Hulak-Artemovsky, Petro

Image - Petro Hulak-Artemovsky

Hulak-Artemovsky, Petro [Hulak-Artemovs’kyj], b 27 January 1790 in Horodyshche (Cherkasy region), Kyiv gubernia, d 13 October 1865 in Kharkiv. (Portrait: Petro Hulak-Artemovsky.) Poet, fabulist, scholar and translator of classical literature. After studying at the Kyiv Theological Academy and Kharkiv University, in 1818 he was appointed lecturer of Polish at Kharkiv University, and in 1825, professor of Russian history and geography. From 1841 to 1849 he served as the university’s rector. He began to publish in 1817. Familiar with the peasants' language and way of life, he wrote in the tradition of Ivan Kotliarevsky, using burlesque in his fables, supplications, poems, and travesties of Horace's odes. His best-known fable, ‘Pan i sobaka’ (The Master and His Dog, 1818), satirizes the arbitrary brutality of the serf-owning gentry. Some of his works, such as ‘Do liubky’ (To My Beloved), exhibit elements of sentimentalism. His Romantic ballads, ‘Rybalka’ (The Fisherman) and ‘Tvardovs’kyi’, are thematic borrowings from J. von Goethe and Adam Mickiewicz supplemented with Ukrainian elements. His works are collected in Tvory (Works, 1927, with an introduction by Yarema Aizenshtok) and Baiky, balady, liryka (Fables, Ballads, Lyric Poetry, 1958, with an introduction by Ivan Pilhuk).

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

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