Nechui-Levitskii, Ivan Semenovich

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Nechui-Levitskii, Ivan Semenovich


(real surname Levitskii; pen names I. Bashtovyi, A. Glagol’, O. Krinitskii, Ivan Nechui). Born Nov. 13 (25), 1838, in the village of Steblev, in present-day Korsun’-Shevchenkovskii Raion, Cherkassy Oblast; died Apr. 15, 1918, in Kiev. Ukrainian writer.

After graduating from the Kiev Divinity School in 1865, Nechui-Levitskii taught history, geography, and Russian language and philology. He first appeared in print in 1868. Nechui-Levitskii created a number of stock characters of Ukrainian prose, notably Mikola, the village rebel (the novella Mikola Dzheria, 1878), Vasilina, the perennially unlucky woman (the novella The Female Barge Hauler, 1876), and the Kaidashi, the ignorant village proprietors (the novella The Kaidash Family, 1879). His later works, such as the novellas The Rogue of Afon (1890) and In the Midst of Enemies (1893), became noticeably more satirical.

Nechui-Levitskii left a large creative legacy: he wrote numerous novellas, short stories, historical novels, plays (At Kozhumiaki, Marusia Boguslavka, 1875), and humorous sketches reflecting life in the Ukraine before and after the abolition of serfdom. Some of his works, however, especially those that portray the life of the intelligentsia, contain elements of Ukrainian bourgeois nationalism (the novellas Storm Clouds, 1874; Over the Black Sea, 1890). Nechui-Levitskii’s realistic style was influenced by T. G. Shevchenko, N. V. Gogol, I. S. Turgenev, M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin, and A. N. Ostrovskii. His work, in turn, greatly influenced the development of the Ukrainian social novel.

Nechui-Levitskii’s books have been translated into many languages of the USSR and foreign countries. His home in Steblev is now a memorial museum, and a monument to the writer was unveiled there in 1968.


Tvory, vols. 1–4. [Introductory article by O. I. Bilets’kii.] Kiev, 1956.
Zibrannia tvoriv, vols. 1–8. [Introductory article by N. Ie. Krutikova.] Kiev, 1965–67.
In Russian translation:
Izbrannye proizvedeniia, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1956.


Franko, I. “Literatura, ii zavdannia i naivazhnishi tsikhy.” Tvory, vol. 16. Kiev, 1955.
Franko, I. “Mykola Dzheria: Povist’ Ivana Nechuia.” Tvory, vol. 17. Kiev, 1955.
Krutikova, N. Ie. Tvorchist’ I. S. Nechuia-Levyts’koho. Kiev, 1961. (Articles and materials.)
Pokhodzilo, M. U. Ivan Nechui-Levyts’kii. Kiev, 1960.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.