Writer Zmitrok Biadula
(April 23, 1886 - November 3, 1941)
( pen name of Samuil Plaunik [ Самуіл Плаўнік ] )
(Note: All Belarusian language is in Unicode (UTF-8) font encoding.)
Photo Credit: Belaruskaya Savetzkaya Entzyklapediya (1970), volume II, page 510.
The following summary is compiled from several sources (see Notes):
He was a poet and prose writer, cultural worker, and political activist of the movement for the independence of Belarus.
During his years in Jewish heder and yeshiva schools (he never completed the course), he began writing poems in Hebrew at the age of 13 that were verse prayers based on models of the 16th and 17th centuries. Later he was introduced by his cousin, Mera Gordon, to the possibilities of Belarusan as a literary language.
He began writing in Belarusan in 1910, mostly for Nasha Niva, where he worked first as a secretary, and later joined its editorial staff in 1912. He was one of the founders of the Uzvyshsha (Excelsior) literary movement of the twenties.
His poems are to be found in two collections: Under Our Native Sky (1922) and Poems (1927). In his later years, he turned almost entirely to prose; in this field he published a number of novels and stories and also an autobiography.
McMillin states, "Biadula was one of the most gifted and original of those writers who made their name in Nasha Niva but continued to play an active part in the development of literature after the Revolution. . . . Biadula's lyrics are romantic with a strong introspective, philosophical strain and little social content, apart from some horrifyingly powerful war poems. Although tending to be rather abstract, his verse helped to deepen the general emotional and psychological level of Byelorussian poetry at that time." (pp. 127-128)
In his fiction, Biadula depicted the everyday life of small town people and their struggle for social justice, extolled revolutionary activity, appealed to Jews to help in the Belarusan Rebirth Movement, authored a brochure Zhydy na Bielarusi (Jews in Belarus; 1919), and wrote about the relationship between life and art. (Note: For a Web-based, Cyrillic Belarusian copy of this brochure, see the link below to Zhydy na Bielarusi.)
Concerning Biadula's fiction, McMillin states, "Biadula's stories as a whole are notable for characterization rather than any external or physical drama. With a few exceptions they are entirely lacking in plot or other narrative elements, and contain only the most summary external descriptions, whilst much use is made of interior monologue and sensitive authorial analysis. . . . In style, however, his achievement, like that of Kolas, undoubtedly owed much to his experience as a poet. Particularly notable is the unflagging lyricism, attention to phrase and sentence structure, and wealth of synonyms and metaphors introduced by Biadula without destroying the tautness and expressive power which are such salient features of all his prose writing. In the sphere of language and style his contribution to the formation of modern Byelorussian literature is indeed hardly less remarkable than that of Kolas." (p. 294)
He died in 1941, in the general evacuation eastwards from Belarus, during the Nazi invasion.
See the following examples of his poetry:
See the following for examples of his other publications:
Go to the Belarusian Writers Web page Go to the Famous Belarusians Web page Go to the A Belarus Miscellany Topic List
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