Mykhailo +: Тіні забутих предків (Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors)

The latest addition to my website is Mykhailo Kotsyubynsky‘s Тіні забутих предків (Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors). This is one of the great Ukrainian classics, using the Romeo and Juliet theme. The family of Ivan (the Romeo) is feuding with the family of Marichka (the Juliet). When a fight breaks out Ivan’s father is attacked and later dies but Ivan strikes Marichka and then pursues her but they soon become close and have a secret affair. Ivan’s father dies and the family falls on hard times. Ivan has to work as a shepherd in the uplands all summer. The day before he returns Marichka dies. He disappears for six years but when he returns, gaunt and looking much older, he seems to settle down and marries but it does not go well.Kotsyubynsky tells an excellent story but, above all, has marvellous descriptions of the natural environment, the local people and their customs and culture and the various spirts that live in the wood.

Leave a comment