Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - 18:28

Source: Krytyka Magazine, Print Edition, Year XIX, Issue 1-2 (207-208) , pages 35-39

A Bit of Blood-stained Batting. Kharkiv, Saturday, 13 May 1933

May 2015


His passion is hunting—stalking through woodlands and marshes, a dog at his side, a crisp November wind in his face, bringing down a game bird with a well-placed shot, and then going back to the cottage where he’s staying to feast on fried eggs washed down with tea and vodka. He owns a leather coat, cartridge belts, game bags, and thick boots. He knows the various breeds of gundogs and at one time kennels five in a small flat. Later he has a pale setter he calls Pom. He ranges rifles and shotguns in a cabinet and conceals a 45-caliber Browning in a drawer in his study. A stuffed woodcock perches on a shelf over his desk. He titles a novel The Woodcocks. “The goal of his restless journey,” writes one of his friends, “is hunting.”

His favorite color is blue. He writes about the blue storms of civil-war battles and blue stagecoaches careening into the sky-blue distance. He calls a short story “Blue November,” his first book of stories Studies in Blue. His first wife is a blue-eyed blonde. He pays little attention to clothes, but when he dresses up to go out, he puts on a blue satin shirt and a yellow tie.

The “Marche Funèbre” of Frédéric Chopin, the Polish Romantic who died in exile from his native land at the age of thirty-nine, is his favorite piece of music. He can whistle the march or plunk it on his banjo, and he likes to say after a few drinks that he wants it played at his funeral.

He is obsessed — he calls it being in love — with the number thirteen. He knows it brings bad luck. The devil’s dozen, Ukrainians say. But he was born on 13 December 1893. He was thirteen when his father took him hunting. When he fought for the Bolsheviks and escaped being executed for “lack of discipline,” he was serving in the 13th Army. His daughter Irayida was born on 13 January 1920 when he was twenty-six. When he writes a political pamphlet, he divides it into thirteen sections. He often says that he will die on the 13th. Thirteen stands for Jacob and his sons. And for Jesus and his disciples. Thirteen is a symbol of eternal love. The Queen in the Tarot deck. The Spiritual Bride. The Cosmic Mother.


And so early on 13 May 1933, when his daughter is thirteen and he is thirty-nine and has been working as a writer for thirteen years, Mykola Khvylovy calls his closest friends and invites them to come for breakfast and then go for a walk.

The witnesses—those who are there, those who will say they were there, those who report what they heard from those who were there—agree that the day is warm, sunny, and cloudless.

Mykola’s friends don’t have far to go. They all live at the Slovo Building—the word means “word”—in Kharkiv, the ugly industrial city that the Bolsheviks have made the capital of Soviet Ukraine. Writers have been moving there from all over the country, and since there’s a housing shortage, they’ve asked for permission to put up a co-op. The party and government are pleased to oblige them: having the writers under one roof will make it easier to keep an eye and ear on them.

By the standards of the time and place the Slovo Building is spacious and comfortable. Shaped like a U, it has five entrances, each with a massive oak door, and sixty-six three- or four-room apartments. It boasts a walled garden, a volleyball court, and a cafeteria where writers can get a meal when they don’t feel like cooking. Mykola, his wife Yuliia, and her daughter Liuba have a flat on the third floor with four rooms and a balcony overlooking the courtyard.

The guests start to arrive at nine o’clock. Yuliia boils water on the Primus, sets out teacups, plates, and glasses for vodka, and apologizes for not having any sugar.

Mykola picks up a two-string banjo that he has fashioned from a piece of wood and a kitchen sieve. Plunking on it, he recites a quatrain:

Sir, I tell you on the level: We have strayed, we’ve lost the trail. What can we do, when a devil Drives us, whirls us round the vale?

The lines are from Pushkin’s “Devils,” and at one time every child in every school of the Russian empire memorized them. Dostoevsky gave the poem a second life when he used it as an epigraph for his novel of the same name. For weeks now Mykola has been mumbling the quatrain. He knows his Dostoevsky: in one novel, he gave his protagonist, a Ukrainian Communist who is struggling to comprehend where the revolution is headed, the name Dmytriy Karamazov.

The guests are talking about Mykhailo Yalovy. Myshko is a writer and the director of a publishing house. He is also Mykola’s closest friend. Everyone calls Mykola, Myshko, and their fellow writer Oles Dosvitniy the Three Musketeers.

The GPU, as the secret police is known at the moment, came to Myshko’s apartment the night before. Agents went through his books and papers, examined the household furnishings, tapped on walls, and tore up floors. Early in the morning they took Myshko’s Kodak camera and Browning and led him away.

Chain-smoking, fidgeting, jumping up and down, Mykola pours another round of vodka and assures his friends that everything will be all right. He recites Pushkin again. The gathering becomes roisterous.

