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HOLLIS 009549539

Ponedilok, Mykola, 1922-. Papers, 1947-1975: A Finding Aid.

Ukrainian Research Institute Reference Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: HOLLIS 009549539
Repository: Ukrainian Research Institute Reference Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Ponedilok, Mykola, 1922-.
Title: Papers, 1947-1975.
Date(s): 1947-1975.
Quantity: 1 collection (4 boxes (4 linear feet)
Language of materials: In Ukrainian.
Abstract: Chiefly correspondence of Ukranian author Mykola Ponedilok. The majority of letters were written to him once he had emigrated to the United States and pertain primarily to his public appearances, publications, and professional as well as personal relationships with editors, journalists, literary scholars.

Aquisition Information:

Donated by the estate of the late Mykola Ponedilok (see Harvard Ukrainian Studies Newsletter, Vol. VII, Nos. 3-4 (January-April 1976).

Processing Information:

Processed by: Ksenya Kiebuzinski

Conditions Governing Access:

Access is by appointment only. Contact the Institute Bibliographer/Archivist.

Biographical / Historical

Mykola Ponedilok was born on September 24, 1922, in Novomyrhorod, Ielysavethrad (Kirovohrad) county, Kherson guberniia. His parents were Vasyl and Dariia Ksenofontivna Panasenko. After completing middle school in 1939, he entered the philology department at Odessa University. His studies were interrupted in Spring 1941 when he was called up to serve in the army. From 1943 he resided in Germany until coming to the United States in 1949. In the United States, he settled in New York City and worked odd jobs there until 1955 when he was employed by an international bookseller, Stechert Hofner.
His literary career began in 1947 with translations of German, English, and French dramas into Ukrainian for Volodymyr Blavatskyi's Ensemble of Ukrainian Actors, and Iosyp Hirniak's and Olimpiia Dobrovolska's Theater--Studio. Some of his more noteworthy translations include Antigone and Médée of Jean Anouilh; Lucretia of André [Obe]; Ghosts of Ibsen; and An Inspector Calls of J. B. Priestley.
In addition to his dramatic translations, Ponedilok also wrote three plays about life under the Soviet regime: Znedoleni (The Misfortunate), Liaitenant Fliaiev (Lieutenant Fliaiev), and A my tuiu chervonu kalynu… (And We Will [Raise] That Red Viburnum…, 1957). The first two were performed in displaced persons camps in Germany, and the third was performed in the United States under the direction of Hirniak.
During this period, he also began to write novellas, short stories, and sketches, publishing them in émigré newspapers and journals. His first novella, Chorna khustyna (Black Kerchief), appeared in 1947 in a literary supplement to Ukraïnski visti (Neu-Ulm) then edited by Hryhorii Kostiuk. These first humorous and satiric short stories and feuilletons about Ukrainian émigré life later appeared in the collections Vitaminy (Vitamins, 1957), Sobornyi borshch (Pan-Ukrainian Borshch, 1960), and Smishni slozyny (Funny Tears, 1966; English translation 1982).
Ponedilok's later works, however, turned away from humor and satire towards a lyrical nostalgia and reminiscence of his lost native land and youth. He began the trend with Hovoryt lyshe pole (Only the Field Speaks, 1962), and continued it with Zorepad (Shooting Stars, 1969), Riatuite moiu dushu! (Save My Soul!, 1973), and the posthumous Dyvo v resheti (A Marvel in the Sieve, 1977). Additional stories and feuilletons appeared in Slovo, Novi Dni and other Ukrainian periodicals. Ponedilok not only published his writings, but also entertained various Ukrainian communities throughout North America with readings. He frequently performed together with another humorist, Ivan Kernytskyi (Iker). Ponedilok was a founding member of the Slovo Association of Ukrainian Writers in Exile and a member of the Ukrainian Literary-Artistic Club in New York. He died on January 25, 1976.


