Macquarie University
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National narrative in Ukrainian historical novels from post-Stalinist to post-independence texts

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posted on 2022-03-28, 11:12 authored by Anna Carr
This thesis studies the development of the Ukrainian national narrative in historical novels of the last fifty years. It objectivises this genre of fiction as the most powerful channel of transmitting the national story within a nation oriented to literature. The study regards the national narrative as a coherent story and, thus, sets as the primary task to extract it from four different types of historical fiction. Starting with a Socialist Realist historical novel, the thesis accepts it as a ‘progenitor narrative’ and analyses all consecutive texts in the light of its structure. The most restricted of the national narratives in the Ukrainian field, the progenitor narrative has influenced the course of the transformation of the national story until recently. Having extracted the narratives, the thesis focuses on their formal and semantic differences concentrating on the expressions of the national narrative in Ukrainian historical novels. In particular, it starts with the objectivation of formal aspects of the progenitor narrative,dissociating it into motifs, which gives reasons to divide the national narratives to fabula- and syuzhet-oriented stories. Due to the complicated nature of the latter, the study investigates the ways of forming the syuzhet of the narrative. For this reason, it pays significant attention to the narrative as desire and turns to the politics of the body with regard to gender context in the novels. In the historical novels of Pavlo Zahrenel’nyi, Valerii Shevchuk, and Oksana Zabuzhko, the thesis recognises an overall unique and complicated pattern of transformation of Ukrainian national narrative. The latter is put in historical and ideological contexts to understand the conditions of the narrative types’ formation. As a conclusion, the thesis makes an attempt to set the pattern of the narrative creation.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Literature review : contextualising the national narrative -- Chapter 2. Elusive utterance : the locations of the national narrative in the novel -- Chapter 3. The politics of the national narrative : generic implications of historical novels -- Chapter 4. ‘Progenitor narrative’, or the way to modern Ukrainian national narrative in Iurii Mushketyk's Haidamaky -- Chapter 5. Vast Patriarchy : Pavlo Zahrenel’nyi and his national narratives – Ievpraksiia, Roksolana, Death in Kyiv -- Chapter 6. Punishment, power, and writing : Valerii Shevchuk’s recipe to avoid subjection -- Chapter 7. Punishment and decline in Shevchuk’s narrative : the rest of the puzzle -- Chapter 8. The body and the past : Oksana Zabuzhko’s post-Communist national narrative -- Conclusion a long way to the narrative.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 262-269

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of International Studies, Languages and Cultures

Department, Centre or School

Department of International Studies, Languages and Cultures

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Estela Valverde

Additional Supervisor 1

Halyna Koscharsky

Additional Supervisor 2

Rostyslav Semkiv


Copyright Anna Carr 2015. Copyright disclaimer:




1 online resource (269 pages)

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