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Ukrainian Culture in the USSR 2 page

Buchma, Amvrosii ( 1891 - 1957 ). Prominent stage and screen actor, director, and teacher. Buchma began his stage career at the Ruska Besida theater in Lviv in 1910. In 1917 he studied at the Lysenko Music and Drama School in Kyiv. In 1920 he worked in the Kyiv Ukrainian Drama Theater and in 1923–6 in the Berezil theater, where he played such memorable roles as Jimmie Higgins in an adaptation of U. Sinclair's novel, Leiba in an adaptation of Taras Shevchenko's Haidamaky (The Haidamakas), Jean in Prosper Mérimée's La Jacquerie, and the Fool in William Shakespeare's Macbeth. At the same time he became a film actor and later left the theater to devote himself solely to the cinema (1926–30). The main roles in which he appeared in these years were those of Jimmie Higgins, Mykola Dzheria, Taras Shevchenko, Taras Triasylo (in films of the same titles), the leading role of Hordii in Nichnyi viznyk (The Night Coachman) and the German soldier in Oleksander Dovzhenko's Arsenal. In 1930–6 Buchma returned to the Berezil theater (called the Kharkiv Ukrainian Drama Theater from 1935), now in Kharkiv, and played such roles as Dudar in Ivan Mykytenko's Dyktatura (The Dictatorship), Puzyr in Ivan Karpenko-Kary's Khaziain (The Master), and Haidai and Krechet in Oleksander Korniichuk's Zahybel’ eskadry (The Destruction of the Squadron) and Platon Krechet. From 1936 to 1954 Buchma worked as an actor and director in the Kyiv Ukrainian Drama Theater and in film. His was one of the best portrayals of Mykola Zadorozhny in Ivan Franko's Ukradene shchastia (Stolen Happiness).

Buchma played in over 200 different roles. He depicted comic, dramatic, and tragic figures equally well. He directed the film Za stinoiu (Behind the Wall, 1928) and the play Nazar Stodolia at the Kyiv Ukrainian Drama Theater in 1942 (he also co-directed this play with Leontii Dubovyk in 1951) and co-directed Ivan Kotliarevsky's Natalka Poltavka (Natalka from Poltava) at the Kyiv Theater of Opera and Ballet with Volodymyr Manzii in 1951. From 1940 Buchma lectured at the Kyiv Institute of Theater Arts and in 1946–8 was the artistic director of the Kyiv Artistic Film Studio.

The Dovzhenko Film Studios Its history begins in 1920's when the All-Ukrainian Photo-Cinema-Directorate (VUFKU) announced concourse on a project proposition for the construction of a cinema-factory in 1925. Out of 20 of them was chosen the project of Valerian Rykov who led his architect group composed of students of the Architectural Department of Kiev Art Institute. With the construction of the O. Dovzhenko Film Studios beginning in 1927, it was at the time the largest in the Ukrainian SSR. Although the filming pavilions were still unfinished a year later, movie production had begun. Many memorial plates are located within the studios in memory of the many film producers which had once worked here. One film pavilion is named Shchorsovskyy, because Olexandr Dovzhenko shot his movie, Shchors, there. This area of the studios is currently used as a museum.



Dovzhenko, Oleksander ( 1894 -1956 ). Film director. After graduating from the Hlukhiv teachers' seminary in 1914, Dovzhenko worked as a teacher in Zhytomyr. During the struggle for independence (1917–20) he participated in the revolutionary events in Kyiv and in 1919–20 belonged to the Borotbists. In 1921–3 he worked in Warsaw and Berlin as a member of Ukrainian diplomatic missions. In 1923–6 he drew caricatures for the newspaper Visti VUTsVK in Kharkiv and played an active role in the literary and artistic life of the city. He had begun studying painting in Berlin and continued to paint in Kharkiv.

