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De nihilo nihil: Views on postmodernism and literature

Yu.Andruhovych, S.Zhadan, I.Karpa, L.Deresh and dozens of others less promoted literary names of modern Ukraine testify by their creative activity the phenomenon of postmodernism. Whether you want it or not, it requires from the cognitive consciousness not only a new explanation but at least the generalization of the interpreted facts. Moreover, even F.Nietztshe warned that the power of a single man and the power of the entire nation depends on their aesthetic ideals they follow.

It would be better to study such a complicated phenomena in a more cognitive and convinced way such as postmodernism which obviously should be studied specifically. Here we express some considerations based on the personal experience (it lasted for more that a decade), the interpretation of this crisis phenomenon and on the experience of other investigators. Certainly, we do not impose these considerations as the final truth to others.

In my point of view, there are a lot of the main reasons for the appearance and establishment of postmodernism in the 2 nd half of the 20 th century as well as any other crisis phenomenon of the epoch of the “catastrophic collapse of cultural values” (Z. Ruce). Such things do not appear spontaneously. We are going to point out the main ones. Firstly, these reasons are ideological . One deals with the ideology and the social consciousness (or ideological system) as well as a political system. It represents the appearance of the modern aggressive antinational and antihumanistic imperial ideologies of the 18th-19th centuries, which have rapidly overcome classical (monarchic) conservatism in Europe and have been opposed to the long-term conflict with an improved, due to philosophy and the art of Romanticism, nationalism of different nations. We deal with such utopian, “doctrinal” according to Ivan Franko ideologies as an enlightenment (classical) liberalism and contemporary neo-liberalism, Marxism (social democracy, communism, socialism, anarchism, Bolshevism, Maoism, etc..), pseudotraditionalism (partially fascism and national socialism in Germany, modern national Bolshevism in Russian and other racial doctrines can be referred to it) and their numerous mutations. No matter how these modern ideologies vary or are opposed to each other, still their main common cultural and political task was to destroy or at least they did not admit the national identity as it was thought to be something harmful and unnecessary in the life of society and people by strange coincidence, all these ideologies ignore or deny the nation, national culture and national country, they lead to their destruction or considerably diminish their value. These ideologies promote different cultural imperialisms, pertaining to various “universalistic”, “global”, “super-national” values ("universal", "internationalist", "racial", "class-like", etc.) were created to devalue the organic and cultural valuables.

Another type of reasons was moral and religious reasons. Instead of helping to get rid of the pharisaic elements and to limit the authority of the church in a civilized way, especially Catholic church with an imperial aim, in the modern time intellectuals and the powerful authorities began a total secularization. Moreover, according to the experts, for instance, the Augustin Cochin’s thoughts about France; he claims that it was caused due to the impact of various liberal groups and Masonic lodges. The process of a loss of sacred beliefs has led not only to the separation of the church and nation, its main aim was to deprive the nation of Christianity and religion (“kill the bustards!”, “God died”, “religion is addiction for the nation”), depriving the European cultures of their important and organic elements. It is known that a man cannot believe when he does not believe in God, according to the wise G. K.Chesterton’s observation, he believes in anything (for instance, in Lenin, Hitler, alchemy, progress or postmodernism). Hence, up till the present such a glorious dominance is felt in various pseudochristian, pseudo-Oriental and simply atheistic or Satanic sects which are more and more often called totalitarian. Martin Heidegger claims: “The night time is a poor time as it is getting poor. It has become so poor that is not able to understand the lack of God as a lack.” The popular trend of atheism among European intellectuals of the 19 th and 20 th centuries has been spread by no chance.

No one can leave out the psychological reasons. They have lead to the appearance and considerable activity of national marginalization (especially the inhabitants of European imperial countries) at the end of 19th –mid. 20th centuries. According to Simon Weyl, one of those most active people who tried to marginalize others (denationalized Russophiles in Ukrainian history is a good illustration). These denationalized, separated from other cultures which were deprived of their entire national identity, they were the people lead by Satan spirit and pride, “unlimited self-establishment” (D. Bell). The destruction of personal national archetypes, sacred symbols by Europeans has resulted, according to Carl Gustav Jung, in psychic negligence, searches of false ways to survive:” We let the house, built by our parents fall down and now we try to find it in Eastern countries, the countries our parents did not have any idea of. (…) …the space is being filled with the most absurd political and social ideas, the distinguishing feature of which is moral emptiness.” By no chance, perhaps, the very author found “the coincidence of interests” in the Cubists, abstractionists, surrealists with patients who are ill from neuroses, schizophrenia, paranoia. The process of marginalization as a spirit’s pathology has lead to the illnesses of the soul.

