Doroshkevych, Oleksander

Doroshkevych, Oleksander [Дорошкевич, Олександер; Doroškevyč], b 27 September 1889 in Bronnitsy, Moscow gubernia, d 1 April 1946 in Kyiv. Literary scholar, pedagogue, and literary critic. In 1913 Doroshkevych graduated from Kyiv University. In the 1920s he was a professor at the Kyiv Institute of People's Education, an associate of the All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, and the director of the Kyiv branch of the Taras Shevchenko Scientific Research Institute. In the 1930s he was exiled to the Ural region, from which he returned in 1943. During the last years of his life he was a professor at Kyiv University and director of the department of Ukrainian prerevolutionary literature at the Institute of Literature of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR.

Doroshkevych edited a number of editions of 19th-century Ukrainian writers, including the best edition of Taras Shevchenko's Kobzar (1933). He wrote many studies, mostly on 19th-century literature. While they are rich in factual material, their value is diminished by his use of the crude sociological method that was fashionable in the 1920s and 1930s. Some of his essays were collected in Etiudy z Shevchenkoznavstva (Studies in Shevchenko Scholarship, 1930). Doroshkevych's large biography of Marko Vovchok was published in 1938. He wrote many articles on Ivan Kotliarevsky, Panteleimon Kulish, Ivan Franko, Olha Kobylianska, and Volodymyr Samiilenko. He is the author of Do istoriï modernizmu (On the History of Modernism, 1925), Ukraïns’ka literatura v shkoli: Sproba metodyky (Ukrainian Literature in the School: An Attempt at a Method, 1921, a text on teaching methods), Khrestomatiia po istoriï ukraïns’koï literatury (Chrestomathy on the History of Ukrainian Literature, 1918), and the popular Pidruchnyk istoriï ukraïns’koï literatury (Textbook on the History of Ukrainian Literature, 5 edns, 1924–30). In the latter Doroshkevych combined the sociological method with an analysis according to basic literary genres. It was later attacked for treating Ukrainian literature ‘in isolation from the Russian literary process.’

Ivan Koshelivets

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

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