This File Last Updated: 2010/10/16

Arnold Barratt McMillin

(Арнольд Макмілін)

Academic, Writer, Editor, etc.

born:   June 21, 1941

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[ Photograph: Arnold McMillin ]

Only recently available, Dr. McMillin's newest book, Writing in a Cold Climate: Belarusian Literature from the 1970s to the Present Day (MHRA Texts and Dissertations) (2010), available from & (and other sources):

Belarusian literature, which survives and, indeed, flourishes in the face of unfavourable domestic political conditions, deserves to be far better-known in the West. It continues to flourish as an important aspect of national consciousness in a semi-denationalized state, and at its best can compare with the literature of its Slav neighbours, including Russia. The present monograph, the first of its kind, attempts to describe and assess the work of nearly two hundred writers and literary groups, ranging over poetry, prose and drama. The coverage includes provincial as well as metropolitan literature and groupings, and pays particular attention to seven outstanding authors of the period, to historical writing which is particularly important in a country where history has been suppressed and denied, and to the youngest generation of talented poets and prose writers born in the early 1980s at the very end of the Soviet Union's existence. The book is extensively illustrated with examples of poetry in Belarusian with English translation, and of prose and drama translated into English. There is a comprehensive Bibliography of some seventeen hundred primary and secondary sources, and an extensive Index of Names to aid access to individual writers covered.



Professor McMillin's contributions to Belarusian literature for English speakers have been invaluable. If someone were to ask who to read in English about Belarusian literature, only a few names come to mind: Arnold McMillin (for his descriptive and critical writings and lectures), and Vera Rich (for her poetry translations, essays, other writings, and activities) are certainly at the top of everyone's list.

Certainly Ms. Rich and Mr. McMillin are not the only two people who have spent a large portion of their professional lives writing about, translating Belarusian works, visiting Belarus, and so forth, but clearly, no others have made Belarusian literature and culture so accessible (and with a great deal of insight and sensitivity) to non-Belarusian language reading, English readers.

Brief Biographical Sketch

Arnold McMillin, who has just retired from the post of Professor of Russian Literature at SSEES/UCL [September, 2006], is best known for his work on Belarusian literature, but has also written extensively on Russian literature and music. His writing on music includes the publication of the first known secular Russian songbook (1733), studies of the settings of Pushkin’s lyrics, Gogol’s St. Petersburg stories, Chekhov and Dostoevskii, as well as on the relationship between Pushkin and Rimskii-Korsakov. Professor McMillin’s publications, in addition to numerous edited volumes and articles on Russian literature, include The Vocabulary of the Byelorussian Literary Language in the 19th Century (1973), A History of the Byelorussian Literature from its Origins to the Present Day (1977), Belarusian Literature in the 1950s and 1960s: Release and Renewal (1999, translated into Belarusian, 2001) and Belarusian Literature of the Diaspora (2002, translated into Belarusian, 2004). He is currently engaged on a major monograph on contemporary Belarusian literature.

After graduating with first class honours in Russian Language and Literature (with Latin) at SSEES in 1963, and then having spent a year in Moscow, Arnold McMillin was appointed as Lecturer in Russian Language and Literature at SSEES in 1965. In 1971 he gained a doctorate in Slavonic philology, and in 1976 he was made Bowes Professor of Russian at Liverpool University. He returned to SSEES in 1987. He has been President of the British Universities Association of Slavists (1984-86), and served as British representative on the International Committee of Slavists (1979-88). He is currently President of the Modern Humanities Research Association.

Professor Arnold McMillin is currently the 2006 President of the Modern Humanities Research Association (MHRA), and gave his presidential address on March 17, 2006 (London): ‘Small is Sometimes Beautiful: Studying “Minor” Cultures at University, with particular reference to Belarus’.

Selected Bibliography

Belarus-related Publications

Examples of Arnold McMillin's Writings Available on the Internet

Go to the Web page     Go to the Belarusian Writers Web page     Go to the Famous Belarusians Web page     Go to the A Belarus Miscellany Topic List

Search the A Belarus Miscellany Web site

Original content and overall form ©1996-2010 by Peter Kasaty : All Rights Reserved. Last Updated:  2010/10/16
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