Krytyka Journal, No. 3-4 (209-210), 2015

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Krytyka Journal, No. 3-4 (209-210), 2015

The March-April, 2015 issue of Krytyka opens with “Taras Shevchenko: The Making of the National Poet” by George G. Grabowicz, editor-in-chief of Krytyka and Dmytro Čyževs’kyj Professor of Ukrainian Literature at Harvard. Professor Grabowicz examines some key moments which effected Taras Shevchenko’s role as National Poet, and “prophet” already during his lifetime, particularly his “programming” of his reception by a discourse of numinosity (as relating to both Ukraine and his poetic mission) and the key role that the common experience of the Brotherhood of Sts. Cyril and Methodius had on his first exegetes, i. e., Kulish and Kostomarov.  Oleksandr Hrytsenko, a leading researcher of Ukrainian cultural policy, and Nadia Honcharenko, Ukrainian historian and translator, continue the topic in the context of contemporary Ukraine and its cultural practices, both official and independent. In their article “Shevchenko’s Anniversary: Almost as Usual, but More Modest,” they explore in detail how the tradition of Shevchenko’s anniversary celebrations evolved during recent years, the legislation, costs, and institutions involved, as well as the challenges to this tradition that have emerged from the profound changes occurring in Ukraine today.  Yevheniya Kononenko, Ukrainian writer, translator, and critic, provides an overview of the newest Ukrainian poetry focusing on the Maidan protests and the war with Russia. In her “Poets’ Gospel” she explores dozens of poems written during the Ukrainian revolution of 2013– 2014 and after, those that appeared in books and online, both by well-known authors and unknown ones, both good and weak. In most of these narratives she sees recurring forms of Biblical myth. Enda O’Doherty, Irish critic and editor, reviews A History of The Book in 100 Books by Roderick Cave and Sara Ayad in her “The Last Chapter,” a rich and compact essay on the history of literacy, reading practices, publishing, and books as everyday objects. The issue concludes with an essay, “Howl,” by Oksana Forostyna, executive editor of Krytyka. Forostyna reviews two books by Somalia-American author Ayaan Hirsi Ali — Infidel and Nomad, and also Salman Rushdie’s memoir Joseph Anton, which explore the issue of modernization and antimodernization, and challenge the mainstream conventions of the “West,” of “authenticity,” and of “cultural identity.”

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