«One Hundred Grams of Kolyma» – a new essay by Alexander Korotko
20 January 2020
«One Hundred Grams of Kolyma» – a new essay by Alexander Korotko Having already read the title of the essay, we can assume that the author turns to one of the sharpest and most painful pages of history. The essay “One Hundred Grams of Kolyma” is dedicated to the memory of an unusually talented person with a tragic fate – Vasyl Stus, Ukrainian poet, translator, literary critic, Shevchenko Prize laureate (posthumously); dissident, human rights activist, political prisoner, Hero of Ukraine (posthumously). Vasyl Stus was born on January 6, 1938 on Vinnichina, and died on September 4, 1985 after a hunger strike in a punishment cell of a prison camp. Between these dates is the earthly life of a brilliant poet, filled with creativity, struggle and the years spent in prison for “anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda.” His uncommon poetry, clever articles, translations into Ukrainian of Kipling, Goethe, Rilke are a materialization of emotional experiences, nakedness of feelings, manifestation of his civic position through the word. Alexander Korotko in his literary luggage has many essays dedicated to outstanding personalities – writers, artists, musicians from different eras and different fates. These works are united by a special genre – poetic essay, which allows one to achieve both height and depth with the help of concentration of literary devices and means, incredible imagery. Dry biography facts for Korotko just an excuse, the poet raises such hidden layers that it is amazing – how does he know the most important thing about this person? Moreover, the creative person in each of his essays is at the same time concrete, tangible and mystically elusive. Often the author directly addresses his hero, has a dialogue with him. So what, he has the right for this. «Vasyl, who are you? I am myself; I am my country; I am my people, and, while we live through faith, neither I nor it, nor us can be broken», – so ends the essay to the memory of Stus, the full text of which is posted here: https: // The publication of “One hundred grams of Kolyma” on the author’s Facebook page could not but cause many responses from visitors. The writer and translator Michael Pursglove, with whom Alexander Korotko works closely, being, by his own admission, very impressed by what he read, brilliantly translated the text into English: https: //