Petrovskyi Myron

Born on 8 May 1932 in Odesa, a son of an officer, he is a Ukrainian literary critic and writer.

In the early age he moved with parents to Kyiv. During the WWII he was evacuated to the Soviet’s rear (Barnaul), and returned to Kyiv in 1948.

In 1957 he graduated from the Taras Shevchenko State University in Kyiv, Department of Philology: Russian Language and Literature.

In the end of the 1950s Myron Petrovskyi’s house at the Lev Tolstoy Square in Kyiv was one of the centers for informal youth subculture. Philologists Andriy Biletskyi and Tetiana Chernyshova, writer Yuriy Shcherbak, biologist Yuriy Nekrutenko, translator Yuriy Pedan, artist Vilen Barskyi among others were frequent participants of the gathering. In 1959–1960 some of the abovementioned people had their houses searched by the KGB; some were subjected to interrogation, press obstruction, and repressions (the so-called case about “The Literary Hash House”).

In 1960 due to persecution of the republican KGB he moved to Moscow, where for some time he illegally stayed with Yosyp Brodskyi. Later on Myron worked as a literary secretary to Korney Chukovsky, whose works Myron examined in his thesis. Having improved it Petrovskyi published it in the form of a book (“Korney Chukovsky”, 1960).

In 1968–1987, he was denied the opportunity to publish his works unreservedly. In this period he wrote a dozen of books: about Mayakovsky’s cultural contexts, the Soviet science fiction, circus poetry, etc.); however, publishers either refused to print them for ideological reasons, or interspersed them within various collections.

Published in 1982 an essay book on the Soviet literature for children in the 1920–1930s, “Books of Our Childhood”, became a major bestseller: 75 thousand copies were sold in days. In 1990–2000, having obtained a right to go abroad Myron Petrovskyi lectured in universities of Great Britain and the USA. Since 1995 he has been editing a literary almanac “Yehupts”.

Publications:

“Korney Chukovsky” (Moscow, 1960; 2nd edition, Moscow, 1962).
“A Book about Korney Chukovsky” (Moscow, 1966).
“Music of the Screen” (Kyiv, 1967).
“Books of Our Childhood” (Moscow, 1986; 2nd edition, St Petersburg, 2006).
“To the City and the World: Kiev Essays” (Kyiv, 1990; 2nd edition, Kyiv, 2008).
“Master and the City: Kiev Contexts of Mikhail Bulgakov” (Kyiv, 2001; 2nd edition, Kyiv, 2008; in Polish translation – Poznań, 2004).

Compiled editions:

“Life and Oeuvre of Samuil Yakovlevich Marshak” (Moscow, 1975).
“Life and Oeuvre of Lev Kvitko” (Moscow, 1976).
“Russian Romance at the Turn of the Century” (Kyiv, 1997; 2nd edition titled “Ah-Romance. Eh-Romance. Oh-Romance. Russian Romance at the Turn of the Century”, St Petersburg, 2005).
“Korney Chukovsky: Poetry” (St Petersburg, 2002; “The Poet’s Library” Series).