Kim Vasin: translator between cultures and the duality of the Soviet era

Kim Vasin: translator between cultures and the duality of the Soviet era

Kim Vasin did not question how the imperials would perceive translations of Russian-speaking writers into the Mari language.

Will they ask how “absurd” “Eugene Onegin” sounds in the Mari language, what the learned cat in Lukomorye says and why Mari literature is needed in general. He simply took and translated, knowing that the writers whom Moscow designated as Russian are replicated most easily and quickly, so this would make it easier for the Mari to expand their own language environment.

In addition, Vasin also translated Tatar, Ukrainian and Chuvash literature.

In total there are about 800 works by this Mari writer.

The action of his own works often takes place during the uprisings of Emelyan Pugachev and Stepan Razin – in which several nations of the Volga region participated.

The main theme of Vasin’s works is national independence and social justice.

Such an iconic figure that even in Soviet sources this is said exactly, “he strived for the independence of the Mari.”

Still, we should make a footnote. Anyway, this is a Soviet writer, and he was raised from infancy in obedience to Moscow, so his vision is twofold: both for independence and for submission to the Russian occupiers. Double standards were established already in his childhood and would later affect his work in such books as Son of a Communist or With you, Russians. In addition, Soviet censorship also imposed restrictions on his work, putting him within certain limits.

Therefore, we will also treat him in two ways: we will take all the best from his literary works that developed the Mari language and culture, and we will put aside all the rest of the Soviet husk as unnecessary.

Today is the 100th anniversary of his birth. We respect him for his work, but we remember about literary hygiene.


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