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Mykola Zharkikh (Kyiv)

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Two days on the Lesja's Volyn

Nicholas Zharkikh

22 – 23 september 2011 at the gracious invitation of Volyn National University I participated in the conference "Lesja Ukrainka: fate, culture and era".

The conference began its work at 10 o'clock in the Regional Drama Theatre named after Lesja Ukrainka. In the foyer was expanded exhibition "Forest Song in the image of Ukrainian artists".

The statements on meeting were made by rector of the Volyn University Igor Kotsan, director of the Institute of Literature of NAS of Ukraine, Academician Nikolai Zhulynsky (he led this session and all the work of the conference), Deputy Head of Volyn Regional State Administration Oleksandr Kurylyuk, poets Ivan Drach and Nina Horyk, film critic Larissa Bryukhovetska. The highlight of the official part was speech of , great-nephew of Lesja Ukrainka.

Theater foyer before the meeting Larissa Bryukhovetska and Roberto Haab…
Theater foyer before the meeting Larissa Bryukhovetska and Roberto Haab laying flowers at the monument to Lesja Ukrainka in Kolodjazhne

Then we were invited to play of Volyn drama theater "". I watched with close attention. The play was warmly received by the audience.

After the performance participants went to the village Kolodjazhne where inspected estate of Kosach family and .

Next day conference continued its work at the holiday camp of Volyn University at Svityaz lake. After opening remarks by M.G. Zhulynsky Ivan Drach tell on the new edition of his works.

Then the floor was given to me to report on the experience of electronic editions of Lesja Ukrainka. This report will be published in Proceedings of the conference, so retell briefly. E–edition has advantages over paper one: easy access via the Internet, free of charge for the end user, the possibility of continuous improvement by replacing individual articles / works on the new, improved versions. It has some specific features such as options for management text variants, line numbering works on demand and others are not available for paper edition. Experience of website "" shows the rapid growth of its popularity. Although the site is only the second year, it already got 430,000 visitors, and in the jubilee celebrations in February 2011 the site had 6,000 visitors daily. So, do not ask whether people want to read works of Lesja Ukrainka – just give them that opportunity.

The report aroused great (unexpected for me) interesting and a number of questions. Much of my response was: "We are in the know, this work is planned for development of the site". Roberto Haab expressed hope that the book Olga Kosach-Kryvynyuk, which he reads as a scanned text was published also in a symbolic form. Yes, it is in the plan. This text is even proofread, and remained not so much work on his layout.

Nicholas Zhulynsky directs conference Participants in the background of lake…
Nicholas Zhulynsky directs conference Participants in the background of lake Nechimne

After meeting on the way back to Lutsk participants visited the tract Nechimne that once inspired the creation of Lesja Ukrainka's "Forest Song". Today here established state reserve and built a small museum of "Forest Song".

During the conference, I handed out as gifts with e-edition of Lesja Ukrainka's works; to the Lesja Ukrainka Institute I handed my digital archive (3.5 GB) of works and research, this archive is intended for free use by all interested researchers. University gave conference participants a wonderful publication "Forest Song" in Ukrainian and English languages, with new color illustrations by Catherine Syva.

September 26, 2011, Kyiv