THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Russian poet Alexander Pushkin’s poems were recited here as part of a seminar organised to mark the Day of Russian Language and Pushkin Day celebrations.Poet Rose Mary, who has translated Russian poets such as Evgeny Evtushenko, Anna Akhmatova and Andrei Voznesensky, said that Russian writers contributed and still contribute to various branches of literature across the world. Novelists such as Leo Tolstoy, Ivan Turgenev and Fyodor Dostoevsky and many others in the branch of the novel, Anton Chekhov in the field of drama and the short story, and many others are classic examples, she said.
But it all began with Pushkin, she said. The modern Russian language and literature owe much to this great poet. His contribution to children’s literature should also be remembered. ‘Ruslan and Ludmila’ is still widely read by children. In a nutshell, Pushkin can easily be considered as the ‘father of world literature’, said Rose Mary, who is a laureate of the Esenin Award jointly instituted by the Russian Cultural Centre in Thiruvananthapuram and the Moscow State Esenin Museum.
Prof Govindan Nair, former head of the Russian language department, University of Kerala, delivered the keynote address. “Pushkin’s birthday is celebrated by the United Nations as World Russian Language Day. This shows the importance given to Russian language and Pushkin by the entire world,’’ he said.
Krishna Kumar, head of the Russian language department, University of Kerala, presided over the function. The cinematic adaptation of ‘Ruslan and Ludmila’ was screened after the meeting.