Kulish, Mikola Gurievich
(Nikolai Gurievich Kulish). Born Dec. 6 (18), 1892, in the village of Chaplinka, in present-day Kherson Oblast; died 1942. Soviet Ukrainian playwright. Member of the CPSU from 1919. Son of a peasant.
Kulish participated in the Great October Revolution and the Civil War (1918-20) in the Ukraine. He began his literary activity in 1917. His first play, The 97 (staged, 1924), portraying the heroic struggle of the rural poor against the kulaks amid the devastation and hunger of 1921-22, was produced in many theaters. The struggle to establish a village commune, despite the encroachments of the class enemy, is the theme of the play Commune in the Steppes (staged, 1925; published, 1931). The collectivization of agriculture is depicted in the play Farewell, Village! (1933), which completed the trilogy.
In the comedy This Is How Guska Died (1932; published, 1960), Kulish ridicules philistines. He was a member of the Vaplite literary organization. Bourgeois-nationalist tendencies appeared in Kulish’s tragedy The People’s Malakhii (1927; staged, 1928; 2nd ed., 1929) and in the comedy Mina Mazailo (1929). He attempted to overcome his ideological and aesthetic errors in the play Sonata Pathetique (staged, 1931), which affirmed the triumph of the Revolution. His last play, Maklena Grasa (staged, 1932; published in Russian in I960), depicts capitalist reality and the acute contradictions in the world of property owners.
WORKSPiesy [With an introduction by le. Starynkevych]. Kiev, 1960.
Tvory. Kiev, 1968.
Piesy. Kiev, 1969.
In Russian translation:
97. Moscow, 1957.
Pateticheskaia sonata. Maklena Grasa. P’esy. Moscow, 1964.