Item #1400 [UKRAINE - IVAN FRANKO] Vichnyy revolyutsioner [i.e. Eternal Revolutionary]. I. Franko.
[UKRAINE - IVAN FRANKO] Vichnyy revolyutsioner [i.e. Eternal Revolutionary]
[UKRAINE - IVAN FRANKO] Vichnyy revolyutsioner [i.e. Eternal Revolutionary]

[UKRAINE - IVAN FRANKO] Vichnyy revolyutsioner [i.e. Eternal Revolutionary]

Kyiv: Vseukrains’ke vydavnytstvo: Kyyiv. fil. 1920. Item #1400

45, [2] pp., 1 portrait. 14,5x10,5 cm. In original illustrated publisher’s wrappers. Spine chipped and rubbed, covers soiled, creases of pages, otherwise good.

First edition. Scarce. With Ivan Franko’s black and white portrait.
A fragile collection of selected poems written by one of the first realists in Ukrainian literature and the most outstanding poet of the post-Shevchenko period Ivan Franko (1856-1916). The edition consists of 25 poems and is named after the first verse “The Eternal Revolutionary”, which became a kind of an anthem to Ukrainian patriotism and heroism.
The timing of the publication coincided with arguably one of the most turbulent periods in the history of Ukraine. The edition came out either a few weeks before, during, or shortly after the 1920 Kyiv Offensive (25 April - July 1920). A major part of the Polish-Soviet war, the Kyiv Expedition was an attempt by the armed forces of the Second Polish Republic, in alliance with the Ukrainian People’s Republic, to seize the territories of modern-day Ukraine, which mostly fell under Soviet control after the October Revolution. At first, the war was successful for the allied Polish and Ukrainian armies, who captured Kyiv on 7 May 1920; however, the campaign’s progress was dramatically reversed after an ensuing Red Army counter-offensive. The Polish-Soviet War ended with the Peace of Riga of 1921, which settled the border between Poland and the Ukrainian Soviet Republic.
One of the most prominent Ukrainian authors, Ivan Franko graduated from the Drohobych gymnasium in 1875 and began to study classical philology and Ukrainian language and literature at Lviv University. His first literary works - Poetry (1874) and the novel Petriï i Dovbushchuky (1875) - were published in the students’ magazine Druh [i.e. A Friend]. In 1877, Franko was arrested, along with Mykhailo Pavlyk and Ostap Terletsky, for spreading socialist propaganda. After spending eight months in prison, Franko returned to political work with even greater fervor. He contributed articles to the Polish newspaper Praca and studied the works of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. In 1880, Franko was arrested again and charged with inciting peasants against the authorities. After serving a three-month term, Franko continued his university studies, first at Chernivtsi University (1891), and then at Vienna University. In 1908, Franko’s health began to decline rapidly. Yet, he continued to work until the end of his life. During his long and fruitful career, Franko contributed to many different areas of Ukrainian culture, including poetry, prose, drama, ethnography, science, linguistics, philosophy, etc.

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