Manzhura, Ivan

Manzhura, Ivan [Манжура, Іван; Manžura; pseud: Ivan Kalichka], b 1 November 1851 in Kharkiv, d 15 May 1893 in Katerynoslav. Poet, folklorist, and ethnographer. He was a full member of the Kharkiv Historical-Philological Society (from 1887) and the Moscow Natural Sciences, Anthropology, and Ethnography Society (from 1891). Manzhura studied at the Kharkiv Veterinary Institute (1870–1), from which he was suspended for ‘political bad conduct’; he remained under tsarist police surveillance for the rest of his life. Manzhura’s debut as a poet came in 1885 in the weekly Step'. In 1889 his first anthology of poetry, Stepovi dumy ta spivy (Steppe Dumas and Songs), was published. He subsequently prepared another anthology, Nad Dniprom (By the Dnipro River), and a book of edited folk oral literature, Kazky ta prykazky i take inshe (Fables, Proverbs, and Other Such Things), neither of which was published in his lifetime. Manzhura’s social and intimate lyric poetry was greatly influenced by folk oral literature. Finely written and completely original in the context of the literature of its time, his poetry showed the poet’s close attention to language and was unencumbered by needless poetic decorative devices. Among Manzhura’s longer works are stories in verse, Tr'omsyn-bohatyr (Tromsyn the Giant), Ivan Holyk, and Kazka pro khytroho lysovyna ... (The Tale of the Crafty Fox ...). Two of the more extensive editions of Manzhura’s works are Poeziï (Poems, ed Yarema Aizenshtok, 1930) and Tvory (Works, ed M. Bernshtein, 1961).

Berezovs'kyi, I. Ivan Manzhura (Kyiv 1962)
Zaremba, V. Ivan Manzhura (Kyiv 1972)
Bernshtein, M. Ivan Manzhura (Kyiv 1977)

Ivan Koshelivets

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

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