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What Is Little Russian Literature?

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  • UserAssoc. Prof. Robert Romanchuk, Dept. of Modern Languages and Linguistics, Florida State University; Research Fellow, Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute
  • ClockTuesday 30 October 2018, 17:00-18:30
  • HouseLatimer Room, Clare College.

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A public lecture exploring the chimerical, creolised writing of the 1830s produced in and about Ukraine.

The appearance of Nikolai Gogol’s Evenings on a Farm near Dikan’ka compelled critics at the start of the 1830s to recognize the existence of the chimerical, creolized writing that they provisionally named “Little Russian literature.” Produced in and about Ukraine, this literature was thought to be distinct from its imperial counterpart, being national (narodnyi) in a way that Russian literature was held not to be; the critics even supposed that it could teach “being national” (narodnost’) to Russian literature. “Little Russian literature” would soon be forgotten (or repressed) by the nationally-oriented criticism of the 1840s, its writers distributed between the “new” Russian and Ukrainian literatures; and yet, in its last bit of legerdemain, it would (re-)form these literatures on the very basis of its own forgetting.

This talk is part of the Slavonic Studies series.

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