Martin Brest: Military literature is the re-socialization of the person who wrote it (PHOTOS)

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Photo Yaroslava Matvieienko

Yesterday, May 13, a press conference on the theme: “Military literature in “Veteran’s Tent ”at IX International Festival “Book Arsenal” was held at UKRINFORM.

This year, for the first time, books written by veterans, servicemen, volunteers and internal immigrants will be collected and presented in one place. A stylized military tent will be set up in the middle of the courtyard of Arsenal, which will become the epicenter of popularization of veteran and military literature.

The authors of the books and veterans and organizers including Martin Brest, Yuriy Rudenko and Oleksandr Tereshchenko, Director of the Mystetskyi Arsenal Olesya Ostrovska-Lyuta, and Minister for Veterans Affairs Iryna  Friz informed the media about the project.

Olesya Ostrovska-Lyuta, Director of Mystetskyi Arsenal

“Literature is showing important discussions in society. For the first time such an event will be concentrated, although the presentations of the veteran books were quite a few. This year we are talking about the presentation of the phenomenon. Talks about war are just beginning. All the voices of veterans and volunteers are of great importance. In Ukrainian literature, starting from the XVIII century there are a lot of works written by military. We just did not look at it from that angle. Perhaps this phenomenon is also from the point of view of the history of the life of Ukrainian society. A military tent is a great opportunity to meet and see what matters for society, and is both new and typical for Ukrainian literature. We have plans of the literary workshop as well – a program of writing skills for veterans”.

Martin Brest, project initiator, veteran, author of the books “Infantry” and “Infantry-2”

“The idea of ​​creating a separate stand with veteran literature arose during a joint meeting between Book Arsenal, Ministry for Veterans Affairs and us. Military literature is not just a book that you can buy or not, it is primarily a re-socialization of person who wrote it, into a real society that has been formed now. These are his emotions, his self-realization. This is also concerns books written by internal migrants. In most countries that fought, books about the war were written long after events took place and by professional writers. And the most popular military books were written by professional writers. But this is not about Ukraine. For example, the phenomenon of the book “Footprints on the road” written by a veteran, non-professional writer, Valeriy Ananyev: 16,000 copies sold in eight months. I am sure that sooner or later the quantity will turn into quality, and we will have not only books, but also ready-made scripts for films. I believe that, upon seeing the success of already recognized authors, other veterans will also begin to write.”

Iryna Friz, Minister for Veterans Affairs

“For the first time, the question of a Ukrainian veteran book will sound not as a component of a common space, but independently, since it is self-sufficient. I am sure that the book is a weapon that changes people and the world around it. The printed word makes us indifferent. A book is a window that every author cuts through his own view of life to people in order to tell them about the most important. We should take care of veteran’s book, as author veterans seek us to bring the truth of life about the war and their heroes. The one who today believes that he is not involved in the war should plunge into the world of the veteran book, understand and feel what war is for our state and how it must be overcome in itself in order to unite. The veteran book combines and forms a new cultural space. ”

Oleksandr Tereshchenko, Deputy Minister of Veterans Affairs, a veteran, participant in battles at Donetsk airport, author of the book “Life after 4:30 pm”

“War is stress not so much for the body as for the soul. This is a shock; this is a flurry of emotions. The fact that each of us survived there, even without participating in serious hostilities, doesn’t matter when you’re in a trench, when you cannot return every day, such things don’t without a trace. These emotions sooner or later ask outside. This is important not only for us, because since the day of independence, even since 2014, we have been writing a new history of Ukraine and the war is part of it. Perhaps what the guys write in the literary sense is imperfect, but it is sincere and truthful. It is very important that these books “reach” to shops, to people. The guys who wrote the books know how to fight, but not to sell. This is not so much a commercial question as these books should really reach readers. People need to understand that this is Ukrainian history and this is very important. ”

Yuriy Rudenko, a veteran, author of “The Psychi of Two Seas” and “Light and Brick”.

“This is the fact is that each state forgot about its veterans immediately after the end of hostilities, and even during, and recalled about them in 20-30 years. In Ukraine, there is a chance to honor the veterans now, while they are still alive. It is important to separate concepts. Rehabilitation is after injury. A person who has just been there has received a new experience with which he will have to live in a civil peaceful life.

While writing his experiences on paper, he is already rethinking all this. The idea of ​​a veteran tent with wide access of people to veteran literature will allow them to become acquainted. The positive result of the event should increase the amount of Ukrainian content. Working now to a certain extent as a military historian, I restore the events of five years ago, unfortunately, I see that the fighting in the east is already overgrown with myths, unrealistic stories, and they are forgetting about real heroes. Therefore, the more books, films, etc. will be released on this topic, the less will be forgotten. This is important in the context of the preservation of Ukrainian history and is an example for those people who now serve and for others in general. We should take the chance not to forget about the veterans. Veterans have facts; writers can write these facts in a professional and literary manner. The best thing is to combine both sides and then you can create something really fiery.”

The ambitious goal of the project initiator Martin Brest in figures is a thousand books sold, and in the near future the participation of authors of veteran literature in the country’s book events and going abroad to popularize our country and the army. By the way, the “neighbors” have already written and published 470 books about the Russian-Ukrainian war. We have so far only about 150 books and 300 authors. 35 authors (57 books) have applied for participation in the Book Arsenal so far, the registration will continue until the end of this week.

Recall the Book Arsenal festival will be held from May 22 to 26.

Photo and text Yaroslava Matvieienko

As the “Journalist” reported, at the Book Arsenal 2019, veteran literature will have a separate stand.

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