Storozhenko, Oleksa

Storozhenko, Oleksa [Стороженко, Олекса; Storoženko], b 24 November 1805 in Lysohory, Pryluky county, Poltava gubernia, d 19 November 1874 in Horishyn khutir, Brest county, Belarus. Writer, ethnographer, and artist. He began writing in Russian in the 1850s, by drawing on folktales, particularly those of the Zaporozhian M. Korzh, and on his military service (1824–50). His short stories were published in the journals Severnaia pchela and Biblioteka dlia chteniia. The latter was the vehicle for Rasskazy iz krest’ianskogo byta malorossiian (Stories from the Peasant Life of Little Russians, 1858) and the historical novel Brat’ia bliznetsy (Twin Brothers, 1857). When the journal Osnova (Saint Petersburg) first appeared, Storozhenko began writing in Ukrainian, and in 1863 he published a two-volume collection of short stories, titled Ukraïns’ki opovidannia (Ukrainian Stories). The majority of his works consist of anecdotes, proverbs, and folktales and their titles reflect their folkloric content and style: ‘Vchy linyvoho ne molotom a holodom’ (Teach the Lazy Man Not by Hammer but by Hunger), ‘Mezhyhorods’kyi did’ (The Old Man from Mezhyhorod), ‘Vusy’ (The Moustache), and ‘Holka’ (The Needle). A few of his stories were based directly on ethnographic and historical material, such as ‘Matusyne blahoslovennia’ (Mother's Blessing), ‘Zakokhanyi chort’ (A Devil in Love), and ‘Marko Prokliatyi’ (Damned Marko). His works are marked by earthy Ukrainian humor, a knowledge of folk myths, and picturesque language.

Shamrai, A. ‘O. Storozhenko,’ in O. Storozhenko: Vybrani tvory (Kyiv 1927)
Ishchuk, A. ‘Oleksa Storozhenko,’ in O. Storozhenko: Tvory, 2 vols (Kyiv 1957)

Petro Odarchenko

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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