Levchenko, Mykola

Levchenko, Mykola [Левченко, Микола; Levčenko], b 1903 in Kyiv, d 1934 in Kyiv. Folklorist and literary scholar. After graduating from the Kyiv Archeological Institute and the Kyiv Institute of People's Education he served as Ahatanhel Krymsky’s secretary at the All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. In 1927 he was put in charge of publishing at the academy. A specialist in folk prose, he edited the still-unsurpassed collection Kazky ta opovidannia z Podillia (Fables and Stories from Podilia, 1928) and Opovidannia selian za chasy hromadians'koï Viiny na Vkraïni (Peasant Stories from the Civil War in Ukraine, 1926) and wrote a study of the warrior Illia Muromets in medieval Ukrainian folk tales (1927). His two-volume collection Z polia folkl'orystyky ta etnohrafiï (From the Field of Folklore Studies and Ethnography, 1927–8) was an important contribution to the history of Ukrainian folklore. Also a literary scholar, he published Volodymyr Antonovych’s correspondence in Zapysky Istorychno-filolohichnoho viddilu VUAN (no 16, 1928) and collaborated with A. Krymsky on the collection Znadoby do zhyttiepysu Stepana Rudans'koho (Materials for the Biography of Stepan Rudansky, 1926). He also published some recollections about Stepan Rudansky (1929). After being arrested at the end of 1929 in connection with the show trial of the Union for the Liberation of Ukraine, he refused to sign any fabrications and was sent to the GULAG without trial. He was released from labor camp in the fall of 1934, and returned to Kyiv. Unable to find work and resume normal life, he committed suicide.

Mykola Mushynka

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

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