The Fazil Iskander International Literary Award has been in existence for six years and has been awarded to famous writers. This year’s list of winners includes authors of spiritual literature with reflections on coming to Church, to God.
There is a certain mystery in the journey of finding faith. For each person, this path is unique and spiritualises their life, giving it meaning.
“all serious Russian and European literature is an endless commentary on the gospel.”
“Reflections of a Writer” by Fazil Iskander
The great Abkhaz and Russian writer Fazil Iskander was one of the real contenders for the Nobel Prize. About himself he said: “I am definitely a Russian writer, who wrote a lot about Abkhazia. Unfortunately, I have not written anything in Abkhazian. The choice of Russian culture for me was clear.
Iskander’s prose is written in a peculiar genre of fusion of life, author’s reflection turning to philosophy and religion.
Fazil Abdulovich was baptised and given the name Basil. But having been brought up in Soviet realities, he initially concealed this in his life and literature.
Gradually, his acceptance of orthodoxy took place. Both becoming and these two things were going on at the same time: a return to the problems of his homeland and a transition to Christian values.
His conversion to Christian values was accompanied by a growing sadness about how imperfect man is and the fact that he cannot in the course of his life come to these values.
The appearance in his works of a preachy note also marks his coming to God. For Fazil Iskander the meaning of Christianity was above all in the commandments of Christ.
Fazil Iskander always had two foundations for overcoming his spiritual crisis: the national and the Christian.
Fazila Iskander not only invented his own characters but also transformed himself in the process of creative work. Hence the realism and desire to empathize with the characters in his stories, despite the Aesopian language which was a means to convey ideas between the lines during the Soviet censorship.
Before taking up his pen, he would walk around his study, inventing phrases and plot twists, he would throw a chair to the floor and if his character did something bad or fought with someone, he would stomp his feet. He wrote at night, so the neighbours could only feel sorry for him when he dealt with evil. He physically fought antiheroes – it was all in his powerful personality.
The Fazil Iskander International Literary Prize, which has been awarded to famous writers, is now in its sixth year. The long list of the Fazil Iskander Prize was announced this year. It features the names of both well-known writers and new faces.
Vladimir Aleinikov, Yefim Gammer, Timur Zulfikarov, Igor Kuznetsov, Alexander Melikhov, Daniel Orlov, Elena Sazanovich, Maria Bregman.
The works of the young talented writer Maria Bregman, Baba Tonia tells the story of an ordinary woman from a village, who has a special gift to heal people with the Divine help. Maria Bregman also wrote a wonderful story about the Eye of God, in which she explains how her character came to God.
The story is written unusually in the style of Fazil Iskander, perhaps this is his God-sparkle.
‘- Have you ever seen the eyes of Christ? – A hunched old woman looked up at me, leaning on a crutch.’
‘The Eye of God’ is the story of a man who, at some point, enters a church for the first time…
Searching for the meaning of God… Each of us has at some point entered the temple for the first time… And many, many must have entered too… Came to faith…
Who met them on their way? What words were spoken?