Pom, who has been lying on the floor by the bookcase, issues a friendly bark. Mykola runs over to him and tousles his ears. “Pom, you’re here too?”

The dog yelps, jumps up, and puts his front legs around his master’s waist.

Mykola strokes Pom’s head and then removes his paws. “That’s enough. We’ll go, we’ll go!” he says.

The company laughs. “He’s always like that before a hunting trip,” Mykola explains.

Yuliia, who has been bustling about in the kitchen, is displeased with his drinking.

Mykola tells her that he won’t drink anymore. She doesn’t believe him.

He responds oddly. “I give you Khvylovy’s word of honor.”


For years Mykola Khvylovy has been filling his stories with allusions to suicide and murder. The playwright Mykola Kulish, who will become one of his closest friends, observes in 1924 that Khvylovy will face an “internal crisis.” In an autobiography that he writes for the Communist Party that year Khvylovy himself admits that he is dealing with an inner struggle. And he confesses that he is in a state of “dostoevshchina,” or mental imbalance. “I went out into the fields twice, but both times came back alive and unharmed,” he writes in a letter to the literary scholar Mykola Zerov. “I’m obviously a coward, a good-for-nothing.”

In 1927, while he is traveling in Austria and Germany, Khvylovy tells a Communist from western Ukraine that “something terrible” is happening in Soviet Ukraine. “The despotic great-power spirit is spreading… and he is ready to commit suicide in order to show what is really happening,” the Communist, who is an agent for the GPU, informs his masters.

In January 1931 an informer—more than twenty people are sending information about him to the GPU—reports that Khvylovy said to three of his colleagues that he couldn’t go on any more. He pulled out his Browning and threatened to kill himself. They paid no attention.

Mykola has long been drinking. His friends know that before he sits down to write he downs a glass of vodka. In the last few months he has been hitting the bottle even harder.

“He always liked to drink,” Ivan Senchenko will recall. “With friends, in a gay noisy crowd… Now if there was an occasion to drink with company, he would drink. If there was no occasion, he would drink by himself… He was seen sleeping off a binge by a fence at the Shatyliv hospital. The winter of 1932–1933 was approaching. The streets of the city were taken prisoner by emaciated people who wandered from one building to another, rummaging through waste bins and sitting down to rest by fences. Most of them died there. Khvylovy turned gray. He shrank. He behaved like a hunted animal.”

The next spring, the actor Yosyp Hirniak spots Mykola brawling with a workman outside a beer cellar. When Yosyp comes closer, Mykola falls to his knees and kisses his hands. He has just traveled through the countryside and has seen the ravages of the famine, and now he is drinking. Yosyp takes him home.

And when Mykola goes into town with Ivan Dniprovsky—he wants to get a beer and a shave—Ivan tells him that he’s “an alcoholic in a major key.” Mykola takes Ivan’s left hand and pulls it toward himself. Ivan transfers the books in his hand to his right hand, and Mykola places it on the gun in the back pocket of his trousers.

This is the third time Mykola has done this, and Ivan knows what it means. “This is all good,” he says. “But when you decide to end everything and have chosen the day, bring your friends together, drink something, look around, say good-bye, and go to another room.”



My parents are living in Kharkiv at this time. Years later, when I am beginning to take an interest in the famine of the 1930s—the word Holodomor hasn’t been coined yet—my mother tells me how in 1932, when my father was studying at an economics institute, a fellow student offered to show him something.

The morgue where the student has a part-time job is stacked with corpses from the floor to the ceiling. The militia has been collecting them in the streets. At night it loads them onto trucks and hauls them away. The next day the morgue fills up again.

My mother does not talk about the oval scars that I saw on my father’s midriff and back when we were living in a displaced persons’ camp in postwar Germany and he would get into a tub and ask me to soap his back. I saw them again when we were living in Philadelphia and went swimming in the summer at a lake in Millville, New Jersey, or the ocean beach in Wildwood. The bullet my father had fired into himself because of a failed marriage and a daughter he never got to know had lodged in his body and despite an operation remained there the rest of his life.


At eleven o’clock, after drinking, eating, and talking with his friends for two hours, Mykola announces that he will read his new story, the one in which he will show that he has submitted to the party line once and for all.

He goes to his study, shuts the door, sits down at his desk, and reaches into the drawer. The woodcock peers at him from its shelf.

Does Mykola gaze up at the bird? Is he aware of the feel of the gun when his fingers graze it? What is its weight in his hand? Does the steel have a smell when he lifts it to his face? Does he tremble when the muzzle touches his temple?

Has he fired the gun before? Has he ever tried to kill a man?

These are things we cannot know.


The shot brings the writers to their feet.

“Mykola, have you gone mad?” one of them shouts.

When they burst into the study, the Browning is lying on the floor, and Mykola’s right arm is dangling at his side. His head is quivering, and a stream of blood is flowing from his right temple.

