Shamota, Mykola

Shamota, Mykola [Шамота, Микола; Šamota], b 17 December 1916 in Poltava, d 4 January 1984 in Kyiv. Literary scholar, publicist, and Communist Party functionary. He graduated from the Nizhyn Pedagogical Institute in 1939 and studied at the Academy of Social Sciences of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. He was a full member of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR and director of the Institute of Literature of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR (1961–78). He specialized in the theory of socialist realism. His works include Ideinist' i maisternist' (Idealism and Mastery, 1953), Pro khudozhnist' (About Artistic Work, 1957), Talant i narod (Talent and the People, 1958), Pro svobodu tvorchosti (About Creative Freedom, 1973), and Humanizm i sotsialistychnyi realizm (Humanism and Socialist Realism, 1976). Shamota was the spokesman of Leonid Brezhnev’s policy of Russification. After Nikita Khrushchev’s thaw he used his position as director of the Institute of Literature to suppress the revival in Ukrainian literature engendered by the shestydesiatnyky. He vociferously opposed deviations from the Party line and the rehabilitation of proscribed authors. After the announcement of the new policy of glasnost Shamota’s works were harshly criticized as examples of ideological dogmatism.

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

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