In 1926 Dovzhenko began to work as a film director at the Odesa Artistic Film Studio. His first films were Vasia—reformator (Vasia, the Reformer), Iahidka kokhannia (The Berry of Love, 1926), and Sumka dypkur'iera (The Diplomatic Courier's Bag, 1927). Drawing on Ukrainian history, in 1927 he created the film Zvenyhora, which is considered to mark the beginning of Ukrainian national cinematography. Dovzhenko's expressionist film Arsenal (1929) is devoted to the revolutionary events in Kyiv in 1918. His last silent movie, Zemlia (The Earth, 1930), dealing with the collectivization drive in Ukraine, is a masterpiece. Dovzhenko was severely criticized as a Ukrainian nationalist for this film and for his next film, Ivan (1932), about the building of the Dnieper Dam. He was forced to move to Moscow, where he lived as if in exile until his death. In Moscow he made Aerograd (1935) about the Far East and spent over four years on the film Shchors (1939), which depicts the struggle of the Bolshevik army against the Ukrainian forces defending Ukraine's statehood during the Ukrainian-Soviet War, 1917–21. During the Second World War Dovzhenko made three chronicle films: Vyzvolennia (The Liberation, 1940), on the annexation of Galicia to the Ukrainian SSR; Bytva za nashu Radians’ku Ukraïnu (The Battle for Our Soviet Ukraine, 1943); and Peremoha na Pravoberezhnii Ukraïni (The Victory in Right-Bank Ukraine, 1945). In 1948 he made his last film, Zhyttia v tsvitu (Life in Bloom), which was devoted to botanist Ivan Michurin. Dovzhenko's rich lyricism, his vivid characters, and the poetic power of his landscapes earned him a reputation as ‘first poet of the cinema’ and as one of the world's leading film directors. An international jury in 1958 ranked his Zemlia among the 12 best films in world cinematography.

From the beginning of the Second World War Dovzhenko devoted more of his time to writing than to directing. He wrote a few dozen short stories, mostly about Ukraine's tragic fate during the Second World War, and a number of novels of a new genre, ‘film novels’: Ukraïna v ohni (Ukraine in Flames, 1943), prohibited from publication by Joseph Stalin because of its nationalism and published posthumously only in excerpts (the full version appeared only in 1990 and 1995); Povist’ polum’ianykh lit (The Tale of Fiery Years, 1945); and Poema pro more (A Poem about the Sea, 1956). His autobiographical novel Zacharovana Desna (The Enchanted Desna, 1955) is a literary masterpiece. All of his novels were published posthumously.).

Constructivism. Artistic movement based on the principle of functionalism and favoring mostly simple geometric forms. In architecture constructivism emphasizes the structure itself and the building materials (reinforced concrete, metals, glass) and avoids decoration. In Ukraine constructivism was popular after 1920 and manifested itself in a series of factorylike buildings: the Building of State Industry and the Projects Building (1925–9, designed by S. Kravets and S. Serafimov), the Post Office (1927–9, by A. Mordvinov), and the Railwaymen's Club in Kharkiv; the Palace of Culture in Kadiivka; the Palace of Labor in Dnipropetrovsk, the Dnieper Hydroelectric Station, and so on. After the war a number of buildings in the constructivist style were built, mostly in Kyiv: the Dnipro Hotel (1960), the Sports Palace (1960), the Boryspil airport (1965); Tarasova Hora Hotel in Kaniv (1961), and a large number of palaces of culture throughout Ukraine.

In painting, constructivism uses abstract combinations of lines, objects, and colored planes. The first constructivist artists in Ukraine were Alexander Archipenko, Kazimir Malevich, A. Ekster, and Mykhailo Andriienko-Nechytailo. The influence of constructivism and cubism is evident in Ivan Kavaleridze's monuments to Fedor Artem (1923–4 in Artemivsk (Donetsk oblast) and 1927 in Sviatohorsk) and to Taras Shevchenko (1926 in Poltava). Constructivism was adopted most widely in stage design. In the 1920s and at the beginning of the 1930s it was the dominant style in the theaters of Ukraine. Its main exponent was Vadym Meller and his students—Dmytro Vlasiuk, Mylitsa Symashkevych, and others—at the maquette workshop of the Berezil theater. Other prominent stage designers who worked in this style were M. Matkovych, V. Miuller, and Yurii Pavlovych at the Odesa Ukrainian Music and Drama Theater; Borys Kosariev, at the Kharkiv Chervonozavodskyi Ukrainian Drama Theater; Heorhii Tsapok at the Kyiv Ukrainian Drama Theater; and Anatol Petrytsky, Oleksander Khvostenko-Khvostov, and Ivan Kurochka-Armashevsky at the Kyiv Theater of Opera and Ballet, the Kharkiv Theater of Opera and Ballet and the Odesa Opera and Ballet Theater. Constructivists took an architectural approach to graphic art and used various scripts. Vasyl H. Krychevsky, Pavlo Kovzhun, Vasyl Yermilov, H. Tsapok, Vladimir Tatlin, Leonid Khyzhynsky, and Olena Sakhnovska were among those known for their graphics.

