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Between Reason and Irrationality

Between Reason and Irrationality

Maxim Tarnawsky
Copyright Date: 1994
Pages: 222
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  • Book Info
    Between Reason and Irrationality
    Book Description:

    A study of the works of one of the Ukraine's foremost literary figures in the twentieth century.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7133-1
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[vi])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [vii]-2)
  3. INTRODUCTION Valerijan Pidmohyl'nyj: Writing and Reality
    (pp. 3-20)

    A critical study of the works of Valerijan Pidmohyl'nyj, one of Ukraine’s foremost literary figures, is long overdue. Although there is a sizeable body of writing about him and about his works, nowhere is his opus examined in a methodical and comprehensive manner. This study aims to fill that gap. In particular, it examines Pidmohyl'nyj’s writings in chronological sequence, illuminating the development of theme, structure, and style. Pidmohyl'nyj’s works trace a harmonious pattern of gradual development in each of these areas. Both intellectually and aesthetically, they give evidence of a writer who is learning, developing, adapting to new ideas, and...

  4. CHAPTER ONE The Early Stories: Shaping a Theme
    (pp. 21-44)

    Like the images in a sixty-second movie preview, Pidmohyl'nyj’s early stories, published in 1920 in the immodestly titled collectionTvory: Tom 1(Works: Volume 1), reflect and anticipate the themes and techniques that characterize all his later literary works. And, also like the images in the preview, those represented by Pidmohyl'nyj’s early stories are incomplete, occasionally inaccurate, and partially misleading in their anticipation of the later works. Many of the themes, motifs, and techniques that appear in the early stories undergo a transformation before they reappear in the later works.

    A notable characteristic of Pidmohyl'nyj’s works, taken as a whole,...

  5. CHAPTER TWO Ostap Šaptala: The Structure of Prose
    (pp. 45-68)

    Ostap Šaptalais Pidmohyl'nyj’s first attempt to write a long prose work. The resultingpovist’,or novella,¹ shows the author striving to overcome the psychological and aesthetic limitations of his earlier stories, to expand the technical limits of his works, and to balance their intellectual and artistic parameters. In other words, Pidmohyl'nyj is following a path familiar to many novelists, who often learn their craft by writing short stories, and then gradually advance to the longer forms. But inOstap Šaptala,Pidmohyl'nyj takes a bridge too far from the front lines. In the years following the publication of the novella,...

  6. CHAPTER THREE The Later Stories: Elements of Style
    (pp. 69-104)

    Literary style, whether conceived in terms of a period of literary history or as the idiosyncrasies of an individual writer, is a notoriously unstable notion. It is also a very problematical one. The famous disputes between literary historians of a previous generation¹ have demonstrated that periodization of the history of literature on the basis of a common style – as in Dmytro Čyževs'kyj’sA History of Ukrainian Literature² – is invariably subjective and arbitrary. Similarly, definitions based on the assumption that style is a quality of the language of a text and that this quality is objectively identifiable and measurable...

  7. CHAPTER FOUR Misto: The European Connection
    (pp. 105-144)

    Pidmohyl'nyj’sMistois arguably the finest novel in Ukrainian literature. It is an interesting, readable story about familiar characters in an ordinary, contemporary setting, yet it is also a profound intellectual and psychological study that deals with issues at the forefront of contemporary philosophy. The novel was popular in its own time; it went into a second printing; many newspapers and magazines published reviews of it, as well as book and essays about the author; and it was discussed at official and unofficial meetings.¹ Today, outside Ukraine, where the novel has been available in the 1955 edition, prepared by Hryhorij...

  8. CHAPTER FIVE Nevelyčka drama: Philosophical Roots
    (pp. 145-170)

    Although Pidmohyl'nyj neither abandoned nor forgot the lessons he learned from Maupassant, inNevelyčka dramahis development as a writer took him beyond the influences that had nourished his talent earlier. New directions in style, construction, and theme characterize Pidmohyl'nyj’s second novel.

    Nevelyčka dramadoes, of course, have stylistic links withMistoand earlier works, but they are balanced by new and different techniques. For example, although the objective method has not disappeared, it has been modified. The novel is set in Kiev, and the city is still just as real as it was inMisto.As in the latter,...

  9. CHAPTER SIX The Last Works: A Final Synthesis
    (pp. 171-188)

    Although Pidmohyl'nyj’s last two known works, ‘Z žyttja budynku No. 29,’ andPovist' bez nazvy,are unusual in a number of ways, they also confirm Pidmohyl'nyj’s development as a writer along the path set by his earlier works. Prominent among the new features is, first, the matter of genre. Pidmohyl'nyj’s two previous works were novels. With the exception of journalism and translations (but even there, he was translating novels), he had abandoned short prose after 1925. It seems, however, that he was now ready to return to the short story and the novella, the latter a genre he had tried...

  10. Notes
    (pp. 189-200)
  11. Bibliography: Works by and about Valerijan Pidmohyl'nyj
    (pp. 201-216)
  12. Index
    (pp. 217-222)