Sounds of Chernobyl


Title: Sounds of Chernobyl

Author: Svetlana Aleksievich

Translator: Tayebeh Ahmadi Javid

Publisher: Pushina

Subject: Chernobyl nuclear accident, Ukraine, Belarus, Nuclear accident – Social aspects, Nuclear accident – Environmental aspects

Age category: Adult

Cover: Paperback

Number of pages: 256

Language: Farsi



Voices from Chernobyl Oral history is a nuclear disaster. The author of the book has interviewed and narrated from 500 people present and witnesses of this nuclear incident that were somehow related to the Chernobyl disaster. Among the interviewees are people from all walks of life, such as physicists, firefighters, politicians, and ordinary people. Rather than dealing with the cause of a catastrophe, the book examines people’s exposure to it and depicts the impact of this great human catastrophe on the lives and psyche of the victims.

The Chernobyl Disaster, April 26, 1986
April 26, 1986 A nuclear accident occurs at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Based on the experiments, the amount of atomic radiation was measured at the highest scale and group number 7. The amount of radiation announced the occurrence of a human catastrophe. In R-type reactors. بی. ام. Key (RBMK) occurred during a major error in safety testing and uncontrolled chain reactions by operations managers.

After this incident and the explosion of the reactor, radioactive contaminants were released into the air for 9 days. The emission of radioactive gases was so rapid that it reached Western Europe very quickly, and even some nuclear contaminants were recorded in the United States.

Although the entire international community was in danger of being damaged by nuclear pollutants, the Soviet government did not allow any information to be leaked and, in the first instance, quarantined all towns and villages within a 30-kilometer radius of the plant.
The Chernobyl disaster killed two people at the time of the blast, injured more than 5 million and infected about 5,000 residential areas. Due to the type of accident and the long-term impact of radioactive radiation on humans, the exact number of casualties is not known.

But it is estimated that more than 4,000 people died as a result of the disaster. The consequences of the Chernobyl accident are still being felt in the countries involved. The increase in the incidence of cancer and the birth of malformed babies is evidence that Chernobyl is still being sacrificed.

Svetlana Aleksovich, narrator of the voice of the people

Belarusian writer and journalist Svetlana Alexievich was born in 1948. After graduating, he began reporting for local newspapers. Svetlana experimented with a variety of literary styles and eventually came to the conclusion that documentary chronology was her favorite way of writing.

Her first work, “War Has No Female Face,” is a multi-volume book based on Svetlana’s interviews with various women who served in World War II.

Another important work by the author of the book “Zinki Sons: Soviet Voices from a Forgotten War” is called. The book narrates the war between Afghanistan and the Soviet Union in the language of soldiers and people who participated in the war. Other important works include “Boys of Zinc”, “Second Hand Time” and “The Last Witnesses”. Critics see his work as reflecting the plight of the Russian people after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Writing style by Svetlana Aleksovich
Svetlana has a unique style of creating her work, known as “polyphony” or “collective novel.” In his works, the story is documented in the language of a large number of people, and after interviewing different people, he narrates the subject of the book in the form of a documentary.

To write the book Chernobyl Voices of Shocking Atomic Oral History, he interviewed many people who were present at the scene and wrote their narratives of the incident. In this style of storytelling, reality is well conveyed to the reader. Svetlana Aleksievich describes her writing style as follows: “I have always been looking for a literary style that will help me get as close to real life as possible.

Reality has always attracted me like a magnet, harassing and fascinating me, and I have always wanted to record it as it is. And I soon found the genre of real human voices and confessions, evidence, and witness documents appropriate for my purpose. I see and hear this world – the accompaniment of individual voices and a collection of details of everyday life. “My eyes and ears work this way, and in this way all my spiritual and emotional potentials are fully realized, and I can be a writer, a journalist, a sociologist, a psychologist and a preacher at the same time.”

Alexevich Awards and Honors
In 2015, Aleksovich was awarded the Nobel Prize by the Swedish Academy for his multi-volume narratives that show the courage and suffering of contemporary people. His other awards include the Kurt Toholsky Prize for Courage and Honor in his Writing, as well as the Triumph Prize.

