1814 – 1870
Who was Amvrosii Metlynsky?
Metlynsky was a professor of Russian Literature at Kharkiv University from 1843–49, and again from 1854–58. From 1849–54 he was a professor at Kiev University. During the 1830s, the city of Kharkiv became the center of Ukrainian Romanticism. Metlynsky and other authors such as Izmail Sreznevsky and Mykola Kostomarov published ethnographic materials, native interpretations of Ukrainian history, and collections of folk legends and Cossack chronicles. In 1839, he published a collection of poetry called Dumky i pisni ta shche deshcho under his pseudonym Amvrosii Mohyla. In 1848, he published an anthology of works by other Kharkiv poets called Iuzhnyi russkii sbornik.
Metlynsky's poetry contains his nostalgia for the glories of the Ukrainian past, which he believed were destined never to return. He described his poetry as "the work of the last bandurist who passes on the song of the past in a dying language". He did not believe in the possibility of a renaissance of the Ukrainian people, which led him to embrace Slavic unity and to place hope in Russia. His nostalgia prompted him to collect Ukrainian folk songs which he published in 1854. Much of this collection was previously unpublished.
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