Olga Kobylianskaia

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kobylianskaia, Ol’ga Iulianovna


Born Nov. 27, 1863, in Gura-Humorului, in the present-day district of Suceava, Rumania; died Mar. 21, 1942, in Chernovitsy. Ukrainian writer.

Kobylianskaia defended woman’s right to work and to civil independence and opposed the timeserving practiced by the bourgeois intelligentsia. This is seen in her works, including Man (1886–91, published 1894), He and She (1892, published 1895), Tsarevna (1888–95, published separately in 1896), Obedience (1898), What I Loved (1896), Impromptu phantasie (1894), Valse mélancolique (1894), and her later novellas, such as At the Building Site (1911) and In Search of Situations (1913). The difficult life of the Bukovinian peasantry is depicted in the short stories “At St. Ivan’s” (1891, published 1896), “The Uncultured Woman” (1896), “Rural Bank” (1895), and “In the Fields” (1898) and especially in the major social-psychological novel Land (1901, published 1902), which is one of her best works. Kobylianskaia’s poetic novella On Sunday Morning She Gathered Herbs (1909) is devoted to the theme of human dignity, love, and loyalty.

Kobylianskaia penetrated into the inner world of man and revealed the psychology of her protagonists. Among her short stories that are directed against the imperialist war are “Judas” (1915), “To Meet One’s Fate” (1915), and “He Has Gone Mad” (1923).

In 1940, Kobylianskaia welcomed the liberation of Northern Bukovina and its reunification with the Soviet Ukraine. She became a member of the Writers’ Union of the USSR. When the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45 began, Kobylianskaia was unable to leave because she was seriously ill. The Hitlerites decided to try her by court-martial, and only death saved her from violence. In 1944, the Kobylianskaia Literary Museum was opened in Chernovtsy.


Tvory, vols. 1–3. [Edited and with an introductory article by O. Babyshkin.] Kiev, 1956.
Tvory, vols. 1–5. Kiev, 1962–63.
In Russian translation:
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1953.


Babyshkin, O. K. Ol’ha Kobylians’ka. L’vov, 1963.
Ol’ha Kobylians’ka: Bibliohrafichnyi pokazhchyk. [Compiled by O. P. Kush.] Kiev, 1960.
Ol’ha Kobylians’ka v krytytsi ta spohadakh. [With an introductory article by F. Pohrebennyk.] Kiev, 1963.
Istoriia ukrainskoi literatury, vol. 1. Kiev, 1954.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.