Dissidents: An Anthology of Texts

The anthology makes the first attempt to represent the Ukrainian dissident movement of the 1960–80s in all its polyphony, less on the sociopolitical level and more through the prism of human destinies. The stories of ideas and personal undertakings are unfolding before the readers in the vivid pulsation of texts that testify for themselves.

The anthology consists of texts written in different genres: from poetry, public speeches, and samvydav (self-published uncensored) texts, to court speeches, texts on being held in jails, special psychiatric hospitals, and prison camps, and finally, to self-reflection on personal experiences of opposing the totalitarian system. Such a variety creates a multidimensional and meaningful picture of the Ukrainian dissident movement. These texts were born in a time when being free was associated with prison camps more often than with living at large.
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Dmytro Stus. Vasyl Stus: A Life as Art

Nobody knows how to explain the mystery of fame. Often a person who has spent all his life at the very core of events falls into oblivion right after his death. Vasyl Stus became renowned only after his reburial in Ukraine in 1989. What was the reason? Was it his poetry? His heroic life? His irreconcilable position? Or his ability to be compassionate? In his attempt to answer these and other questions, the poet’s son Dmytro masterfully combines the objective data of Vasyl Stus’s biography with his own private recollections and observations about his father. His book offers a paradoxical interrelation of contexts combining the highbrow academic style with a novelistic one. This book shows Vasyl Stus through the eyes of his son and researcher against a background of “belated nation-making”. (more…)