Year XIV, Issue 7-8 (153-154)

August 2010
Mykhailo Minakov. The Quality of Power: an Evaluation of the Ukrainian Elite
Andrea Graziosi. On Reality, Ethics, and Politics in Italy and Ukraine
Mykola Riabchuk. Reconstructing the Region
Oleksandr Bohomolov, Ihor Semyvolos. Conceptions of Self and of the Other in the Crimean Tatar Newspaper Discourse
   John-Paul Himka. The Weight of Legacy and the Responsibility of Knowledge
   Vitalii Ponomar’ov. Deheroization of Resistance
   Niklas Bernsand. Innocence of Memory
Tamara Hundorova. The Symptom of the Sick Body
Yevhenia Kononenko. Lady with Chimeras
Jurko Prokhasko. Don Quixote of Kolomyia
Lidia Stefanowska. The Travels of Mr. Cogito
Kost’ Moskalets. Time by Touch
Letter to Krytyka: Frank Sysyn
Iryna Shuvalova. The Impossible Made Possible
Ostap Sereda. In Memory of a Historian
Andrii Portnov. Yaroslav Isajevych: the Historian and his Tradition



The July-August issue of Krytyka opens with Mykhailo Minakov of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy writing on “The Quality of Power: an Evaluation of the Ukrainian Elite,” which argues against the now widespread notion in Ukraine that the power elite has to be changed totally. Minakov proposes instead that the focus be placed on institutional reform which would enforce responsibility for political actions and decisions. Andrea Graziosi, of Naples University in his “On Reality, Ethics, and Politics in Italy and Ukraine,” considers the question of the responsibility of the intellectuals, especially with regard to making real, hard choices, (rather than voting against “all of the above”) and compares the recent elections in Ukraine with those in Italy where similar attitudes on the part of Italian intellectuals (“the worse it gets, the better it is”) brought Berlusconi to power.

The well-known Ukrainian publicist and Krytyka editor Mykola Riabchuk analyzes in his “Reconstructing the Region” various tendencies in European and American political circles on the question of post-Soviet Eastern Europe in general and Russia and Ukraine in particular, with special reference to The New Eastern Europe. Ukraine, Belarus & Moldova, published by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Transatlantic Relations in Washington D. C. and edited by Daniel Hamilton and Gerhard Mangott.

The second part of “Conceptions of Self and of the Other in the Crimean Tatar Newspaper Discourse” by Oleksandr Bohomolov and Ihor Semyvolos (the first part appeared in No. 1–2, 2010 of Krytyka) is devoted to the construction of the Other, i.e., the non-Tatar inhabitants of Crimea, the Crimean authorities, Turkey and the Turkic world in general, Ukraine, Russia and Europe.

The discussion of the role that Stepan Bandera and the UPA, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, play in contemporary Ukrainan national memory, which was begun in No. 3–4, 2010 of Krytyka, is continued in the responses of John-Paul Himka of the University of Alberta (“The Weight of Legacy and the Responsibility of Knowledge”) and Niklas Bernsand of the University of Lund (“Innocence of Memory”) and Vitalii Ponomar’ov (“Deheroization of Resistance”).

In “The Symptom of the Sick Body” Tamara Hundorova of the Institute of Literature of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences analyzes the depictions of the body in various contemporary writers (Juri Andrukhovych, Jurko Izdryk, Oksana Zabuzhko, and such younger ones as Serhii Zhadan, Tania Maliarchuk, Irena Karpa, Lubko Deresh and others). All of these writers, she claims, especially the younger ones, tend to depict the human body in its sickly, monstrous and kitchy form and to be preoccupied with images of the loser, which can be seen as a contemporary variant of melancholy consciousness.

In “Lady with Chimeras” the Kyiv writer Yevhenia Kononenko examines the permutations and mystifications performed on the Ukrainian writer Larysa Kosach, better known by her pen name Lesya Ukrainka (1871–1913), in Oksana Zabuzhko’s “belletristic investigation”: Notre Dame d’ Ukraine. Ukrainka in the Conflict of Mythologies (2007) where the author mythologizes around this figure a not altogether persuasive version of “national sensibility.” 

In “Don Quixote of Kolomyia” the Lviv translator Jurko Prokhasko writes on the Ukrainian йmigrй journalist and activist Bohdan Osadczuk who has just turned 90.
Two essays on the Polish poet Zbigniew Herbert (1924–1998), whose essays were recently translated into Ukrainian by Andrii Pavlyshyn, are also included: Lidia Stefanowska of the Slavistics Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences writes on “The Travels of Mr. Cogito” and the Ukrainian poet and essayist Kost’ Moskalets writes on “Time by Touch.” Both essays focus on the poetic and the essayistic legacy of the poet and his take on various central topoi of European civilization.

In her essay “The Impossible Made Possible” the Kyiv poet Iryna Shuvalova examines the esthetics and philosophy of the recently deceased Portuguese Nobel Prize winner, Josе Saramago (1922–2010), on the occasion of the Ukrainian translation of his major novel, The Gospel According to Jesus Christ. 

Ostap Sereda (“In Memory of a Historian”) and Andrii Portnov (“Yaroslav Isajevych: the Historian and his Tradition”) write on the recently deceased eminent Ukrainian historian and long time director of the Krypiakevych Institue of Ukrainian Studies in Lviv, Yaroslav Isajevych (1936–2010). Frank Sysyn of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies adds in his letter further information on the studies of Ihor Љevиenko in the Ukrainian Free University in Prague.

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