Ovsianiko-Kulikovsky, Dmitrii

Image - Dmitrii Ovsianiko-Kulikovsky

Ovsianiko-Kulikovsky, Dmitrii [Овсянико-Куликовський, Дмитрий: Ovsjaniko-Kulikovskij, Dmitrij], b 4 February 1853 in Kakhivka, Tavriia gubernia, d 9 October 1920 in Odesa. Russian literary scholar and theorist, linguist, and Sanskritologist; honorary member of the Russian Imperial Academy of Sciences from 1907. He studied comparative Indo-European grammar, Greek, and Sanskrit at Saint Petersburg University (1870–3, 1876–7) and Odesa University (1873–6; Ph D, 1887). In Odesa he became a Ukrainophile and joined the local Hromada. From 1877 to 1882 he lived abroad. In Geneva he became a disciple of Mykhailo Drahomanov, who published anonymously his pamphlet Zapiski iuzhno-russkago sotsialista (Notes of a South Russian Socialist, 1877). After his return he was a privatdocent in Odesa (1883–7) and wrote for Odesskiia novosti. He became a professor at Kazan University (1887–8) and Kharkiv University (1888–1905) and at the Saint Petersburg Higher Courses for Women (1905–18). From 1894 to 1904 he edited Kharkiv University's Zapiski Imperatorskogo Khar’kovskogo universiteta, and from 1912 to 1918, the influential Russian journal Vestnik Evropy. In 1911 he delivered a lecture (published in Kyiv 1914) on Taras Shevchenko's poetry at a session of the Academy of Sciences in Saint Petersburg.

From 1890 on Ovsianiko-Kulikovsky was an adherent of Oleksander Potebnia's psychological school in linguistics and literature. He wrote many newspaper articles and scholarly studies and books in the fields of Sanskrit, Vedic mythology and religion, philosophy, psychopathology, linguistics, and Russian literature. In his memoirs (1923) there are chapters on Mykhailo Drahomanov, Mykola Ziber, Maksym Kovalevsky, and O. Potebnia. A book about him by N. Osmakov was published in Moscow in 1981.

Roman Senkus

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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