In literature, elements of constructivism can be found in the poetry of the early Yevhen Malaniuk and Mykola Bazhan, Oleksa Vlyzko, Geo Shkurupii, and other authors of the Nova Generatsiia futurist group. Another literary group, organized by Valeriian Polishchuk, Avanhard (Avant-garde) (1926–9), proclaimed the ideas of constructivism, dynamism, ‘machinism’, and ‘spiralism’.

In music, constructivism was manifest in the works of Borys Liatoshynsky, Borys Yanovsky, Antin Rudnytsky, Mykhailo Verykivsky (in part), and others. In 1932 constructivism was declared in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic to be ‘nationalistic’ and harmful. Yet, because of its purely technical approach and skillful use of building materials, constructivism survived and developed in Soviet architecture, particularly after the cult of Joseph Stalin and the pseudoclassical style of architecture encouraged by him came under criticism.

A movement in the plastic arts that originated during and immediately after the First World War and had the greatest impact in Germany and Austria. The expressionists revolted against representational conventions and sought a new spontaneity and an intensity of inner vision. From this followed the intensely subjective expression, emotivity, exaggeration, and distortion that are typical of the movement. In Ukrainian art expressionism was quite moderate and was represented mainly by Oleksa Novakivsky, Anatol Petrytsky, Oleksa Hryshchenko, Mykola Butovych, Myroslav Radysh, and partly by Alexander Archipenko (in sculpture). Jurij Solovij, Liuboslav Hutsaliuk, and other modern painters in the West have been influenced by American (the so-called New York) expressionism.

In literature, as in painting, expressionism emphasized the inner significance of things and not their external forms. It paid more attention to the effect of imagery, language, and sound than to content, in order to evoke a state of mind. In Ukrainian literature, the reverberations of expressionism did not last long, although they left their mark on poetry, prose, and drama. In the 1920s, the poet Valeriian Polishchuk was influenced by German expressionists such as W. Hasenclever, K. Edschmid, and J. Becher. The most important representative of expressionism in Ukrainian literature was Mykola Khvylovy; his short stories were a combination of expressionism and neoromanticism. The poetic expressionism of Teodosii Osmachka (in his first collection, Krucha [Precipice 1922]) and Mykola Bazhan was fresh and original. In drama Mykola Kulish’s 97 and Narodnyi Malakhii (The People's Malakhii) and Ivan Dniprovsky's Liubov i dym (Love and Smoke) and Iablunevyi polon (Apple-Blossom Captivity) showed an affinity to expressionism. Dniprovsky's prose was also expressionistic (eg, Dolyna uhriv [The Valley of the Hungarians]). Elements of expressionism are also evident in the poetry and plays of Ivan Bahriany. At the beginning of the 1930s socialist realism was imposed by the Soviet authorities and thus expressionism declined and disappeared. The expressionists became victims of political persecution. M. Khvylovy committed suicide; others (V. Polishchuk and M. Kulish) perished in Stalin’s camps, fell silent, or followed the official Soviet cultural line (M. Bazhan).

