Kostiuk, Hryhory

Kostiuk, Hryhory [Костюк, Григорій; Kostjuk, Hryhorij] (pseud: B. Podoliak), b 25 October 1902 in Boryshkivtsi, Podilia gubernia, d 3 October 2002 in Silver Springs, Maryland, USA. Prominent émigré literary scholar and publicist; full member of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in the United States. He studied at the Kyiv Institute of People's Education (1925–9) and was a graduate student at the Shevchenko Institute of Literature in Kharkiv in the early 1930s. From 1927 to 1931 his literary reviews and essays appeared in Zhyttia i revoliutsiia, Molodniak, Chervonyi shliakh, Krytyka, Prolitfront, and other journals. He taught Ukrainian literary history at Kharkiv University (1932–3) and the Luhansk Pedagogical Institute (1933–4). Arrested in Kyiv during the Stalinist terror and accused of ‘nationalism’ and ‘Khvylovyism,’ he spent the years 1935–40 in a Soviet prison and concentration camps, mostly at Vorkuta. A postwar refugee in West Germany from 1944, he helped found the MUR literary organization and was one of the founding members of the Ukrainian Revolutionary Democratic party and its secretary in 1948. As a member of its left-wing faction, he cofounded the monthly Vpered in 1949. Since 1952 he lived in the United States. There he headed the Slovo Association of Ukrainian Writers in Exile from 1955 to 1975. In the late 1950s he brought the archives of Volodymyr Vynnychenko from France and became their curator at Columbia University. He has edited several volumes of Vynnychenko's previously unpublished literary works and diaries.

Since the war Kostiuk wrote extensively on Ukrainian literature and politics in interwar Soviet Ukraine and in the postwar West. Many of his essays, which appeared in several émigré periodicals, were republished in his collections Volodymyr Vynnychenko ta ioho doba (Volodymyr Vynnychenko and His Age, 1980), Na magistraliakh doby (On the Thoroughfares of an Age, 1983), and U sviti idei i obraziv (In the World of Ideas and Images, 1983). He was instrumental in keeping alive the memory of Ukrainian writers who were victims of the Stalinist terror. He collected and was the editor in chief of the complete edition of Mykola Khvylovy's works (5 vols, 1978–86), which had been banned in Soviet Ukraine since the early 1930s. He also edited new editions of Valeriian Pidmohylny's Misto (The City, 1954) and the works of Mykola Kulish (1955), Mykola Plevako (1961), Pavlo Fylypovych (1971), and Mykhailo Drai-Khmara (1979). He is the author of the seminal Stalinist Rule in the Ukraine: A Study of the Decade of Mass Terror, 1929–39 (1960) and of Teoriia i diisnist’: Do problemy vyvchennia teoriï, praktyky i stratehiï bil’shovyzmu v natsional’nomu pytanni (Theory and Reality: On the Problem of Studying the Theory, Practice, and Strategy of Bolshevism vis-á-vis the National Question, 1971). Memoirs of his imprisonment, Okaianni roky (The Accursed Years), appeared in 1978. His memoirs appeared in two volumes as Zustrichi i proshchannia (Meetings and Farewells, 1987 and 1998).

‘Bibliohrafiia prats' H.O. Kostiuka (1927–1972),’ Slovo: Zbirnyk, 5 (Edmonton 1973)
Holubenko, P. ‘Na poli boiu: Zhyttievyi i tvorchyi shliakh Hryhoriia Kostiuka (slovo z nahody 80-littia),’ Novi dni, December 1982–January 1983
Husar-Struk, Danylo. ‘Khto takyi Borys Podoliak?’ Slovo: Zbirnyk, 10 (Edmonton 1983)
‘Hryhorij Kostiuk: A Bibliography (1972–85),’ AUA, 16 (1984–5)

Ivan Koshelivets, Roman Senkus

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

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