Valerian Pidmohylny
Valerian Pidmohylny was an important Ukrainian novelist, most famous for the realist novel Misto (The City). Like a number of Ukrainian writers, he flourished in 1920s Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, but was finally constrained and eventually arrested by the Soviet authorities.


Pidmohylny was born in Chapli (modern Askania-Nova, Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

). His father was a manager for a large landowner. He learned French as a child and continued his efforts, eventually becoming a major translator of French literature
French literature
French literature is, generally speaking, literature written in the French language, particularly by citizens of France; it may also refer to literature written by people living in France who speak traditional languages of France other than French. Literature written in French language, by citizens...

 into Ukrainian
Ukrainian language
Ukrainian is a language of the East Slavic subgroup of the Slavic languages. It is the official state language of Ukraine. Written Ukrainian uses a variant of the Cyrillic alphabet....

, in particular the works of Anatole France
Anatole France
Anatole France , born François-Anatole Thibault, , was a French poet, journalist, and novelist. He was born in Paris, and died in Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire. He was a successful novelist, with several best-sellers. Ironic and skeptical, he was considered in his day the ideal French man of letters...

 and Guy de Maupassant
Guy de Maupassant
Henri René Albert Guy de Maupassant was a popular 19th-century French writer, considered one of the fathers of the modern short story and one of the form's finest exponents....


His early adult life is sketchy, but there is a slight indication that he was a supporter of Symon Petliura, the military commander of the short-lived independent Ukraine created after the Soviet Revolution.

Living in Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

, but having difficulty publishing some of his stories in 1923, he was able to secure publication in the anti-Soviet émigré journal Nova Ukraina. This created disagreements with other Ukrainian writers including Khvyl'ovyi, one of the leading writers of the period.

Pidmohylny published a wide number of stories in the next several years after having been "exonerated" by the major Ukrainian journal Chervonyi shliakh. He also participated in the literary group Lanka tied to the journal Zhyttia i revoliutsiia. In addition to prose fiction and translations, he also published several critical essays, and is considered one of the pioneers of Freudian criticism in Ukraine.

In 1927, at the mere age of 26, Pidmohylny won recognition as a major author with the publication of his novel Misto (The City), which was also translated into Russian.

As harsh Stalinism solidified in Ukraine, Pidmohylny had increasing difficulty publishing his work, especially magnified because of questions of his commitment to the Soviet system. In 1934, he was arrested. Tortured and forced to sign wild confessions, he was sentenced to the Gulag and shot in Sandarmokh
Sandarmokh is a forest massif in Medvezhyegorsky District, Karelia, Russia, a burial site of victims of Soviet political repressions, where over 9,000 bodies were discovered after the place was found in 1997 by members of the Memorial Society....

, Karelia
Karelia , the land of the Karelian peoples, is an area in Northern Europe of historical significance for Finland, Russia, and Sweden...



The novel Misto is the story of a young man thrust into the violent sights and smells of an urban environment. Unfortunately, it has not been translated into English.

A Little Touch of Drama

The novel A Little Touch of Drama (Ukrainian: Невеличка драма), originally only published in serialization, describes the character types of a number of men who compete for the love of one woman. One of her primary admirers is a scientist, and a major theme is the tension between the administration of reason-based science and human emotional life. It is available in English translation.

External links

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