Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels voor Serhiy Zhadan
De Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels 2022 is toegekend aan se Oekraïense dichter, romanschrijver, essayist en vertaler Serhiy Viktorovych Zhadan. Serhiy Zhadan werd geboren op 23 augustus 1974 in in Starobilsk, in het gebied Loehansk. De prijsuitreiking vindt plaats op zondag 23 oktober 2022 in de Paulskirche in Frankfurt. De jury eert Zhadan voor zijn uitstekende artistieke werk en voor zijn humanitaire houding, waarmee hij zich tot de mensen in oorlog wendt en hen helpt met gevaar voor eigen leven: “In zijn romans, essays, gedichten en songteksten neemt Serhiy Zhadan ons mee in een wereld die grote omwentelingen heeft ondergaan en tegelijkertijd leeft van traditie. Zijn teksten vertellen hoe oorlog en vernietiging deze wereld binnenkomen en mensen door elkaar schudden. Daarbij vindt de schrijver zijn eigen taal, die ons op een krachtige en gedifferentieerde manier laat zien wat velen lange tijd niet wilden zien.” Zie ook alle tags voor Serhiy Zhadan op dit blog.
Uit: The Orphanage (Vertaald doorReilly Costigan-Humes en Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler)
“The place is packed with soldiers. They’re standing behind some cinder blocks, underneath some frayed national flags, wordlessly looking toward the city. Just how many times has he driven through this area over the past six months, since the government returned after brief, intense fighting? When he was heading into the city or coming back home to the Station, he had to wait for them to check his papers—wait for trouble, that is. But they always let Pasha through, without saying a word—he was a local, with the papers to prove it. The government didn’t have a bone to pick with him. Pasha had gotten used to the soldiers’ apathetic eyes, smooth, mechanical movements, and black fingernails, and to the fact that you had to hand over your papers and wait for your own country to verify your standing as a law-abiding citizen. The soldiers would give Pasha his papers back, and he’d stuff them in his pocket, trying not to make eye contact with anyone. Rain had washed the color out of the national flags. It dissolved in the gray autumn air like snow in warm water.
Pasha looks out the window and sees a jeep wrapped in dark metal armor streaking past them. Three men with assault rifles hop out of the jeep and run toward the pack of people clumped together up ahead, paying no mind to the express hearse. The soldiers are standing there, yelling back and forth, grabbing binoculars out of each other’s hands, scanning the highway, straining their eyes, red from smoke and sleepless nights, framed by deep wrinkles. But the highway is empty, so empty it’s unsettling. There’s generally always somebody driving through, even though the city’s been completely surrounded for a long period of time and the ring is tightening, someone or other is always making a run for the city or coming back along the only road. Mostly soldiers transporting ammunition or volunteers taking all sorts of useless crap like winter clothes or cold medicine from here, the north, where there isn’t any fighting, to the besieged city. Who needs cold medicine in a city getting pounded by heavy artillery, a city that’s going to fall any day now? But that wasn’t stopping anyone; every once in a while, a whole convoy would leave the mainland and make a run for the besieged area. Sometimes they’d come under fire, which was to be expected. It was obvious that the city would fall, the government troops would be forced to retreat and take the flags of Pasha’s country with them, and the front line would shift to the north, toward the station, and death would come a few miles closer. But did anyone actually care? Even civilians mustered up the courage to make a run for the city over the crumbling asphalt of the highway. The soldiers tried to talk them out of it, but nobody around here really trusted the soldiers. You just couldn’t tell people anything, they all thought they knew best. You’d see some old-timer hiking all the way into town in the middle of a mortar attack to file some paperwork for his pension. Well, if it comes down to death or bureaucracy, sometimes death is the right call. Sometimes the soldiers would get irritated enough to block off the crossings, but long lines would form at the checkpoints as soon as the shelling abated. Then they’d have to let people through.”