Valerian Pidmohylny: Місто (The City)

The latest addition to my website is Valerian Pidmohylny‘s Місто (The City). This is an appropriate work to start off my Ukrainian reading marathon, in the light of current events, as Pidmohylny was murdered, along with about a thousand other Ukrainians, by the Russians. This book tells the story of Stepan, who comes from the country to tKyiv to study, with the intent of returning to his village to help them. Initially, he struggles, finding the noise and the crowds, as well as the bureaucracy, stifling. He also has financial issues and has to stay in shed, next to a barn full of animals. He starts off planning to study but soon gets distracted by two things. The first, of course is women, where he not only makes some poor choices but behaves very badly towards the women. The second is that he decides to follow a literary career, where he has some success, both as a writer but also working for a literary magazine. However, he appears to have some psychological problems, at times devoting himself wholeheartedly to his studies, his writing or the magazine, while, at others,being totally despondent and unable to cope with life. He struggles with his romantic life, his finances and who he wants to be, with only the cynical poet Lansky to guide him.

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