Ak Welsapar

Ak Welsapar_Turkmen_Writer - копияАк Вельсапар – прозаик, поэт. Родился в 1956 году в г. Мары (Туркменистан). Окончил факультет журналистики МГУ им. М.В. Ломоносова (1979) и Высшие литературные курсы Литературного института им. М. Горького (1989). Публикуется со второй половины 1970-х. В 1993 году, преследуемый у себя на Родине за независимые суждения, писатель был принят в почетные члены международного Пен-Клуба, а в 1994-м стал обладателем гранта-премии Хьюман Райтс Вотч за независимое творчество. С 1994 года живёт в Швеции, с 1996 года является членом Союза писателей Швеции. Его произведения опубликованы на многих языках, в том числе на туркменском, русском, английском, французском, шведском, немецком, испанском, украинском, белорусском, турецком, монгольском и некоторых других языках бывшего Советского Союза.

Ak Welsapar was born on 19th September 1956 in the former Soviet Republic of Turkmenistan. He received his Masters degree in Journalism from the Moscow State University of M.Lomonosov in 1979 and his Masters in Literary theory from the Moscow Literature Institute of M.Gorkiy in 1989. Ak writes in Russian, Turkmen and in Swedish. The writer was elected an honorary member of the International PEN Club in 1993 and granted a literature award from the International Human Rights Watch for his independent creativity in 1994. The writer has been living in Sweden since 1994 and has been a member of The Swedish Writers’ Union since 1996. A. Welsapar is the author of more than 20 books and his works have been published in a number of languages including Turkmen, Russian, Swedish, English, French, Spanish, Germany, Ukrainian, Belarus, Turkish, Mongolian and a few languages in the former USSR. Ak Welsapar is the author of “The Cobra” (2003), this novel has gained recognition in countries such as Russia and the USA. The novel has also received superb reviews in the prominent literary periodical “World Literature”, published quarterly in the US, in the SEPTEMBER–DECEMBER 2004 edition. In this review Joseph P. Mozur from the University of South Alabama wrote these lines among others: ”Cobra is a must for all specialists of Central Asia and a great read for anyone interested in the psychology of despots.” The Union of Writers of Russia awarded Ak Welsapar the "Golden Autum" literary prize named after Yesenin in 2012. Welsapar als received the Trium prize named after Nikolay Gogol from the Writers' Union of Ukraine.


Story "On the Edge"

extract

One autumn night, on the edge of a huge city, a weary dog trotted along a dark pathway, stopping now and then to look into the rubbish pits and sniff at them. He was searching for food. At last, his canine sense of smell caught among the rotting filth the whiff of a recently discarded bone. The dog began to tremble all over. Without taking his eyes from the desired delicacy, Alabay ran around the pit several times. He could not wait to get at the bone.

In the places familiar to him there remained no courtyard he had not sniffed around, no rubbish tip he had not ransacked and no waste water pit he had not investigated. He had not been lucky, for others had managed to seize what could have assuaged his hunger if only for a while. Old Alabay was last at the dogs’ dinner table. His stronger cousins behaved more and more self-confidently and cheekily on his own territory and his chances of survival were ever diminishing. And so the pedigree wolfhound had to rummage among the waste water pits like the hindmost mongrel. But was it so long ago that on these streets whole packs of strays held veritable dogs’ banquets around the rich rubbish tips? Then there was more strength to his paws, then he would fight to the death with impetuous hounds not for a bone but for the odd bitch – at all costs to avoid losing her or letting someone else get her. Then he did not know what on earth hunger was. He remembered clearly – that’s how it was! Now for three days and three nights his empty stomach had been twisting and turning like a spindle. Precisely his stomach and no other part of his tormented body. Now he had to think about survival, how not to die of hunger! Many of his days had passed into oblivion in waiting for someone to throw into the pit some leftover meat or at least a bone. Hunger had so penetrated his brain and overcome his old body that he was left with nothing but the feeling of permanent emptiness in his stomach and memories of the house on the edge of the precipice where he was born.

Having performed the dance of hunger around the pit, the dog started crawling towards his cherished goal and soon a third of his body was hanging over the pit. He crept a little further – the great lump of bone was now alongside and he turned his ungainly neck and tried to reach it with his jaws. No use! It was all in vain! Now his body was suspended dangerously over the pit, and although his huge head was over the ill-starred bone, he did not manage to grab it. He whimpered helplessly and twitched his abbreviated ears. The sheep's rib was not so hopelessly far away. The dog's imagination became more and more excited. A bone with meat on it! Alabay could not tear his greedy eyes from it, its intoxicating smell put all his innards into action and he drooled at the mouth. In desperation Alabay would have leapt into the stinking viscosity, but he carefully crept back. Fear of the pit had been deeply instilled into him from childhood. It could swallow you whole like a gnawed bone and chew you up like a tasty morsel.

***

In the dog's dim memory there began to emerge living pictures of many years ago, when they were a whole pack of seven carefree puppies, fighting on any pretext or none and suckled by the caring and loving bitch, Big White, winner of many of the veritable dog battles which were organized by the people living there. It was on one of those happy, carefree days that they suffered the first loss in their big canine family. This is how it happened… Having dozed as usual after feeding her offspring, the mother slowly got up and went in search of food for herself. The puppies scrambled after her through the mud house entrance. Like multicoloured balls of fluff they ran in different directions in a world lit by a high, generous sun, and came across something incomprehensible – before them appeared a pit. Other smells, different from that of mother's milk, aroused their interest. Snow White went nearer the edge. The pit squeaked desperately like a puppy and then squelched and went quiet... Mother made long, unsuccessful searches for her lost puppy and then, tired and resentful, for the first time fed them milk that was tasteless and bitter from grief.

Alabay lost all patience and continued to circle the pit. Absorbed in the hunt for inaccessible food, he was nearly caught under the wheels of a lorry growling its way up the street which was empty at that hour. He ran to the curb and started licking his paws which only by sheer chance had not been crushed. His head was dizzy from hunger and his past started coming to life in his imagination.

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