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A Publication of the German Writings of Ivan Franko

  • Ivan L. Rudnytsky

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1 Ivan Franko, Tvory v dvadtsiaty tomakh (Kiev, 1950-56).

2 Mykhailo Rudnyts'kyi, Vid Myrnoho do Khvyl'ovoho (L'viv, 1936), p. 169.

3 In passing we may notice the curious fact that the entry on Eduard Winter in the Ukrainian Soviet Encyclopedia does not mention this work, his chief contribution to Ukrainian studies (see Ukrains'ka Radians'ka Entsyklopediia, XV, 527-28). In this work Winter interpreted the specific character of Ukrainian religious and cultural history as resulting from a synthesis of Byzantine and Western elements. Such a stress on Ukrainian national individuality was probably regarded as embarrassing by the editors of the Ukrainian Soviet Encyclopedia.

4 The passage, in which only Franko, with no mention of Hrushevs'kyi, is discussed, reads: “Dieses Bekenntnis, das er [Franko] bereits in seiner Denkschrift ‘Das gewöhnliche Schema der russischen Geschichte und die Frage über eine rationelle Anlage der Geschichte des östlichen Slawentums’ zum Ausdruck bringt, war gleichsam auch das Leitmotiv der Konzeption seiner eigenen Geschichte der Ukraine” (p. 27).

5 Soviet authors often assert that there was personal hostility between Franko and Hrushevs'kyi. However, if we consult Franko's German article “Römische Eindrücke” (pp. 64 ff.), we find that in 1904 he took a vacation trip to Italy “with my dear friend Professor Hrushevs'kyi.” See also Volodymyr Doroshenko, “Ivan Franko i Mykhailo Hrushevs'kyi,“ Suchasnist’ (Munich), No. 2, 1962, pp. 16-26.

6 It is not difficult to perceive that Franko was biased in his approach to Mickiewicz. Franko, a man of puritanical integrity, was almost obsessed by the issue of loyalty and treason, and it seems that he projected his own internal difficulties into his view of the Polish poet. See Alfred Berlstein, “The Figure of Mickiewicz in Ivan Franko's Life,“ The Annals of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in the U.S., VI, No. 3-4 (1958), pp. 1372-80.

7 Iulian Bachyns'kyi, the spokesman of the Marxist faction within the Galician Radical Party, complained of Franko in a letter to M. Drahomanov in 1894: “We [the Marxists] want the Radical Party to get out from the charmed circle of things such as agricultural improvements [literally, “how to soak hemp“] or mending holes in bridges; but Franko says that the demand to have bridges mended is already a class strugglel … We want the Party to base its activity on the principle of class struggle, but Franko says that this would be a policy of hatred!!” (Ukraïna irredenta [3d ed.; Berlin, 1924, p. 299]).

8 The following is a partial list of such writings: two major articles advocating the creation of an independent Ukrainian state, “Ukraïna irredenta” (1895) an(* “Poza mezhamy mozhlyvoho” (1900); four articles overtly critical of Marxism, “Sotsiializm i sotsiial-demokratyzm” (1897), “Narodnyky i marksysty” (1899), “Shcho take postup?” (1903), and “Do istoriï sotsiialistychnoho rukhu” (1904); Franko's history of his own times, containing his interpretation of the Ukrainian revival in Moloda Ukraïna: Z ostatnikh desiatylit’ XIX v. (published in 1910, originally written in 1901).

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