The phenomenon of literature of (from) Maidan

Mariana Zeleniuk

pdf: The phenomenon of literature

With the beginning of Euromaidan and with aggravation of the situation artists, especially writers, began to respond with the available to them ways – word, colour, music… This reaction in the best way demonstrated the essence of the art – it is not separated from life, but it is in direct interaction with him. The artist does not live in a castle of ivory. He is in here, on the barricades in the street. In art not just individual emotions are reflected. Here emotions of society caused by historical, critical events are hidden.

The Literature of Maidan is a poetry and prose anthologies, essays, novels, stories, running commentary and even publications for children of all skill levels and quality. It is necessary to mention the texts written long before the Maidan, but actualized in a new way. They are texts written by Taras Shevchenko, Ivan Franko, Vasyl Symonenko, Vasyl Stus that were actively quoted and recited on Maidan (everyone remembers Sergiy Nihoyan’s video where the he is reciting an excerpt from «Caucasus» written by Taras Shevchenko).

In a short time a new phenomenon “The Literature of Maidan” has developed its own characteristics, among other publications and layers of modern literary process. It is interesting that among all genres a poetry was the very first. It is brief in form and conveys the main emotions and ideas concisely. Prose also developed gradually. Naturally that first authors began to turn to a short prose. A short novel as a genre with tense plot, the concentration of thoughts and feelings conveys emotions and stories of real people in the best way. Anthology of short prose of Мaidan was published the very first. The Plot includes a variety of stories: searching of own place as a way to help others, death of the heroes, beating journalists, life on the Maidan etc. First Maidan’s novels have appeared during the six months – a year after the events of the Maidan.

One of the important features of this stratum of literature is its attention to the time and space of events. In Maidan’s time we all lived in another, unusual for us rhythm. It was hard to abandon from the news. Every event had its Weight, every records in social networks, every name. Authors who wrote at that time had to keep the sequence of events very clearly. They actually played the role of reporters. Chronological principle was the main one to combine anthologies. Often in the preface and afterword to them it was indicated a short list of the main events of Maidan. It is worth to mention,   publications devoted to the comments from social networks.

Some changes can be traced in the poetics of the texts. Here the accent is made not on the form but on the content. Sophisticated metaphors are almost absent. All artistic means are simple. In the first place is the issue of what it is said in the text, but not how.

Metric of poetry was also changed. Most of them are rhymed, rare – vers libre. Often the images used in the texts also differ by its tradition. We find appeals to Ukrainian traditions, historical events and even intertexts to canonical works of national literature. Such images we often find in the texts of authors-beginners. They subconsciously turned to the canonical texts of culture that unite the Ukrainians as a nation. It explains the imitation of Shevchenko – central images and ideas of his work. These rhythms and images are genetically embedded in us.

Certainly, the whole layer written about Maidan has a different quality. Here we find the anthology, containing writers-beginners and the writers with well-known name under one roof . That is why characteristics and trends of the writing will be different, but the both type of the texts have common features. Moreover they are displayed most clearly in the texts of middle level, because here literature becomes a tool to express the experience of ordinary people. As to my mind one of the main causes of appearing the Literature of Maidan was the desire to record everything they had seen and understood this experience.