Stepan Tudor (1892–1941)
Stepan Tudor is the pen-name of Stepan Yosypovych Oleksyuk. He was born on August, 25, 1892 in the village of Ponykva (presently in Brody district of Lviv region). Early death of his father brought financial difficulties in his childhood years: in order to finish his studies in a gymnasium young Tudor had to moonlight as a tutor. In 1914, he entered Lviv University and joined Austro-Hungarian army. During the front, he was taken captive by Russians. Therefore, he had stayed in Kyiv and Cherkasy region until he came back to Galicia in 1923. Upon graduating from his interrupted studies at Lviv University, Stepan Tudor worked as a teacher in the town of Chortkiv in Ternopil region. He became proactive in the literary process and co-organized a Sovietphilic magazine "Vikna" (Windows) that had become a periodical for the milieu of writers who later established literary group "Horno" (Forge). At first, Stepan Tudor and Vasyl Bobynskyi were both the editors of "Vikna", later it was just Tudor himself. After "Vikna" stopped functioning, from 1932 Tudor lived and worked in Zolochiv and returned to Lviv only in 1939. Stepan Tudor's death was an illustrative account for Soviet literary historiography: together with his fellow colleague, a pro-Communist poet, prose writer and critic Oleksandr Havryliuk, they were killed on the first day of war in Lviv, on June, 22, 1941. It was a bomb falling down on the building where they were staying with other literary men (vul. Doroshenka, 46). Stepan Tudor was buried at Lychakiv cemetery in Lviv. There was a monument in Lviv erected to commemorate the writer, at Pl. Ye. Malanyuka. During the late 1980s, the site was a place for alternative art events.
In his third book of belle-lettre style memories "Pysmennyky zblyzka" (Writers in Close Up) (Lviv, 1964), Mykhaylo Rudnytskyi recounted that in 1939 Tudor was offered an opportunity to lecture at Lviv University. The writer was designing his course in aesthetics, which was defined by Rudnytskyi as "Marxist." Rudnytskyi provided an entire episode, mythologized in a sense, on how a lecturer Tudor and three students had a conversation in Franko park (that was called University park in those days). They were talking about the essence of aesthetics and the need to teach it. After all, Tudor never taught the course but his ideas expressed in this talk had a major impact on a student of philology who later became a "drawer at the fashion house" and remembered his words on the need to "understand beauty in every detail of our everyday life." The episode is quite illustrative to understand the mentality of Stepan Tudor both in synchrony, and in diachrony. The peculiarity is in the fact that in 1939, when the writer had already gone through certain stages as a member of various pro-Soviet activities (from organizing a magazine to participating in conventions), he still remained to be an aesthete raised on philosophy. Thus, Mykhaylo Rudnytskyi included this episode into his book not by chance [[quote|79]].
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1. Михайло Рудницький, "Степан Тудор", Письменники зблизька (Львів,
1964), кн. 3, с. 159–164.
2. Григорій Сивокінь, "Степан Тудор", Степан Тудор День отця Сойки: роман; Марія: повість; оповідання; Олександр Гаврилюк Береза: повість; оповідання (Київ, 1989), с. 5–17.
Author — Danylo Ilnytskyi
Translated by Svitlana Brehman