Pushkin Museum/Victor Huge Film – Poetry News Roundup February 27th

Today in our poetry news roundup, we take a look at a museum that is opening in honour of Alexander Pushkin, and the Victor Hugo novel that is being made into a film.

Russian Poet Pushkin Honoured with Opening of Museum

This year marks the 220th birth anniversary of the Russian poet and novelist Alexander Pushkin, and a museum that is entirely devoted to him has been opened in southern Turkey.

The majority of Russian students in the Mediterranean province of Antalya attend the private International Moscow School which is where the Museum of Pushkin will be located.

Turkey is holding a surprisingly large number of events to mark the birthday of the poet, who was born in Moscow in 1799 and is considered to be the founder of modern Russian literature and the most famous poet from Russia.

Pushkin combined both Russia and Turkey in his work, and, although the Czar banned him from leaving Russia, he managed to visit the eastern province of Erzurum in Turkey in 1829. He wrote a travelogue about his journey. This year marks the 190th anniversary of his travels to Turkey.

The poet also had other links with Turkey through his maternal great grandfather, who was a nobleman of African descent. He was taken to Russia via Istanbul as a gift for Czar Peter the Great.

There are plans to open a similar museum in Russia later on this year. A ceremony will take place on 6th June in the Russian parliament on the occasion of Pushkin’s birthday.

Toilers of the Sea to be Made into a Film

The Victor Hugo novel Toilers of the Sea, which the author and poet wrote whilst he was exiled to Guernsey for 15 years, is to be made into a movie which will be filmed on the Channel Islands.

The filming is planned to begin in 2020, subject the relevant funding being secured, and it will hopefully be released in Autumn 2021.

From 1855 to 1870 Hugo was exiled to Guernsey for his opposition of Napoleon III. It was whilst he was here that he also wrote Les Miserables and The Man Who Laughs.

This adaptation has been 30 years in the planning and the producer has now finally managed to secure a designer, editor and composer – all that is lacking is the funding. Because the novel has a fell that is so linked to the feel of Guernsey, its coastline and the seas, something that it is really not possible to replicate anywhere else, the film is to be shot almost exclusively on the island.

The film will be somewhat unusual, the director is planning to produce it without dialogue. He believes that Hugo painted beautiful pictures with the words he wrote and that a script would detract from the “feeling” portrayed by the book. Over the years he has invested in a number of scripts, but they have never truly matched up to the novel.

The novel tells the tale of the fight between a giant octopus that consumed the blood of its “victims” and a fisherman.

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