FANTASY CODE IN THE NOVELLA OF YURI SHKRUMELYAK «LIGHTS ON MONTANE MEADOW» («OHNI Z POLONYN»)

Keywords: fantasy, adventure genre, reincarnation motif, quest, gothic prose

Abstract

Background. In the 1920 – 1930s Ukrainian literature picked up rapidly due to modernization of traditional plots and images as well as implementation of new genres, in particular the fantasy. Purpose. The article seeks to define the fantasy art features in Yurii Shkrumeliak's novel «Lights on Montane Meadow» (Ohni z Polonyn). Methods. The article employs basic literary techniques as well as receptive, textological, and comparativistic techniques. Results. Having analyzed the novella by Yurii Shkrumeliak, we established that the author has constructed an intricate world, based on the real Hutsul setting augmented with magic, which connects events and people, divided by space and time within the narrative. In Shkrumeliak's artistic version, a little Carpathian village of Yasenove appears as the sacred center of the world. The novella includes numerous elements that in one way or another point to the Gothic aesthetics. According to the canon of fantasy, Shkrumeliak's hero has a sacred mission, he possesses supernatural abilities, related to secret knowledge, which must be used in the fight against danger. Creating the image of a Hutsul, the Ukrainian writer undoubtedly relies on the poetics of myth: the character comprises a kind of cultural palimpsest, as through the Hutsul Christian discourse the ancient myth of Perun is clearly visible. The formation of Ilko’s image as a cultural hero occurs through the names of his parents, which refer to the elements of earth and water. The text scatters details that in one way or another indicate the character’s affiliation to the lineage of warriors. According to the fantasy representation of the world, the latter is somehow associated with the Middle Ages. In Yurii Shkrumeliak's novella, a conflict between the Yalyniuk and Polotniuk families arises in the Middle Ages. The genre-determining component of fantasy is a quest – the series of adventures in a magical world or underworld, where the actant finds himself and where he has to work out his way to the goal. Yurii Shkrumeliak's character meets these requirements as well: Ilko's reincarnation, his journey around the world to fulfill his destiny and master his magical skills were a part of Prince Lev's majestic project – the liberation of Ukrainian territories from enemies. Discussion. It is worth mentioning that Yurii Shkrumeliak's novel «Lights on Montane Meadow» (Ohni z Polonyn) is a hybrid text that combines elements of a fairy tale and heroic epic, Gothic and historical novels, elements of science fiction. The protagonist performs a global mission of liberation of the Ukrainian people, the novella includes magic, actants from different epochs operate in the same time plane. All these facts allow us to define this work as a fantasy.

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Published
2021-08-08
How to Cite
Kulakevych, L. (2021). FANTASY CODE IN THE NOVELLA OF YURI SHKRUMELYAK «LIGHTS ON MONTANE MEADOW» («OHNI Z POLONYN»). Journal “Ukrainian sense”, 1(1), 30-39. https://doi.org/10.15421/462103