Pypin, Aleksandr

Pypin, Aleksandr [Пипин, Александр], b 6 April 1833 in Saratov, Russia, d 9 December 1904 in Saint Petersburg. Russian Slavist and cultural historian; full member of the Russian Academy of Sciences from 1898 and the Shevchenko Scientific Society from 1903. He studied under Izmail Sreznevsky at Saint Petersburg University and was a professor there in 1860–1. Both he and Mykola Kostomarov resigned as professors in protest against the tsarist oppression of the student movement. Pypin played an important editorial role in the progressive journals Sovremennik and Vestnik Evropy, in which he published his reviews of Ukrainian literature. He wrote nearly 1,200 works. He discussed the development of Ukrainian literature and ethnography in his pioneering histories of ancient Russian tales (master’s thesis, 1857), Slavic literatures (coauthor, Vladimir Spasovich, 1865; 2 vols, 1879, 1881), Russian ethnography (4 vols, 1890–2; vol 3 is devoted to Ukrainian ethnography), and Russian literature (4 vols, 1898–9). Pypin also wrote articles about Taras Shevchenko; he considered him one of the best Slavic poets and a talented realist prose writer. His 1890 Vestnik Evropy review of Omelian Ohonovsky’s history of Ruthenian literature, in which Pypin disagreed that Ukrainian literature has its origins in Kyivan Rus’ and that it evolved independently of Russian literature, elicited a lively polemic in which Ohonovsky, Ivan Nechui-Levytsky, Mykhailo Komarov, Kostiantyn Mykhalchuk, Mykhailo Drahomanov, Ivan Franko (with whom Pypin corresponded), and other scholars took part. Information regarding Ukraine can be found in his books on the social (1871) and religious (1916) movements during the reign of Alexander I and on Russian Freemasonry (1916). His reminiscences were published in 1910.

Roman Senkus

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

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