chornaia [The Black Swan]

[Regensburg]: Belaruskae Vydavetstva, 1947. Original publisher's wrappers. Good condition. Item #70

62 pages. 32mo (10.5 x 14.5 cm). Text in Belarus. Displaced Persons (DP) camp publication. Exlibris of Prof. A. A. Granovsky, with his owner inscriptions on cover, title and first page. Light wear to wrappers. Small tear on cover. Else about good.

OCLC shows 7 copies in the United States.

Ryhor Krushyna [pseud. of Ryhor Kazak] was the first Belarusian writer-poet to become a member of the International PEN Club in 1966. Before that achievement, the poet had to leave his homeland, endure life in forced labor camps in Germany during the war, and to become a displaced person in post-war Europe prior to coming to the United States.

In the early 1920s, he and his older brother, Mikola, participated as teenagers in the Sluck Uprising against the Bolshevik regime led by Juri Listapad. Because of his age, the newly founded Soviet regime did not pursue his conviction. One poem, “Paustan’!” [“Rebel!”] which he published in his underground newsletter and is ascribed to his brother (under the pseudonym Maly Jazep), has been preserved.

Later he joined the literary avant-garde movement “Maladnjak,” which was soon disbanded by the government. Ultimately, his poetic talent was muzzled and he had to write “for the desk drawer,” which was the common saying then for works by politically unacceptable and unpublished poets and writers.

During WWII he was able to come to the West, and this is where the poet’s activity and his fame as Ryhor Krushyna began. Starting with his first book of poetry, The Black Swan, which symbolized through this metaphor the life of an émigré, he created another six additional books during his lifetime; two works were posthumously published in Belarus after the break-up of the Soviet Union. He has also translated from the Polish, German, Russian, and Ukrainian. He was among the first founders of the Belarusian Institute of the Sciences and Art in North America.

Price: $150.00

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