Futurism. Art movement that originated in Italy in 1909. Its founder is considered to be F. Marinetti, whose main objective was to destroy old art forms, particularly realism and classicism, the dominant trends of the 19th century. Cubism still recognized a certain convention, while futurism rejected all accepted forms and gave individualism free reign. In painting this freedom led to fantastic forms and colors, and in literature, especially poetry, to abstruse language (zaumna mova) consisting of sound-words that often had no meaning. Futurism sought to transmit the ideas and spirit of the future technological and cosmopolitan society, which was opposed to the old conservative esthetic sensibility of the peasants and petite bourgeoisie. Hence, urban and industrial themes were typical of this movement. One of the key devices of the futurists was the ‘shocking of the bourgeois,’ that is, provoking him/her with various inventions and deformations. Futurism did not receive much sympathy in Ukraine before the First World War because of the dominance of the tradition-oriented peasant masses. Such works as Alexander Archipenko's Dance or Medrano I (1912) were produced in Paris and were known in Ukraine only from reproductions.

The first collection of Ukrainian futurist poetry—Mykhailo Semenko's Preliud (Prelude)—appeared in 1913. It was followed by Derzannia (Audacity) and Kverofuturyzm (Querofuturism). As an active proponent of futurism, Semenko founded several Ukrainian futurist organizations and journals: Fliamingo (1919–21), ASPANFUT (Association of Panfuturists, 1921–4), and, after moving to Kharkiv from Kyiv, the journal Nova generatsiia (1927–30). Because only Communist ideals were permitted, the journal became a militant advocate of ‘proletarian art.’ At first it called for the destruction of old forms and, when this was recognized to be of little use for the building of a new society, it propagated constructivism and suprematism. After Kazimir Malevich's expulsion from Moscow, Semenko published a series of Malevich's articles on suprematism in his journal. A number of talented poets belonged to the futurist group: Geo Shkurupii and Oleksa Vlyzko, who like Semenko were executed for ‘nationalism’ in the 1930s, Mykola Skuba, and the theoretician Oleksii Poltoratsky. The eminent poet Mykola Bazhan and the greatest poet of the Ukrainian revolutionary period, Pavlo Tychyna, were for some time influenced by futurism and utilized some of its ideas in their work. The poet Valeriian Polishchuk was closely associated with futurism, on the basis of which he tried to build his own movement of ‘dynamic spiralism.’ The futurists were never as prominent in the Ukrainian literature of their time as the symbolists or Neoclassicists, who never severed their ties with the past. Yet the futurists succeeded in reinvigorating poetry by introducing fresh themes and forms and above all by their experimentation. The group Nova Generatsiia propagated new Western European trends such as Dadaism and surrealism, although this practice conflicted with its journal's official crude sociological declarations. The journal ceased publication under pressure from the authorities.

Besides the organizations mentioned above, there were also local groups of futurists: Kom-Kosmos in Kharkiv (1921), Yugolif (including local Russian futurists) in Odesa, and SiM (Selo i Misto [Village and City]) in Moscow (1925), which embraced Ukrainian writers in the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic. All these groups rejected the classical legacy and advocated ‘the destruction of forms’ for the sake of ‘the Communist future.’ In the 1920s the futurists published the following periodicals: Universal’nyi zhurnal, Semafor u maibutnie, Katafalk iskusstva, and Golfshtrom.

The downfall of the Russian Empire after the First World War, the resulting abolition of imperial censorship, the establishment of an independent Ukrainian state (even if for a very short time), and the relative leniency of the Soviet regime in the 1920s all led to an astonishing renaissance of literary and cultural activity in Ukraine. Scores of new writers and poets appeared and formed dozens of literary groups that changed the face of Ukrainian literature. Perhaps the most charismatic cultural leader was Mykola Khvylovy, a prominent writer, publicist, and founder of the elitist literary organization Vaplite. Among Vaplite's members were a renowned playwright Mykola Kulish, a brilliant symbolist poet Pavlo Tychyna, an avant-garde poet and writer Maik Yohansen, and such writers and poets as Yurii Yanovsky, Arkadii Liubchenko, and Mykola Bazhan. However, the Ukrainian cultural renaissance of the 1920s was brutally quashed by Stalinist terror of the 1930s. As a symbolic act of defiance and concern for his nation in the face of the man-made famine and the growing campaign of political terror, Khvylovy committed suicide in May 1933. The majority of Vaplite members, including Kulish and Yohansen, were imprisoned and executed. Others, including Tychyna, were forced to capitulate to the Soviet regime and begin producing works in the socialist-realist style which glorified Joseph Stalin and the Party. Nonetheless, in a very brief time of relative creative freedom, these writers managed to create a remarkable and lasting literary legacy.

