Lavrinenko, Yurii (Лавриненко, Юрій; Lawrynenko Jurij; pseud: Ю. Дивнич; Yu. Dyvnych), b 3 May 1905 in Khyzhyntsi, Zvenyhorodka county, Kyiv gubernia, d 14 December 1987 in New York. Literary scholar, critic, and publicist. He graduated from the Kharkiv Institute of People's Education in 1930 and then obtained a PH D from the Institute of Literature of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR (now NANU). He was arrested several times during the Stalinist terror between 1933 and 1935, and from 1935 to 1939 he was imprisoned in the Soviet concentration camp in Norilsk. He was exiled after his release. As a refugee after the Second World War, he was active in the Ukrainian cultural life in the displaced persons camps in Germany in the 1940s. In 1950 he emigrated to the United States. In 1954 he was one of the initiating members of the Slovo Association of Ukrainian Writers in Exile. In 1955–60, together with Ivan Koshelivets, he edited Ukraïns’ka literaturna hazeta.
Lavrinenko began publishing his works while he was still a student. His historical-literary works are devoted mainly to research on the Ukrainian renaissance of the 1920s. The bibliography of his literary-critical and publicistic works contains more than 300 entries. His books include the literary portraits of Vasyl Blakytny (Blakytnyi-Ellan, 1929), Vasyl Chumak (Vasyl’ Chumak, 1930), Pavlo Tychyna (Tvorchist’ Pavla Tychyny [The Works of Pavlo Tychyna], 1930), and Yosyp Hirniak (V maskakh epokhy [In the Masks of an Era], coauthor, 1948), the anthology Rozstriliane vidrodzhennia (The Executed Renaissance, 1959), the collection of his literary-critical articles Zrub i parosty (The Stump and Its Offshoots, 1971), and the monograph on Vasyl Karazyn (Vasyl’ Karazyn, 1975). His essays include Na shliakhakh syntezy kliarnetyzmu (On the Roads of the Synthesis of [the Poetic Style] Clarinetism, 1977), and Pavlo Tychyna i ioho poema ‘Skovoroda' na tli epokhy (Pavlo Tychyna and His Poem ‘Skovoroda’ in the Context of the Era, 1980). His historical-publicistic works include Sotsiializm i ukraïns’ka revoliutsiia (Socialism and the Ukrainian Revolution, 1949) and Na ispyti velykoï revoliutsiï (At the Test of the Great Revolution, 1949). He also wrote Ukrainian Communism and Soviet-Russian Policy toward the Ukraine: An Annotated Bibliography, 1917-1953 (1953) and his memoirs, Chorna purha (The Black Blizzard, 1985).
[This article was updated in 2019.]
Encyclopedia of Ukraine