Slavic fantasy genre: V. Arieniev «The Devil’s Soul, or the Charmed Treasure»

in Ukrainian

  • Solomiia Khorob Department of Ukrainian Literature, Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University
Keywords: fantastic fiction, genre, Slavic fantasy, folklore, mythology


Aim The article researches into the problem of the Slavic fantasy genre and peculiarities of its functioning within modern Ukrainian literature.

Methods The conducted analysis is based on a philological method as well as interpreting approaches of hermeneutic (actual understanding of and expounding on fictional text), comparative (a comparison with structural elements of J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy), comparative-historical (a juxtaposition of transformation of the historical image of V. Arieniev’s Hnat Holyi with works by M. Kostomarov and M. Starytskyi) methods and a mythological approach (for explaining the other world) are used.

Results The article outlines the general state of studying speculative fiction in Ukraine as well as concepts of genre explaining of fantastic works both by foreign and Ukrainian scholars. Taking into consideration the subgenre of Slavic fantasy, it examines specifics of modelling an irrational reality, creation of original characters with attraction of folk, mythological, historic and fairy-tale elements in V. Arieniev’s novel «The Devil’s Soul, or the Charmed Treasure».

Scientific novelty The fantastic in Ukrainian literary science is one of the least explored fictional phenomena. That’s why every scientific investigation about genre varieties of the speculative fiction exactly on the material of the contemporary national belles-lettres will complement and develop theoretical and practical approaches to analyzing the indicated phenomenon. V. Arieniev’s work «The Devil’s Soul, or the Charmed Treasure» in a selected aspect has not been the subject of investigation yet, though for the first time it was comprehended by O. Stuzhuk.

Practical significance The article can serve as auxiliary material for students and Ph.D students-philologists and be used in courseworks, diploma and master’s theses, dissertation works by them as well as add to the known facts about the development of Ukrainian fantasy of the beginning of the 21st c., grounded on the fictional sample of one of the most talented fantastic writers in modern Ukraine.

Ukrainian literature