Vaplite (full name: Vilna akademiia proletarskoi literatury [Free Academy of Proletarian Literature]). A writers' organization which existed in Kharkiv from 1925 to 1928. While accepting the official requirements of the Communist party, Vaplite adopted an independent position on questions of literary policy and supported Mykola Khvylovy in the Literary Discussion of 1925–8. Vaplite proposed to create a new Ukrainian literature based on the writers in its ranks who strived to perfect their work by assimilating the finest masterpieces of Western European culture. Joseph Stalin interpreted that goal as a betrayal of the aims of the Party and accused Khvylovy and Vaplite of working under the slogan Away from Moscow. The association rejected decisively the policy of mass participation in masovism proletarian writers' organizations, which were supported by the Communist party. Khvylovy was the actual leader of Vaplite; its official president was first Mykhailo Yalovy (Yu. Shpol) and then Mykola Kulish, and its secretary was Arkadii Liubchenko. Its members were Mykola Bazhan, Vasyl Vrazhlyvy, Ivan Dniprovsky, Oles Dosvitnii, Hryhorii Epik, P. Ivanov, Maik Yohansen, Oleksander Kopylenko, Hordii Kotsiuba, Mykhailo Maisky, Petro Panch, Ivan Senchenko, Oleksa Slisarenko, Yurii Smolych, Pavlo Tychyna, and Yurii Yanovsky. The association published the almanac Vaplite (1926), devoted mostly to literary problems, and five issues of the journal Vaplite (1927). Vaplite's position on literary issues was supported by the Neoclassicists (Mykola Zerov in particular) and by other Ukrainian writers.

The ideas of Khvylovy and Vaplite came under vehement criticism not only from their literary rivals and key Soviet leaders of Ukraine (eg, Vlas Chubar, Volodymyr Zatonsky, Mykola Skrypnyk, Teodosii Taran, and Andrii Khvylia) but also from the Communist Party of Ukraine. Neither the admission of political ‘errors’ by Khvylovy and others in December 1926 nor the expulsion of Khvylovy, Mykhailo Yalovy, and Oles Dosvitnii from Vaplite in January 1927 could save the organization. Khvylovy's novel Val’dshnepy (The Woodcocks, first part pub in Vaplite, no. 5, 1927) came under particularly severe criticism. The sixth and last issue of Vaplite, containing the continuation of the novel, was confiscated at the printing office and Vaplite was forced to dissolve. Members of the association continued their literary work in association with the journal Literaturnyi iarmarok and in the organization Prolitfront.

Hvylovy, Mykola (1893 - 1933 ). Prominent Ukrainian writer and publicist of the Ukrainian cultural renaissance of the 1920s. Born Mykola Fitilev, he graduated in 1916 as an extension student from the Bohodukhiv Gymnasium. In 1919 he joined the Communist Party (Bolshevik) of Ukraine. In 1921 he moved to Kharkiv, where he worked as a millwright and also joined a body of writers grouped around Vasyl Blakytny and the newspaper Visti VUTsVK. In 1921, with Volodymyr Sosiura and Maik Yohansen, he signed the literary manifesto ‘Our Universal to the Ukrainian Workers and Ukrainian Proletarian Artists’ (published in the collection Zhovten’). In the same year his poem ‘V elektrychnyi vik’ (In the Electrical Age) and his poetry collection Molodist’ (Youth) were published.

After his second collection, Dosvitni symfoniï (Twilight Symphonies, 1922), appeared, he switched to writing prose. His first short story, ‘Zhyttia’(Life), was published in 1922. His first collections of short stories— Syni etiudy (Blue Etudes, 1923) and Osin’ (Autumn, 1924)—immediately won him the acclaim of various critics including Serhii Yefremov, Oleksander Biletsky, the party critic Volodymyr Koriak, and the émigrés Yevhen Malaniuk and Dmytro Dontsov.