“Get a doctor! Get a doctor!” Yuliia screams.

Someone runs to the telephone to call for help. It isn’t working.

Kulish dashes back to his apartment. “Khvylovy has shot himself!” he shouts to his wife. He phones a doctor and tells Antonina to have Volodymyr Gzhytsky’s wife Maria—she’s a nurse—come give Mykola an injection.

The heart stimulant has no effect. When a doctor arrives, rigor mortis is setting in.

Mykola’s stepdaughter Liuba comes back from her classes at the music school. People are surging up and down the stairs. Hryhoriy and Vira Epik pull Liuba to their flat and refuse to let her go home. Liuba can’t understand anything. Only later does someone tell her that her stepfather has shot himself.


Among the papers on his desk Mykola’s friends see two notes. They are written on sheets of paper torn out of a schoolchild’s exercise book. Mykola bought a portable typewriter when he was traveling in Germany, but he always wrote the first drafts of his stories and novels in black exercise books.

Someone calls the party's Central Committee on Karl Liebknecht Street, and GPU men soon arrive. They go into Mykola’s study and shut the door.

At twenty past one a prosecutor starts questioning Yuliia. She has little to say. In addition to herself and Mykola, only Mykola Kulish and Oles Dosvitniy were present. They agreed that they’d go see a prosecutor at the Supreme Court to ask for an explanation of Myshko’s arrest. Then her husband went to his study. A moment later the others heard a shot. When they ran into the room, Mykola had collapsed in his chair.

By three in the afternoon, the agents have determined the cause of death as suicide and written up a report. When they leave, they take all the papers in the study with them.



Mykola’s friends form a funeral committee.

Three women wash the body and dress it in clean underwear, white socks, a blue satin shirt, a yellow tie, and dark trousers. They comb the shock of black hair and cover the hole in the temple with cotton batting. A powder burn is visible just below the cotton. The bullet lodged in the skull, and the left temple is swollen.

Then, while someone goes to order a coffin, the others lay the body on the desk in the study, fold the hands on the chest in the Orthodox fashion, and take photographs. When the coffin is delivered that evening, the funeral committee places the body in it, takes more pictures, opens the flat to visitors, and sets up a vigil.

The poet Pavlo Tychyna takes his turn late in the evening. For two hours he stands silent, paying no attention when someone comes into the room, staring in the dim light at the face of the man to whom he dedicated his book Wind from Ukraine in 1924.

I love no one as much as the winnowing wind its paths, its pain and the land, this land of mine.

Out in the street, GPU agents circle around the building and scrutinize passersby. And inside the flat a police informer consoles Mykola’s widow and commiserates with his friends.

The news of the suicide reaches Alexander Dovzhenko in Kyiv. Sashko has not been getting along with the Kharkiv writers—they accused him of selling out to Moscow when his film Arsenal came out in 1929—but he has respected Khvylovy. Now he gets on a plane and arrives at the Slovo Building late in the evening.

At the apartment he approaches the coffin, without looking at anyone, takes Mykola’s head in his hands, leans over, kisses the bandaged wound, and then turns and walks out.

Mike Yohansen, Oleksa Slisarenko, and Yuriy Smolych follow Dovzhenko, and the four set off for a walk through the wooded ravines on the outskirts of the city.

Dovzhenko is silent. Yohansen recites what he remembers of the suicide note. Khvylovy wrote, he says, that he was killing himself because of Yalovy’s arrest. It was the execution of their generation. Khvylovy didn’t understand anything. “We were,” he wrote, “honest Communists.” Dovzhenko starts up and asks Yohansen to repeat what he said. Yohansen does so and then adds, “We must remember this letter for the rest of our lives.” Sashko Dovzhenko says nothing. Soon he, too, starts hiding a loaded pistol in his desk drawer.

The four walk about late into the night. When they return, they see the Slovo Building darkened except for three windows in Mykola’s flat.


The next morning a white flatbed truck drives into the courtyard of the Slovo Building, startling the tabbies that prowl by the waste bins, and Mykola’s friends bring down the coffin and place it on the truck.

We remember what we want to remember. Mykola’s daughter Irayida will recall that she learns about his death from her aunts Dania and Liusia. They take her to the Slovo Building, push through the crowd, and see Mykola’s mother. She asks them to bring her granddaughter to her. Irayida’s father is lying in a coffin on a white hearse. He named a novel after her, but her mother has never told her anything about him, and she does not know him.

“This is your father,” her grandmother says. “Kiss him.”

Irayida plants a kiss on her father’s cheek.

She will remember that her stepsister is standing at a distance. But Liuba will say that she was not there. She had been taken to stay with her grandmother—“in a state close to a  loss of consciousness (unable to speak),” as she will put it—the day her stepfather died.

