13:04VOICE. Film about Ihor Pavlyuk (text)
Film about Ihor Pavlyuk
Volodymyr Danylenko, writer, literary critic
What about Ihor Pavlyuk? I would say that his poetry continues traditional Ukrainian one, it is sylabotonic, he writes the way Ukrainian people always did, but the poetry is highly compressed and extremely dynamic. It is explosive. Ihor Pavlyuk is a scholar himself, he is a Doctor of Social Communication, teaches journalism, and is an extremely dynamic person. He is sociable, always travelling between Kyiv and Lviv, Lviv and European capitals, endlessly being in motion, so does his poetry.
Lesya Mudrak, poet, literary critic
I will tell you honestly and frankly, I used to be fond of particularly Ihor Pavlyuk’s love lyrics. In this lyric I found extremely deep elements, deep images, a combination of paganism and Christianity, the combination of, say, some quite incompatible things and very high and profound energy. No wonder the book "Стихія" thirteen-fourteen years ago, won the commitment of almost all Ukraine. Accordingly, people who tried to follow his poetry appeared, mostly girls. I remember very interesting moments that somewhere in 2006 or 2007 Ihor Pavlyuk had such a kind of poetic school, where students of Ostroh Academy wrote in such way that you could eventually read Pavlyuk in their works. Here are some typical words used in Pavlyuk’s poetry, for example, winged, manly, bloody, and something else and it was very interesting.
Ihor Pavlyuk started his work in the ninetieth, and I would say that in the wake of the 90's he was not one of the most prominent poets, he somehow appeared as a star of poetry much later. I think this is primarily due to the People's Shevchenko National Prize, because he did not become Shevchenko National Prize laureate, but due to the responses, the number of positive reviews he won the People's Shevchenko Prize.
Peter Zasenko, poet and chairman of the selection committee of the National Union of Writers of Ukraine
Today Ihor Pavlyuk fitted into the history of Ukrainian literature, especially poetry, as an author of many patriotic books, and his creativity is determined by its own unique poetic voice. This voice is based on the knowledge of Ukrainian history and art, and all these he can show in rhetorical creativity of a poet. His poetic club goes in tune with our time. He is poet of impulse, poet who inspires his line and his metaphor with such an anxiety, such images that leave the reader to be interested in his work.
Mykhailo Sydorzhevskyy, chairman of the National Union of Writers of Ukraine
Tangible motives of the famous Russian poet of the last century Sergei Esenin, could be felt in works of Ihor Pavlyuk. He possibly started deliberately copying something, but then of course he stopped, although the effects are still visible, but he is purely Ukrainian poet, purely national poet who grew up in the Ukrainian national soil. The techniques or methods that he might be still using from the very Esenin, is for him to decide, but in any case these are not borrowings. This is a completely original poet, interesting poet, one of the brightest poets. Actually, he can be attributed to the traditionalists (he is one of notable representatives in this direction, but not typical). That is, he is different than, say, the same Borys Oliynyk, or Dmytro Ivanov or Mykhailo Shevchenko. In something they are alike, but it is different style and markedly distinguished features. As to the motives that dominate his work, these are again Civil reasons, the development of generation awareness that lived at the crucial dramatic period of our history, present times, things that happened to us all in recent late Soviet times and years of independence, what is happening in public consciousness, what is happening with society. Ihor Pavlyuk tries to show all these topics in a poetic word, and, in my opinion, he is successful.
Oles Gordon, poet, translator, literary critic
Ihor Pavlyuk is a separate phenomenon in modern Ukrainian literature, and probably in Lviv poetry since he has started writing in this city. Although he is from Volyn, and once in anthology "Pozadesyatnyky-2" I called him last romantic from Volyn.
In fact, he is separate phenomenon, since he has not only modern manners and trends in his creativity, but Volyn romanticism, which, obviously, was a source of inspiration for Lesya Ukrainka, and the world romanticism as well. And in fact, this is an interesting combination of romanticism with some almost mystical influences of Esenin, whom he likes, with a combination of contemporary modern trends. This is probably the most interesting fact in the works of Ihor Pavlyuk.
