Hryhorij Savyc Skovoroda

Hryhorij Savyc Skovoroda

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The essays in this collection of symposium papers about the eminent Ukrainian philosopher and poet Hryhorij Skovoroda (1722–94) examine this unique figure from a number of perspectives: historical, social, literary, pedagogical, linguistic, theological, and philosophical. Hryhorij Skovoroda is a major figure in the history of Ukrainian and Russian literature and philosophy. Educated at the Kyiv Mohyla Academy, he served variously as music director of the Russian imperial mission in Hungary, private tutor, and instructor of ethics and poetics at the Kharkiv Collegium. The last decades of his life, which he spent wandering about eastern Ukraine, were devoted to writing and contemplation. Skovoroda's writings—verse, fables, philosophical dialogues—are profoundly steeped in biblical tradition and characterized by the striking use of symbol and metaphor, as well as sophisticated linguistic experimentation. His influence on Ukrainian and Russian writers began in his own lifetime and has continued and grown ever since. It is strongly evident in the works of such figures as Taras Shevchenko, Nikolai Gogol, Andrei Belyj, and Vasyl' Barka, among others. Skovoroda is an indelible presence in the realms of philosophy, literature, religion, and linguistics. Yet he is inadequately appreciated, particularly in the West. Contributors include Dmytro Cyzevs'kyj, Karen L. Black, Stephen Scherer, George Y. Shevelov, Bohdan Rubchak, Bohdan Struminski, George Kline, Taras Zakydalsky, Mikhail Weiskopf, Aleksandr Lavrov, and others. This volume also includes an exhaustive bibliography of Skovorodiana compiled by Richard Hantula. See Dmytro Cyzevs'kyj, Nikolai Gogol, Ballad, and Lyceum in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine.