June 23, 2013
German Edition of Ode to the Grand Spirit Published in Switzerland
ZURICH, Switzerland: Swiss publisher Unionsverlag has released a German edition of Ode to the Grand Spirit, a dialogue between Chingiz Aitmatov (1928−2008), noted Russian writer and diplomat, and Daisaku Ikeda. In their dialogue, the two men delve into life’s enduring questions while sharing their perspectives on truth, happiness, death and divinity--insights drawn from a range of anecdotes and thought from the East and West that eventually lead them inward, to the human spirit.
A celebrated novelist who wrote in both Russian and his native Kyrgyz, Mr. Aitmatov authored numerous works, including Jamila, which has been described as "the most beautiful love story in the world." He also served as the Kyrgyz ambassador to the European Union, NATO and UNESCO. He first met Mr. Ikeda in 1988 while visiting Japan as an ardent advocate and agent for perestroika.
Ode to the Grand Spirit was first published in two volumes by The Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper group in Japan. The first volume was released in 1991 and the second volume in 1992. The dialogue is also available in English and Russian.
[Adapted from an article in the June 23, 2013, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]