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A.M. Gorky Institute
of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

IWL RAS Publishing

A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences


Povarskaya 25a, 121069 Moscow, Russia



Types of publications

  • Classification – name: Literary studies
  • Author: Yuri Ya. Barabash
  • Pages: 250–300
  • Publisher: A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IWL RAS Publ.)
  • Rights – description: Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 (СС BY-ND)
  • Rights – URL: Visit Website
  • Language of the publication: Russian
  • Type of document: Research Article
  • Collection: Literary Abroad. Persons. Books. Problems. Issue IX
  • DOI:
  • EDN:

  • Year of publication: 2023
  • Place of publication: Moscow
  • PDF

  • Barabash, Yu.Ya. “Enfant Terrible of Ukrainian Emigration (Igor Kostecki. On the Way to the National Model of Modernism).” Literaturnoe zarubezh’e. Litsa. Knigi. Problemy [Literary Abroad. Persons. Books. Problems]. Issue IX, ex. ed. Yuri Ya. Barabash. Moscow, IWL RAS Publ., 2023, pp. 250–300. (In Russian) 1 Electronic Optical Disc. Text: Electronic.

Information about the author:

Yuri Ya. Barabash, DSc in Philology, Professor, Honorary Doctor of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Director of Research, А.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia.


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The article is devoted to the fate and work of the Ukrainian émigré writer, prose writer, playwright, literary and theater historian, essayist, publisher, translator Igor Kostetsky. Kostecki’s writings (stories, story “Saint’s Day,” plays) are considered: (a) in the hermeneutic, comparative, historical and literary aspects and (b) in the all-Ukrainian and European literary contexts. Thus, a hermeneutic analysis of three plays written in 1945–1947 reveals both structural and semantic differences between them and features of typological similarity. In the play “The Temptation of the Unholy Anton,” the absurd beginning is noted as a meaningforming factor, which gives grounds for comparing the play with the European “drama of the absurd” (A. Adamov, S. Beckett, E. Ionesco). In the plays “The Twins Will Meet Again” and “Action about a Great Man” other tendencies dominate (in the presence of a number of absurdist features): sociopsychological (the theme of duality, mythological archetypes), ideological and moral (discussions about the “legality” of terror for the sake of a lofty goal), philosophical-religious (irrational nature of the Power, its mysterial component, zombified mass consciousness). The typological similarity of the analyzed works is based on the paradigm of modernism common to them, the totality of principles and forms of modernist poetics — the violation of cause-and-effect relationships, temporal and spatial shifts, the method of transforming archetypal images and sacred prefigurations, elements of medieval and baroque stylizations, intertextuality, etc. These features are clearly manifested in a comparative approach to the plays of Kostecki and thematically comparable samples (G. Flaubert’s interpretation of the legend of St. Anthony, the theme of duality in Gogol and Shevchenko, Dostoevsky and Andrei Bely, the mystical beginning in G. Lorca and T.S. Eliot). In historical, literary and theoretical terms, the plays, as well as the main prose works, by I. Kostetsky, his creative heritage as a whole, represent a link between Ukrainian modernism of the 20s. (“The Executed Renaissance”) and modernist, as well as postmodernist trends in modern Ukrainian literature, mark a significant stage on the way to the formation of a national model of modernism.

  • Keywords: Modernism, Poetics, Hermeneutic, Comparative, “Drama of the Absurd,” Model, Duality, Mystery.


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