Говоримо англійською - 40 розмовних тем - Л. П. Ільєнко 1997

Famous people of Ukraine

Ukraine has given the world many brilliant names in literature, culture, science, etc. Ukrainian culture is, famous for its rich and ancient traditions. The names of Taras Shevchenko, Ivan Franko, Lesya Ukrainka are known in the whole world.

Great contribution to the world historical science was made by such prominent Ukrainian historians as M. Hrushevsky, M. Drahomanov.

Taras Shevchenko

Taras Shevchenko was not only a famous poet, but also a great artist.

Owing to his brilliant talent, Shevchenko overcame all obstacles in making his way into the world of literature and art.

Taras Shevchenko was bom on March 9, 1814 in the village of Moryntsy, near Kyiv. Even as a boy, Shevchenko already showed that he was gifted іn drawing. When his master, Baron Engelgardt, took him to Petersburg Shevchenko made the acquaintance of the outstanding Russian artist Karl Bryullov, of the noted poet Zhukovsky. Bryullov painted Zhukovsky’s portrait which was raffled off for 2,500 roubles, and with this they bought Shevchenko’s freedom. This took place on April 22, 1838.

Shevchenko received not only his freedom, but the opportunity to study at the Petersburg Academy of Arts. He painted all his life wherever he went — in Petersburg, while travelling in his native Ukraine or when in exile. His album of etchings «Picturesque Ukraine» (1844) brought him fame. A year before he died, Shevchenko was awarded the title of Academician of Engraving by the Academy.

Answer the following questions:

1. When and where was T. Shevchenko bom?

2. How did T. Shevchenko receive his freedom?

3. What album brought Shevchenko fame?

M. Drahomanov

New words and word-combinations to be remembered:

society товариство

deal with займатися, мати справу з

issue проблема, питання

Mykhailo Drahomanov, bom on September 30, 1841, in Hadiach, Poltava gubernia, died on July 20, 1895, in Sophia, Bulgaria. Scholar, civil leader, publicist, political thinker. Bom into a gentry family of Cossack origin, Drahomanov studied at Kyiv University, where he became Docent, lecturing on Ancient History. While pursuing an academic career, Drahomanov rose to a position of leadership in the Ukrainian secret society the Kyiv Hromada and took part in its various activities.

Drahomanov became an early victim of anti-Ukrainian repressive measures by the Russian government and was dismissed in 1875 from the University.

In 1889 Drahomanov accepted a professorship at Sophia University.

Drahomanov began his scholarly work as an ancient historian. Later he worked in Slavic, especially Ukrainian, ethnography and folklore, using the historical-comparative methods. His principal works are «Historical Songs of the Little Russian People», with V. Antonovych, 1874—75; «Little Russian Folk Legends and Tales», 1876; «New Ukrainian Songs on Social Topics (1764— 1880)», 1881 and others.

Drahomanov was an outstanding Ukrainian political thinker. He dealt extensively with constitutional, ethnic, international, cultural and educational issues. He was also engaged in literary criticism.

Answer the following questions:

1. What was Drahomanov?

2. Where did he study and work?

3. What are Drahomanov’s principal works?

4. What issues did he deal with?

M. Hrushevsky

New words to be remembered:

distinguished видатний; визначний

chair кафедра

creation створення

to research досліджувати

Mykhailo Hrushevsky, bom on September 29, 1866, in Kholm, died on November 25, 1934, in Kyslovodsk, North Caucasus. The most distinguished Ukrainian historian, principal organizer of Ukrainian scholarship, prominent civil and political leader, publicist and writer, head of the Shevchenko Scientific Society and Academician of the USSR Academy of Sciences from 1929. Hrushevsky’s father was a Slavist and pedagogue. In 1869 the family moved to the Caucasus where Hmshevsky graduated from the classical gymnasium in Tiflis (1886). Hmshevsky graduated in 1890 from the Historical-Philological Faculty at Kyiv University where he was a student of V. Antonovych. He remained at Kyiv University to prepare his candidate’s thesis, published as «A Survey of the History of Kyiv Land from the Death of Yaroslav to the End of the 14th Century», 1891, and then received a master’s degree for the dissertation in 1894. In 1894, on the recommendation of V. Antonovych, Hmshevsky was appointed professor of the newly created Chair of Ukrainian History at Lviv University.

Upon arriving in Lviv Hmshevsky became the director of the Historical-Philosophical Section in 1894. Soon after arriving in Lviv he began to work towards the creation of a Ukrainian University there, beginning with the organization of popular lecture series and a summer school.

In 1898 the first volume of his monumental «History of Ukraine — Rus» was published in Lviv. By 1937 another nine volumes, covering Ukrainian history to 1658, had appeared in Lviv and Kyiv. This work was the first major synthesis of Ukrainian history ever written.

Hmshevsky was one of the founders of the National Democratic Party of Halychyna.

In 1917 he was elected the Chairman of the Central Rada.

Under his direction, this body soon became the revolutionary parliament of Ukraine. Hmshevsky supported newly formed Ukrainian Party of Socialist Revolutionaries, the majority party in the Central Rada, On April 29, 1918, he was elected the President of the Ukrainian People’s Republic.

A coup d’etat led by P. Skoropadsky overthrew the government of the Ukrainian People’s Republic. This ended Hrushevsky’s involvement in government, although he continued his political activity and public work.

