Svetlana Alexievich’s artistic and documental prose on the example of the book Boys in Zinc: “Fear is more human than courage”

Zoja Kuca


Svetlana Alexievich, a Belarusian writer and journalist, an author of many books and theatrical plays, Nobel Laureate in Literature, deals in her writings with subjects connected with events in the USSR as well as the place and role of “a small human being” in the history of these events. Alexievich’s books discuss the themes of World War II, the war in Afghanistan, the Chernobyl disaster and so on. The author selects difficult themes in the centre of which is found the human being. In a lifethreatening situation the behaviour of man is, in Alexievich’s opinion, most true. The thematic oppositions: life-death, joy-sadness, Afghanistanmotherland, war-peace, truth-untruth enable the writer to show the changes that are taking place in the life and psyche of a person. The book Boys in Zinc is a presentation of talks with Russian soldiers who came back from the war in Afghanistan and the mothers of the soldiers who died there. The writer depicts the Afghan War as an amoral event both for the USSR and the Afghan nation. The brutal experiences in the front line, the undermined mental and physical health make up the core of the book. The naturalistic depiction of truth, fear of death, inner struggles of the heroes, the soldiers’ and their mothers’ dreams of meeting each other, all this is portrayed by Alexievich in a convincing and unique way in Boys in Zinc.


non-fiction; Svetlana Alexievich; Nobel Prize in Literature; fear; death; war; life; mother


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Data publikacji: 2018-07-11 11:33:31
Data złożenia artykułu: 2018-03-27 19:43:39


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