Vpered, Ukraïno! = Forward, Ukraine!

This brief blog post looks at a publication produced in France which we hold in the Library in the Peter Yakimiuk collection.

Vpered, Ukraïno! (note the vocative form of the country name) was published in Paris by the group Ukrainian National Unity in France, in their Library of Self-Enlightenment, and describes itself in its sub-title as a narodnyĭ deklamator, a folk reciter.

The book contains Ukrainian poems by Taras Shevchenko, Ivan Franko, Oleksander Olesʹ, and many more.  Lesi︠a︡ Ukraïnka (1873-1913) has the greatest number of poems in the compilations.  Brief biographical notes of the authors follow the body of poems, and looking at these more closely today, I see that the approximate date of publication given to the book (1945) must be wrong – the writer Leonid Mosenda’s entry refers to his death in 1948 – so I will update it it in the catalogue now.

The book has come up in connection with preparations for a small exhibition we hope to curate in the autumn with the local Cambridge refugee community – more details when we know them! – which will celebrate Ukrainian culture and history.  The cover is fairly eye-catching, but it’s the encouragement of the title that understandably attracts us in 2022 as Ukraine fights on.  Vpered, Ukraïno!

Mel Bach

Ukrainian literature in translation

Following on from my recent post about new English-language acquisitions relating to modern Ukrainian history, I wanted to highlight a small sample of our holdings of modern Ukrainian literature in translation. (Click on the titles below to be taken to the record in iDiscover.)

One author whose works have gradually made their way into English translation is Oksana Zabuzhko, who has won a number of awards, including the Shevchenko National Prize. Her output spans novels, short stories, poetry, and non-fiction; we have recently acquired both her short story collection Your Ad Could Go Here and her Selected Poems, both of which appeared in English for the first time in 2020, and both of which are the work of multiple translators.

The stories in Your Ad Could Go Here deal with the Euromaidan protests and the war with Russia since 2014. Other literary responses to the conflict include Lyuba Yakimchuk’s book of poetry, Apricots of Donbas; Volodymyr Rafeyenko’s novel Mondegreen : Songs About Death and Love; and Oleg Sentsov’s short story collection, Life Went on Anyway. Each author has been personally affected by the war: Lyuba Yakimchuk’s parents and sister were forced to flee their home in the Luhansk region when it was occupied by Russian-backed militants; Volodymyr Rafeyenko moved from his native Donetsk to near Kyiv at the outbreak of war; and Oleg Sentsov was arrested on terrorism charges in Crimea in 2014 and sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment (he was released in a prisoner swap in 2019). Continue reading

Newly catalogued Ukrainian books : the May 2022 Slavonic items of the month

In my previous post, I made reference to the quite amazing news that we are expecting new book arrivals from Ukraine in the near future.  This brief post draws the attention of our Ukrainian-reading followers to some of the last books we had received from our supplier.

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Ukrainian literature for teaching in 1901

This week’s Ukraine post looks at a new addition to our catalogue but not a new addition to Cambridge.  Vybir z ukraïnʹsko-ruskoï lïteratury dli︠a︡ uchytelʹskykh semynaryĭ had until a few days ago been held in the Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics Faculty Library’s Reserve Room, in a collection of rare books put together over decades.  This was one of the books there that lacked a record, and we agreed with our MMLL colleagues that we would bring it over to the UL for cataloguing before sending it off to the Library Storage Facility. Continue reading

Serhiy Zhadan : a voice from Ukraine

Cover of ‘What we live for, what we die for’

This week, in their statement about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Committee for Literary Studies of the Polish Academy Sciences proposed the Ukrainian poet and novelist Serhiy Zhadan for the Nobel Prize for Literature.  Zhadan, a major literary figure, has remained in Kharkiv since Putin’s forces first invaded the country and his daily tweets (in Ukrainian) provide an important account of life under attack.

Cambridge libraries hold a great deal of Zhadan’s work.  This link will bring up all titles by him in the catalogue.  Note that while I use his preferred romanised form in this post (Serhiy), the romanised form in records for Ukrainian originals has him as Serhiĭ per Library of Congress transliteration.  The major of Cambridge’s holdings are of course in Ukrainian, but we do have some English translations too, including online access for Cambridge staff and students to his What we live for, what we die for : selected poems, Depeche Mode, Voroshilovgrad, and The Orphanage.  This last has been bought just today, so the link goes straight to the ebook rather than to the iDiscover record. Continue reading