The government newspaper has announced that at eleven o’clock the coffin will be opened for viewing at the Blakytny Building, the pre-revolutionary mansion where writers’ organizations are housed. Then a memorial service will be held, and at one o’clock the body will be taken to the city cemetery for interment. Crowds have been milling about the Blakytny Building since early morning.

When the truck arrives, Mykola’s friends carry the coffin up the marble stairs into the building and then up the oak stairs to the auditorium on the second floor. There they place the coffin on the stage and raise the lid.

Mykola is dressed in the blue satin shirt and yellow tie that people have seen him wear so often, and the bluish hole in his temple is covered with cotton batting.

Pavlo Tychyna and Les Kurbas, the theatrical producer, stand guard by the coffin. The party has chosen Ivan Kyrylenko to deliver the eulogy. Khvylovy’s suicide, he says, is his last mistake. How discordant is the sound of his gunshot when the party is leading the way toward socialism, when millions of enthusiasts are creating culture, literature, and art, when the victory of socialism throughout the world is drawing ever closer.

As Kyrylenko speaks, from the lectern that Khvylovy himself used so often, Kurbas clenches his jaw and cries, and the pince-nez perched above Tychyna’s long nose quivers.

The service ends at one o’clock—1300 hours according to the twenty-four hour military clock the Soviet Union has adopted. Mykola’s friends close the coffin, carry it downstairs, place it on an old cart pulled by two nags ready for the glue factory, and decorate it with flowers and red bunting. The GPU agents in the crowd estimate that two thousand people have gathered. The printers’ trade union has hired a dozen unemployed musicians. They strike up Chopin’s funeral march, and the procession sets off for the cemetery on Pushkin Street, at the northern edge of the city.

Khvylovy’s wife and brother Oleksiy walk at the head of the cortège, just behind the coffin. Behind them come the writers, and behind them the musicians.

Students have been cautioned not to cut classes, and writers have been warned to avoid “demonstrating” at the funeral. Yet mourners line the street, and streetcars stop running because so many people are following the coffin. Workers on construction sites throw down their tools and join the procession. At the medical school students leave their classrooms and squeeze into the throng. GPU agents dressed in militia uniforms or mufti mingle with them.

Edema-swollen peasants lie dying, indifferent to the spring weather, the funeral, and the pieces of bread that passersby tear off their rationed loaves and place beside them.

The Italian consulate is housed on Pushkin Street, and the consul can see from his window what is happening in the street. A peasant woman, he writes to Rome, spent the whole day curled up with her two children on the pavement. “She held the customary tin can… and from time to time someone would throw a kopeck into it. That evening with a single gesture she pushed her children away, rose to her feet, and threw herself into the path of a streetcar coming at full speed. Half an hour later I saw a street sweeper scraping up the unfortunate woman’s guts. The children had been standing there watching all the time.”


The procession stops at the cemetery gate—the GPU reports that the number of onlookers has dwindled to five or six hundred—and the coffin is taken down from the hearse and carried inside, and the lid is raised again. Cherry trees are blossoming.

Ivan Mykytenko, Ivan Kyrylenko, and Petro Panch deliver the eulogies. Khvylovy’s death, they say, is a bullet in the back of the revolution. He deviated from the general line. He abandoned life just when Stalin had explained that it was becoming better, gayer. Yet they cannot deny that a generation of writers has regarded Khvylovy as its leader. “We Soviet revolutionary writers,” says Panch, “have nearly all of us entered onto the long and unknown path of literature inspired by the restless, fiery, and romantic Khvylovy. His gunshot has left a hole in his temple and in our ranks as well. A hole that none of us individually will be able to fill.”

Then Khvylovy's brother points at the sun. “Spring has come, the sun is shining, and you are lying in a coffin, Mykola!” Oleksiy says.

The writer’s wife kisses him on the forehead. The musicians play the Chopin march again. Yulia and Oleksiy close the coffin, and Mykola’s colleagues lower it into the sandy soil. Clods of earth resound on the lid.



Mykola Kulish takes the loss of his friend badly. Yuriy Smolych and Yuriy Yanovsky are passing through the cemetery on their way back to the Slovo Building. Kulish is lying on Khvylovy’s grave flattened out and with his arms around the mound. He is dead drunk. Smolych and Yanovsky lift him up and lead him away. When they reach the street, Kulish escapes from their embrace, dashes out into the traffic, and raises his hands. He knows that he will be arrested. “I give up!” he shouts. Smolych and Yanovsky barely manage to drag him home.

No headstone is erected on Khvylovy’s grave—people say that the authorities have refused to grant his family permission--and the grave is surrounded by a picket fence on which his name and dates have been carved. The fence soon rots, and the grave becomes overgrown.

Khvylovy’s books are inscribed in the police index, and his name becomes a synonym for “enemy of the people.” Writers get phone calls from the local party committee: they have to come in and explain their attitude toward Khvylovy’s suicide. Do they condemn his action, do they understand that he disgraced himself by deserting the cause?

