Shishkin: Writer, link between world of life and words, interface between earth and sky

The one who writes is "a link between two worlds" and "the author an interface between earth and sky, between life and text," Russian writer Mikhail Shishkin stated at the University of Bucharest ceremony on awarding him the Doctor Honoris Causa title. "The one who writes is a link between two worlds, between the unreal world, that of life, where everything is short-lived, brief, mortal and disappears without trace, like a second that just went by or as thousands of generations who disappeared in a blink of an eye, and the world of faith-worthy words, spreading the elixir of eternal youth (...)," Shishkin stated. The Russian writer pleaded for the written word, the only one which, in his view, can offer eternal youth. Mikhail Shishkin, one of the famous Russian contemporary writers has become a member of the University of Bucharest academia, after the Senate of the prestigious education institution awarded him the Doctor Honoris Causa title. Within the event held on Wednesday in the "Constantin Stoicescu" Hall of the Law Faculty Palace, the traditional Laudatio was delivered by Antoaneta Olteanu, the translator of his books in Romanian. By awarding the Doctor Honoris Causa title, the University of Bucharest celebrates the personality of writer Mikhail Shishkin and honors a renowned representative of the international literature, who decisively put his fingerprint on the universal literary heritage. The distinction rewards one of the most published Russian authors "for his entire literary activity and for the incontestable contribution to universal contemporary literature, but also for the firmness with which he makes his voice heard at international level." Born in 1961 in Moscow, Mikhail Shishkin writes in Russian and German, being one of the most important and beloved contemporary Russian writers, whose creations were translated in over 30 languages. Especially appreciated abroad, he benefits of an incontestable appreciation in Russia as well, where he was awarded three notable literary awards bestowed by specialised juries: the Russian Booker Prize for "The Taking of Izmail," the Russian National Bestseller for "Maidenhair" and the "Bolshaia Kniga" Prize with "The Light and the Dark." His novels, where he uses postmodern technics on large scale are firstly a painful testimony about the impact of the soviet society over the mindset of the former USSR's citizens, which caused them obsessive reoccurring traumas. Since 2014, due to some disagreements with the politics in Kremlin, Mikhail Shishkin proclaimed himself an emigrant and lives and Switzerland. However, he continued to write about the life in Russia and about Russians in general, the Russian (neo)totalitarianism being presented in his novels quite often in a satirical key. The Romanian readers got acquainted with Shishkin's work in a reverse chronological order, starting with his last novel "The Light and the Dark" in 2012, then with "Maidenhair" in 2013 and ""The Taking of Izmail" in 2016, followed by the essay and short stories "The Half-Belt Overcoat" published in 2017. AGERPRES (RO - author: Daniel Popescu, editor: Mihai Simionescu; EN - author: Rodica State, editor: Adina Panaitescu)

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