Home » Bulgakov was a Ukrainophobe, his museum will be closed. I won, says the Ukrainian literary scholar

Bulgakov was a Ukrainophobe, his museum will be closed. I won, says the Ukrainian literary scholar

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Bulgakov was a Ukrainophobe, his museum will be closed.  I won, says the Ukrainian literary scholar

[Spoznajte ideologické, historické a geopolitické základy vojny na Ukrajine a jej dôsledky pre Slovensko v knihe Ako Putin stratil Ukrajinu.]

Ukrainian literary scholar Vira Aheyeva lobbied for the museum of the famous Russian writer Mikhail Bulgakov to be closed in Kyiv. Apparently, that will eventually happen.

“Bulgakov in his novel White Guard he humiliated our entire Ukrainian elite with the most disgusting words. He slandered Ukrainian writers, people who are the fathers of our nation – Symon Pethur, Volodymyr Vynnychenko and Mykhailo Hrushevsky. Each of them has its own monument,” he explains in an interview about Russian imperialism in literature.

In a bookstore in the center of Bratislava, I came across a book of fairy tales by Alexander Puškin in the Slovak language. They put the book right in the middle of the news from children’s literature. It was hard to look away from her, the illustrations were so beautiful. I think every mother would like to buy it, if only for the illustrations. It can be considered one of the elements of the myth of the great Russian literature that you write about in your book Behind the scenes of empire?

Well, of course. Alexander Pushkin is one of the export goods. True, the Russians did not succeed with Alexander Pushkin. They preferred Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, because Pushkin is less known in the West. It is not so widely read outside the Slavic world. Yes, this is cultural imperial policy, this is the promotion of the same “Russian peace”. The Russians came in tanks because they came to protect Pushkin and Tolstoy. Yes, it is part of the Imperial myth.

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We Ukrainians need our own cultural policy and strong promotion. But now we have a situation where we need more money for drones than for books. But the fact that there was no cultural policy for 30 years is a sad fact. So everything is in the hands of people like us, because now in the West they are ready to listen to us.

How did the Russians even manage to create this myth? With the help of Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoyevsky?

An interview with Ewa Thompson, whom I respect (American literary critic, Slavist researcher of Polish origin, author of the work Troubadours of the Empire – editor’s note), was recently published. He has a very bad idea about the cultural situation in Ukraine. She stated that Ukrainians could replace Ivan Turgenev with Charles Baudelaire. But there is no one to replace Dostoevsky. And then I thought: on the one hand, her book is one of the best reads so far on Russian classics as imperial and imperial literature. I have doubts about the second one, which concerns Dostoevsky. Because there is a question of whether it is read and studied. It is clear that Dostoevsky is being studied, because all Slavic studies abroad, especially in the USA and Western Europe, were actually Russian studies. But this should change.

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