An adaptation of the Chernobyl accident on HBO
In 2019, the H. network. بی. He, one of the most popular television networks in the United States, and Sky Britain produced the Chernobyl series based on the Chernobyl documentary. The series was directed by Johann Rank and written by Craig Mazen.

The creators of the series have tried to consider the lesser-paid narratives of Chernobyl and produce the series based on their story. Lesser-known narratives include the help of Alexei Anatenko, Valery Bispalov, and Boris Baranov, who prevented the tragedy from escalating.

Since the series was produced by American producers, the Russian government considered it untrue and announced that it would make a Russian version in the future. Given the widespread cleansing of the Russians at the time of the incident, their dissatisfaction with making a series about the greatest technological catastrophe of the twentieth century is not far-fetched.
Svetlana Aleksovich described the series as a work based on the memories of the people of Pripyat. “Chernobyl” gained a lot of fans around the world; With the release of the third episode, it was able to reach the top of the best series in history from the people’s point of view on the IMDB site.

In 1397, Cheshmeh Publishing published Alexevich’s book entitled “Chernobyl Prayer, the Event of the Future”. “Elham Kamrani” has translated the text of the original version of the book in Russian into Persian. Kamrani writes in the book’s introduction: “Alexievich is not a storyteller, he is a documentary writer on oral history, which is why he was awarded the Nobel Prize not only for Russian speakers but also for the history of world literature. “Alekseevich’s writings are the voices of ordinary people who have emerged from official and dry histories, facts and the names of politicians.”

In parts of the book we read the sounds of Chernobyl
I do not know what to say: death or love? Are these two the same at all? Which one should I say?

We were just married. We still walked hand in hand to the store. I told him I love you; But at that time I did not know how much I loved him, I did not know … We lived in the dormitory of the fire station where he worked. On the second floor. Three other young couples were also there. We all used the same kitchen. Red fire trucks were always on the first floor. This was his job, and so, I was always aware of everything; Where it is and how it is.

One night I heard a voice and looked out the window. Saw me. “Close the window and go back to bed. A fire in a power plant. “I will be back soon.”

I did not see the explosion itself, I only saw its flames. Everything shone. The whole sky was clear. High flames were everywhere, and smoke was everywhere. The heat was horrible and he was still back.
Smoke billowed from the burnt bitumen that covered the roof. “It was like walking in molten bitumen,” he later said. They tried to suppress the flames and smashed the burning graphites with their feet … they did not wear special clothes; They wore the same uniform they always wore. Nobody told them anything special. There was a fire; only this.

It was past four in the morning and then past five or six. We were supposed to go to his parents’ house at six o’clock; To plant potatoes. They lived in Zaporizhia, forty kilometers from Pripyat. He loved planting and plowing. His mother always told me that they did not want him to come to the city at all; They even built a house for him. He was later called up for military service and served in the fire department in Moscow. When he returned, he said he wanted to set them on fire. only this. (Silent)

Sometimes, I seem to hear his voice; Like when he was alive. Even photos affect us as much as that sound. But he does not call me even in his sleep; I’m the only one making it sound.
In the final section you will hear the sounds of Chernobyl:
“When people burn me, I do not want to be afraid,” he wrote in his office. There were rumors that Chernobyl were radioactive even after death. I read somewhere that the graves of Chernobyl firefighters who died in a Moscow hospital and were buried in a cemetery called Mitino, near Moscow, are still radioactively contaminated and people do not pass by and do not bury their relatives there. Even the dead are afraid of the Chernobyl dead; Because no one knows what Chernobyl is.

You will also read on the back cover of this book: The world is divided into two parts: we are on one side; Chernobyl and the other side of you are standing; Others. Are you careful? Nobody here is Russian, Belarusian or Ukrainian. We call ourselves Chernobyl. “We are Chernobyl.” “I’m a Chernobyl.” As if we were another people; New Nation.

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2- Introducing the book  in Aparat

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