"Iron Fandyr" by Kosta Khetagurov Now Available in Abkhaz

Kosta Khetagurov (1859-1906), famous Ossetian poet and artist.

Kosta Khetagurov (1859-1906), famous Ossetian poet and artist.

SUKHUM / AQW'A ―   A collection of poems by the classic Ossetian poet Kosta Khetagkaty [Khetagurov] (1859-1906), titled "Iron Fandyr" ("Aups Phiartsa"), has been published in the Abkhaz language. Critics agree that the translator, the Abkhazian poet Gennady Alamia, successfully "preserved the core meaning of Khetagurov's verse and conveyed its sound with simple, accessible, and established Abkhazian syllables and intonations."

In today's climate, dominated by political and military news, it is refreshing to encounter cultural achievements that highlight the rich interplay between national literatures. The publication of "Iron Fandyr" in Abkhazian is a testament to this, underscoring the deep-rooted connections between the Ossetian and Abkhazian peoples.

Recently, Vladimir Zantaria, a well-known Abkhazian poet, publicist, and academician, posted an article on his Facebook page discussing the new translation and its cultural significance. He quotes Academician Vasily Abaev (1900-2001), stating, "I believe that every Ossetian can be considered a worthy son of his people to the extent that he values and loves Kosta." This sentiment encapsulates the profound influence of Kosta Khetagurov, whose work has become integral to the spiritual life of not only the Ossetian people but also other Caucasian communities.

For Abkhazians, Khetagurov's life and creative journey are akin to the multifaceted legacy of Dmitry Gulia, a pioneer of modern national artistic vision. The translation of "Iron Fandyr" into Abkhazian by Gennady Alamia reaffirms the shared spiritual and moral aspirations of the Ossetian and Abkhazian peoples, who have long struggled for their freedom.

Zantaria highlights specific poems like "A-lol-lai!" and "Nystuan" as exemplary of the harmonious blending of Ossetian and Abkhazian lyrical traditions. He praises Alamia’s skill in finding linguistic parallels and preserving the artistic, ethnographic, and folkloric nuances of the original.

Gennady Alamia is one of the leading masters of Abkhazian poetry and the chief editor of the magazines "Abaza" and "Akazara" ("Art").

First published in 1899, "Iron Fandyr" reflects on the fate of the Ossetian people and has captivated Russian literary giants such as Anna Akhmatova, Nikolay Zabolotsky, and Nikolay Tikhonov. Their translations brought Khetagurov’s poignant reflections to the wider Russian audience, maintaining the depth and fervour of the original.

Gennady Alamia's task of translating such a significant and multifaceted poet, known for his passionate quest for justice, was undoubtedly challenging. However, his profound understanding of the shared histories and cultural connections between the Ossetian and Abkhazian peoples helped him to successfully undertake this noble endeavour.

In his article, Zantaria notes the similarities between the musical instruments of the two cultures, the "fandyr" and "aphiartsa," which he sees as symbolic of their shared heritage. Alamia is not only celebrated for his poetry but also for his translations of seminal works into Abkhazian, including Griboyedov's "Woe from Wit," Calderon's "Life is a Dream," and Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" and "Romeo and Juliet." His latest work, "Aups Phiartsa," enriches the cultural tapestry of Abkhaz-Ossetian relations, with roots that reach deep into antiquity.

The publication of "Aups Phiartsa" is a significant contribution to the cultural exchange between these two peoples, celebrating their intertwined destinies and mutual quest for artistic and moral expression.




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