’Tis Eighty Years Since: Panteleimon Kulish's Gothic Ukraine

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This article explores the ideological implications of the Gothic mode in Panteleimon Kulish's first novel Mikhailo Charnyshenko, or Little Russia Eighty Years Ago (1843). I show that the multiple Gothic tropes employed in the novel-from Walter Scottian ruins and towers to exotic demonic villains, uncanny ethnic Others, and supernatural phantoms-produce an intricate play of temporalities, identities, and allegiances that ultimately create a highly ambivalent vision of the Ukrainian heroic past as both an object of Romantic nostalgia and a dark period of chaos overcome by the country's incorporation into the Russian empire. Rather than dismissing Kulish's engagement with the Gothic as a tribute to the fashionable western trend, I argue that this mode serves as a conduit to some of the work's most pressing ideological and historical concerns and ultimately yields a more nuanced insight into the author's complex position as a Ukrainian writer in the Russian empire.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)390-409
Number of pages20
JournalSlavic Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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