Normalising a Ukrainian intellectual identity in the nineteenth century: The role of Marko Vovchok (1833-1907)

Marko John Pavlyshyn

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A question that confronted educated Ukrainians, predominantly landowners descended from Cossack notables, in the Russian Empire in the first half of the nineteenth century was whether they should foster an identity distinct from an all-imperial one. A sense of historical distinctiveness, the value placed by the late Enlightenment and the Romantic Movement upon the culture of ordinary people and the wealth of Ukrainian folk culture persuaded many of the need to generate a high culture employing the Ukrainian language. Yet, prior to the Ukrainian-language prose of Marko Vovchok (Maria Markovych), an element essential for the development of a multifunctional modern culture, and of an identity able to be shared by a modern Ukrainian intelligentsia, was lacking: a stylistically transparent prose able to function not only in a poetically charged way, but as a neutral medium for communicating content. The paper identifies the features of Marko Vovchok?s writing that made this innovation possible.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61 - 70
Number of pages10
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of European Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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