Mikitenko, Ivan Kondrat’evich
Born Aug. 25 (Sept. 6), 1897, in Rovnoe, present-day Kirovograd Oblast; died Oct. 4, 1937. Soviet Ukrainian writer. Member of the CPSU from 1925 and of the Central Executive Committee of the Ukrainian SSR from 1931.
The son of a peasant, Mikitenko fought in World War I and graduated from the Kharkov Institute of Medicine in 1927. He was active in the All-Ukrainian Union of Proletarian Writers and the All-Union Federation of Associations of Proletarian Writers. In 1934 he was elected secretary of the Board of the Ukrainian Union of Writers.
Mikitenko’s first poems were published in 1922, and he subsequently wrote many lyrics and the narrative poem Lights (1927). His first short-story collection, On the Sunlit Roads (1926), written in a romantic style, was devoted to the October Revolution of 1917 and to the great revolutionary changes in the Ukrainian countryside. The collection was followed by the novellas Brothers (1927) and the Childhood of Gavrilo Kirichenko (1928). Mikitenko became famous with the publication of his novella Jailbirds (1928) and the novel Morning (1933), in which he showed the humanitarianism of the Soviet system in caring for children made homeless by the Civil War and postwar devastation.
Mikitenko was a talented playwright. His best plays deal with the new social relations and man’s cultural and intellectual development. These include Dictatorship (1929), Light Our Way, Stars! (1930, also published as The Cadres), A Matter of Honor (1931), The Girls of Our Country (1933), The Flute Solo (1933–1936), Days of Youth (1937), and When the Sun Rose (1937, published in 1962). Mikitenko’s plays were staged in Ukrainian and other theaters throughout the Soviet Union and were translated into many languages of the USSR. He is the author of the collections of essays and articles The Doves of Peace (1929) and the Thirteenth Spring (1930). Most of his critical articles have been assembled in At the Literary Front (1962).
WORKSVybrani tvory, vols. 1–2. Kiev, 1957.
Zibrannia tvoriv, vols. 1–6. Introductory article by M. I. Syrotiuk. Kiev, 1964.
In Russian translation:
P’esy. Moscow, 1959.
Urkagany: Povesti i rasskazy. Moscow, 1961.
Utro. Moscow, 1967.
REFERENCESChalmaev, V. “Ivan Mikitenko—dramaturg klassovogo pristrastiia.” Voprosy literatury, 1958, no. 10.
Istoriia ukrains’koi literatury, vol. 2. Kiev, 1959. Pages 671–92.
Rod’ko, M. D. Proza Ivana Mykytenka. Kiev, 1960.
Parkhomenko, M. N. Obnovlenie traditsii, Moscow, 1970. Pages 254–78.
S. P. KNIAZEVA