The fourth reason is ontological and epistemological one. It represents a rapid development in the epoch of modernism (since 15 th century) a devastating, calculative, trade (“calculative” – according to M. Heidegger) thinking, which has emerged since the ancient times. It has resulted in the philosophical field of study as a decline of existential and historical thinking (“interpreted consideration”), pastoral thinking and the establishment of technocratic thinking which was aimed not to preserve but to dominate over the existence, to detect it and then destroy. All this (and the above mentioned reasons too) are crisis expressions of the common nihilistic tendency (emptiness, loss of existence) which have created a favourable conditions for the appearance of various forms of human and nation disappearance, their transformation into slaves and victims of the dehumanized doctrines .

Mostly, these reasons are a “long process of secularization and dehumanization” (D. Fokkema) – have lead to the dominance of the anticultural (amoral, anti-humanistic, antinational etc.) systems of valuables in the national and moral (cultural) sphere of different nations of the Atlantics during the 20 th century. The nihilistic elements such as imperialism, atheism, materialism, cosmopolitanism, secularized humanism, anti-traditionalism, racism, sexual revolution etc. have led to the degeneration and weakness of European cultures. They have found their realization in aesthetics and art. The notable world process of devaluation of the national existence was expressed in the cosmopolitan and anti-literary modernism (one should not forget about literary and national modernism which was and still is the most interesting and various1: M. de Unamuno, Russian symbolists, acmeists, K. Hamsun, T. S. Eliot, Gabriele d'Annunzio, H. K. Chesterson, R. R. Tolkien, K. S. Lewis, G. Márquez, W. Golding, O. Paz, K. Doyle, H. Böll; Lesya Ukrayinka, partially I. Franko, V. Stefanyk, “Molodomuzivtsi”(members of “Moloda Muza” - Lviv literary group), “Visnykivtsi” (creators of “Poltavskiy Visnyk” – Poltata regional political newspaper), M. Khvulyovyy, V. Pidmohylnyy, V. Stus, V. Shevchuk and others) and in avant-gardism of the end 19 th - beginning 20 th centuries (futurism, surrealism, Dadaism and others) which declared an aesthetic object as everything what exists as a kind of aesthetics, and declared the destruction of the tradition: it deprived of an image, language signs in literature and of sounds in music etc.

The fact of total postwar dominance (after 1945) in the West of one of modern imperial ideologies – western “liberal democracy” was of important significance. (By the way, it is a strange thing: almost all experts are tend to regard the modern USA “democratic” super-country as empire, however, not everyone can interrelate its colonial politics with official ideology – liberalism.) Alongside with the innovation (and sometimes in its form) instead of art anti-art is born (sometimes in the eclectic forms due to the combination of the artistic elements with anti-artistic ones). Since the 2 nd half of the 20 th century modernism was substituted for postmodernism which in Ukraine was established in the period of independence. However, the sources of postmodernism are found in some modernistic works such as in Mallarme’s creative heritage, J. Joyce’s “Ulysses” and “Finnegans Wake”, T. Mann’s “The Magic Mountain” and “Doktoc Faustus”, Bulgakov’s “Master and Margarita” and others (according to R. Barthes, J. Derrida, V. Rudnevyy).

Unlike cosmopolitan modernism which tried to express its extra-nationality, antiexistential nature mainly in aesthetics, and often did not show its political position, postmodernism, first of all its theoretic and post-structuralists (G. Bataille, J. F. Lyotard, R. Barthes, J. Derrida, M. Foucault and others), if we consider their texts more specifically, we will notice their finely expressed political orientation. It is easy observed in the statements of “nihilistic poststructural metaphysics” (Illya Ilyin) about “the was as the whole”, “intensification of contention”, “author’s death”, “totalitarian terror”, “language fascism”, “idea suggestion” , dictatorship of the “phallic culture”, “absence of unity” etc. Due to this postmodernism is regarded to be “fetishization of liberalism” (S, Kvit). Other investigators notice the indifference of postmodernists to the true problems of the real life: “ The Earth’s demands, racial survival, cultural renaissance – all requires understanding and answers to the same concepts and structures which are defined in the language situations by the academicians of post-structuralism, and very few of them know about the political struggle of real people behind those discourse borders” (H. Bhabha).

