Tarnavsky, Zenon

Tarnavsky, Zenon [Тарнавський, Зенон; Tarnavs'kyj; pseudonym: Жан Жак Бурвіль; Zhan Zhak Burvil], b 9 September 1912 in Sambir, Galicia, d 8 August 1962 in Detroit. Theater figure, writer, translator, and journalist. His first story appeared in Novyi chas in 1930. During the 1930s he worked as a journalist for the Lviv papers Ukraïns’ki visty and Bat’kivshchyna (see Batkivshchyna), translated French plays into Ukrainian and adapted novels for the Zahrava Theater and the Tobilevych Theater, and wrote the play Taras Shevchenko (1938). During the Second World War he worked as a radio journalist, was the founder and artistic director of the Veselyi Lviv theater (1942–4), and was director of Lviv’s Literary-Artistic Club. As a postwar refugee Tarnavsky was a coeditor of Arka and the first editor of Ukraïns’ka trybuna in Munich. After emigrating to the United States in 1949, he worked as an industrial artist in Detroit and was active in Ukrainian community organizations there. He translated into Ukrainian the morality play Everyman (and directed its premiere in Detroit in 1961), T.S. Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral (published in 1963), and Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, and wrote or cowrote several unpublished plays (eg, ‘Chai u pana prem'iera’ [Tea at the Premier’s], with Bohdan Nyzhankivsky). His articles and stories appeared in the émigré periodicals Arka, Ukraïns’ka trybuna, Teatr, Shliakh peremohy, and Kyïv (Philadelphia). A posthumous edition of his selected prose and journalistic writings was published in 1964, and no. 8 of Terem (1982) was devoted to him.

Roman Senkus

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

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