On Andrii Malyshko’s “Second Birth”


  • Volodymyr Morenets




poetry, ideology, folklore, Ukraine, Andrii Malyshko


The cultural policy of the USSR provided for the deliberate displacement of Ukrainian (like every other national language) to the naive provincial periphery of the “great art” of the mighty Soviet Union, supposedly possible solely in the sphere of the Russian language. The renewed Soviet ideologization of literature in the postwar years led to a sharp decline in the artistic level of all literary fields. But even against the background of this general artistic decline, the caricaturised burlesque and travesty-like artificiality of Andrii Malyshko’s (1912–1970) poetry of the time is impressive. Malyshko’s so-called “second birth” in his late period represents a rare in its purity instance, where we can observe an ontological conflict of language and ideology that a Ukrainian artist of the Soviet period resolves in favor of language. Malyshko created not provincial peripheral streams, but a strong artistic and philosophical alternative to the blind, technocratic, and miserable in its Russified nature, imperial reality.