Postmodernism it very diverse but its essence is reflected in the combination of elements that cannot be combined (in the aesthetic eclecticism and moral relativism): high and low styles, artistic and extra-artistic elements, modernistic, avant-guardistic, realistic and other trends and ideas etc. By no chance its other fundamental principles become elements which best show its infected, imitative, anti-artistic, political character: common combination and jeering over all (ironism), total quotation, the rejection of the truth, instead of a whole work – paste (excerpts from other works), total deconstruction (nothing is thought to be sacred) (by Rudnytskiy); the postmodernism poetry is “divergent convergence of ideologies, disciplines and voices” in the form of T. Admorno’s admonishments about the political and aesthetic object (D. Kiplinger); since the time of Enlightenment and obviously social realism was not felt in the literature as much as the element of didactic anti-humanistic orientation (by I. Ilyin). (However, in fact not everything is prone to postmodernism deformation or reconstruction…) As a result, we get the letter on aesthetic level which reminds of a literary work (literary language, characters) but on the semantic level and intention level (content and sense) it is always aimed at the lack of spirituality, nihilism, emptiness . It was finely described by the Austrian cognoscente H. Sedlmayr and it is difficult not to accept it: “Night, disturbing, infected, inadequate, manure, disgusting, perverse, indecent, perverse, mechanical and machinery – all these attributes and aspects of antihumanism which capture person’s soul and his inner world, his nature and all ideas. They lead a man to demoralization, they turn him into a machinery, phantom, face mask without any facial features, corpse, apparition, flee, they make him take over a rude, violent, vulgar, obscene, terrible and machinery-like image”.

Certainly, not everything what is called postmodernism in the West has the same sense in our country. The well-known U. Eco, J. L. Borges, J. Fowles and even V. Pelyevin or M. Pavych and others do not keep to the Ukrainian postmodernism. We do respect the thought of the literary critics but Borges’ ideas are often divergent, Fowles’ ones are even difficult to figure out whether they belong to postmodernism. Their creative heritage has some “postmodernistic” elements or even “neomodernism” is reflected in their works which often uses a postmodernistic style of writing though it does not refer to postmodernism on the ideological level (on the notion of “postmodernism” U. Eco wrote in “Notes on the fields of “The name of the Rosa”). They are not of a lower class, they do not have pop music, show-off, foul language, abnormal sexual intercourse, perversion or other impacts of neoavant-guardism with which the Ukrainian works are filled with, which do not make but imitate this literature. Certainly, the world postmodern (the works of A. Warhol, A. R. Grillet, S. Beckett, V. Nabokov, H. Murakami, Ye. Radov and others – a typical political and ideological phenomenon, natural consequence of art destruction, perhaps, the consequence of the protected by the country literature which one the one hand, was refered to aethetics and deprived of the national common function (in the cosmopolitan modernism and avent-gardism) and on the other hand, - they blamed it for all crimes of Hitler’s terror (Adorno, Steiner) and made it to convey a form of cosmopolitan neoliberalism which seemed to be the only one to save from “totalitarian” influence.

