Anna Choma-Suwała, PhD
Maria Curie-Skłodowska University (Poland)
Publication type: overview
Publication language: Polish
The beginnings of Roman Ivanychuk’s novel writing career in the 1960s-70s coincided with the period of the so-called “Khrushchev Thaw.” During that period, historical novel was enjoying great popularity in Ukraine and it had a profound influence on preserving national identity. Ivanychuk wrote sixteen historical novels, e.g.: The Hollyhocks (1968), Red Wine (1976), The City (1977), Manuscript from Ruska Street (1978), Water from a Stone (1982), The Fourth Dimension (1984), Scars on the Rock (1986), The Call of the Cranes (1988), Because the War is War (1991), The Horde (1992), Pillars of Fire (2002), Through a Mountain Pass (2004), A Non-Everyday Diary (2005), in which the writer was trying to “fill in the white spots of history.” Roman Ivanychuk’s works, together with the historical novels of Pavlo Zahrebelnyi, Valeriy Shevchuk, Roman Fedoriv and Lina Kostenko constitute “a new wave” of Ukrainian historical novel, which shows history through the prism of the modern day. In Ukrainian literature, such works concerned various painful historical facts, which was then a global tendency. In the period of the Communist regime it was the novel that drew readers’ attention to the undying flame of national memory, and at the same time it was often the only available textbook of the history of the Ukrainian nation, forbidden in schools or taught in a limited form, convenient for the current authorities.
Key words: Roman Ivanychuk, historical novel, national identity