Valerian Pidmohylny

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Valerian Pidmohylny
Born (1901-02-02)February 2, 1901
Chapli, Ukraine
Died 3 November 1937(1937-11-03) (aged 36)
Sandarmokh, Karelia,[1] Soviet Union
Occupation novelist, translator, literary critic,
Nationality Ukraine Ukrainian
Genre Ukrainian literature
Notable works The City, A Little Touch of Drama

Valerian Pidmohylny (Валеріан Підмогильний, February 2, 1901 - November 3, 1937) was an important Ukrainian novelist, most famous for the realist novel Misto (The City). Like a number of Ukrainian writers, he flourished in 1920s Ukraine, but was finally constrained and eventually arrested by the Soviet authorities. He is considered one of the lead figures of Executed Renaissance.


Pidmohylny was born in Ekaterinoslav Governorate (now Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Ukraine). His father was a manager for a large landowner. He learned French as a child and continued his efforts, eventually becoming a major translator of French literature into Ukrainian, in particular the works of Anatole France and Guy de Maupassant.

His early adult life is sketchy, but there is a slight indication that he was a supporter of Symon Petliura, the military commander of the short-lived independent Ukraine created after the Soviet Revolution.

Living in Kiev, but having difficulty publishing some of his stories in 1923, he was able to secure publication in the anti-Soviet émigré journal Nova Ukraina. This created disagreements with other Ukrainian writers including Khvyl'ovyi, one of the leading writers of the period.

Pidmohylny published a wide number of stories in the next several years after having been "exonerated" by the major Ukrainian journal Chervonyi shliakh. He also participated in the literary group Lanka tied to the journal Zhyttia i revoliutsiia. In addition to prose fiction and translations, he also published several critical essays, and is considered one of the pioneers of Freudian criticism in Ukraine.

In 1927, at the age of 26, Pidmohylny won recognition as a major author with the publication of his novel Misto (The City), which was also translated into Russian.

As harsh Stalinism solidified in Ukraine, Pidmohylny had increasing difficulty publishing his work, especially magnified because of questions of his commitment to the Soviet system. In 1934, he was arrested. Tortured and forced to sign wild confessions, he was sentenced to the Solovki prison camp and shot in Sandarmokh, Karelia.[2][3]

After Stalin’s death, Pidmohylny was partially rehabilitated in 1956.[4]


The novel Misto is the story of a young man thrust into the violent sights and smells of an urban environment and has been translated into English.

A Little Touch of Drama[edit]

The novel A Little Touch of Drama (Ukrainian: Невеличка драма), originally only published in serialization, describes the character types of a number of men who compete for the love of one woman. One of her primary admirers is a scientist, and a major theme is the tension between the administration of reason-based science and human emotional life. It is available in English translation.


External links[edit]

  • A biographical essay about Pidmohylny in English: [1]
  • Pidmohylny's writings in Ukrainian, with some English translations: [2]