Koperzhynsky, Kostiantyn

Koperzhynsky, Kostiantyn [Копержинський, Костянтин; Koperžyns'kyj, Kostjantyn], b 4 November 1894 in Hlibiv, Nova Ushytsia county, Podilia gubernia, d 18 March 1953 in Leningrad. Folklorist, literary scholar, specialist in theater studies, and bibliographer; father of Nonna Koperzhynska. A student of Volodymyr Peretts, he graduated from Petrograd University in 1918 and taught at Leningrad University (1923–5) and Odesa University (1925–8). From 1928 to 1934 he was a member of the Ethnographic Commission of the All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences (VUAN) and an associate of the Commission for Old Ukrainian Literature. In 1934 he was imprisoned in a Stalinist concentration camp. After his release he taught at Irkutsk (1937–45) and Leningrad (1945–53) universities, but no longer wrote in Ukrainian or on Ukrainian subjects. From the mid-1920s to the early 1930s his articles and reviews appeared in several VUAN periodicals and collections. They include articles on late-18th/early-19th–century theater life in Podilia and the Chernihiv region; Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky; the 16th-century writer V. Surazky; ancient Slavic New Year and harvest rituals and the concept of time; Mykhailo Komarov; Ukrainian magic, acrobatic, and pantomime performances in the late 18th and early 19th centuries; and Mykhailo Drahomanov’s political tactics. He wrote several survey articles on contemporary Ukrainian literary and theater scholarship. Some of his articles also appeared as offprints. He is the author of Obzhynky: Obriady zboru vrozhaiu u slov’ians’kykh narodiv u naidavnishu dobu rozvytku (Obzhynky: Harvest Rituals among the Slavic Peoples during the Earliest Period of Development, 1926).

Mykola Mushynka

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

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