VostSibkniga publishing house reprints the poem “Bratskaya GES” by Evgeny Evtushenko
In December 2013, an Irkutsk-based publishing house VostSibkniga supported by OJSC EuroSibEnergo reprinted the book “Bratskaya GES” (“The Bratskaya HPP”) by Evgeny Evtushenko. The poem, which has become a classic of Russian and Soviet literature, was written in the mid-1960s based on immediate impressions about the large-scale construction. The design of the book was created by Nikolay Statnykh, one of the best Russian graphic artists and a member of the Union of Artists of Russia. The book is to be provided to libraries in Eastern Siberia.
“When I decided to read the poem “Bratskaya GES” by Evgeny Evtushenko again, forty years after it was created and published for the first time, it took me a long time to get started; I was preparing myself for inevitable disappointment. Not only because all illusions fostered by my generation when it was proudly called “people of the sixties” (which later became a sort of a label) must have become obsolete, but also because within forty years, the lines themselves must have acquired a patina of time, as they were written in a different poetic climate, when tastes and standards were different. However, the very first line of the poem reassured me completely. “A poet in Russia is more than just a poet ... “. The intuition that led the poet to place a line which was to become a famous quotation at the very beginning is truly remarkable! The phrase has become part of funny stories; it is known even by those who have never read poetry and hardly ever will… and yet it has become so incredibly popular even among them! As for literary circles, it goes without saying: there have been countless parodies; it has entered phraseological dictionaries forever!” (Lev Anninsky, “Bez Bantikov”(“No Frills”), “Druzhba Narodov” (“People’s Friendship”), 2003).
Vyacheslav Solomin, acting CEO of OJSC EuroSibEnergo: “Over a million people have been involved in the construction and operation of the Bratskaya HPP, the pearl of the Angara cascade, from pioneers to workers of the legendary Bratskgesstroy. It has been inspiring writers, journalists, artists and film-makers. The poem “Bratskaya GES” presents Evgeny Evtushenko’s view of Russia, its present, past and future. We hope that the reprint of the masterpiece will help a new generation of readers gain a deeper knowledge of the history of our country, to value it and to be inspired by it.”
Olga Arbatskaya, publisher: “I have asked myself time and again: what does “Bratskaya GES” mean for me? When I was young, the poem was about our life. We did not learn it by heart deliberately, but its lines became rooted in our memory, like the songs of Vysotsky and Okudzhava. When we became adults, despite the 1990s “breaking” us, this was a poem about freedom. Now, thinking about the works of Evgeny Evtushenko, I would say that “Bratskaya GES” is a hymn to Russia, as after Tvardovsky wrote his “Za Dalyu Dal” (“Distance After Distance”), there has been no other poem about our motherland which would be more impressive in scope.”
Press service of OJSC EuroSibEnergo
December 25, 2013