Item #1964 [RUSYN CULTURE DURING WWII] Ogon'ki. Hudozhestvenniy sbornik, sostavlenniy gruppoy pisateley [i.e. Twinkles. A collection of artistic works compiled by a group of writers]. O. I. Losievskaya.
[RUSYN CULTURE DURING WWII] Ogon'ki. Hudozhestvenniy sbornik, sostavlenniy gruppoy pisateley [i.e. Twinkles. A collection of artistic works compiled by a group of writers]
[RUSYN CULTURE DURING WWII] Ogon'ki. Hudozhestvenniy sbornik, sostavlenniy gruppoy pisateley [i.e. Twinkles. A collection of artistic works compiled by a group of writers]

[RUSYN CULTURE DURING WWII] Ogon'ki. Hudozhestvenniy sbornik, sostavlenniy gruppoy pisateley [i.e. Twinkles. A collection of artistic works compiled by a group of writers]

Uzhgorod: Izdanie Komiteta R. O. Krasnago Kresta, December, 1940. Item #1964

92 pp., ads. 20 x 14 cm. Original printed publisher’s covers with letterpress design. One of 1100 copies. Small defects to the upper spine, tear and stains to the first two pages, otherwise good.

Uzhhorod, a millennial-old city, now situated in Ukraine right at the state border with Slovakia. At the time when this magazine was printed, Uzhhorod was not a Ukrainian nor a Russian territory. The political events of Nazi Chezhoslovakia occupation turned out in such a way that first Uzhhorod and then the whole Podkarpatská rus became a part of short-lived Hungarian Kingdom (Magyar Királyság) - and stayed so till the Soviets came in 1944. Back then, Uzhhorod was a city densely populated by the ethnical minority of Rusyns. Rusyns living in Zakorpattia for decades were witnessing their territories being divided between bigger countries. Mid-20th century was the period of political turmoil and short independence, both contributing to strong urge of national self identification. Nowadays Rusyn folk is mostly recognized as a part of Ukrainian ethnicity with a portion of people still using its unique Rusyn language.
Starting mid-1930s Uzhhorod Rusyns were literally torn between three main cultural trends: ukrainophilic, rusinophilic and russophilic ones. All three had their political views, representatives and, most importantly, their own press. The latter, Russian-oriented trend was dominant in the early 1940s, with many editions printed in Russian. The trend also brought to life this Twinkles almanac. The texts are all typed according to the unique Zeitgeist symbol of the russophile era in the region: using pre-1917 orthography Russian. Only one poem in the almanac (Hutsulskaya kolyadka) in Ukrainian, but the spelling is also identical with the pre-revolutionary Cyrillic letters.

The culture of Zakorpattia was thriving, there were numerous russophilic editions up to the year 1944. Those included newspapers, magazines and almanacs like this one: 12 (1940), Budet den’, Shagi, Nakanune (all - 1941). Still, Uzhhorod and neighbouring territories were under wartime regime. And it is no surprise that the people of art were struggling to find work. To be published at least somewhere, they had to contribute to a Red Cross sponsored edition like this one.

The contents of the magazine were curated by O. Losievskaya. Not an editorial manager, Losievskaya was a Red Cross nurse as early as 1919, known for self-sacrificing work. Losievskaya, possibly with the help of more skilled authors among the published ones, compiled the magazine with an emphasis on art. Here we see poetry - including translations, short fiction, in-depth articles on local artists and theatre. The magazine also includes the science section, world politics, humor, crosswords, fashion for women and fun pages for children. Among authors, one can find prominent Rusyn / Ukrainian minority cultural figures of the era: priest and teacher Yuliy Gadzhega (1876 - 1947, pseud. Yuliy Rusak), painter and art critic Fyodor Manaylo (1910 - 1978), linguist and poet Emil Baletskiy (1919 - 1981). Surprisingly, WWII smoothed out the cultural conflicts between russo-, ukraino- and rusinophilic elites. Thus, the edition houses articles, poems of people who were conceptual enemies just a couple of years before (see M. Kapral. Neizvestnyiy Emil Baletskiy: po materialam Podkarpatskoy peridiki 1939-1943 gg. In: Vestnik filiala Instituta russkogo yazika im. A. S. Pushkina. Budapest, 2001)
“Inter arma silent Musae” (when arms speak, muses are silent) states one of the authors sorrowfully. This edition, however, shows that muses of Rusyns, Ukrainians were never silent even amid the WWII war rattles - and they sang their songs.

Rare. Not in WorldCat, not in KVK. Not in National Library of Ukraine.

Price: $850.00

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