This clearly expressed or finely disguised political transformation was aimed to deconstruct the national valuables of hedonism, neo-cynicism, ironism, overquotation etc. (Though these elements are even considered to vulgarisms or eroticism, they may have a literary expression (for instance, it can be observed in the humoristic poems of S. Rudnytskiy, some T. Shevchenko’s poems, in Ya. Hasak’s “The Good Soldier Svejk” or U. Eco’s “The Name of Rosa”), they are transformed into antiartistic devices by the destructive aim and work’s intention: spirituality which needs to be honoured and should not bear blame is being ridiculed, parodied, deconstructed.) In such a way the antiliterature was actualized in Ukraine – “piggy orientation down, to the ground, to the mud” (Ye. Malanyuk). On the other hand, the art cosmopolitisation is also a communistic, international social realism the roots of which are found in the above given cultural and historical tendency of the end of 20 th century. The glorious triad of admonitions to literature as to the “small wheel and screw of the common proletarian process” (V. Lenin): the literature should be national in form, socialistic in its content and international in spirit”. As a result, the substantial destruction of national identity and national man, nations in the Soviet Union, although, there were the whole creative experiences, and individual works that deliberately went beyond social realism, they created the literature of resistance. But in general on this fertile ground, on this ruined identity by the imperial communist regime, on this often ruined colonial consciousness at the end of the existence of Soviet empire fell the sprouted grains of anticulture, antiart, antiliterature. "What is left form them in this hostile place? Only the place to go through "- writes Lina Kostenko about "darkness in the soul of poor people" - the youth who were opposed to the anticulture in the early 1990s. Firstly, they (like bubabisty) tried to fight against the Marxist-Leninist nihilism (dragon), but for some reason nihilistic methods (the literary way of romanticists’, populists’, neo-classics’, visnykivtskiy’s, shistdesyatnykiv’s or dissidents’ struggle did not satisfy them). And then they themselves became the followers of the new nihilism (the servants of the other Dragon) - borrowed from Western postmodernic neocinism. All the reasons as well as the consequences of the destruction of cultural (spiritual, humanistic, existential) paradigms ("forgetting mother," by Taras Shevchenko) and establishment of anicultural paradigms (non-spiritual, antihumanistic, non-existential) ("tyranic" and "slavery" ones in T. Shevchenko’s works). Because a man is first of all, a cultural man (a human of spirit), a fanatic – a man devoid of culture.It is important to consider also the following. Moreover, to the catalyst in the establishment of postmodernism in Ukrainian post-colonial society belonged not only the influences the total objection of the Soviet literature (the struggle with socialistic realism), not only the borrowings of Western traditions (up to mass generation), but also favourable political processes to strengthen these events. One should not forget that the national revolution in the late 80's - early 90's by the then political leaders was not brought to an end and appeared the struggle for democracy. As a result, we have gained neither a national country nor democracy proper as the Ukrainian people’s rule ;to be honest, the neo-colonial formation with the sacred name Ukraine ("rusty state" (P.Skunts)) and cosmopolitan oligarchy covered with demagogic slogans and pseudo-democratic institutions that, as the very “creators” think, for no reason "does not work." Thus, the postmodernists were established as they often promoted and still promote their plan for true literature of the democracy epoch ("as in the West", "as in Europe," etc.). At first they were believed by many ... All these thoughts, trends, movements and feelings one way or another are reflected in the contemporary literature that is to be considered deeper and more careful than it usually happens. One of the major drawbacks of modern literary process, which has been already testified in many works, is the lack of professional literary criticism, and hence critics. Unfortunately, I belong to this important literary group only occasionally, and it is difficult to define the modern literary process sufficiently. I'll try to think like a historian and a literary theorist, as a concerned reader who tries to follow modern literary life and occasionally takes part in it.

What is striking is, more or less obvious, isn’t it? First, the fact is that not all the modern literature is postmodern. The postmodern antiliterature works is mainly created by middle and younger generation, often hostile, surprisingly tedious (but fruitful) and in vulgar form. It is vulgar and hustle, it is invested quite a lot of money, it is supported by local postmodernism followers (due to various publications, most politically engaged, though the least successful of which is a newspaper, "Criticism") and the influential cosmopolitan environment in the West (they say that we have youth who grasp well the true "universal" ideas), so these demoliberal "poor youth" is noticeably found in the media. Secondly, the parallel trends in the literature should be noted too. They are diverse, but diverse in artistic and literary sense. These trends are not too popular, not because they have disappeared but because they are not promoted. The publishers, critics, journalists, academics and others who take great interest in them promote them. And this literature is made by the people not only of the older generation (V.Shevchuk, L. Kostenko, P.Zahrebelnyy, B.Stelmah, late P.Skunts etc.), but also middle and junior generation (V.Herasym 'yuk, V.Slapchuk , V.Medvid, Ye.Pashkovskyy, N.Zborovska, L.Kononovych, early O.Ulyanenko. O.Pahlovska, M.Matios, I.Pavlyuk sisters Telnyuk, P.Volvach etc.).This postcolonial Ukrainian literature under the pressure of postmodern dominance and the lack of money is going through a crisis. But it exists. It is different, it combines various literary methods and style of art: Romanticism and neoromanticism, neobaroque, realism and neorealism, and other classical and modern trends, sometimes employs some neoavent-gardism or postmodern elements, but generally preserves the cultural brder between the artistic word expression. I think she has a chance to overcome the crisis and may in the near future become a good basis, if not for the emergence of geniuses like T. Shevchenko or L.Kostenko but at least like spiritual fighters like Franko, Ye.Malanyuk, Mr.V.Symonenko, V. Stus etc. All this leads to the consideration of certain literature perspects as the art of words, that is Ukrainian art. Certainly, understanding of literature and the forms of its existence in different national cultures and at different times could evolve, but its essence remained generally unchanged (folklore of European, African, Asian or American people or the ancient Indian, the ancient Chinese or ancient Egyptian poetry, or newer types of literature from Antiquity to Modern). The most simple and clear, basic idea of the essence of literature gives a culturologist the understanding that, if desired, it can be supplemented by other explanations.

