Lam, Jan

Lam, Jan, b 16 January 1838 in Stanyslaviv, Galicia, d 3 August 1886 in Lviv. Polish writer and publicist. He studied law at Lviv University and worked as a provincial-school teacher. He took part in the Polish Insurrection of 1863–4. From 1866 he was a journalist in Lviv; there he became editor of the liberal daily Dziennik Polski (1869–86) and wrote several novels replete with Ukrainianisms and satirical depictions (à la Dickens) of Galician society. In his publicism he portrayed the Ukrainian Cossacks (eg, Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky), Taras Shevchenko, and the Galician Ukrainophiles sympathetically. In the introduction to his historical poem Zawichost (1862), about the battle between the forces of Princes Leszek of Cracow and Roman Mstyslavych of the Principality of Galicia-Volhynia in 1205, Lam argued that medieval Rus’ and the Ukrainian language were not Russian but separate and distinct entities. His literary works were republished in four volumes in Warsaw in 1956–7, and a selection of his publicism appeared in 1954.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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