Vik publishing house

Vik publishing house [Вік; Era]. A publishing house established in Kyiv in 1895 by several students (future political and cultural leaders Vasyl Domanytsky, Oleksander Lototsky, Fedir Matushevsky, Volodymyr Durdukivsky, Serhii Yefremov, Viacheslav Prokopovych, and others) under the influence of Oleksander Konysky. In 1896–7 it issued only five short stories and tales in pamphlet form, most of which were reprinted from the journal Osnova (Saint Petersburg) (1861–2) and earlier periodicals. Over time it published a series of 23 books of poetry and prose by Konysky, Taras Shevchenko, Ahatanhel Krymsky, Ivan Franko, Ivan Nechui-Levytsky, Leonid Hlibov, Stepan Rudansky, Marko Vovchok, Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky, Vasyl Stefanyk, and others with a combined pressrun of 73,000 copies; 70 books and brochures aimed at enlightening the peasantry (375,000 copies); 21 books and pamphlets on political topics (25,000 copies); 10 editions of the selected works of Nechui-Levytsky, Franko, Panas Myrny, Borys Hrinchenko, Ivan Karpenko-Kary, and other writers (30,000 copies); and 16 books (50,000 copies) not part of any series, including the massive literary anthology Vik (3 vols, 1900, 1902), compilations of some of the best and most important literary works of the 19th century, and an anthology commemorating Ivan Kotliarevsky, Na vichnu pam'iat’ Kotliarevs’komu (In Eternal Memory of Kotliarevsky, 1904). Despite the strict tsarist censorship of Ukrainian-language works and the official persecution of the Ukrainian cultural movement, Vik managed to publish 91 books by 1905 (when the Ems Ukase was rescinded) and 140 by 1918, with a combined pressrun of approximately 560,000 copies. Its books contributed to the growth of national consciousness among many Ukrainians under tsarist rule.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]




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