Organized in eight series: With lists:

Scope and Contents

The collection as a whole provides insights to post-World War II émigré life among Ukrainian writers, journalists, and literary scholars. The bulk (3 c.f.) of the collection is comprised of correspondence to Mykola Ponedilok which is arranged chronologically. Most of the letters were written to him once he had immigrated to the United States. There is however one folder of correspondence dating from his time as a displaced person in Germany (1947-1948). Although few in number, these letters give some information about his involvement with Volodymyr Blavatskyi and Iosyp Hirniak's theater groups.
Among the letters, there is one from Ivan Bahrianyi encouraging Ponedilok to write, several from Hirniak asking for translations, and one from Bohdan Pazdrii about the premiere of Lucretia in Regensburg, as well as others. The rest of the correspondence, 1951-1975, pertains primarily to his public appearances, publications, and professional as well as personal relationships.
Ponedilok corresponded with a number of editors including: Mykola Bohatiuk (Feniks); Lidiia Burachynska (Nashe zhyttia); Andrii Hlynin (Ukraïnski visti,Neu-Ulm); Vasyl Hryshko (Ukraïnskyi Prometei); I. Krushelnytskyi (Ukraïnska dumka); Petro Pihichyn and Ivan Ovechko (Kanadiiskyi farmer/Vilnyi svit); Mykhailo Pohoretskyi, V. Martynets, and V. Levytskyi (Novyi shliakh); Lev Shankovskyi (Prologue, Ameryka); Rev. M. Sopuliak (Ukraïnski visti, Edmonton); Oleksander Vashchenko (Khliborob); S. Volynets and I. Syrnyk (Ukraïnskyi holos, Winnipeg).
By far the most frequent editorial correspondence came from his book publishers Iulian Serediak and Ivan Boiko. Serediak, editor of Mitla and an almanac by the same name, headed his own publishing house in Argentina. He published Ponedilok's Vitaminy (1957), A my tuiu chervonu kalynu…(1957), and Sobornyi borshch (1960). Boiko worked for the Homin Ukrainy Publishing Co. in Toronto and assisted in the publication of Hovoryt lyshe pole (1962) and Zorepad (1969).
These titles as well as Smishni slozyny and Riatuite moiu dushu! were well received in the Ukrainian émigré press and by such literary scholars as Oleksii Kobets (pseud: O. Varavva, O. Voronyn), Mykyta Mandryka, Petro Odarchenko, and Wolodymyr Zyla, who reviewed Ponedilok's books and also corresponded with him. Other of Ponedilok's correspondents, many of them members of the Slovo Association of Ukrainian Writers in Exile, include such writers, literary scholars, journalists, educators, actors, artists, and community leaders as: Emma Andiievska, Oles Babii, Ivan Bahrianyi, Vasyl Barka, Olimpiia Dobrovolska, Mykola Domashevskyi, Sofiia Haievska, Maria Harasowska-Daczyszyn, Vasyl Hirnyi, Nina Horlenko, Toma Kobzei, Volodymyr Kubiiovych, Hryhorii Luzhnytskyi, Lesia Lysak-Tyvoniuk, Iulian Movchan, Halyna Mazepa, Volodymyr Nestorovych, Iryna Pelenska, Volodymyr Shasharovskyi, Mykhailo Stechyshyn, Ostap Tarnavskyi, Mykola Trotskyi, Vasyl Iemets and Anatol Iuryniak. The content of their letters consists mostly of praise for either his published works or his performances and information about their own projects.
Ponedilok's closest and most frequent epistolary contacts appear to have been with D. Buchynskyi from Madrid, Spain (translator of Spanish literature into Ukrainian); Anatol Kalynovskyi from Rochester, New York (pen names: A. Halan, Ivan Eventualnyi; writer and journalist); Vasyl Onufriienko from Sydney, Australia (writer and translator of Australian poetry into Ukrainian); Dariia Siiak from Paris (Shevchenko Scientific Society); and Iurii Stefanyk from Edmonton (writer, editor and community leader; son of Vasyl Stefanyk).
The rest of the collection is comprised of miscellaneous series. The series of articles, notes, etc. contains reviews of Ponedilok's entertainments and readings, publication announcements, and general articles about him. Book reviews covers all of his works from 1957 to 1973. The Literaturno Dopomohovyi Fond series includes letters enclosed with contributions as well as lists of contributors to the financial assistance fund established in 1964 to help members of the Slovo Association of Ukrainian Writers in Exile. Manuscripts consists of handwritten and typed drafts of Ponedilok's stories. Photographs include the Stefanyk family, Edvard Kozak, T. Kurnita, Markiian Fesolovych, Onufriienko, and Ponedilok. The series of program announcements takes the form of fliers and newspaper advertisements which provide the date, place, and names of accompanying performers for his entertainments. The radio transcripts series comprises programs critical of the Soviet Union which were presented by Ponedilok for Voice of America.

Selected list of correspondents:

Selected list of Ukrainian periodicals and their editors:

Container List