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She and He. Sorrow and Joy Of Olha Kobylianska. Olha K obylianska was born in 1863 in a small town of Gura-Gumoruluy in southern B ukovyna (Austria- H ungarian territory at the time). She had a sister and five brothers. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


She and HeSorrow and JoyOf Olha Kobylianska1

Olha Kobylianska was born in 1863 in a small town of Gura-Gumoruluy in southern Bukovyna (Austria-Hungarian territory at the time).She had a sister and five brothers.223Growing up, Olga was a very smart, withdrawn girl with a unique inner world. She liked to read and to dream, even though she didnt have much time for it.

Olha started to see the inequality towards women early in her teenage years.In those times a womans purpose was generally defined by 3Ks:KIRCHE-KCHE-KINDERIn GermanCHURCH-KITCHEN-CHILDRENIn English

45While girls were only exposed to elementary education, her brothers were educated on the highest level. All housework was done solely by Olha and her sister, which was greatly unfair in Olhas eyes. They were helping their mother, who was sick and not able to take care of the housework, with all the chores, raising children, cooking meals, preparing everyones clothes and so on. Meanwhile, Olhas greatest desire was an education and knowledge! She progressed on her own though through books, which were expensive in those times. She borrowed them whenever she could. I have no interest in house work, it doesnt give me satisfaction she wrote in her diary. Not one beam of sunshine can reach my heart; my soul is covered by clouds. I have a terrible disease, which can only be cured by an active spiritual life, but where do I find it here?

At the age of 13 Olha started her diary in German, to which she trusts her most intimate thoughts.Soon she writes her first assays in German.Hydrangeas, and later She Got Married.


Sofia Okunevska, the first Ukrainian female doctor to receive education in Switzerland, had greatly influenced Olhas destiny and literary direction.

78Okunevska was the one to point out that Olha should not write in German, but should start using the language of her roots Ukrainian. Together with Natalya Kobylyanska social activist from Galychyna they helped Olha master the Ukrainian language. Olga struggled, since she only knew the language in a day-to-day home setting and those few lessons taught by a teacher hired by her father. It is important to mention that Olhas new acquaintances shared the concerns that were brewing in her own heart - the inequality of women in society. There was only one solution to fight for womens equality with men, to free the fairer sex from home slavery.

Since then the emancipation of women and feminism became the dominant themes of most of her novels.

910She forever drives awaythe following idea: The man is all, and the woman is Nothing... and all those girls just want to get married... as in her Princess (Tsarivna) novel. Guidance from Okunevska and Kobrynska and her self-improvement finally helped Olha. She felt strong enough to write in Ukrainian. Her first novel The Person (Liudyna) appears. It was devoted to her friend and mentor Natalya Kobrynska. Even though the novel was not without weakness, it signified a new era in Ukrainian literature. The female lead thrives to prove her right to choose her own fate, defies the rules of her society, and fights for independence. At the end, circumstances force her to do what she fights against and marry for money. This was one of the first novels in Ukrainian, and possibly even European, literature, in which the inner personal world of the characters was analyzed. 11The novel also illustrated and stated certain new ideas, emancipation and feminism in particular, as described by Solomiya Pavlychko. Olha was only 21 then. During the same year she also produced a novel worth mentioning - Melancholic Waltz. In it she describes the thoughts and worries of three young women, who live together, and every evening evaluate prospective husbands...

Soon, the renowned Ukrainian writer Ivan Franko writes the following: Kobylianska transformed love stories into masterpieces that analyse the thoughts and feelings of characters.

1213Regardless of such a mature approach to her characters inner world, Olha remains being an average young woman. At the age of 19 she admits in her diary that she smokes, which was greatly frowned at by her supporters. She also admits to wanting to run away with a traveling troop of artists who visited her town. Another time she madly falls in love with a bearded Jew who passed by her window every day... One day she found out about a rich Chernivtsi professor who owned a beautiful library and she wanted to send him an offer of marriage letter, since she thought that would offer her access to the literary treasures. Olha had a great passion for horseback riding and it gave her the feeling of utter freedom.

Olha was thinking about her life and future more and more. The thoughts were rather gloom. Rarely did she feel happy.

