Archive for July 6, 2009

“Piebald Dog Running Along the Shore” Quotes

I wanted to share a few quotes with my readers the wonder of this little short story by Chingiz Aitmatov. You can find on the Internet and read it for yourself.  Though short, the haunting refrains of a father-son relationship with an old grandpa will stay with you a long time. This is a keeper!!!  No wonder the Kyrgyz people or Central Asians are proud of their Chingiz Aitmatov writer, he made it BIG in the Soviet circles.  Read his works and find out why, Chingiz discovered and shared aspects of the unrelenting SOUL of man to LIVE!!!  His written words will live on…

Quotes from Piebald Dog Running Along the Shore

Translated by Alex Miller

Prepared for the Internet by Iraj Bashiri, 2004

“Brains from heaven, secrets of the trade from childhood.”

“A bad hunter is the tribe’s burden.”

“Kirisk [young boy] was impressed by the sea. He had not been expecting such a spectacle. Only water, heaving water, only waves swiftly rising and immediately subsiding, only the depths, the dark, disturbing depths and only the sky, softened by white, feathery and inaccessible clouds. That was the whole world—and nothing more, nothing else except this, except the sea itself—neither winter, nor summer, nor mountain, nor gully.”

“He [Kirisk] now understood the difference between land and sea. On land you don’t think about the land. But at sea, you think abou the sea all the time, even if your mind is on something else. This discovery put the boy on his guard. That the sea forced you to think about it all the time concealed something unknown, insistent, dominating…”

“He [Kirisk’s grandfather] understood that in the infinity of space a man in a boat is nothing. But a man thinks and thereby ascends to greatness, thereby he affirms himself before the eternal elements, and thereby he is commensurable with the depth and height of worlds. That is why, as long as a man lives, he is in spirt as mighty as the sea and as infinite as the sky, for there are not bounds to his thought. When he dies, someone else will think further ahead, and the next will think even further beyond that, and so on without end…The awareness of this gave the old man the bitter sweetness of irreconcilable reconciliation.”

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Kyrgyz Chingiz Aitmatov’s Writings

Thanks to the work of Russian or Kyrgyz translators and Iraj Bashiri’s efforts to put Chingiz Aitmatov’s writings on the Internet in English, I just finished reading the simple little story by Aitmatov titled “Piebald Dog Running Along the Shore.” I did not know what to expect judging by the title of it.  The Piebald Dog was really a mountain which was used by the sailors to orient them to safely return to their homeland after hunting for seals.  What a pleasant surprise this story was about a young boy who goes on his first fishing expedition with his wise old grandfather, his father and uncle.  It has nice development and not such a surprising ending once the trip goes awry. You wonder how they will survive, it would seem the author knew something about hunger and starvation. 

Farewell, Guylsary! and To Have and to Lose written by Chingiz Aitmatov can also be found on the Internet.  Well, worth the read to find out more about Kyrgyz culture or other cultures such as in the story of Piebald Dog.  Aitmatov died in Kyrgyzstan last year and had been earlier recognized with the Lenin Award for Literature or something by that title.  I will include some worthy quotes taken from this short story from Piebald Dog in tomorrow’s blog.

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