The ornamental, impressionistic style of these and later lyrical-romantic stories—which exhibited the influence of expressionism (including its inherent naturalism)—became paradigmatic for most young Soviet Ukrainian writers then beginning their careers. Khvylovy experimented boldly in his prose, introducing into the narrative diaries, dialogues with the reader, speculations about the subsequent unfolding of the plot, philosophical musings about the nature of art, and other asides. In his brief period of creativity (less than five years) he masterfully depicted the revolution in Ukraine and the first hints of its degeneration, using a rich gallery of characters, most of them members of the intelligentsia. The characters' initial infatuation with the revolution ends in disillusionment, and their expected rebirth of Ukraine reifies into a new embodiment of the ‘snout of the indomitable boor’ in such stories as ‘Redaktor Kark’ (Editor Kark), ‘Na hlukhim shliakhu’ (On the Overgrown Path), and ‘Synii lystopad’ (Blue November). A later cycle of stories consists of merciless satires of insipid philistines and the transformation of former revolutionaries into bureaucrats and parasites. From 1924 on, Khvylovy's stories depict life much more psychodramatically and tragically, as in the novella ‘Ia’ (I) and ‘Povist' pro sanatoriinu zonu’ (Tale of the Sanatorium Zone).

At the same time Khvylovy played a key role in the life of literary organizations. One of the founders of the proletarian-writers' group Hart in 1923, he soon became dissatisfied with its toeing of the official line and left it with a small group of writers to form the group Urbino. Later he opposed both Hart and the peasant-writers' group Pluh for promoting mass participation in literary work instead of striving for artistic quality. He initiated and inspired with his ideas the group Vaplite—the Free Academy of Proletarian Literature. Formed in November 1925, it numbered among its members the most talented writers, most of them former Pluh or Hart members. During Vaplite's brief existence (1925–8), Khvylovy tried his hand at large prose works. Around 1925 he began working on the novel ‘Iraïda,’ of which only one excerpt was published under the title ‘Zav'iazka’ (The Beginning). It reveals a change in Khvylovy's style: instead of being lyrical-ornamental and fragmentary, his narrative becomes balanced and more realistic. This change is also discernible in the novel Val’dshnepy (Woodcocks), of which only the first part was published (in the periodical Vaplite, no. 5, 1927); the second part, although it had been printed, was confiscated at the press by the authorities and destroyed. Despite diverse assessments of the purely literary aspects of the novel, Khvylovy's followers saw Val’dshnepy as the culmination of his literary work, while others, like Yevhen Malaniuk, considered it an ‘obvious failure.’

Khvylovy was a superb pamphleteer and polemicist. His polemical pamphlets provoked the well-known Ukrainian literary discussion of 1925–8. In the first series of pamphlets, published in the supplement Kul’tura i pobut to Visti VUTsK in April–June 1925 and later that year separately as Kamo hriadeshy? (Whither Goest Thou?), he raised the decisive question ‘Europe or "enlightenment"?’ using the term ‘enlightenment’ to refer to Ukraine's provinciality and backwardness under Russian oppression. And his reply was, ‘For art it can only be Europe.’

In the second series, ‘Dumky proty techiï’ (Thoughts against the Current), which appeared in Kul’tura i pobut in November–December 1925 and separately in 1926, Khvylovy further developed his argument against the ‘cult of epigonism.’ By adopting a psycho-intellectual orientation on Europe, he argued, Ukrainians can enter onto their own path of development. To this they have a perfect right, ‘Insofar as the Ukrainian nation sought for several centuries its independence, we accept this as evidence of its unconquered desire to manifest and fully develop its national (not nationalist) being.’ Again he underlined the necessity of overcoming its cultural backwardness and the psychological dependence on Moscow, in the belief ‘that a nation can manifest itself culturally only if it finds its own, unique path of development.’

