Ukrainian Canadian literature in Winnipeg, a socio-historical perspective, 1908-1991
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This is a study of the development of Ukrainian Canadian literature in Winnipeg in relation to its socio-historical context, from 1908 to 1991. For the purposes of this study "Ukrainian Canadian literature" is defined as literature--prose fiction, poetry and drama--written in Ukrainian or English by writers of Ukrainian origin living in Canada. The Canadian locale is restricted to Winnipeg and includes writers living in Winnipeg when they wrote and/or published their works and writers born in Winnipeg but living elsewhere when they wrote and/or published their works. The literature is studied in three distinct periods, 1908-1917, 1918-1946, 1947-1991, roughly analogous to the three waves of Ukrainian immigration to Canada. In the initial period of immigration the Ukrainians established themselves and their community life in Winnipeg's North End. The literature of the period was characterized by nostalgia for what was left behind in the old country and fear of what was awaiting them in the new. Important writers were Fedyk ('Songs about Canada and Austria') and Crath (the first utopian novel in Ukrainian). In the second period the Ukrainian community in Winnipeg was revitalized by the influx of new immigrants who established a more diverse array of organizations. The literature of this period evidenced the development of the Ukrainian literary heritage in Canada. New themes centred on the life of Ukrainians in Canada. Significant writers were Irchan, Ewach (' The Call of the Land') and Petrivsky (the first Canadian novel in Ukrainian). In the third period Winnipeg began to wane in significance as Ukrainian emigres chose to live elsewhere. Ukrainian Canadian writers divided into two groups, emigres, writing in Ukrainian on themes relating to Ukraine (e.g., Mandryka, Hay-Holowko) and the Canadian-born, writing in English on Canadian and more universal themes (e.g., Lysenko, Haas, Galay). Beginning with early folkloristic "songs," a Ukrainian Canadian literary heritage developed. Eventually elements of it entered the Canadian literary mainstream. The price that was exacted included the loss of the Ukrainian language, increased assimilation and loss of the Ukrainian identity and the decline in the importance of the traditional Ukrainian and Ukrainian Canadian institutions and organizations.