«Tоne оf perpetual anguish» оr female melanchоly in the shоrt stоries «Ascetik» by Eliza Orzeszkowa and «Valse melanchоlique» by Olha Kоbylianska

in Ukrainian

  • Iryna Spatar Department of World Literature and Comparative Literary Criticism, Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University (UKRAINE)
Keywords: melancholy, anguish, suicide, typology, emancipation


Aim. The article deals with the analysis of the female melancholy in in the short stories «Ascetic» by Eliza Orzeszkowa and «Valsemèlancholique» by Olha Kobylianska. The purpose of the paper is to analyze the fictional interpretation of the melancholy as a specific worldview of the woman being in the limit situation.

Methods. The comparative analysis draws a range of basic methods of scientific research, namely historical and literary, typological and biographical approaches.

Results. The article presents the specificity of the female melancholy interpretation in the short stories by the Ukrainian and the Polish writers. An attempt was made to analyze the special status of heroines, characterized by a certain mental imbalance, close to depression. The special condition is a result of the feeling of loss, which the young women are consciously trying to fill with certain physical actions, thus subconsciously producing the hatred and contempt for the lost erotic object. It has been noted that the female melancholy is also associated with the national contexts of despair. The Polish heroine experiences a difficult political situation and the impossibility to identify herself on the state level and the image of the Ukrainian girl embodies the author’s dreams about the «Europeanization» of fellow countrymen, the expansion of intellectual and cultural horizons.

Scientific novelty. In the proposed work, the typological parallels of women's melancholy in the short stories by E. Orzeszkowa and O. Kobylianska have been investigated for the first time by comparative analysis.

Practical significance. Main results of the research can be used in further study of the Polish an Ukrainian literary process of the second half of the 19th – beginning of the 20th century and of E. Orzeszkowa’s and O. Kobylianska’s works.

Comparative literature