ON THE FRONTIER OF REALITIES The Case of Yaroslav Melnik

ON THE FRONTIER OF REALITIES The Case of Yaroslav Melnik


  • Journal title: Studia Litterarum
  • ISSN: 2500-4247 (print) 2541-8564 (online)
  • Publisher: A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences
  • Country of publisher: russian federation
  • Date added to EuroPub: 2018/May/06

Subject and more

  • LCC Subject Category: Languages and Literature, Literature
  • Publisher's keywords: еmigration, Ukrainian language, identity, national, universal, polylog
  • Language of fulltext: russian, French, english
  • Full-text formats available: PDF
  • Time From Submission to Publication: 5


    Yuri Y. Barabash


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The essay analyzes a specifc case of Ukrainian writer Yaroslav Melnik whose literary career is often related to the so called new literary immigration. Melnik has lived for the last twenty fve years outside of Ukraine, has published (and sometimes written) his books in different European languages and in different European countries and has yet preserved his mother tongue as the main language of his work. The essay discusses a novel, novellas, short stories, and parables written in Ukrainian with the help of which Melnik has reentered in Ukrainian literary space after a long lapse. These works characterized by existential problems, poetics of myth, parabola, and absurd, akin to European modernism (Kafka, Kamu, Hesse, and Shultz) and 20th Century Ukrainian literary modernism, determine a specifc place of the author in modern Ukrainian literature. The essay scrutinizes such seminal themes for Melnik as anti-totalitarian and anti-global thrust, alienated person dispersed in the “multitude” and blindly submissive to external power and such constant metaphorical images-concepts of his fction as “forest man,” “selfhood,” “other reality,” “close space — distant space.” Rejecting narrow interpretations of national tradition, Melnik insists, not without polemical bias, on the priority of universal human values. As the essay demonstrates, there is no contradiction between the national and the universal in Melnik’s work; instead, he seeks their synthesis. The organic inclusion of universal human values in the national literary element and vice versa the inclusion of national Ukrainian properties in the global, universal, all-human context, are seen as two sides of the same process.

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