In September 1933 a GPU troika sentences Myshko Yalovy to ten years’ imprisonment. The following May he is transported to a camp in the Far North. In October 1937 another troika reviews his case and condemns him to the “supreme measure of punishment”—a bullet in the nape of the neck.

In late 1933 the GPU picks up Oles Dosvitniy, the third of the Three Musketeers, charges him with counterrevolutionary and terrorist activities, and early in 1934 a troika sentences him to be shot.

For the writers at the Slovo Building Khvylovy’s death is the beginning of the end. They call the building the Crematorium. Night after night agents take someone away. Few people come back. Most are sentenced to terms in labor camps, often “without the right to correspond.” The term is an obfuscation. It means the prisoner has already been shot. Of 260 writers who were working in 1930, 228 are either executed or dispatched to a slow death in a labor camp. When the German-Soviet war comes in 1941, only six of the original sixty-six writers’ families are still living in the Slovo Building.

During the German occupation the Wehrmacht requisitions the building for officers’ quarters. The wall between two apartments is knocked down to make room for a cabaret. Other apartments are used for a brothel.

Blue-eyed Kateryna, Mykola’s first wife, lives out her life as a village schoolteacher. Irayida, the daughter he carried on a pillow for fear of harming her spine when she was a baby, follows in her mother’s steps and becomes a chemistry teacher.

Yuliia, Mykola’s second wife, and her daughter Liuba flee from Kharkiv to Sverdlovsk in the Urals. Few people there will know who Mykola Khvylovy was. In 1959 a Ukrainian journal publishes yet another attack on her husband. Yuliia reads the article and slices her wrists.


And then, fifty-five years after Mykola Khvylovy kills himself his suicide notes reappear. Mikhail Gorbachev’s empire is collapsing, and the Communist Party is trying to maintain its grip on power by “rehabilitating” its victims. Rehabilitation is a bit of a trick. The names of the dead can be mentioned in public, and their families can claim a modicum of compensation, but there’s no question of prosecuting anyone for violating “socialist legality” by pumping bullets into the backs of heads.

At a celebration of Khvylovy’s ninety-fifth birthday in Kyiv in December 1988, the first secretary of the Ukrainian party reads the suicide notes that the security service has made available.

Khvylovy addressed one of the two notes to the party:

Yalovy's arrest is the execution of an entire generation. Why? Because we were sincere Communists?

I don’t understand anything.

I, Mykola Khvylovy, am above all responsible for Yalovy’s generation. “Therefore,” as Semenko says, everything is clear.

It’s a beautiful and sunny day.

You can’t even imagine how much I love life. Today is the 13th. Do you remember how I was in love with this number?

It’s terribly painful.

Long live Communism!

 Long live socialist construction!

Long live the Communist Party!

P.S. I leave everything, including copyrights, to Liubov Umantseva. I urgently ask my friends to help her and my mother.

Khvylovy wrote the other note to his stepdaughter. Borrowing the name of a perennial herb that is cultivated for its aromatic seeds, leaves, and roots, he often called her “my golden Lovage”:

Forgive me for everything, my gray-winged dove. By the way, I destroyed my unfinished novel yesterday not because I didn’t want it to be published, but because I had to convince myself: if I could destroy it, then I had found the strength to do what I am doing today.

Farewell, my golden Lovage.

He signed the note, if we are to believe the typed copy, “Your father M. Khvylovy.”



Mykola Khvylovy did not leave notes for his wife or daughter. Or for his mother, the mother who outlived him, the mother he was accused of killing because he had written a story about a son who murders his mother with an axe.

In the spring of 1933 Mykola’s mother sent him a letter from a village a little more than a hundred kilometers northwest of Kharkiv. The letter ended up in his security-service file. We do not know whether he read it. The GPU may have intercepted it before it reached him. Or the secret police may have removed it from his study after his death. In either case, his mother was starving and had been begging for help, and he had done nothing.

“Dear Koliunichka,” Mykola’s mother begins. She is using an affectionate form of his name, and she is writing in a semi-literate Russian with an admixture of Ukrainian. Liudia and Vania are Mykola’s sisters Liudmyla and Valentyna.

