Ponedilok, Mykola

Ponedilok, Mykola [Понеділок, Микола], b 24 September 1922 in Novomyrhorod, Yelysavethrad county, Kherson gubernia, d 25 January 1976 in New York. Writer. Having been displaced by the Second World War, Ponedilok found himself in Germany in 1943 and the United States of America in 1949. Although his literary career began in 1947 with the publication of a short story, he devoted himself at first to writing and translating dramas for the Volodymyr Blavatsky and Yosyp Hirniak (see Theater-Studio of Y. Hirniak and O. Dobrovolska) theaters in displaced persons camps. He translated the Antigone and Médée of Jean Anouilh and some farces by J. B. Priestley and wrote Znedoleni (The Misfortunate), Liaitenant Fliaiev (Lieutenant Fliaiev), and A my tuiu chervonu kalynu ... (And We Will [Raise] That Red Viburnum ..., 1957). Ponedilok’s forte as well as his fame, however, was in humor and satire. His short stories and feuilletons about émigré life and life under the Soviet regime were tinged with lyricism and filled with a good-natured love for his characters in particular and humanity in general. They appeared in the collections Vitaminy (Vitamins, 1957), Sobornyi borshch (Pan-Ukrainian Borshch, 1960), and Smishni sl'ozyny (Funny Tears, 1966; English translation 1982). Progressively, however, humor and satire gave way to nostalgia, and Ponedilok wrote lyrical reminiscences of his lost native land and youth. He began the trend with Hovoryt' lyshe pole (Only the Field Speaks, 1962) and continued it with Zorepad (Shooting Stars, 1969), Riatuite moiu dushu! (Save My Soul!, 1973), and the posthumous Dyvo v resheti (A Marvel in the Sieve, 1977).

Danylo Husar Struk

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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