Hrebinka, Yevhen

Image - Yevhen Hrebinka

Hrebinka, Yevhen, b 2 February 1812 at Ubizhyshche khutir near Pyriatyn in Poltava gubernia, d 15 December 1848 in Saint Petersburg. Romantic writer. From 1834 he lived in Saint Petersburg, where he taught literature in military schools and in the Institute of Mining Engineers and maintained close ties with several literary circles. He took an active part in purchasing Taras Shevchenko's freedom and helped publish Shevchenko's Kobzar in 1840. His works in Ukrainian and Russian first appeared in journals and almanacs in 1831. In 1834 he published Malorossiiskie prikazki (Little Russian Fables) in Moscow; because of its vivid and pure language, wit, laconic style, and attention to ethnographic detail, it ranks among the best collections of fables in Ukrainian literature. He composed a number of lyrical poems, including ‘Ukrainskaia melodiia’ (A Ukrainian Melody, 1839) and others that became folk songs. His 1836 translation of Aleksandr Pushkin's Poltava is a burlesque rendition. Hrebinka also wrote prose and poems in Russian. Among them are some works with Ukrainian themes such as the Gogolesque Rasskazy piriatintsa (Stories of a Pyriatynian, 1837), the historical poems ‘Getman Svirgovskii’ (1839) and ‘Bogdan’ (1843), the novelette Nezhinskii polkovnik Zolotarenko (The Nizhyn Colonel Zolotarenko, 1842), and the novel Chaikovskii (1843). Hrebinka is thus recognized as a leading representative of the so-called Ukrainian school in Russian literature. In 1841 he published one of the first Ukrainian almanacs, Lastôvka. His collected works were first published in 1862. His Ukrainian works appeared in 1906 with an introduction by Serhii Yefremov.

Kovalenko, G. Evgenii Grebinka (Chernihiv 1899)
Zubkov, S. Ievhen Pavlovych Hrebinka: Zhyttia i tvorchist’ (Kyiv 1962)
Tsyban’ova, O. Ievhen Hrebinka (Kyiv 1972)

Ivan Koshelivets

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1989).]

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