The Ukrainian Bible, the Polish Uprising,
and the Imperial censorship in 1863
4, 2009, by Andriy Danylenko (Pace U, New York)
argued that the translation(s) of the Bible into 'Little Russian' was
not the immediate reason behind Valuev's anti-Ukrainian circular of
1863, according to which the Censorship Administration could license
for publication only such books in Ukrainian that belong to the realm
of fine literature. Dr. Danylenko cast doubt on the so-called
circumstantial theories of David Saunders, Johannes Remy, and
especially Ricarda Vulpius who claimed that allegedly the translation
of the Gospels into Ukrainian by Pylyp Morachevs’kyi (1860) could have
provoked the appearance of the circular. The ban, as was demonstrated
by Alexei Miller, appeared to be a corollary of the complex
bureaucratic process, predetermined largely by the Polish uprising of
1863 and, to a lesser extent, the Ukrainophile activities (e.g., The
Brotherhood of Saints Cyril and Methodius in 1847 and the periodical
Osnova in 1861-1862).
Contrary to Ricarda Vulpius, the translation of Morachevskyi could
hardly compete with that made by Kulish and Puljuj in 1871 in Galicia.
Morachevs’kyi’s work remained within the semantics of the vernacular
paradigm (Kotliarevshchyna), while Kulish tried to synthesize his
translation through the prism of contemporary West European
translations. This is why Kulish’s work proved most dangerous and
harmful to the all-Russian imperial idea. It was never allowed in the
Russian Empire, though Morachevs’kyj’s translation went eventually to
press in 1906.
After the presentation, the audience showed keen interest in
socio-political circumstances of the preparation of the two
translations, placing them into the context of the all-imperial
language and education policy in the second part of the 20th century.
＊The views expressed in the essay belong
solely to the author and do not represent the official position of any
organizations to which the author is permanently or was temporarily