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Uladzimir Karatkievich’s life in Minsk

Владимир Короткевич

Famous Belarusian writer Uladzimir Karatkievich moved to Minsk in 1960. He didn’t have his own accommodation and had to live at his friends’ places at first. He was not a stranger in Belarus.

Владимир Короткевич

Officially, Karatkievich became a Minsk resident in 1963, when he got a flat constructed in the time of Khruschev. It was situated at 7 Chernyshevskogo Street, on the 4th floor. The writer described it in such a way: ‘A new flat was given to me. The floor is slippery, the ceiling is low. The corridor is dim and combined’.

Дом, где жил Владимир Короткевич

Despite the inconvenience of the new accommodation, Karatkievich got an opportunity to move his beloved mother Nadezhda to Minsk. However, the move to a new flat coincided with a difficult period in Karatkievich’s life.

Владимир Короткевич

Владимир Короткевич

Piotr Zholnerovich, Karatkievich’s works researcher, Candidate of Philological Sciences:
The type-setting of a book which was to include the novels ‘King Stakh's Wild Hunt’ and ‘Unforgettable’ was declined. Instead of showing how the Soviet society was building communism, Karatkievich delved into history and wanted to show Belarusians that they do have their own history, which they should know and be proud of.

In 1967, the writer changed his registration address to 48 Very Khoruzhey Street. The flat number is 26.

Дом, где жил Владимир Короткевич

Дом, где жил Владимир Короткевич

Piotr Zholnerovich, Karatkievich’s works researcher, Candidate of Philological Sciences:
This Karatkievich’s flat became his work-room, because it was the first time he had got his own place. The writer moved Valentina, his future wife from Brest to this flat.

Владимир Короткевич

Do the current owners of this flat know that a Belarusian classic writer lived there one day? In any case, the neighbors do remember him up to know.

He was a very good neighbor. He came to us, we talked. He always spoke Belarusian, we can’t do it in such a perfect way he did.

A new address is a new life.

Piotr Zholnerovich, Karatkievich’s works researcher, Candidate of Philological Sciences:
It was a period when all his works were published in separate books. He was very happy that his two-volume book ‘The Ears Under Your Sickle’ was published after a lot of discussions.

Владимир Короткевич

It seems that Uladzimir Karatkievich was truly happy living in this flat. In a few years, the main character of the novel ‘The Dark Castle Olshansky’ was settled in this house. ‘In the morning, I was awakened by a resonant rooster's crow and then by a desperate hysterical pig squall. Like in the countryside,’ wrote Karatkievich. The point is that during those years, the Storozhevsky market was held across the street from the writer’s house each Sunday, where different animals were sold. To the delight of Vladimir Karatkievich, country people who lived in the vicinity gathered there; someone sold something, someone wanted to buy something. The yard in the center of Minsk was flooded with sheep, rabbits, and birds. They say Vladimir Karatkievich loved animals very much. He often came to the market, bought pigeons and let them fly in public.

Владимир Короткевич

In 1973, he said goodbye to his favorite yard and moved to the city center with his mother and wife. The new address was 36 Karla Marksa Street.

Дом, где жил Владимир Короткевич

Дом, где жил Владимир Короткевич

His niece is living in this flat at the moment. But the writer’s work-room still keeps the memory of him. Everything is on its place like it was when Karatkievich was alive. It feels that the man has just gone out and is about to come back.

Кабинет Владимира Короткевича

Кабинет Владимира Короткевича

Кабинет Владимира Короткевича

Кабинет Владимира Короткевича

At this table, Uladzimir Karatkievich translated his novel ‘The Land under the White Wings’ into Belarusian and wrote the novel ‘The Dark Castle Olshansky’.

The stairs in the building remember his steps and how he put chairs on each flight of stairs for his mother to climb the stairs easily.

In his last years, he was often seen in the Tsentralnyi public garden by the oldest Minsk fountain ‘The boy with the swan’.

Владимир Короткевич

Piotr Zholnerovich, Karatkievich’s works researcher, Candidate of Philological Sciences:
People came to him; they asked him to autograph their books. He always was very nice to them. 

The writer’s friends are thinking of installing a monument there: Karatkievich is sitting on a bench, like it was before, and like he didn’t leave.

Владимир Короткевич