Title On the Frontier of Realities. The Case of Yaroslav Melnik
Author(s) Yuri Y. Barabash.
Information about the author(s) Yuri Y. Barabash, DSc in Philology, Senior Researcher, А.M.Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia. E-mail: barabash.yuri@gmail.com
Received July 09, 2016
Published September 25, 2016
Issue Vol. 1, no 1–2
Department World Literature
Pages 219-238
DOI DOI:10.22455/ 2500-4247-2016-1-1-2-219-238
UDK 821.161.2
BBK 83.3 (4Укр)1-8 Мельник Я.
Abstract The essay analyzes a specific 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 five 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 specific 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 fiction 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.
Keywords еmigration, Ukrainian language, identity, national, universal, polylog.
Works cited 1 BBC Ukrai’na [BBC Ukraine]. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/ukrainian/ entertainment/2012/11/121126_book_2012_interview_melnyk_dt.shtml (Accessed 15 April 2016). 2 Mel’nyk Ja. Telefonuj meni, govory zi mnoju. Opovidannja, povisti, roman [Call me, talk to me. Stories, novellas, a novel]. Kyi’v, Tempora Publ., 2012. 224 s. 3 Mel’nyk Ja. U sytuacii’ absurdu zhaga svobody je vybuhovoju [In absurd situation, the desire for freedom is explosive]. Den’ [Day]. 3 serpnja 2012 r. 4 Chytomo — kul’turno-vydavnychyj proekt [Chytomo — a cultural and publishing projec]. Available at: http://www.chytomo.com/interview/yaroslav-melnik-ti-zajshov-ulis-i-znik-dlya-svitu-a-dlya-sebe-ti-zyavivsya (Accessed 15 April 2016).
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