Hmshevsky soon resumed his work as the central figure in Ukrainian scholarship. He organized a series of academic commissions to research Ukrainian history and folklore, and directed the training of new' historians as the holder of the Chair of Modem Ukrainian History. He revived and edited «Ukraina» (1924—30), which became the main organ of Ukrainian studies. The difficult conditions of life in semi-freedom and the persecutions led to a deterioration of Hmshevsky’s health. He died in Kyslovodsk, where he had gone for medical treatment and was buried in Kyiv in the Baikov’s cemetery.

Answer the following questions:

1. What was the title of Hmshevsky’s monumental work, the first volume of which was published in Lviv in 1898?

2. When was Hmshevsky elected as a President of the Ukrainian People’s Republic?

Mykola Khvylyovy

Many called him a romantic of the Revolution. This is how he is commented in 1926 Anthology: «A revolutionary from head to heel, Khvylyovy is firmly linked with the finest traditions of the Ukrainian fiction. One must say that Khvylyovy’s pursuit began at the point where Kotsyubinsky’s had come to an end».

Mykola Khvylyovy was bom on December 13, 1893 in the village of Trostyanets’, Kharkiv Province (now a district seat in Sumy Region) into the family of a school teacher. His formal education did not go beyond primary school, and his gymnasium diploma was obtained by passing the final examinations without having actually attended classes. But this was only a step to his subsequent systematic self-education. Several years spent in the trenches of World War I played a significant role in molding his outlook. He published his first poem soon after the war, when he was a factory worker in Kharkiv. They were followed by the poem «The Electrical Age» and collections of verses «Youth» (1921) and «Symphonies of Dawn» (1922). These were works that revealed him as genuine and original master, charting new ways for the development of the Ukrainian literature, enriching it with new imagery, styles and genres.

The author was accused of being an admirer of Dostoyevsky and an imitator of de Moupassant and, consequently, of making a fetish of the bourgeois culture.

Such ideological charges brought against Khvylyovy caused him to fight and defend his views. He saw that polemics was senseless, that the new Ukrainian literature was threatened by the reactionary ideological forces. He renounced his slogans again and again but they were swept by new waves of ideological charges. Finally he decided to commit suicide hoping it would defend a new Ukrainian literature.

His works were forbidden, his name was crossed out from the history of the Ukrainian literature.

Only recently this «rebellious Communard», who created finest poems, sketches, novelle and stories has come back to us. He undoubtedly merits the attention of the modem readers.

Lina Kostenko

Being asked about her life story Lina Kostenko, a world-wide known Ukrainian poetess, says that the biography of a poet is reflected in poet’s poems, which are both works of art and all the possible explanations about poet’s life and understanding of the era he lives in. In one of her verses she has this massage: «Your suffering is your personal affair, your art is a holiday for all».

Her life story is not exactly happy, which also has its logic. It is the logic of the rebellious spirit of a poetess who persistently abided by the standards and principles of literary ethics when it came to such things as conscience, honour and truth. This explains her almost fifteen-year silence during the period of our social stagnation. It was a sad episode in the history of Ukrainian literature, when one of its unusually vivid personalities seemed to have completely disappeared from the horizon of culture. Within this time there grew up an entire generation of people who did not know Lina Kostenko’s poetry, as they built up their own «table of ranks» in national fiction without her.

Then followed Lina Kostenko’s come-back when she had already become a world-wide known poetess. She published her book of verses «On the Banks of the Eternal River», which is extraordinarly penetrating in its force of feeling and concentration of thought. It literally breathed sincerity in everything — feelings, thoughts and words. Such works are important for literature not only because they become its heights of achievements, but also because they restore the creative impulse and moral wholesomeness in fiction.

This collection was followed by a historic novel in verse, «Marusva Churai», which without any exaggeration can be called an encyclopedia of Ukraine’s cultural life in the 17th century, and by the books of verses «Inimitableness» and «The Garden of Unmelting Sculptures». Lina Kostenko has become the most popular of the modem poets, though there are very many of talented poets in Ukraine now.

Our literature is simply inconceivable without her personality, her word, and civic stand. Poets such as she affects both the poetry, and the prose, and literary criticism of her day, «rearing» then creatively and socially.

Stanislav Lyudkevich

Stanislav Lyudkevich is an outstanding Ukrainian composer, educationalist, researcher and public figure. His heritage is very. rich. It includes operas, symphonies, choirs, cantatas, instrumental pieces and interpretations of folk songs.

The personality of Lyudkevich is connected with several historical epochs.

The choir «Forward», which was a kind of hymn of progressively- minded students in Halychyna, produced a deep impression on young Lyudkevich when he heard that choir written by M. Lysenko, for the first time. Under the impact of the energetic pathos of this and, later, other pieces of M. Lysenko, the young composer began to create his first compositions. Once he was bold enough to send them in Kyiv to Lysenko personally. And — what a luck — he shortly after received the maitre’s approval and artistic blessing. Their correspondence started. Lysenko’s advice concerning national identity of music, the methods of interpreting folk songs and professional composition technique, inspired young Lyudkevich greatly and he saw great prospects in life.

Lysenko’s lofty traditions acquired a new life in creative and public activity of composer Lyudkevich. Multiplied by his talent, they found their new expression in Lyudkevich’s most prominent pieces: cantatas

«The Caucasus», «My Testament», his best choirs and lyrical romances and interpretations of folk songs.

He was a man of strong will, unshakable ideals and rare purposefulness. His desire to serve his people was his credo.

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