Glagoslav Publications publishes gripping psychological novel “Duel” in English translation by Ukrainian writer Borys Antonenko-Davydovych
The central character of the gripping psychological novel Duel is the Ukrainian intellectual Kost Horobenko. Set in the early years of the new Soviet Ukrainian state, the period of militant communism, Horobenko is still dueling his alter ego, the Ukrainian nationalist.
This novel is among the early works of the 1920s by Borys Antonenko-Davydovych, in which the writer tries to analyze the fate of intellectuals during the revolution in the Russian Empire, in particular the fate of those who were initially active in the Ukrainian national revival, and later, due to changed circumstances, were forced to switch to cooperation with the Soviet authorities. Among Antonenko-Davydovych’s works devoted to this question, it is the most extensive and profound, according to literary critic Hryhoriy Kostiuk, and it is psychologically complex and multifaceted. Antonenko-Davydovych’s works have been well received for his rather pointed and satirical view of life.
The novel was first published in the magazine Zhyttia i revoliutsiia in 1927 (iss. 10-12). It was later published in this English translation by Lastivka Press in 1986, with a circulation of 2000 copies, and it has been out of print for many years.
About the Author:
Borys Antonenko-Davydovych was born on August 5, 1899 in Romny, Poltava Province, Ukraine, into a working-class family. His early years were spent in Bryansk, Russia. Borys learned Ukrainian at age six, after the family moved back to Okhtyrka in Ukraine.
His father died during the First World War. After graduating from high school in 1917, Borys left to study at Kharkiv University, later transferring to the Kyiv Institute of Education. Although his first literary endeavors were in Russian, the political struggle in Ukraine during the 1917 revolution prompted him to start writing in Ukrainian.
His most important early works were Smert’ [Death, 1927; in English Duel, 1986]Zemleiu ukrains’koiu [Through Ukrainian Lands, 1929] and Pechatka [The Seal, 1930].
After baseless attacks in the press and accusations of nationalism, Antonenko-Davydovych was arrested in 1935 and sentenced to ten years of hard labor. He returned to Kyiv in 1956, a sick man. Despite this, he was very active in Ukrainian literature during the “thaw” of the 1960s, his most popular novel of this period being Za shyrmoiu (Behind the Curtain, 1962; in English 1980). During the Brezhnev period of the 1970s, he was harshly persecuted by the authorities for his involvement in the dissident movement and his works ceased to be published.
He is the author of 24 books, many of which have been translated into the languages of the former USSR.
Author: Borys Antonenko-Davydovych
Translator: Yuri Tkacz
Publisher: Glagoslav Publications
ISBN: 9781911414841, 9781911414858, 9781911414865
Scope: 203 pages
Price: €21.99 (PB), €23.99 (HB), €9.95 (e-book)
Format: paperback, hardcover, e-book
Copies are available on request.