The Artist’s Longing and Belonging: Cultural Sensitivity in Yurii Kosach’s Narratives

Olga Poliukhovych

Abstract


As an émigré writer living outside of Ukraine, Yurii Kosach constructed an “imaginary homeland” through his treatment of history, culture, and memory in his literary works. This article analyzes these categories in Kosach’s meta-narratives of the artist in exile, by focusing on the texts “Zaproshennia na Tsyteru” (An Invitation to Cythera, 1945), Skorbna symfoniia (The Sorrowful Symphony, undated), and Senior Nikolo (Signore Nikolo, 1954). Kosach’s characters are placed between exile and homeland, nation and empire, and self and other. All these notions are included in a discourse that is inclusive rather than oppositional. Following a strategy used by Lesia Ukrainka, Yurii Kosach also tests the artist’s ability to create in lands beyond one’s homeland and in conditions of cultural oppression. Each story plot of the analyzed narratives is constructed in terms of the cultural and national aspects of the artist’s identity.

Keywords


Ukraine; exile; émigré literature; memory; past; Yurii Kosach

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18523/kmhj73946.2016-3.143-159

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