Travesty (травестія; travestiia). A form of humorous poetry in which a work of serious or heroic content is made comic. The classic example of travesty in Ukrainian literature is Ivan Kotliarevsky’s Eneïda, based on Virgil’s Aeneid, in which the characters (gods and heroes) were dressed in traditional Ukrainian folk garb and amusingly portrayed against the background of daily Ukrainian life. Kotliarevsky’s epigones (Kostiantyn Dumytrashko and others) also wrote in the genre, which came to be known as kotliarevshchyna. Travesties also played an important role in the Ukrainian national revival of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, when literature sought to get closer to the daily language of the people.

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

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