Navrotsky, Oleksander

Image - Oleksander Navrotsky

Navrotsky, Oleksander [Навроцький, Олександер; Navroc’kyj], b 9 August 1823 in Antypivka, Zolotonosha county, Poltava gubernia, d 22 October 1892 in Temir-Khan-Shura (now Buinaksk), Dagestan. Revolutionary figure, poet, and translator. He graduated from Kyiv University in 1847. Through his cousin, Mykola Hulak, he joined the Cyril and Methodius Brotherhood; he was arrested in Poltava in 1847, imprisoned for six months in Viatka, and then exiled to Elabuga, Viatka gubernia, and Kursk, Russia. From the time of his release in 1853 until the end of his life he worked as a tsarist functionary, mostly outside Ukraine, in Saint Petersburg, Novocherkassk, Mykolaiv, Yerevan, and Temir-Khan-Shura. Inspired by his friend Taras Shevchenko, he began writing Romantic poetry in 1847; a few were published in the journals Osnova (Saint Petersburg) (1861), Russkii arkhiv (1892), and Kievskaia starina (1900, 1902) and in Mykola I. Petrov's history of 19th-century Ukrainian literature (1884); all 20 extant poems appeared in a Soviet anthology of poetry of the post-Shevchenko period (1961). Navrotsky translated into Ukrainian around 140 literary works, including Homer's Iliad and Odyssey and the poetry of Shota Rustaveli, Heinrich Heine (the first Ukrainian translations), Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, George Byron, John Milton, P.B. Shelley, Adam Mickiewicz, Aleksandr Pushkin, and Mikhail Lermontov.

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

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