From the Bible to Shakespeare: Pantelejmon Kuliš (1819–97) and the Formation of Literary Ukrainian

From the Bible to Shakespeare: Pantelejmon Kuliš (1819–97) and the Formation of Literary Ukrainian

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Andrii Danylenko

Series: Ukrainian Studies
ISBN: 9781618114709 (hardcover)
Pages: 472 pp.
Publication Date: September 2016

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This is the first English-language study of the translations of the Bible and Shakespeare into vernacular Ukrainian by Pantelejmon Kuliš (1819–97), a true Ukrainian maverick in the national revival of his country and a precursor of the modern understanding of Ukrainian literature. In this study, Kuliš’s translations are discussed in tandem with the time and people engaged in their assessment. As a result, the Ukrainian Bible and Shakespeare prove crucial to tracing the contours of a full and complete picture of the development of literary Ukrainian in the two historical parts of Ukraine—Galicia and Dnieper Ukraine—from the mid-nineteenth century onward.


Andrii Danylenko is Professor at Pace University in New York. He is the editor and author of several books on Slavic linguistics and philology as well as dozens of studies on a wide array of topics ranging from Indo-European to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth to standard Ukrainian.


Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Abbreviations

Introduction: Writing a Linguistic Biography of a Ukrainian Maverick

Part I: The Bible

Chapter 1: Exploring Psalmody
   The Book of Psalms
   Alexandrine Verse or Trochaic Foot?
   Invoking Gavrila Deržavin
   Church Slavonicisms
   “Kulišisms”
   Xarkiv Chimes In
   The 1897 Poetic Crowning

Chapter 2: The Makings of the Rusian Bible
   A Pentateuch Prolusion
   Gearing Up for New Challenges
   “Poison and Ruin for the Rusian People”
   “The Labor Pangs of a Unified Ukrainian Literary Language”
   Reception of the Translation
   The Sloboda Bulwark
   The Archangel Havrylo
   Who Else Bears a Grudge?
   The Creation of the New Biblical Style
   Means of Archaization
   Means of Vernacularization

Chapter 3: Galicia “Writes Back”
   The West or the East?
   Fostering “Rusian Church Vernacular”
   Any Palliative Solution?
   Lost in Diacritics
   To “Secularize” or “Synthesize”?

Chapter 4: Here Comes the Bible!
   The Holy Writ Doesn’t Burn
   Tobit and Job
   At the Crossroads of Poetry and Prose
   Ivan Nečuj-Levyc´kyj Takes It Personally
   The Pranks of Ivan Franko
   Ivan Puljuj Makes His Riposte
   How Should It Sound?
   How to String Words?
   How to Choose Words?
   How to Spell Words?
   Ivan Nečuj-Levyc´kyj Is Shuffled Backstage
   Interpreting Hebrew Poetry
   The Book of Job
   Lamentations
   The Song of Songs
   The Versified Bible

Summary

Part II: Shakespeare

Chapter 5: “Oh, Shakespeare, Our Father, Native to All Peoples”
   Ethics Avant la Lettre!
   Bringing Forth the “Ukrainian Shakespeare”
   The First (Over)Reaction
   The Language of the “Ukrainian Shakespeare”
   On the Threshold of a New Secular High Style

Chapter 6: Expanding the Literary Canon of the “Ukrainian Shakespeare”
   The First Step Is the Hardest?
   “Huculia Did Not Appear; Rather Shakespeare Was Merely Hidden”
   Hamlet or Hamljet? That Is the Question
   Hamlet in Peasant Leather Shoes
   The Younger Generation Steps to the Fore
   “We Are All Peasants Today”
   One or Multiple Homesteads?

Conclusion: Detours Offered But Never Taken

Bibliography
Indices
   Geographical and Personal Names
   Subjects and Titles of Literary Works and Translations
   Word-forms

Reviews

There is no figure more important for the development and standardization of literary Ukrainian in the nineteenth century than Pantelejmon Kuliš. As an author, as a scholar, and as an activist, he worked tirelessly for the rejuvenation of Ukrainian culture and particularly its language. Among his most important contributions were his translations of the Bible and of Shakespeare’s plays. With painstaking diligence, exhaustive research, and uncompromising analysis, Andrii Danylenko examines the language of these translations at great depth and compares them to the efforts of other translators in similar genres. The result is a masterful study of Kuliš’s language and a major contribution to the history of the Ukrainian language.
— Maxim Tarnawsky University of Toronto
The monograph, about the language of Pantelejmon Kuliš’s seminal Bible and Shakespeare translations from the 1860s until his death in 1897, is a major contribution to our understanding of the formation of modern literary and standard Ukrainian and a long-due appraisal of Kuliš’s contribution. It is based on an impressive wealth of unpublished sources and an extensive range of secondary literature. The principal merit lies in numerous detailed analyses of Kuliš’s and his contemporaries’ language and the assessment of the forms and words found with respect to their provenance. This is a notoriously difficult undertaking, which very few scholars in Ukrainian philology are able to carry out with the same care, expertise and balanced approach.
— Jan Fellerer, University of Oxford