The May–June, 2018 issue of Krytyka opens with an article “On the Idealism of Political Realism” by Oleksandr Potiekhin, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor at the Anton Makarenko State Pedagogical University in Sumy, Senior Research Fellow at the Theory and Methodology Department of the World History Institute of the National Academy of Science of Ukraine who specializes in the history, theory, and practice of foreign affairs, international security and foreign policy of Ukraine. In his article he examines the concept of political realism which basically is a carry over from the Cold War period. Potiekhin argues that political realism proved its own non-viability since it was not able to predict the peaceful collapse of the USSR and to describe the attendant epoch-making changes in international relations. He explains the conceptual foundations of this concept, which, unfortunately, is still respected among experts on international relations.
There is almost a year left until the new elections of the Ukrainian President and the country has been in a political pre-crisis since September 2015, i.e., since after the August 31 bomb explosion near the Verkhovna Rada which replaced the pistol shot that started WWI. So argues in his “The Political Weather Report in Kyiv: –2 / +3” Oleksandr Vynohradov, journalist, translator, film critic, and political editor at Focus on-line magazine. Specifically, several political parties, namely ‘Samopomich,’ ‘the Radical Party,’ and ‘Batkivshchyna,’ which had won in the elections in 2014 and entered the ruling coalition to fulfill their election promises, smelled blood, and ignoring the interest of their voters placed their bet on early elections instead of calling for patience and courage, and demanding the painful reforms that can eventually change the state of the economy and improve the life of society.
“Tychyna and Modernism” by George G. Grabowicz, Dmytro Chyzhevs’kyj Professor of Ukrainian Literature at Harvard University, editor-in-chief at Krytyka Journal and Krytyka Publishing House, consists of several excerpts from his ongoing work on the poetry of Pavlo Tychyna. There is a general consensus that Tychyna is the most important Ukrainian poet of the 20th century. This idea emerged with his earliest poetry, became crystallized in the early 1920’s and then survived all the subsequent perturbations in Ukrainian literature throughout the century. Grabowicz looks at some key features of Tychyna’s modernism and also notes the baleful influence of the process of Ukrainian literary canon formation and the stultifying role of the school curriculum and its simplifications.
Inna Bulkina, philologist and literary critic, PhD University of Tartu, in her “‘The Show Must Go On’, or The Circus Makes Its Rounds” reviews and comments on the texts of recently published novel Lovers of Justice by Yuri Andrukhovych, one of the most renowned contemporary Ukrainian writers. This book was long awaited, readers were warned in advance, that it was twenty-seven years in the writing, and that it is a ‘paranormal novel’, which consists of eight-and-a-half installments and ‘calls for cinematic realization.’ In each installment there appears a murderer, a corpse, a guilty person, and a criminal, and all are ‘lovers of justice,’ which is a euphemism like Shakespeare’s ‘favorites of the Moon’. The author himself appears in the last semi-installment, and perhaps this is the only thing that makes this collection of stories similar to the familiar novels of Andrukhovych.
“Revealing the Boundaries” by Evgeny Gromov, a well-known Ukrainian pianist who has a special interest is the 20th century music of Boulez, Kurtág, Messiaen, Prokofiev, Stockhausen, and others, and who has written variously on their legacy, is partly an autobiographical essay and partly a narrative on the current situation in modern Ukrainian music, composer circles and cultural politics. Gromov is especially recognized as the first performer of hundreds of pieces of Ukrainian composers of the Kyiv avant-garde, most of which were included in the recently launched audio collection The Kyiv Avant-Garde of the 1960s: the Borys Liatoshynsky School (Kyiv: Arcadia Studio, 2018).
Continuing the topic in her “The Composers Club” Olesia Naydiuk, musicologist, music critic, and press-attaché at the Tchaikovsky National Philharmonic of Ukraine, provides a review of this audio collection.