Літературний вечір Миколи Рябчука, письменника, літературного критика, політолога (Київ, Україна).

February 18, 2006

У програмі:
Наталки Білоцерківець
збірка “Готель Централь”
Миколи Рябчука

Микола Рябчук

Микола Рябчук – прозаїк, поет, літературний критик, політолог. Один із лідерів неофіційної літератури у 1970 рр. у Львові. Разом з Григорієм Чубаєм, Віктором Морозовим, Олегом Лишегою та ін. творив своєрідний простір інакшої культурної ситуації в умовах творчої несвободи. У 80-роках стає чільних критиком покоління вісімдесятників, заступник редактора журналу іноземної літератури “Всесвіт”. Проза та вірші Рябчука дочекалися книжкових видань лише у другій половині 1980 років. Від 1990 років зайнявся політологією, автор кількох книжок з політології, які здобули широкий розголос в Україні та поза її межами.

Наталка Білоцерківець – поетка, літературний критик.Дебютувала у 1970 рр. Уважається однією із визначних поеток покоління вісімдесятників. Для її поетичного голосу характерна модерністична манера вислову та екпериментуванням у межах силабо-тоніки, внутрішні медитації поєднуються з елементами соціуму, елегійність розповіді з філософським поглядом на світ.
“Готель Централь” – найновіша книжка вибраного Білоцерківець, видана львівським видавництвом “Кальварія” до Ювілею поетки.

Орест Попович, Василь Махно, Микола Рябчук і Вірляна Ткач


by Dr. Orest Popovych

NEW YORK. On February 18, the headquarters of the Shevchenko Scientific Society (NTSh) hosted a literary evening in which Mykola Ryabchuk, a guest from Kyiv, presented to the audience the poetry of his wife, Natalka Bilotserkivets, as well as the saga of his own literary career.

Вірляна Ткач Василь Махно Марія Шунь
Василь Махно, Марія Шунь, Орест Попович, Микола Рябчук і Вірляна Ткач

The program was opened by NTSh vice-president Dr. Orest Popovych and chaired by Prof. Vasyl Makhno. In his introductory remarks, Prof. Makhno described the two featured writers living under one roof as two personalities who complement each other.

Ms. Bilotserkivets, a poetess and literary critic, who made her debut in the 1970’s, is considered to be one of the outstanding Ukrainian poets of the 1980’s. According to Prof. Makhno, her poetry is composed of lyricism and narration; it is characterized by a modernistic manner of expression, where the internal meditations are combined with elements of social concern, and the melancholy narrations, with her philosophical view of the world.

Prof. Ryabchuk, who at present is a guest lecturer at Columbia University, is a literary critic, poet, prose writer and political scientist. He serves on the editorial board of the Kyivan journal “Krytyka”. As related by Prof. Makhno, in the 1970’s Mr. Ryabchuk became one of the leading authors of the underground literature in Lviv, who with the likes of Hryhoriy Chubay, Viktor Morozov and Oleh Lysheha, tried to find a niche for some free literary expression in the face of the oppressive Soviet censorship. Proscribed by the Soviet authorities, his prose and poetry were first published only in the second half of the 1980’s. Since the 1990’s, Mr. Ryabchuk has been devoting his efforts to political science, in which he has authored several books.

The presentation of the poetry by Ms. Bilotserkivets (who was not present) focused primarily on her latest book, a collection of poems titled “Hotel Central”, which was published in Lviv by Kalvaria. The title denotes a stereotyped hotel near a railroad station, where the guests typically stay for only one night. As such it is a metaphor for the brief human life here on earth.

Several of the verses were recited in the Ukrainian original by the poets Maria Shun and Prof. Makhno. Virlana Tkacz, the founding director of the Yara Arts Group in New York, read a number of the poems in English, as translated by herself in collaboration with Wanda Phipps.

Prof. Ryabchuk began by declaring that he ceased to be a writer twenty years ago. In Soviet times, he was writing underground literature (“samvydav”) for narrow, private audiences, mainly in Lviv, but not for publication. It was only in 2002 that the publishing house Klasyka invited him to submit for publication a collection of his underground prose saved from the years 1971-1984. That collection, titled “Deinde, Tilky Ne Tut”, which could be translated as “Somewhere Else, But Not Here”, was made available for sale by the author. Prof. Rya
bchuk likened his prose in that book to the light emanating from a star that has been long extinct.

The lecturer reminisced about his student days at the Lviv Polytechnic Institute, where he participated in the editing of the illegal “samvydav” journal “Skrynya” (“The Chest”). Once that “subversive” activity was discovered by the Soviet authorities, Mr. Ryabchuk was expelled from the Institute and blacklisted in all other institutions of higher learning throughout Ukraine.

Paradoxically, the blacklisting did not extend to Moscow, where Mr. Ryabchuk was accepted to the Institute of Literature, from which he graduated as a literary critic. In the 1980’s, his profession enabled him to write critiques of Soviet books as well as to deconstruct the existing Soviet pseudo-criticisms.

In a lively discussion that ensured, the audience was particularly anxious to hear more about Mr. Ryabchuk’s relations with the Ukrainian dissidents of the Soviet past, as well as his opinion as to where Ukraine might be headed in the future.

Offered for sale were also Prof. Ryabchuk’s books in the area of political science: “Two Ukraines” (in Ukrainian and in Polish translation); “The Dilemma of the Ukrainian Faust: Civil Society and the ‘Development of the Country'”; and “A Zone of Alienation: Ukrainian Oligarchy Between the East and the West”. The last two books are in Ukrainian.