Grendzha-Donsky, Vasyl

Grendzha-Donsky, Vasyl [Ґренджа-Донський, Василь; Grendža-Dons'kyj, Vasyl'] b 23 April 1897 in Volove (now Mizhhiria), Transcarpathia, d 25 November 1974 in Bratislava, Slovakia. Writer and journalist. Grendzha-Donsky was befriended by the poet Vasyl Pachovsky, under whose influence he actively participated in the cultural revival of Ukrainians in Transcarpathia and was the first Transcarpathian author to write in literary Ukrainian. The editor of Nasha zemlia (Uzhhorod) (1927–8) and Nova svoboda (1938–9) in Uzhhorod, he was a prolific writer in the 1920s and 1930s. His works, which are imbued with patriotic romanticism, include collections of poetry: Kvity z terniamy (Flowers with Thorns, 1923), Zoloti kliuchi (Golden Springs, 1923), Shliakhom ternovym (On the Thorny Path, 1924), Tobi ridnyi kraiu (To You, Native Land, 1936), and others; collections of short stories: Opovidannia z karpats’kykh polonyn (Stories from the Carpathian Meadows, 1926), Nazustrich voli (A Rendezvous with Freedom, 1929); the drama in verse Ostannii bii (The Last Battle, 1930); the historical drama Sotnia Mocharenka (Mocharenko’s Company, 1932); and the novelettes Il'ko Lypei, rozbiinyk (Ilko Lypei, the Brigand, 1936) and Petro Petrovych (1937). In 1964 a selection of his works was published in Prešov; its title Shliakhom ternovym suitably summarizes the life of Grendzha-Donsky, whose national orientation often made his existence difficult under the various regimes he lived through. By 1986 the Carpathian Alliance in Washington, DC, had published seven volumes of his complete works.

Danylo Husar Struk

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1988).]

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