Dmytro Drozdovsky, writer, literary critic, editor of the magazine «Universe» («Всесвіт»)
He lives by miracle, and wants that this miracle, positive light that brings people together to be echoed in his poetry, because poetry is truly uniting, it is quite European, it certainly contains some codes of Esenin. Ihor Pavlyuk grows out of Esenin. There is something of Byron, even in life text and the life path of Ihor there is a spirit of Byron. This Byron hero lives in his nature. But Ihor Pavlyuk this is Ihor Pavlyuk. He became himself, he found himself in Ukrainian literature, gained his freedom and independence and lives within the coordinates of independence that he deserves, within the pain that he has to go through. Ihor has support, he is open to the world and the world reaches to him. But at war, in terms of outright aggression, it is not easy. Namely, at this time, ironically, Ihor got the chance to become the face of modern world poetry. At least, there are real prerequisites, and the meetings that took place during the last year starting from Lahor in Pakistan and continuing in New York, they show, certify that Ihor is very interesting voice in Ukrainian literature, poet and peacemaker, a man-philosopher, who still has to study. When a person is happy to live, when he discovers something, then he wants to live, to do something, then he is just curious. Ihor finds it interesting to live, to reveal himself, he is curious to discover the world. He is very fond of Ukraine, Ukrainian word, loves Ukrainian poetry, and he is the one who really continues the good tradition of modern Ukrainian literature, particularly poetry.
Dmytro Chystyak , poet, translator, literary critic
I am acquainted with the poetry of Ihor Pavlyuk and paid attention to the fact that it really belongs to the contemporary European trends of poetry. Because, as Dmytro Drozdovsky rightly observed in the preface to the English edition of the Ihor Pavlyuk’s book, this poetics is related to the change of paradigm in modern literature of Europe, the transition from postmodern to metamodern attitude and poetic expression. We can say that here we feel the return of fellow modernistic centralism with emotional beginning, but not with this mental game and it is very symbolic because in general I feel this trend in young Ukrainian poetry, and it is symbolic in the sense that such a poetics, appears indeed to be poetry that answers the essential questions facing us, the readers, the poet, literary critics, because it is aiming towards that principle, which in ancient literature was defined as the search for the sacred.
Lesya Mudrak, poet, literary critic
Actually, for me, Ihor Pavlyuk is a very unique figure in modern literature. Because in deep traditions of Russian poetry, world poetry, he found his true voice that stands out from, say, traditional poetry inherent to purely Ukrainian patriotic civic lyric motifs. Ihor Pavlyuk in his works always tries to be out of some literary process, but still he remains very vulnerable child, and this is good because a poet who even until his 70 or 80 years is still a child, remains a true poet. Exactly this childhood behaviour, this vision of the soul of things, this is really true depth of the poetry. And because these are sometimes killing metaphors in poetry of Ihor Pavlyuk, they are impressive, and not accidentally this man is very popular abroad. Our Ukrainian poetry is extremely popular abroad. And who would say that we have no worthy translators or worthy writers, it is not true. Ukrainian poetry is powerful at the global level and on the world stage. And poetry of Ihor Pavlyuk in the context of world poetry is not lost. On the contrary, it will fill poetry of the world with some new, purely national good prose and energy.
It is, so to speak, he travelled our globe from Lviv to East. In fact he was on the Californian coast and almost reached the Far East. He has built a military road there. Therefore this global feeling is felt in his life, this feeling is present in his literature, sometimes he tries to cover everything that could not be covered, which is good. He attempts to combine different tendencies, various schools in its style. But this style is still of Pavlyuk. It differs from the poetic world of modern Ukrainian poets. Already a mature artist today and, indeed, his works are like a lyrical stream, one of the most interesting in contemporary Ukrainian poetry. He also has epic motives in his creativity, writes many dramas and prose. But, in fact, I find lyrical stream of his poetry the most interesting up to date (well, perhaps descendants will look differently on his works).
