Krasnodar, 14 January. 12+ Today our interlocutor Svetlana Medvedeva, a teacher, journalist, singer, literary scholar, and – an aunt of Dmitri Medvedev, Russian ex-President. She seldom gives interviews, but this time she made an exception for The Yug Times.
Q.: How and when did your writing trade begin?
A.: I did not feel any pencraft talent. It was the debt of honour that seated me at the writing table, so that I could recount how my parents had lived and what my peers had felt in the past century and millennium. All was different there. We were participants of grand constructions of our Fatherland.
Q.: Please tell us about your family.
A.: I was born in Nalchik, in the first year of the [Great Patriotic] War. Dad went up the line, and I together with my Mum and brother ‘went up’ to evacuation. Dad fought in the Caucasus, and stayed in the Kuban region after hospital. We lived a plain life. Now I also live as an ordinary person. Vanity has never been valued in our family.
Q.: How did you bring up your children?
A.: In fair severity, as I believed. In the well-known war between parents and kids, I managed to save them from smoking and alcohol. My son learnt to read when he was five; then he would sit for hours in libraries. We worshipped books and self-education. I am confident that a soul is brought up and fed by Russian words, literature and classic music. When the son reached conscription age, he joined army as a coast-guard soldier for three years. Since the beginning of the eighteenth century, the Medvedev family has produced many statespersons. My son and my nephew [ex-President Dmitri Medvedev] are almost peers. Dmitri resembles a lot his father, my brother.
Q.: Recently you published an epoch-making book, “Landmarks of Memory,” devoted to the 75th anniversary of Great Victory.
A.: Yes, it really was a landmark book for me. It is a collection of my poems and prosaic pieces on military topics. It reflects my vision of the difficult but glorious years in the history of my nation. That was how I expressed my sincere gratitude to WWII soldiers, to my Dad, an infantry captain who had been injured severely but survived the war.
Q.: What does a good teacher mean?
A.: First of all, it is an interesting personality. The main quality of a good teacher is to love kids and profession – similarly, like the main quality of a journalist is to love people and always show their good parts in narrations. I should tell you that before retiring I announced that all my lessons should be demo lessons – that is, anyone could come and see them. Historical literature and mother tongue are the only workshop where the writer and the teacher work hard to shape the intellect and polish the morals of the growing child’s soul. By the way, both writer and teacher do the same thing: they connect generations into a unified whole – a nation.
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