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Taras Shevchenko

Encyclopedia of the life and works


Vovchok Marko

Marko Vovchok – pen name of Maria Alexandrovna Vilinska (1833 – 1907), Ukrainian writer.

1860-і рр. Фотопортрет

Maria was born 10 (22) December 1833 in the estate Ekaterininskoe (located in the modern Lipetsk region of Russia, now does not exist) in a noble family. Therefore, she was considered a Russian with family.

In 1845 – 1848 she studied at a private boarding school in Kharkov, in 1848 – 1851 lived in Orel in the family of her aunt. There she met Athanasius Markovich (1822 – 1867), who was sent to Orel for involvement to Cyril and Methodius society. In August 1850 he was released from police surveillance and allowed to free select residence.

In January 1851 Athanasius Markovich married Mary, and up to 1858 they lived in Ukraine (Chernihiv, Kyiv, Nemirov). At this time they were together engaged in collecting Ukrainian folklore that gave Mary the opportunity to learn the Ukrainian language.

After the death of emperor Nicholas 1st (1855) there had been a breath of the liberal spirit. In 1856 – 1857 years Maria wrote a series of stories in Ukrainian that forwarding to P. Kulish in St. Petersburg. Kulish published them in book "The People’s stories by Marko Vovchok" (was released in early 1858). Pioneering form (stories on behalf of serf women) and strong anti-serfdom pathos answered the mood of the time. The leading literary journals comprised positive reviews of the book, and in 1859 it was published in Russian translation by I. Turgenev.

After her return to Russia Marko Vovchok was active in Russian literature, speaking as a writer of stories and novels, literary critic and translator (mostly from the French).

Marko Vovchok and Shevchenko

1. Panteleimon Kulish, issuing in St. Petersburg into the world prepared him "" by Mark Vovchok, one of the first copies sent to Taras Shevchenko in Nizhny Novgorod (together with the letter of 22 December 1857). Not having received the promised book, Shevchenko twice (January 4 and January 26 1858) asked Kulish – where it is. Kulish had to send a second copy (letter dated February 1, 1858).

2. Already February 18, 1858 Shevchenko wrote to his "Journal praise "People’s stories" and his intention to write a letter to the author. February 22, 1858 in letter to M. Lazarevsky Shevchenko asked to learn and tell him Marko Vovchok address.

3. This letter had been wrote in July 1858, when by the initiative Shevchenko Ukrainian community in St. Petersburg gathered 120 rubles and bought to Marko Vovchok gold bracelet. Shevchenko sent him, by adding autograph his poetry "Sleep" ("The wheat serfdom sting… "), dedicated to Mark Vovchok.

4. Their personal acquaintance happened 23 or 24 January 1859, shortly after the arrival of Marko Vovchok to St. Petersburg. February 17, 1859 Shevchenko wrote poetry "To Marko Vovchok", in which highly praised her talent.

5. Shevchenko gave to Marko Vovchok autograph his poem "Neophyte", the text of which was published in Prague in 1876. Currently, only title page of autograph preserved.

6. After the departure of Marko Vovchok abroad Shevchenko wrote her letter (25 May 1859), in which her immediately responded (Early June 1859). One more letter Marko Vovchok wrote to Shevchenko March 8, 1861, not knowing about his death…

7. Marko Vovchok used Shevchenko works as epigraphs and quotations in her works; she dedicated to Shevchenko her novel "" (1859); in 1902, publishing the magazine "Kievan antiquity" a fairy tale "Devil’s adventure," the writer said in a note that the writing of stories prompted Taras Shevchenko.

M. Zh., 26 June 2016

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