The third series of pamphlets, ‘Apolohety pysaryzmu’ (The Apologists of Scribbling), was published in Kul’tura i pobut in February–March 1926, but not separately. The idea of a completely independent development for Ukrainian literature, oriented ‘at least not on Russian [literature],’ was developed further, and the idea of Ukraine's right to sovereignty was formulated as follows: ‘Is Russia an independent state? Yes, it's independent! Well then, we too are independent.’ His last, and probably most radical, polemical work, ‘Ukraïna chy Malorosiia?’ (Ukraine or Little Russia?), was suppressed by the authorities; only a few quotations from it that appeared in the official critiques—Andrii Khvylia's Vid ukhylu v prirvu ... (From Deviation to the Precipice ...) and Yevhen Hirchak's Na dva fronta v bor’be s natsionalizmom (On Two Fronts in the Struggle with Nationalism)—are known.

Khvylovy's prose, particularly Val’dshnepy, which Khvylia described as antiparty, counterrevolutionary, and even fascist, and his polemical pamphlets make him the central figure in the above-mentioned literary discussion, which by its very nature turned into a political discussion of the direction Ukraine should take in its development. The national-communist opposition in the Communist Party (Bolshevik) of Ukraine, led by Oleksander Shumsky, the Neoclassicists (particularly Mykola Zerov), and the entire nationally conscious, progressive Ukrainian intelligensia more or less openly sided with Khvylovy. On the opposing side were not only Khvylovy's literary opponents, such as Serhii Pylypenko, Samiilo Shchupak, and Volodymyr Koriak, but also the party leaders Andrii Khvylia, Lazar Kaganovich, Vlas Chubar, Hryhorii Petrovsky, and other members of the Politburo of the CP(B)U. Moscow's chauvinistic proponents of a great (unitary ‘Russian’) state—V. Vaganian, Yu. Larin, and Joseph Stalin himself—threw their support behind Khvylovy's opponents. In a letter to Kaganovich, Stalin warned the CC CP(B)U against adopting Khvylovy's Western orientation and condemned it as ‘bourgeois nationalism.’

Thenceforth Khvylovy was subjected to unrelenting persecution and was forced to move gradually from an offensive to a defensive tactic. To save Vaplite from forced dissolution, in December 1926 he was compelled to admit his ‘errors,’ and in January 1927 he, Mykhailo Yalovy, and Oles Dosvitnii agreed to expulsion from Vaplite. From December 1927 to March 1928 Khvylovy lived in Berlin and Vienna, and according to some accounts in Paris. In January 1928, before returning to Ukraine, he sent an open letter from Vienna to the newspaper Komunist renouncing his slogan ‘Away from Moscow’ and recanting his views.

Yet he did not truly surrender: on his initiative an unaffiliated journal, Literaturnyi iarmarok, was established in 1928, and it continued Vaplite's orientation. In it Khvylovy's satirical stories ‘Ivan Ivanovych’ and ‘Revizor’ (The Inspector-general) appeared. In 1930 Literaturnyi iarmarok ceased publication, and Khvylovy inspired one last organization, the Union of Workshops of the Proletarian Literary Front, or Prolitfront, which published a journal Prolitfront. None of his stories, but only his polemical articles refuting the hostile criticism of Nova Generatsiia and the All-Ukrainian Association of Proletarian Writers (VUSPP), appeared in the journal. When Prolitfront was disbanded in 1931 and many of its members joined VUSPP, Khvylovy no longer had a journal in which he could express his ideas. His attempts at writing on party-approved themes, as in the stories ‘Maibutni shakhtari’ (The Future Miners), ‘Ostannii den’‘ (The Last Day), and ‘Shchaslyvyi sekretar’ (The Happy Secretary), were dismal failures. Thus, by the early 1930s Khvylovy's every opportunity to live, write, and fight for his ideas was blocked. Since he had no other way to protest against Pavel Postyshev's terror and famine that swept Ukraine in 1933 , he committed suicide. This act became symbolic of his concern for the fate of his nation.

Immediately after his death, Khvylovy's works and even his name were banned from the public domain. Even after the post-Stalin thaw, when many other writers were ‘rehabilitated’ and selected works of some were published, the ban on his works and ideas has been enforced.


Date: 2015-01-02; view: 781


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