I was waiting all the time for money from you and decided to write. Liudia visited you on the 20th and she said that you promised to send it the next day and Yulia wrote two months ago that you would send it soon; I’m worried and wonder whether maybe you sent it and it was lost. I have many debts and life is very hard. Everything is expensive. If there’s no money then please write me at least two words that there’s no money. Liudia and Vania are leaving for good on the 20th and the teacher is leaving for good to join her sister in Kharkiv because this is the most difficult month to survive until everything brings forth. When I get the money I’m thinking of going to visit you, and then in the fall I’ll come to you at least for a visit. To see you dear Koliunichka I miss you so much. I feel so unwell all the time that I’m afraid of falling ill. Everything is expensive and I’m often half starving. People are eating chaff, grinding sorrel, acacia flowers, oil cakes There’s a lot of bread at the marketplace at twelve rubles a loaf. There are pieces for two or three rubles; people are even grinding sawdust and I got half a sack for Liudia and she’s mixing it with flour to make it last longer. Life is horrible and there was nothing like this even during the famine [of 1921]. Some people can’t be recognized faces swollen arms and legs Some are dying If only one of you would write how you’re doing no one sends a single word. I kiss you warmly my dear sonny, and also Yulia and Liuba Your mother who loves you very much.

Forgive me that there’s no postage stamp, I can’t remember when there was money.

So those who accused Khvylovy of matricide sensed something they did not fully comprehend. Sleep and death are psychological equivalents, and suicide is both a murderous impulse and an expression of the infantile wish to lie in union with the mother.

What, then, was Mykola Khvylovy fantasizing when he reached in an alcoholic haze into the depths of his desk drawer for his gun? That with a bullet to his temple he would hasten his reunion with his mother?

I am grateful to Olga Bertelsen and Myrna Kostash for their comments on drafts of this essay.


Further Readings


Babych, Ie. K. and V. V. Patoka. Represiï v Ukraïni (1917–1990 rr.): Naukovo-dopomizhnyi bibliohrafichnyi pokazhchyk. Kyïv: Smoloskyp, 2007.

Holohors'ka, Tetiana Viacheslavivna, comp., Ukraïns'kyi pys'mennyk Mykola Khvyl'ovyi, 1893–1933: Bibliohrafichnyi pokazhchyk. Kharkiv: Ministerstvo kul'tury i turyzmu Ukraïny, Kharkivs'ka derzhavna naukova biblioteka im. V. H. Korolenka, 2008.

Kalytko, S. and others, Politychni represiï v Ukraïni (1917–1980-ti rr.): Bibliohrafichnyi pokazhchyk. Kyïv–Zhytomyr: Polissia, 2007.

Archival Material

”Sprava-formuliar na M. Khvyl'ovoho,” 65/S-183, Haluzevyi Derzhavnyi arkhiv Sluzhby bezpeky Ukraïny, Kyïv.

Published Documents

Dems’ka-Budzuliak, Lesia, comp. Dorohyi Arkadiiu: Lystuvannia ta arkhivariia literaturnoho seredovyshcha Ukraïny 1922–1945 rr. L’viv: Klasyka, 2001.

Luts’kyi, Iurii, ed. Holubi dylizhansy: Lystuvannia vaplitian (Materiialy z arkhivu Arkadiia Liubchenka). New York: Ob"iednannia ukraïns'kykh pys'mennykiv Slovo, 1955.

———. Lehkosynia dal’: Vaplitians’kyi zbirnyk. New York: Proloh, 1963.

———.Vaplitians’kyi zbirnyk. Oakville, ON: Mosaic Press, 1977.

Shapoval, Iu., ed. Poliuvannia na ‘Val’dshnepa’: Rozsekrechenyi Mykola Khvyl’ovyi. Kyïv: Tempora, 2009. See also the enclosed DVD Tsar i rab khytroshchiv. Directed by Iryna Shatalina, script by Iurii Shapoval and Iryna Shatokhina. Kyïv: Natsional’na Telekompaniia Ukraïny, 2009.

Ushkalov, Oleksandr, and Leonid Ushkalov, comps. Arkhiv rozstrilianoho vidrodzhennia: Materialy arkhivno-slidchykh sprav ukraïns'kykh pys'mennykiv 1920–1930-kh rokiv. Kyïv: Smoloskyp, 2010.

Works by Mykola Khvylovy

Khvyl'ovyi, Mykola. Tvory v p"iat'okh tomakh, comp. and ed. Hryhorii Kostiuk. New York-Baltimore: Ob"iednannia ukraïns'kykh pys'mennykiv Slovo and Smoloskyp, 1978–86.

———. Tvory u dvokh tomakh, comps. M. H. Zhulyns’kyi and P. I. Maidachenko. Kyïv: Dnipro, 1991.

———. Ukraïna chy Malorosiia? Pamflety, introductions by M. H. Zhulyns'kyi and H. O. Kostiuk. Kyïv: Smoloskyp, 1993.

Khvylovy, Mykola. Stories from the Ukraine, trans. George S. N. Luckyj. New York: Philosophical Library, 1960.

———. The Cultural Renaissance in Ukraine: Polemical Pamphlets, 1925-1926., trans., ed., and intro. by Myroslav Shkandrij. Edmonton: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, 1986.


Dniprovs'kyi, Ivan. “Mykola Khvyl'ovyi: Portret m"iatezhnyka,” Suchasnist', 1992, no. 3:125–32.