Today there are new books coming; French book will be edited soon in Paris. Again, the big tour across US is being prepared where he has to visit all the states, meet different people. He works closely with Mo Yan, very interesting Chinese writer. His book “Red Sorghum” was translated into Ukrainian by Nadiya Kirnosova. This is the man that represents Ukraine as the world wants to see it. There was even a conversation about Ihor Pavlyuk meeting with the Dalai Lama, or with other Nobel laureates such as Derek Walcott, a great poet who lives far away from us on the island of Trinidad and Tobago. But, nevertheless, he also felt in the poetry of Ihor Pavlyuk some kinship. I think that today is the moment when life has prepared something very interesting, some trials, something very meaningful, he has to undergo, possibly to have more changes, or enter wonderful and unattainable for most of us Olympus... Although he is ready for any decision, to any situation in life, he is not chasing prizes...
We can disagree, but at the beginning poetry had a function of deity invocation, and thanks to its powerful analytical nature, it’s very large semantic capacity at some point one image is superior to another image and structures that are not connected in everyday life, are disclosed in one moment with the power of poetic imagination and a deep meditative vigil. Here in my view, lies essential, existential power of the poetic word. And poetics of Ihor Pavlyuk is aiming at this. So, actually, we see deep interest in the Ukrainian ethnic culture. It reflects the author's myth of spiritual expanse in one real figurative conceptual world of Polyssia, and that this author’s myth appears as a purification of everyday life, refined structure in perfect Ukraine, which is not idealized, but it appears spiritually perfect, it appears as a memory that is cleaned through the poetic word, it appears as a sacred principle that is making its way to the modern through the historical perspective.
His poetic word is adequate to his life, his stance. He is never sly, wants to reconcile everybody. Once he said in London that "yes, I love Russian culture, but Russia today is a big bear that can destroy its neighbor. Love to culture correlates with absolutely adequate understanding of the current geopolitical Russia as special unit that seeks to restore the neo-empire, colonizing its neighbors. So Ihor Pavlyuk is not just a poet, he is an analyst of our unbuttoned time, he is wise, a philosopher who learns, who does not believe that he knows the truth already, and who tries to surround himself with very decent, bright people from whom he learns he is open to the world, enjoys world. When we were in America, Ronald, the representative of Mo Yan, The Nobel Prize winner in Literature (we lived near the ocean in Florida), told him that it is impossible to swim in the ocean because there are sharks and it might end up not so optimistic. Ihor said that it was his own will and he wants to meet with this uncertainty. He is ready to make some pragmatic crazy, absurd things. But he lives in such way...
And in this, in my view lies a very powerful energy of Ihor Pavlyuk’s poetics. The fact that his rhyme is mostly traditional, only emphasizes my observation, because in ancient texts phonic component was very important, and because the magic of poetic is also hidden in phonics, and phonics of Ihor Pavlyuk, which is very rich (not only are there end-rhyme adopted in poetics, but the internal structure of rhymes as well). And it is also connected for me with the ancient texts that through antigrammatic, invocation of the deity were created particular through this extremely rich phonetic orchestra of the verse. So, summing up, I must say that for me, Ihor Pavlyuk is one of the most interesting Ukrainian modern poets, because of his rootedness in the deepest layers of our culture. At the same time, this deep rootedness in our culture is also relevant for the latest research in modern Western poetry. Therefore, I hope that his work will be interesting for French-speaking reader. Because I translated his works, and "Anthology of Ukrainian poetry", published in Paris. I hope that in this direction we will work in the future.
Volodymyr Danylenko, writer, literary critic
Frankly, it remains a mystery for me how is Ihor Pavlyuk’s poetry translated. This sylabotonic poetry is translated by free verse. So what remains from sylabotonic poetry after translation? Just a thought remains from it, but melody, music, even the dynamics are lost. Once I had a conversation with Pavlyuk. He told how often his poetry is translated abroad but translated in free verse. Speaking of what leading motives are present in the works of Ihor Pavlyuk, I would say that his poetry tends to traditions of Mykola Vingranovsky, Mykola Zerov, they are between the traditional and intellectual poetry. He writes what most of Ukrainian poets write, just in another voice, and that voice should be remembered.
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