Mykola Lukasch

5. 8. 2014

Mykola Lukasch (1919– 1988)

Goethes “Faust” has long been recognized as one of the most significant works of world literature. This masterpiece opens the 15-volume set of Mykola Lukash’s translations and own works. Lukash started working on this translation as a high-school student, and devoted 20 years of his life to the Ukrainian “Faust”. The first publication came out in 1955 and was a prominent event in the literary process of those times.

In the 1950s-70s Lukash created his most renowned translations – “Don Quijote” by Cervantes, the “Decamerone” by Boccaccio, and “Madame Bovary” by Flaubert, as well as poems by Heine, Schiller, Burns and many others. He was said to have spoken 30-40 languages, but the translator himself named a more modest number: 18.

“Mykola Lukash hated the whole soviet system because of its brutal, lying ideology. He hated, to be precise, the hypocrisy of all the political regimes. He was struck not by the social cynicism, but by the human one. Since he was a romantic and “an idealist of principle” – writes Mykola’s god-daughter Roxana. Because of his conflict with the authorities he was banned from being published and almost had to starve.

Mykola Lukash was appreciated at his true worth only after his death. He was thrice nominated for the Taras-Shevchenko Literary Prize, but was always rejected.

by Valentyna Bilokrynytska

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