What should one consider while concernig the cultural sphere? First of all, according to most experts (for instance, such notable experts as V.Diltey, M.Veber or P.Riker) is a system of spiritual values that a nation is distinguished from another. Thus, the culture - is essential national phenomenon, it creates different types of national people and societies and its main purpose is the creation (cultivation) of spirituality – spiritual cultivation . The culture consists of a number of fields - consumer culture, philosophical, religious, scientific, artistic, political, economic and others which each in its own plants the national spiritual seeds .Art as a branch of culture that cultivates spirituality by means of imaginative reality, and is divided into several branches. One of these artistic fields is a fiction that creates figurative (more - aesthetic) reality by means of means of a human language (word). As literature is a part of art, art is a part of culture, and non-national cultures still have not been found and all the cultural elements are essentially national . Moreover, the investigators and thinkers of different nations have long noticed that in all branches of art, the very literature has the most powerful, most effective features to create a man and a nation.

Unfortunately, these basic things are not always taken into account when teaching literature in high school and literary disciplines in the higher educational establishments. Perhaps, hence those troubles appear while interacting with the works and efforts of self-assessment given by the readers of the present production: not everybody (even among experts!) is able to distinguish a work of art from a counterfeit or antiliterary product. It is obvious that if the modern humanistic communities want to continue to remain humanistic - they have to cultivate, nurture, protect the field of national cultures and, consequently, art, and literature. The normal processes of the development of national and religious systems (cultures) are made to provide the national countries, for instance, literature is not dependent on the extraliterary catastrophic factors which are tested by the history of Ukrainian literature: occupation, repression, language prohibitions, political censorship, executions, colonial pressure etc. These “globalisators” and “universalists” need these anticultural wars but not the nations, they promote "multicultural", contradictory societies (always hostile, dependent on the goodwill of the ruler, from his "bread and circuses"), not national countries but neocolonies are easy to exploit as well as easy to put blame on, on those foolish puppet rulers out of dependent local "leaders", not people, but slaves who are obedient and willing to fulfill any orders, any movement, to satisfy any pleasure of their masters.