1415She was different, and very few people understood her. She lived an intense inner life outside of her house chores and hard literary work. That life was hidden not only from her friends, but also from her family. She was expecting to be loved, and she was ready to respond. But men avoided her. Maybe they felt intimidated by her intellect? She encouraged herself I keep living... I am the Princess! She writes in her autobiography I see myself as a child, standing on a river shore. Couples and singles pass by. Some smile to the child and hurry along, some stop and look at her and move on, and some offer her kind words and presents, but dont even look back. The poor child stands, watching happy people pass by her. She stands lonely, unchanged, overwhelmed with love that will eventually turn to stone. That is my fate...

Happiness is not a frequent guest in my life... Why cant a man love me for longer? Why am I only a good friend?, - she writes in a letter dated 27.11.1886

1617In her autobiography Olha writes Among my few acquaintances of the same age, there was not one who I could share my secrets with and open my soul. Their ideal is a man and a marriage, and that was the end of it. I wanted more. I wanted more education, knowledge, and an active social life.

In 1895 Olha meets Lesya Ukrainka. Soon they share almost everything literary views, women issues, and attitude towards men. Lesya invites Olha to visit her in Ukraine.

1819Olha visits Kaniv, where she lays flowers on the grave of the great Kobzar, meets Lesyas parents and members of Ukrainian intellectuals. The friendship between the two women develops into a mutual love. In their letters they playfully call each other the blonde (thats Lesya) and the brunette (Olha).

Olha Kobylianska invites Lesya Ukrainka to visit Bukovyna in 1901. Together they travel to the South where Olha was born and raised. Lesya was impressed and inspired by the grandness of the Carpathian mountains. Lesya was accompanied by her husband Clement Kvitka, a famous Ukrainian folklore song collector. This trip was also meant to help Lesya with her fight with tuberculosis.


A recognized journalist and an aspiring novelist Osyp Makovey moves to Chernivtsi in the 90-ies. It was love at first sight for Olha, while she was a person of pure respect for him. They became good friends and met often. He critiqued her novels, while she helped him write his own.


When marriage was mentioned, which Olha was very keen on, Osyp was uncertain. He was younger than her and did not want the financial burdens for him and Olga.

2223Their relationship is mentioned in Kobylianskas letters to Makovey (she destroyed his letters to her). She mentioned the following a number of times Our soles are related. We are both writers. I can help you. I can edit your work. You mention that you support your mother and thus cannot support me also. But I make money with my writing. But he hesitated. Perhaps he was afraid to unite with a woman who stood higher than him, a woman like Olha. Eventually he leaves Chernivtsi.

It was a hard blow to Olha. She was 40 at that time. Her last hope to get married, to have a family and children, was passing by forever.

2425She was feeling like her main character in her most prominent social novel The Earth Loneliness is terrifying! No, actually, life shadowing others is terrifying! Maybe these gloomy thoughts, the sorrow, caused her stroke? She was partially paralysed, and it meant the end of her dreams. In time she got better, but her energy level was never the same.

Olha shuts herself in her own world. Happiness visits me very rarely she writes. Love is done with me forever. She occupies herself with social work, participates in womens rights groups, and writes more novels. Her most important and last novel becomes The Dark Apostle (Apostol cherni)

2627She describes the life of Ukrainians in her light of morals and ethical exploration. Age takes a toll on Olha and she suffers another stroke in 1936 that handicaps her. She is unable to leave her bed.

Miserable, but not forgotten by her fans and the Ukrainian society, the writer lives her final years.

2829Her life only had two happy periods friendship with Lesya Ukrainka and companionship with Osyp Makovey. What a tragic finale these stories had though. Lesya died from tuberculosis at the age of 42. Olhas third and last stroke happened in 1942, and she died peacefully on March 21st. That was the end of life of one of the representatives of Ukrainian classics of late 19th early 20th century. She was called an exotic flower on the field of traditional and generally acceptable realist-nationalist literature. One novel, one stroke of a feather, is what made me who I am labourer of my people Olga Kobylyanska Autobiography , 1940 30

31Created: In Ukraine,Oleh Panchuk, Olha Kobylianskas grand son: concepts, texts, audioVolodymyr Vozniuk, Director of Olha Kobylianska Muzeum in Chernivtsi: li