Dmitriy Salita’s Arduous Journey from Ukraine to Champion
In a book recently penned by his brother Michael Salita and Gleb Petrov, entitled Golden Gloves: Rap-Novel, (now being sold on Amazon) the authors address some of the hardships Dimitry–Star of David–Salita experienced before the boxer won the New York State Golden Gloves tournament and ultimately became the number one contender for the Welterweight Boxing Championship of the World. Dimitry had to contend with the restrictions of being the first and only strictly observant Jew in the history of the sport. As the title suggests, the novel is written lyrically in rap mode, which is, for the former Brooklynite, a component in his training that tirelessly motivates him through the most physically challenging of regimens. Most importantly, however, Golden Gloves is not only for fans of the sweet science, but the story of a quest of an emigrant who became an observant religious man against the insurmountable obstacles of religious restrictions and succeeding in the most challenging of sports; Dmitriy Salita triumphed.
The book Golden Gloves published in Russian in 2013 by Liberty Publishing House signified the appearance of a new genre in fiction – that of Rap-novel.
It’s a dramatic and triumphant story of a Gold Gloves champion, Dmitry Salita. The authors of the tale – Michael Salita, brother of the boxer, and Gleb Petrov, a poet, have found a unique form that perfectly corresponds and, by extension, reflects the plot of their book and enhances the message.
It wasn’t a mere chance. Considering their diverse backgrounds, it it rather remarkable that hip-hop rhythms accompanied the champ’s boxing trainings; it is the impetus that engenders the sportsman with energy. Hip-hop, a genre of stylistic rhythm of narrative was both the background and the pulse of boxing. The text of the disclosure is vigorous, producing violent energy, pitched at precisely the right note. It’s a symphony of rhythm itself.
It turned out, however, that not only sport events can be told in rap. In suspense we read the passionate “springy” verses about the fate of a talented emigrant who had set and achieved his object, regardless of all hardships and tragic events in his life. The page-turner is being read in one gulp as one is seemingly unable to pause, for its rhythm is driving the reader up to the very last line of the text.
Boxing is not the only subject-matter of the book. Rap-novel Golden Gloves speaks about life itself – in all its sides and manifestations. The authors succeeded in telling us about faith and friendship, joys and sorrow, losses and gains:
“Life is short, just slips away
Leaves you wishing for just one more day.
Today a bright light lights your way,
Tomorrow it has gone away.
No time for last words or goodbyes,
There are too many farewells in life.
It can drive you to despair.
When your aspirations disappear.
And your dreams vanish into thin air.”
There are chapters devoted to the very essential for D. Salita subject – that of Judaism and his own considerations for Jewish traditions:
“It’s not for nothing that someone said:
We’re all branches of one stem.
Our forefathers of days of old,
And modern Jews in one accord…
…be proud of your ancestors religion
Follow the rules and respect tradition.”
The problem of anti-Semitism is also put up here with great tension and emotion in hip-hop style.
The book is a great surprise, novelty and success. Thanks to G. Petrov and M. Salita rap style has become, oxymoronically, the fact of fiction.
Now the book is translated into English and available on Kindle Amazon.