———. “Literaturni strichi (Pam"iatka dlia memuariv): Shchodennyk.” in Mykhailo Naienko, Oderzhymist': Krytychni rozvidky, portrety, vidhuky. Kyïv: Vydavnytstvo TsK LKSMU Molod', 1990.

Dukyna, Natalka. Na dobryi spomyn… Povist' pro bat'ka. Kharkiv: Berezil', 2002.Hai-Holovko, Oleksa. Smertel'noiu dorohoiu: Podiï nashoho chasu. Winnipeg: Tryzub, 1979–1983. 2 vols.

Hak, Anatol' [Anatol' Antypenko]. Vid Huliai-Polia do N'iu-Iorku: Spohady. Neu Ulm: 1973.

Hirniak, Iosyp. Spomyny, ed. Bohdan Boichuk. New York: Suchasnist', 1982.

———. Interview by author, New York, 20 July 1983.

Hzhyts’kyi [Gzhyts’kyi], Volodymyr.  “Spohady pro mynule.” Spadshchyna: Literaturne dzhereloznavstvo, Tekstolohiia 6 (2011): 258–351. See also Iaryna Tsymbal, “’Spohady pro mynule’ Volodymyra Hzhyts’koho: pryhaduvannia i konstruiuvannia,” 240–[57].

Kardinalowska, Tatiana. The Ever-Present Past: The Memoirs of Tatiana Kardinalowska, trans. Vera Kaczmarska, ed. Uliana Pasicznyk. Edmonton: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies Press, 2004.

Kobets', Oleksa. "Nezabutni dni i liudy ukraïns'koho renesansu: Rozdil iz knyzhky 'Zapysky pys'mennyka'," Neopalyma kupyna, 1995, no. 3–4:[149]–68.

Kostiuk, Hryhorii. Zustrichi i proshchannia: Spohady; Knyha persha. Edmonton: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, 1987.

Kulish, Antonina. “Spohady pro Mykolu Kulisha,” in Mykola Kulish, Tvory, ed. Hryhorii Kostiuk, 365–[433]. New York: Ukraïns'ka Vil'na Akademiia Nauk u SSha, 1955.

Kulish, Volodymyr. Slovo pro budynok “Slovo.” Toronto: Homin Ukraïny, 1966.

Liubchenko, Arkadii. “Ioho taiemnytsia.” In Vybrani tvory, [415]–39. Kyïv: Smoloskyp, 1999.

Liubchenko, Arkadii. Shchodennyk Arkadiia Liubchenka, ed. Iurii Luts'kyi. L'viv: M. P. Kots', 1999.

Maistrenko, Ivan. Istoriia moho pokolinnia: Spohady uchasnyka revoliutsiinykh podii v Ukraïni. Edmonton: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, 1985.

Sambros, Iurii. Shchabli: Mii shliakh do komunizmu; Memuarni narysy. N.p.: Suchasnist', 1988.

Senchenko, Ivan. “Notatky pro literaturne zhyttia 20–40-kh rokiv.” In Opovidannia, povisti, spohady, 540–79. Kyïv: Naukova dumka, 1990.

Smolych, Iurii. Rozpovid’ pro nespokii. Kyïv: Radians’kyi pys’mennyk, 1968.

———. Rozpovid’ pro nespokii tryvaie. Kyïv: Radians’kyi pys’mennyk, 1969.

———. Rozpovidi pro nespokii nemaie kintsia. Kyïv: Radians’kyi pys’mennyk, 1972.

———.”Mozaïka. Z tykh rokiv (kuriozy),” Spadshchyna: Literaturne dzhereloznavstvo, Tekstolohiia 5 (2010): [239]–351. See also Iaryna Tsymbal, ”’Mozaïka’ Iuriia Smolycha iak dzherelo do istoriï literaturnoho pobutu 1920–1930-kh rokiv,” [228]–38.

Sokil, Vasyl’. Zdaleka do blyz’koho: Spohady, rozdumy. Edmonton: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, 1987.

Umantseva, L. H. “’Vin u krovi mav: tvoryty, a zmushuvaly vyhynatysia…’.” Interview by O. Murzina, Lenins'ka zmina, 16 September 1989, 6.

Biographical and Critical Studies

Bertelsen, Olga. The House of Writers in Ukraine, the 1930s: Conceived, Lived, Perceived. Pittsburgh: Center for Russian and East European Studies, University of Pittsburgh, 2013.

Bezkhutryi, Iu. M. Khvyl’ovyi: Problemy interpretatsiï. Kharkiv: Folio, 2003.

Bondar-Tereshchenko, Ihor. U zadzerkalli 1910–30-ykh rokiv. Kyïv: Tempora, 2009.

Grabowicz, George G. “Symbolic Autobiography in the Prose of Mykola Khvyl'ovyi (Some Preliminary Observations),” Harvard Ukrainian Studies 22 (1998): [165]–80.

