Muzahet (from Greek, meaning ‘leader of muses’). A symbolist literary and artistic group and journal founded in 1919. Some of the more important members and/or contributors to Muzahet were Pavlo Tychyna, Dmytro Zahul, Klym Polishchuk, Pavlo Fylypovych, Yurii Mezhenko, Yakiv Savchenko, Oleksa Slisarenko, Volodymyr Kobyliansky, Pavlo Kovzhun, and Mykhailo Zhuk. Although many of the works written by its members reflect more the modernism of Moloda Muza or Ukraïns’ka khata than Western symbolism, they represent an attempt at Europeanization and a departure from the populist tendencies of the 19th century. The journal had only one issue (nos 1–3, 1919), which contained some important articles of literary theory and literary criticism by Zahul, Savchenko, and, especially, Mezhenko. It was primarily owing to Mezhenko's programmatic article (‘Tvorchist' individuma i kolektyv’ [The Creativity of the Individual and the Collective]), in which he argued for a nationally conscious artistic elite ‘above the masses,’ that Muzahet was outlawed by the authorities, and that both the journal and the organization ceased to exist. In pursuit of apolitical and artistic literary aims some of the members formed Hrono, others joined Aspys and then Vaplite, and some (Savchenko) even joined the proletarian Hart. Most, however, perished in the Soviet terror of the 1930s.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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