Literature is opposed to all these political, antihumanistic and antinational projects effectively from all kinds of art it forms the consciousness of a free man. Is not it the reason why many want to destroy it, those who use theories to prove its being outdated, inefficient, the loss of a word’s value compared to a movie, computer technologies, television etc. As one may see in such statements there is more political mythology than proved facts. It seems that we are dealing with myths that are imperial in nature, myths that are invented by pseudointellectual servants of sexton multinational barons, who do not for the first time scare the bourgeois consciousness by sensational news about various kinds of "death" – the death of the author, country, nation, human history etc. Wise notes on it are provided by Simon During: "It is the very culture that protects from the cultural, economic and military invasion of imperialism?" and establishes the concept of modern Australian literature as "double nationalism." It added that such protection can make literature through its formation in human consciousness and society, national and spiritual (cultural) immunity, which makes it invulnerable to anticulture implications for teaching them to identify and understand their destructiveness. Here's how, for example, reflects the hero of the story as if postmodern British author John Fowles "Tower of ebony" David Williams, an English artist-abstractionist and art critic, who suddenly realizes the essence of modern art (which pidtekstovo is not only art but also music literature, cinema ...): "Of course, abuses fashion, officially encouraged a departure from the canons of modern art surface freedom can confuse anyone, but it all stemmed from confusion hlybochennoyi far covered, but never zahluhloho the end of the present understanding lack of freedom. (...) If you can not live their own art, then, we must teach others travestuvaty its basic principles, must pretend that genius in the art is achieved suddenly, overnight, as a result of the experiment and a variety of tricks, not years, stubborn, solitary, infinite labor and that achieving a random and rapid success - like a rabbit from extraction cylinder - can justify the vicious riot, which fall into one thousand simpletons, that bottomless cesspit in which vovtuzytsya artistic education, endless complications throughout indecisive charades is not a true basis of art. (...) (...) All that he now felt was disgusting feeling of disaster, despair, disappointment in his art. Castrate. Triumph officers. (...) Escape from nature, from ugly reality that has changed the relationship between the artist and his audience; now you write to demonstrate intelligence, for embodiment theories. Not for people, and - worst of all - not for yourself. Of course, it gave some dividends in terms of fashion and material gain, but a sharp rejection of the image of the human body, from the natural physical perception, actually gave rise to a vicious spiral funnel that leads to nothing, to the oblivion; now the artist and critic arthad common ideas: they only exist in reality, they only have meaning. A fine monument to all who wanted to spit ...

You hide behind the idea of " openness " and tolerance of current approaches and trends; you forget about the incredible growing development, a change of perceptions about how quickly avent-gardism is turning into art pompier [normal art] – the art of militant banality. The thing is not only in it, nor in those abstractions that he created; the fault lay in the entire chain of postwar art movements: abstract expressionism, neoprimitism, op art and pop art, conceptualism, photorealism ... But to get rid of the roots in such a way, turning far from land in the deathly cold of outer space - such a Lack could not been born in mind. They are like lemmings, they obey to self-destructing instincts, they followed each other in search of Lebensraum [living space], among the ices of the Arctic Ocean , in the endless darkness of night, they are see nothing, except their own illusions. "

The "Tower of ebony" testifies to that how inaccurate (or deliberately tendentious?) may be the assignment of a particular writer to a particular style. I doubt that David Williams’ considerations are postmodern. I think the reading of this story, like several other works of art on aesthetic topics of Ukrainian and foreign authors (at least the image of "postmodern music" as "crows suburban dumps" in L. Kostenko), may more and more to say about the nature of contemporary art and not only fine, than a thousand of studies, especially glorified studies written by priests, servants or numerous victims of the anticulture idol. Certanly, literature can change its shape, can follow its natural innovative way by updating traditions, but it never ceases to be the "source of celebrated historical here-being of the people" (Martin Heidegger). Because it was a source for thousand years since man exists. By the way, according to a number of philosophers, linguists and hermeneutists even the primary language of humanity was the very poetry.

The fate of Ukrainian literature is in our hands, in the hands of intellectuals. For its revival and development one should be very aware of what the literature is, which functions and purposes in the national culture it performes, why its only art form, is so consistently studied in their schools by a variety of backgammon during different time intervals. The emergence of new talents and geniuses – that is the future of Ukrainian literature, as well as any other. Because still "no poet was a non-poet" (L. Kostenko). Under the present circumstances one should again be a "tragic optimist" (D. Dontsov) and believe that the dirty wave of nihilism will be overcome by means of the appropriate institutions of the national country and efforts of the intelligent people, those little "creators" (writers) and "guards" (readers ) (by Martin Heidegger). These people by creating and preserving books, protect the truth of national life and protect what can make their normal, free, poetic, pastoral, non-nigilistic, non-baroque, non-slavery future. What is the method to stimulate and support this way of thinking and creation? First of all, one should strongly oppose oneself to antiliterature and other forms of anticulture – that is the way of our modern cultural struggle that has ultimately never ceased; tolerance towards anticulture is a defeatism and spiritual death, so you should gain the support of your countrymen, destroy antinational, non-spiritual stereotypes (imperial political myths). I also want to assert and protect all what is cultural, artistic, literary, everything that created and still creates a man and a nation and helps open the essence of national life. The prospects of intellectual struggle one may onserve in our postindustrial, informational and digital age: electronic magazines, electronic libraries, movies and games based on the literary works ...

