Young authors were honored in five nominations.
Traditionally, the awarding ceremony of the Oles Gonchar International German-Ukrainian Prize was held on April 3, the birthday of the outstanding writer. By the way, this year marks the 105th anniversary of the birth of Oles Honchar.
The laureates of 2023 and other years, researchers and connoisseurs of Oles Honchar’s work and those who knew him personally gathered in the cozy premises of the library of the National Museum of Literature.
“This is not just an award for creativity or works of individual young authors. These days, when Ukraine is at war with the aggressor, this is a symbol of support for the entire Ukrainian culture, she said Halyna Soroka, director of the National Museum of Literature. — Oles Honchar’s work has always brought us the idea of light, faith, and love, and his characters fought for a happy destiny. But no matter what he talked about, his heart was always with Ukraine. Oles Terentiyovych wrote: I thank God for letting me be born in Ukraine, my only wealth in this world is love for the country. He defended the Ukrainian language, the dignity and the right to self-determination of Ukrainians, he was one of the first to support the student revolution, he gave the name to the live chain, he gave speeches in support of Ukraine’s independence on Sofia Square. Even then he wrote: Russia will perish because it harbors hatred for Ukraine.
In the exhibition, we have a large complex about his work. In the hall there are two showcases – one displays the works of the award winners, the other displays the first edition of “The Cathedral”, Oles Honchar’s personal belongings, and unique photographs. On the day of the museum’s opening, he was the first to leave an inscription in the guest book.”
Oleksandr Honchar Prize laureate Vadym Pepa, Oleksandr Balabko, writer and member of the jury of the International German-Ukrainian Oles Honchar Prize, Yuriy Mosenkis, academician and Honorary Citizen of Kyiv, poet and journalist, winner of the Petro Shevchenko Prize, shared their memories and thoughts about the personality and work of Oles Honchar. Perebiynis, actress and cultural and social activist Maria Kochur, editor-in-chief of the magazine “Vsesvit”, laureate of the Oles Honchar International German-Ukrainian Prize Dmytro Drozdovskyi.
He told interesting facts film critic Serhii Trimbachwho lived in the house of writers Rolit next door to Oles Gonchar and interviewed him about Oleksandr Dovzhenko.
“Oles Gonchar had very little chance of survival. His mother died at the age of two. The father got married, the child was given to a grandmother in the Poltava region. Then the war, capture, stay in a concentration camp. He was wounded three times in the war. He was repeatedly threatened with death, but each time he managed to escape from almost inevitable death. He himself believed that there was a certain protection over him,” noted Serhii Trimbach.
The culmination of the meeting was the award ceremony of the prize winners. Both published and unpublished works of Ukrainian-language authors up to 30 years of age were accepted for the competition. According to the rules, they can live both in Ukraine and abroad.
“This year’s competition is special for us. Despite the martial law, we still decided to hold the ceremony, – the head of the jury told “Vechirnyi Kyiv” Dmytro Chistyak. — We had a very wide range of participants in 5 nominations, we are satisfied with the level of laureates. Different geography is represented – Ivano-Frankivsk, Kyiv, Kropyvnytskyi, Kozelshchyna.
It is touching that under the auspices of German patrons and the family of Oles Honchar, we are continuing this tradition. The awards have been going on for 26 years, some laureates have become famous, and we hope that this tradition will not be interrupted. Of course, the military theme is leading today. It can be traced in the prose of Bohdan Hasyuk, in the poetry of Stanislav Novitsky, who is currently in the ZSU. And this is consistent with Oles Terentiyovych’s work itself.”
Traditionally, the prize was awarded in the following nominations: “Novel”, “Short prose” (series of short stories, short story), “Poetry”, “Publicism” and “Literary work dedicated to the work of Oles Honchar”.
He became a laureate in the “Great Prose” nomination Taras Golota (Kyiv) with the collection of stories “In the mirror confessional”. As Dmytro Chistyak noted, this author’s prose attracts attention. It is based on a broad cultural and artistic tradition, in particular the Gothic novel. This is a new word for modern Ukrainian literature.
Taras Golota was born in Chervonohrad, graduated from Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University, where he currently works as a graduate student.
“I wrote my first works when I was 11-12 years old, in English. He was inspired by Western European classics, such as Edgar Allan Poe, William Shakespeare, Taras Golota told “Vechirnyi Kyiv”. — He worked on the novels for a long time. For almost 10 years, he returned to these stories, thought out and refined the plot. The leading theme and leitmotif is that a person is constantly immersed in himself. In the darkness of being tries to find light.
All three stories are psychological detective stories, thrillers. The first tells how a Kyiv detective receives a letter from the past, a century ago. The lady asks for help to survive her heiress. The final will be unexpected and dramatic. In the second story, a man learns the dark side of his being and radically changes his life, learns certain secrets about himself. The third story is a philosophical exploration of oneself. The character tries to find the truth in pilgrimage, alienation, asceticism. He cannot do evil, in this I play the leitmotif of Dorian Gray.”
Taras Golota already has four books and is currently working on a philological dystopian novel.
In the “Small Prose” nomination, the jury recognized the collection of short stories “While the Sun Rises” Bohdan Hasyuk from Ivano-Frankivsk. Jury member Oleksandr Balabko drew attention to the fact that the author’s style resonates with the work of two Vasyls – Stefanyk and Portyak, has a “fragrant” language, as if collected from the mountain slopes of the Carpathians.
“Oles Gonchar wrote that an author should grow from the language of his people, folklore, and this resonates with me. He is an author close to me,” said laureate Bohdan Hasiuk.
He became a laureate in the “Poetry” category Stanislav Novitskyi from Kropyvnytskyi for the collection of poems “Foreshadowing”. He is already a well-known poet, whose work was published in the “Anthology of young Ukrainian poetry of the 3rd millennium. Dmytro Chistyak drew attention to the fact that Stanislav has a recognizable style, which is characterized by aphorism, concise lyricism, which turns into transcendentalism. While receiving the award, the young poet read a poem dedicated to Oles Gonchar, which he wrote on the way to Kyiv on the train.
In the nomination “Publicism” the victory was won by a native of Lviv Lubomyr Lesonin for the selection of essays “Album in which you are”, which the jury noted for sincerity and bright images. “For me, Oles Gonchar is about succession, about passing the torch from hand to hand. Today he united all of us,” the laureate emphasized.
In the nomination “Literary work dedicated to the work of Oles Honchar” he received the award Zakhar Zinenko for intelligence “Some higher power is keeping me…”. He became the youngest laureate, Zakhar is only 16 years old. He lives in the Kozel region of the Poltava region, where Oles Gonchar spent his early years.
“This is the region of his childhood, we wanted to investigate the origins of such an outstanding writer, where the spark that called him to the world of writing sounded, – noted Zakhar. – I live on this land, where he lived and worked, where his childhood years passed. I know his works from elementary school. 55 years ago, in 1968, when Oles Honchar’s “Cathedral” was published, this book, already banned, was sold in our neighboring village. Then it spread quickly, people knew this work by Oles Honchar.”
Talented young writers have been honored with the Oles Honchar International German-Ukrainian Prize for the 26th year in a row. It was founded in 1996 by German patrons Tetiana Kushteveska and Dieter Karrenberg together with the National Union of Writers of Ukraine.
Last year, the prize was awarded in three nominations, but the award ceremony was not held.