Prešov Literary Society

Prešov Literary Society [Литературное заведеніе пряшевское; Literaturnoe zavedenie priashevskoe]. An organization established by Oleksander Dukhnovych, with the aim of publishing books in the Transcarpathian dialect and raising the educational level of Transcarpathia’s Ukrainian population. It functioned semilegally from 1850 to 1853 out of Dukhnovych's home in Prešov. Its several dozen members were from the local nationally conscious literati (eg, Adolf Dobriansky, Viktor Dobriansky, A. Baludiansky, A. Popovych, M. Nod, O. Homichkov, Oleksander Pavlovych, H. Sholtys, M. Mykhalych, I. Vyslotsky, P. Yanovych, A. Rubii, O. Labants, A. Yankura, A. Fedorovych, A. Kryher-Dobrianska, T. Podhaietska, M. Nevytska, Ivan Churgovych); there were a few Czech and Slovak sympathizers among them (eg, J. Moravčik). The society issued 12 publications, including the first Transcarpathian Ukrainian schoolbooks, calendars [see Calendar (kalendar)], two literary miscellanies, and the first published Transcarpathian Ukrainian play, Dukhnovych's Dobroditel’ prevyshchaiet bohatstvo (A Philanthropist Transcends Wealth, 1850). Under its auspices Dukhnovych collected materials in the Prešov region for a future national museum and organized the recording of folklore. In 1853 the society failed to receive support from the local church hierarchy, and finally it was banned by the Austrian government, which considered its activities subversive.

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

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