Smiliansky, Leonid

Smiliansky, Leonid [Смілянський, Леонід; Smilians'kyj], b 27 February 1904 in Konotop, Chernihiv gubernia, d 11 November 1966 in Kyiv. Writer and journalist. In 1928 he concluded his studies at the Kyiv Institute of People's Education. He belonged to the literary organizations Hart, Molodniak, and the All-Ukrainian Association of Proletarian Writers and was first published in 1925. For some time he worked as a journalist and literary critic for various publications. He also showed talent in the genres of narrative prose, dramaturgy, and the film scenario (in 1956 he worked on the film Ivan Franko, and in 1959 he wrote a film version of the novel Sashko). Smiliansky’s first novels were written in the constructivist style, among them Novi oseli (New Settlements, 1928) and Zlochyn brygadyra (The Crime of the Brigadier, 1930). During the Second World War he began writing psychological short stories, such as Na zastavi (At the Outpost, 1941), Topky pohasheni (The Stoves Are Out, 1941), Pidslukhani noveli (Overheard Novellas, 1942), and Sertse (Heart, 1943). Smiliansky’s historical and biographical works, marred by the tendency to distort historical fact, consist of a novel about Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky (Mykhailo Kotsiubyns'kyi, 1940), Zoloti vorota (The Golden Gate, 1942), Ievshan-zillia (Wormwood, 1943), the two-volume novel about Taras Shevchenko Poetova molodist' (The Poet’s Youth, 1960–2), the drama about Lesia Ukrainka Chervona troianda (The Red Rose, 1955), the drama about Ivan Franko Muzhyts'kyi posol (The Peasant Delegate, 1956), and others. An edition of his works in four volumes was published in 1970.

Ivan Koshelivets

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

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