Kupala’s Translations from Shevchenko

Rarely do two national writers have so much in common as had the Ukrainian Kobzar and Kupala, the Belarusian Shevchenko: the man who had given lyrical expression to Ukraine's cultural, social and political aspirations evoked a uniquely sympathetic response in the poet-prophet of the Belarusian early 20th-century renaissance. Uncommon too was Kupala's extensive work as a translator...

...The abundance of translations on the pages of Naša Niva played an important role in the accelerated development of modern Belarusian literature, just as in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, to which Belarusians increasingly looked back as to a golden age, translations of medieval ecclesiastical and secular tales... reflected a broadening of national horizons and aspirations. But whilst translations from French and German writers, for instance, might bring added sophistication to early 20th-century poetry, the role of Shevchenko in the development of not only Belarusian literature but also Belarusian national awareness was a moreorganic and fundamental one...

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