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09 January 2019
Кöрт Айка: the Epic Poem Revisited

On 15 January, at 15:00, the new edition of Mikhail Lebedev's classic narrative poem Kört Aika will be presented at the Komi National Library.

Mikhail N. Lebedev (1877–1951) was a major Komi author of the first half of XX century making a significant contribution to the development of the national forms of literature in Komi, from short stories and fables to epic poems and plays, writing both for adults and children. His most enchanting and masterful literary works are themed on folk legends and tales. Lebedev also translated Russian classic and modern authors into Komi.

Kört Aika (literally, Iron Father-in-Law) is a collection of fairy tales about a legendary folk hero of the Komi people - the sorcerer and the first blacksmith who taught Komi people the smithcraft. According to the legends, with his iron body and iron clothes, he was invincible to his enemies and could change day and night and reign over the sun and the moon. Geographically, tales about Kört Aika emerged in the region of Komi that was rich in iron ore, by the mountain of Kortkeros (now - Kortkeros region). 

The fairy tales about Kört Aika by Mikhail Lebedev were first published in the Komi language in 1910; later, Lebedev created the Russian interpretation of the fairy-tale poem which appeared in 1939. In 2018, the Anbur Publishing House produced a colorful and artistic edition of the poem in the bilingual version - almost 80 years after the only available Russian edition had come out. The publication was funded by the Administration of the Head of the Komi Republic as part of the programme supporting socially significant literature. The new book introduces both versions of the fairy-tale poem, in Russian and in Komi, enabling the modern reader to discover the authentic world of the Komi fairy tales in the writer's original work.

The editor and author of the introduction is senior researcher of the Language and Literature Institute of the Komi Research Center, PhD, Valentina Limerova. She will present the book at the Komi National Library and lead the discussion about the classic of the Komi literature. 

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