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Mykola Zharkikh (Kyiv)

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Historian during the siege

Nicholas Zharkikh

So he jokes with his enemies and misfortune

And the strings, like light arrows, harden…

Lesja Ukrainka (1896)

This fragment was written yesterday (February 26, 2022, from 10:30 to 12:00) in the break between the two issues of "War news" and I thought – it is worth presenting it here as a document of current minute.

It should be noted that this is not an independent article or even a chapter, but only a fragment of a chapter from my larger work "Chernihiv and the Tatars: 1198 – 1278", which I have been writing since 2018. But I have no right to die without finishing it and three other monographs, one of which is already in good condition, the second is written somewhere in half, and the third is a stack of preparatory extracts. I hope that despite the efforts of the Russian bastard, I will achieve this.

In the section to which the following fragment belongs, I first analyze P. Golubovsky’s book [Golubovsky P. V. – Кyiv: 1881. – 209 с.], and then the book by D. Bagalij [Bagalej D. I. – Кyiv: 1881. – 310 с.].

Review by Ivan Linnychenko (1883)

Echoes of explosions are heard from the right bank of the Dnieper, but very far away (I am writing on February 26, 2022 at 10:30). Yesterday, when the Muscovites broke into Pechersk, it was much louder. "Is there fate or misfortune – and you, Moshka, play…"

In the same year, 1857, another Ukrainian historian, Ivan Linnychenko (1857-1926), was born. He graduated from the same University of Kyiv and was a student of the same professor VB Antonovich.

In 1883 he published a review of the books by Golubovsky and Bagalij in the Journal of the Ministry of public education [, Department of criticism and bibliography, p. 164 – 203]. In it he praised Golubovsky’s book (pp. 164 – 169) and gave a very negative assessment of Bagalij’s book (pp. 169 – 203), rightly accusing him of borrowing whole pages of text from the works of previous authors. On the p. 169 he even submitted a direct denunciation to the ministry to the council of the Kyiv university, accusing it of violating the university’s charter in order to reward Bagalij. "A true patriot should not shy away from denunciations," said the classic. But it seems that I.L.’s denunciator efforts had no consequences.

O. P. Tolochko agreed with the negative assessment of Bagalij’s work [Tolochko O. P. : I. A. Linnichenko, D. I. Bagalij, M. S. Hrushevsky. – Ukrainian archaeographic yearbook, 1993, vol. 2, p. 92 – 103, especially p. 94]. O. T. did not compare the texts himself, but relied on the observations by I. L.

But is D.B.’s work really that insignificant, especially in comparison with P. G.’s work?

I did not study the whole book in detail, but focused on the 5th chapter (political history) of interest to me. I. L. noted:

This section is nothing more than a modern Russian translation of chronicles without the slightest attempt at critical analysis of chronicles. [with. 173].

But there is very many other works can be evaluated in such words, in fact all works on history, which are reliable in the part where they retell the sources, and become questionable and debatable in those places where the authors turn to "critical analysis". And my work is no exception. The relevant section of Golubovsky’s book contains such critical attempts, and they actually gave me material for counter-comments.

Since I. L. decided to praise Golubovsky, he did not go into the analysis of these critical attempts, although some flaws stuck directly to the surface. It is possible that extensive quotations from previous works could be found in P. G.’s book too, but I. L. did not do so. It turns out that I. L. did not apply the same measure to the evaluation of works, similar in content.

I will repeat once again – both books are theses in which borrowings from the studied literature just show good mastery of educational material. When a student literally repeats the words of the professor at the oral exam, it is not plagiarism, only a well-mastered course. Theses, which are a written exam, should also be evaluated in such manner.

I say again – I hope you will see this text on my site again – already on the corresponding place and, perhaps, a little smoothed.