Han, O. [P. I. Petrenko]. Trahediia Mykoly Khvyl’ovoho. Ulm: Prometei, [1947].

Hrechaniuk, Serhii. “Den' povernennia Mykoly Khvyl'ovoho.” Literaturna panorama 1988: 202–18).

Hrytsenko, Oleksandr. “Lohika buntu proty lohiky,” Vitchyzna, 1991, no. 7:152–7.

Iushchenko, Oleksa. Zoria Mykoly Khvyl'ovoho: Publitsystyka, poeziï. Kyïv: Smoloskyp, 1997.

Kratochvil, Alexander. Mykola Chvyl'ovyj: Eine Studie zu Leben und Werk. Munich: Otto Sagner, 1999.

Kuziakina, N. Arkhivni storinky. Kyïv: Natsional’na asotsiatsiia ukraïnoznavtsiv, 1992.

———. Traiektoriï dol’. Kyïv: Tempora, 2010.

Lavrinenko, Iurii. “Dukh nespokoiu: Z idei i motyviv mystets’koï prozy Mykoly Khvyl’ovoho.” In Zrub i parosty: Literaturno-krytychni statti, eseï, refleksiï. N.p.: Suchasnist’, 1971.

Lewin, Bertram D. “Sleep, the Mouth, and the Dream Screen,” Psychoanalytic Quarterly 15 (1946): 419–34.

Lozyts’kyi, Volodymyr. Buntivnyk: Zhyttia i smert’ Mykoly Khvyl’ovoho. Kyïv: Heneza, 2009.

Luckyj, George S. N. Literary Politics in the Soviet Ukraine, 1917–1934. Rev. ed. Durham: Duke University Press, 1990.

Luckyj, George S. N. Ukrainian Literature in the Twentieth Century: A Reader's Guide. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992.

Luts'kyi, Iurii. “Rozdumy nad 'Vaplite',” Suchasnist', 1993, no. 12:111–14.

Meis, Dzheims. “Buremnyi dukh rozstrilianoho vidrodzhennia (Mykola Khvyl'ovyi),” Suchasnist', 1994, no. 11:31–43; no. 12: 73–82.

Mel'nykiv, Rostyslav. Literaturni 1920-ti: Postati; Narysy, obrazky, etiudy. Kharkiv: Maidan, 2013.

Ovcharenko, F. D. Spohady. Kyïv: Oriiany, 2000.

Panchenko, Volodymyr. “Doroha do Khvyl’ovoho,” Den’, 5 October 2010,

Pliushch, Leonid. Ioho taiemnytsia, abo “Prekrasna lozha” Khvyl’ovoho. Kyiv: Fakt, 2006.

Pronenko, Vladyslav. “Mykola Khvyl'ovyi ta Mykola Skrypnyk: Ostannii shliakh ta ostannii prytulok," Lenins'ka zmina, 17 October 1989, 1, 3.

Shapoval, Iurii. “Zhyttia ta smert' Mykoly Khvyl'ovoho u svitli rozsekrechenykh dokumentiv HPU, “ Z arkhiviv VChK, HPU, NKVD, KHB, 2008, no. 1–2 (30-31):[311]–48.

———. “Fatal'na ambivalentnist' (Mykola Khvyl'ovyi u svitli dokumentiv GPU),” Chornomors'kyi litopys 2010, no. 2:41–55.

Sherekh, Iurii (Iurii Shevel’ov). “Khvyl’ovyi bez polityky.” In Ne dlia ditei: Literaturno-krytychni statti i eseï, 53–67. New York: Prolog, 1964.

Shevchenko, Vitalii. “Taiemnytsia kvartyry Mykoly Khvyl’ovoho.” Museum-Ukraine, 14 April 2010,ю

Shkandrii, Myroslav. “Mykola Khvyl'ovyi: U p"iatdesiati rokovyny smerty,” Suchasnist', 1983, no. 5:7–14.

Shkandrij, Myroslav. “Irony in the Works of Mykola Khvyl'ovy,” Journal of Ukrainian Studies 14 (summer/winter 1989): 90–102.

Shkandrij, Myroslav. "Ukrainian Avant-Garde Prose in the 1920s." In Literature and Politics in Eastern Europe: Select Papers from the Fourth World Congress for Soviet and East European Studies, Harrogate, 1990, ed. Celia Hawkesworth, 106–16. London: St. Martin's Press, 1992.

Shkandrij, Myroslav. Modernists, Marxists, and the Nation: The Ukrainian Literary Discussion of the 1920s. Edmonton: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies Press, 1992.

Ushkalov, Leonid. “Markiz de Sad, Lombrozo ta inshi: Zakhidni paraleli do ‘Ia (Romantyka’,” Natsional’na spilka pys’mennykiv Ukraïny, 5 December 2014,