Derzhavyn, Volodymyr

Derzhavyn, Volodymyr [Державин, Володимир; Deržavyn], b 30 January 1899 in Saint Petersburg, d 7 March 1964 in Augsburg, Germany. Literary scholar and critic who worked also in general and comparative linguistics, classical philology, and Oriental studies. In 1940 Derzhavyn became a professor at the Kharkiv University and in 1946 a professor at the Ukrainian Free University in Munich. He was a full member of the Shevchenko Scientific Society. He studied the poetics of Western European and Ukrainian neoclassicism and the so-called Prague school from the viewpoint of pure estheticism, and translated classical Latin and Greek, German, French, and English poetry. Among his works are the following articles: ‘Liryka i humor u Shevchenkovomu Zhurnali’ (Lyricism and Humor in Shevchenko's Journal), Shevchenko (collection, 1928); ‘O russkom literaturnom iazyke G.F. Kvitki-Osnovianenko’ (On the Russian Literary Language of H.F. Kvitka-Osnovianenko), Kvitka-Osnovianenko (collection, 1929); ‘Problema kliasytsyzmu ta systematyky literaturnykh styliv’ (The Problem of Classicism and Systematics of Literary Styles), MUR II (collection, 1946); ‘Poeziia M. Zerova i ukraïns'kyi kliasytsyzm’ (The Poetry of M. Zerov and Ukrainian Classicism) in Mykola Zerov's Sonnetarium (1948); Gelb und Blau. Moderne ukrainische Dichtung in Auswahl (1948). From 1954 to 1962 he coedited The Ukrainian Review (London). Derzhavyn's literary wit and intellectual acerbity have been captured in a posthumous collection, Aforyzmy (Aphorisms, 1966).

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]

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