BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    Mykola Khvyl’ovyi and the making of Soviet Ukrainian literature

    Palko, Olena (2020) Mykola Khvyl’ovyi and the making of Soviet Ukrainian literature. Connexe: Les espaces postcommunistes en question(s) 5 , pp. 29-52.

    Connexe 2020 Palko.pdf - Published Version of Record
    Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

    Download (484kB) | Preview


    The October Revolution brought about a radical shift in the cultural sphere. A new generation of artists and writers was formed. Their orientation towards the future and critical attitude to the past initiated a new chapter of revolutionary and proletarian culture. In Soviet Ukraine, this new artistic cohort in addition embraced national sentiments advancing a culture that was both Soviet and Ukrainian. This article examines the artistic and ideological development of Mykola Khvyl’ovyy (1893–1933), a writer and publicist who championed the ideological struggle for the autonomous project of a Soviet Ukrainian literature to be developed independently from Russian patterns. In this article, Khvyl’ovyy’s ideas as presented in his early prose and pamphlets, written during the so-called Literary Discussion of 1925–1928, are used to outline the writer’s vision of Soviet Ukrainian culture. These ideas are examined against the backdrop of the political developments of the decade characterised by the gradual toughening of the political and ideological climate Union-wide. It is argued that, during the 1920s, an autonomous cultural project in Soviet Ukraine was developed on a par with the centrally endorsed canon of all-Soviet culture implemented in every Soviet republic as a by-product of the korenizatsiya (indigenisation) campaign introduced in 1923. By the early 1930s, the all-Soviet canon gained prominence, whereas the project of an autonomous Soviet Ukrainian culture vanished together with its main representatives, who, in most cases, were physically annihilated. Khvyl’ovyy’s suicide in May 1933 symbolically drew a line under the 1920s decade of transition, with its relative ideological and political tolerance as well as its artistic experimentation.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Olena Palko
    Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2020 17:47
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:04


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item