Byadulya-Yasakar, Zmitrok

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BYADULYA-YASAKAR, ZMITROK (pen name of Samuil Yefimovich Plavnik ; 1886–1941), Soviet Belorussian writer, who was one of the founders of Belorussian literature. The son of a coachman, Byadulya-Yasakar studied in a yeshivah and began writing Hebrew verse at the age of 13. Only glimpses of this early phase of his career appear in his autobiographical novel V dremuchikh lesakh ("In the Depths of the Forest," 1939). Byadulya-Yasakar began publishing his works in 1910, under the pseudonyms "Byadulya" for prose works and "Yasakar" for verse. His prerevolutionary books portrayed downtrodden Belorussian peasants. An impassioned Belorussian nationalist, Byadulya-Yasakar was at first hostile to the Communist regime, to which he only gradually became reconciled. Except for the tales and poems rooted in Belorussian folklore – Paleskiya bayki ("Fairy Tales of Polesie," 1922) and Yaryla (1922) – his later work was conventional. Byadulya-Yasakar's more important achievements include two historical novels, Salavey ("Nightingale," 1927) and Yazep Krushinski (1929–1932); the background to the latter is the Russian Civil War.


A. Adamovich, Opposition to Sovietization in Belorussian Literature, 1917–1957 (1958).

[Maurice Friedberg]