Yanka Maur and his life
I.Read the Internet article and say what is it about
Can you make a journey to a country without visiting it? Yes, it is quite possible. The books of the well-known Belarusian writer Yanka Maur invite the reader to such exotic corners of the Earth as New Guinea (In the Bird-of-Paradise Country / У краіне райскай птушкі, 1926), Tierra del Fuego (The Son of Water / Сын вады, 1927), Java (Amok, 1928). The writer never visited all these places. He just looked at the map and created his unforgettable stories!
Yanka Maur wrote the first adventure and fantasy books in the Belarusian language. He is often called the father of the Belarusian children’s literature. Yanka Maur was actually his pseudonym, while his real name was Ivan Mikhailavich Fiodarau.
Ivan Fiodarau was born on May 11, 1883 and grew up in the Belarusian village of Lebianishki. When Yanka Maur attended a vocational school (ремесленное училище / рамеснае вучылішча), he had a dream to get a boat and cross all the rivers, seas, and continents... Later, he became a Geography and History teacher in Minsk. In 1906 he took part in the Congress of the Belarusian teachers organised by Yakub Kolas. It was an important event in Yanka Maur’s life because it became the beginning of the great friendship between the two famous Belarusian writers. His first story The Man is Coming was published in the Belaruski Piyaner magazine in 1924. After that, he wrote a lot of exciting adventure books. One of them, Palesse Robinsons / Палескія рабінзоны (1929), became a best-seller. The book takes you to the most beautiful places of Belarus. The main characters are two brave and curious boys, Miron and Victar, who are fond of biology. They experience a lot of amazing adventures and get into some dangerous situations which test their true friendship. In 1955, Yanka Maur’s novel Professor Tsylyakouski’s Fantamobile introduced the world of science-fiction to Belarusian readers.
Yanka Maur also translated the stories by Jules Verne, Mark Twain, Anton Chekhov into the Belarusian language.
Yanka Maur died on August 3, 1971 in Minsk.
II.Translate the following phrases into English and find them in the text
· Незабываемые истории
· Детская литература
· Важное событие
· Захватывающие книги
· Любопытные мальчики
· Главные герои
· Настоящая дружба
III. True or False
1. Yanka Maur travelled a lot and wrote about places he had visited before.
2. He wrote his books in Russian.
3. Yanka Maur is called the father of the Belarusian children’s literature.
4. Yanka Maur was his real name.
5. He dreamt of a new house at the seashore.
6. He was a doctor.
7. His best friend was Yakub Kolas.
8. His book “Palesse Robinsons” became a best-seller.
9. The main heroes of “Palesse Robinsons” are three curious boys.
10. The boys from “Palesse Robinsons” like geography.
11. Yanka Maur was the first writer who introduced science-fiction to Belarusian readers.
12. Yanka Maur knew several languages.
IV. Answer the questions
A. Where do the books by Yanka Maur invite the reader?
B. Has he ever visited foreign countries?
C. How is he usually called by children’s parents?
D. What was his real name?
E. When and where was he born?
F. What dream did he have?
G. What was his profession?
H. Why was the Congress of the Belarusian teachers important for the writer?
I. When and where was his first story published?
J. Palesse Robinsons wasn’t popular, was it?
K. Did Yanka Maur write science-fiction books?
L. Was Yanka Maur a translater?
M. When and where did he die?
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