Certain requirements are put forward by time to the events ofthis cultural rank. These requirements, as in any serious fight, the fight for the most important in the life of the nation, rather harsh, do not tolerate half-heartedness. It has been reflected in the spirit of Aristotle: "Plato is my friend but truth is a better friend." Some (hopefully not all!) of the famous and distinguished people who are called the collective "conscience", unfortunately, are unable to understand their role in this fight. The type of the intellectual is rather contradictory. He a little bit a servilist, a dissident, acommunist or liberal, and a patriot. In one work he is able to to reveal the essence of national cultural phenomena, for instance, a classic’s phenomena or to criticize poststructural or Ukrainian ideologies. And in another work - no less carefully nor fervently (because it is progressive and tolerant!) supports less scientific, demoralised phrases and clearly antiliterary projects. Moreover, often in Soviet times being the victim of unfair denunciations as a dissident (often - national communist), it is he who now willingly signs similar political denunciations, even without having understood their essence: who, where and for what brings out a scandal against the other "unreliable " man. And it is difficult to say what predominates here: inconsistency, insufficiency, lack of national belief or obscure dependence on some distant from the spiritual interests, from the national ideas of people or factors?

The important part of the program of national (cultural) revival would be the end of the political process of national emancipation and the creation of Ukrainian national country (the absence of it was testified by not only single-nationalists in the early 90's, but by more cultural and political figures, even journalists). The very way of the national liberation struggle, gaining of the independence have always inspired the best of Ukrainian classics (T. Shevchenko, Ivan Franko, Lesya Ukrayikna ...), was transforming our literature into the "country of words" (M.Orest). This is observed in the history of other nations. Now it is not only a time of critical assessment, but also a time to find the latest (often simply muted or forgotten) cultural catalysts. This lies in the fact that, for instance, nationalism (cultural nationalism, even "nationalism in literature," defined by Yu.Shereh) as a powerful means of humanistic, national and state formation, a significant ideological power of any national revival (why not a literary one?). Its aesthetic potential is tested not only in Ukrainian – T. Shevchenko, Kulish, I.Nechuy-Levitsky, A.Svydnytskyy, Ivan Franko, Lesya Ukrainian, V.Stefanyk, “visnykivtsi”, nonconformist-“shistdesyatnyky”, and others., - But also other literary (cultures in general), where the writers, philosophers, religious leaders, etc. often were cultural nationalists - brilliant representatives and defenders of the spirit of the people, the cleverest thinkers about the national existence: Homer, Hesiod, Herodotus, Plato, Aristotle in Ancient Greece, Virgil, Seneca and Cicero in Ancient Rome, Dante, Giuseppe Mazzini in Italy, Sandor Petofi in Hungary, Cervantes, Unamuno, Ortega-y-Gasset in Spain, Mickiewicz and Słowacki in Poland, Luther, Herder,Novalis, Fichte, Schleiermacher, Hegel, Dilthey in Germany, cardinal Richelieu, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Germaine de Staël, Morre in France, Shakespeare, Shechtsbury, Byron, Carlisle, Chesterson in England, S. Ramos in Mexico, Herzl, Žabotinskis, Ahad Ha’am in Israel, Mohandas Gandhi in India, Yukio Mishima in Japan, Charles De Coster in Belgium and many others. It is perhaps, necessary to look for what O. Pakhlovka has found in their works, for instance, in Ivan Franko’s works we find “national and cultural strategy”. That is, to look for something what is in the ideological essence, the general intention of Ukrainian literature sine T. Shevchenko’s times: protection, spiritual revival, national liberation and spiritual guidance of the nation on its way to freedom and personal independence.

The literature has been the main factor to store and to transfer the national existence. It has formed us as modern people, Ukrainians of “independent” or “informational” epoch. Well, what other proves do we need to realize that it is important, prospective and can never be replaced? Always and in everything there “firstly existed a word”. A word but not a self-satisfied and cynical nothing. Since many years it is known that “ de nihilo nihil…”(nothing comes from nothing ).

Professor of Philology Chair of Theory and History Of the Ukrainian Literature Drohobych State Ivan Franko Teacher’s Training University Petro IVANYSHYN

(1883 – 1973)

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