Ukrainian English

Crossing borders with the Ukrainian writer Andriy Lyubka

15 грудня 2017
Новини

When reading Andriy Lyubka’s writing, one quickly understands that borders weave throughout his works. They are present in his latest best-selling collection of essays Saudade, which takes its name from the Portuguese and means, in essence, the presence of absence. They are present in his novel Carbide, a magical and sometime surreal tome that was shortlisted this year for the prestigious Angelus Central European Literature Award.

Lyubka, one of Ukraine’s most prominent writers, was raised at the footprints of two borders, at the very edge of Ukraine, in a place where Slovakia and Hungary are so close they can seemingly be touched.  Where the ambiance is otherworldly.

Lyubka was on the cusp of turning thirty when he traveled to the United States and Canada in late October and early November 2017. On November 3 and 7, respectively, he appeared in Toronto at St. Vladimir Institute and at the Munk School for International Affairs, University of Toronto. In his conversations with Professor Maxim Tarnawsky of the university’s Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Lyubka talks about his life, art, and the presence of those absent borders.

With his permission, we present two essays from Saudade that Lyubka read during his presentations.

from Cholvent

“Without them we are all a bit like orphans; that is precisely what this recipe teaches us. Because if you remove meat, beans, or pearl barley from chovlent, the dish will not come out right. For harmony, all the ingredients are necessary. That is why without the Jews our landscapes, cities, and traditions look more solitary, poorer. Unfortunately, history cannot be changed, but we can still spend time together, if only for a moment, and remember all the neighbors next to whom we lived and sat at the same table.” 

Read the full essay here.

from Galicia: The Undiscovered Troy

“I go amissfor Agnon and I appear to find ourselves in different places. Well, it seems to be all here—Koloyeva Street, the spring from which imbibed the Polish king Jan Sobieski, the hotel where the writer stayed, and the sites of the former Great Synagogue and the Beth Midrash (today, they host the market stalls and shops)There is the Jewish kirkut, the burial place called okopysko by the locals. The landscape and the setting are the same, but the theatre is staging a different show performed by a different acting troupe.”

Read the full essay here.

Lyubka’s Canadian tour was sponsored by the Danylo Husar Struk Programme in Ukrainian Literature of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Alberta. The Ukrainian Jewish Encounter was a tour co-sponsor.

St. Vladimir Institute, Toronto, November 3, 2017
(in Ukrainian)

 

00:00-01:51
Maxim Tarnawsky, Professor, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Toronto.

01:52-04:40
Natalia A. Feduschak, Director of Communications, Ukrainian Jewish Encounter.

04:42-09:23
Maxim Tarnawsky, Professor, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Toronto.

09:24-38:02
Andriy Lyubka, commentary and readings.

38:03-1:00:37
Question and answer.

University of Toronto, Munk School of Global Affairs, November 7, 2017
(in English)

 

00:00-01:30
Maxim Tarnawsky, Professor, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Toronto.

01:30-04:29
Natalia A. Feduschak, Director of Communications, Ukrainian Jewish Encounter.

04:30-09:01
Maxim Tarnawsky, Professor, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Toronto.

09:02-14:22
Andriy Lyubka.

14:23-1:00:42
Commentary, readings, question and answer.

 

Text, video, and photos: Natalia A. Feduschak

 

Source: UJE

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