29 September 2009

Les Podervyansky

Les Podervyansky (Ukrainian Олександр [Лесь] Сергійович Подерв’янський) writes plays in Surzhyk (Ukrainian суржик), a mixture of Russian and Ukrainian. The language serves him so well that he has become a household name in Ukraine. In what insensitive non-Ukrainians would doubtless call tortured English, a Ukrainian article describes him this way:

"It’s not necessary to present Les Poderviansky. His plays are in all before eyes, his pictures obtained the proper place in private collections and museums, his publicists lunges are sharp, unexpected and controversies, and movement by sinful land from a cleanly mechanical act, often outgrows in an artistic action. About his defiled it was possible to make a three-hour elite movie... So the not complete list of reasons through which it would cost to talk with him looks far, especially at the beginning of year."

Not knowing how to read Ukrainian, I should not really say anything about Les Podervyansky, but I suspect that his mixing of languages has a lot to do with his famous humor. In fact, the critical comment that he is heavily influenced by Samuel Beckett would point towards the direction of the central role of mixed languages in his own work.

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