Stefanik, Vasilii

Stefanik, Vasilii Semenovich


Born May 14, 1871, in the village of Rusov, in what is now Sniatyn Raion, Ivano-Frankovsk Oblast; died there Dec. 7,1936. Ukrainian writer and public figure.

The son of peasants, Stefanik studied in the faculty of medicine of the University of Kraków from 1892 to 1900. As a student he was a member of the Academic Society and Polish Social Democratic circles. He also wrote publicistic articles. From 1908 to 1918 he was a deputy to the Austrian parliament. He maintained links with literary circles of the Soviet Ukraine, where several editions of his works were published. In 1928 the government of the Ukrainian SSR granted Stefanik a pension.

In 1897, Stefanik’s first short story, “Taken From the Village,” appeared in the Chernovtsy newspaper Pratsia (Labor). His first collection of short stories, The Little Blue Book (1899), which depicted the hard life of a West Ukrainian village, brought the author wide recognition. Stefanik later wrote the anthologies The Stone Cross (1900) and The Road (1901), which realistically reflected the life of West Ukrainian peasants and the awakening of their social consciousness, as well as class struggle in the village. The emigration of impoverished masses across the ocean is depicted as the tragedy of an entire people. From 1902 to 1916, Stefanik produced no new works. In his anthology The Land (1926) he wrote of the essentially antipopular nature of the imperialist war and the growing protest of the popular masses in Poland against the fascist dictatorship of Pilsudski.

An innovative writer, Stefanik was able to give great dramatic force to the minor epic genre in Ukrainian literature. His short stories are noted for their expressive characterizations, deep penetration into the psychology of the peasantry, and dramatic suspense, as well as for their profound inner meaning, lyricism, and pithiness. Stefanik’s works were highly esteemed by I. Ia. Franko, Lesia Ukrainka, M. Gorky, and A. V. Lunacharskii. His short stories have been translated into many foreign languages. In 1941 a literary and memorial museum was opened in the author’s house in the village of Rusov.


Povne zibrannia tvoriv, vols. 1–3. Kiev, 1949–54.
Tvory. Kiev, 1964.
In Russian translation:
Izbr. proizv. Moscow, 1959.
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1971.


Kostashchuk, V. Volodar dum selians’kykh. Uzhgorod, 1968.
Lesin, V. M. Vasyl’Stefanykmaisternovely. Kiev, 1970.
V. Stefanyk u krytytsi taspohadakh. Kiev, 1970.
Parkhomenko, M. “Novella Vasiliia Stefanika.” In his Obnovlenie traditsii. Moscow, 1970.
Kushch, O. P. Vasyl’ Stefanyk: Bibliografichnyi pokazhchyk. Kiev, 1961.