Institute for Cultural Research, National Academy of Arts of Ukraine, Kyiv.
Keywords:Ostap Vyshnia (Pavlo Hubenko), Ukrainian literature and the press of Soviet period, culture of remembrance, cultural hero, symbolic capital, reception, representation, propaganda.
Abstract. The article offers a study of the evolution of cultural representations, ways of reception and critical interpretations of the work and personality of the prominent Ukrainian satirist Ostap Vyshnia (1889‒1956) in Ukraine’s culture of remembrance and in Ukrainian society in general. Despite the existence of dozens of books and hundreds of articles about Vyshnia, both academic and popular, published in Ukraine and elsewhere since the late 1920s, the subject is still waiting for a comprehensive, unbiased, systemic and interdisciplinary scholarly study. The article is an attempt at such a study, focused on cultural representations of the personality of Ostap Vyshnia and on the reception of some of his important works. Also, it deals with social and political uses and abuses of Vyshnia’s enormous popularity and of the symbolic capital of his public persona as ‘the people’s satirist’.
The article argues that, apart from the mentioned one, there has been a variety of public personae of the popular satirist. They have been shaping and functioning in Ukrainian culture and society since the 1920s, and include, among others, the personae of Ostap Vyshnia as a ‘king of Ukrainian book sales’, as peasants’ trickster hero, as ‘enemy of the people’, as ‘nation’s master of laughter’, and, since the 1990s, as a national martyr and a key figure of Ukrainian ‘Executed Renaissance’ of the 1920s.
Oleksandr Grytsenko, Ph.D., Institute for Cultural Research, National
Academy of Arts of Ukraine, Kyiv.
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Published: December 2, 2019.
Section: MUSEOLOGY AND PROTECTION OF CULTURAL HERITAGE.