Vol. 16 (2023): XVI International Symposium Contemporary Issues of Literary Criticism Socialist Realism in Literature and Art
Criticism and Journalism of the Period of Socialist Realism

„Burned Literature“ of the Thaw Period in Ukraine: Oles Honchar's Banned Novel „The Cathedral“

Ivane Mtchedeladze
Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University

Published 2023-12-11


  • Ukrainian literature,
  • Oles Honchar,
  • The Thaw Period,
  • Nationalism,
  • Postcolonial theory


Oles Honchar's novel "The Cathedral" is one of the prominent victims of the Soviet totalitarian cultural policy. The scandal surrounding it, persecution, slander, ban, etc., can be completely compared to the story of Boris Pasternak's "Doctor Zhivago". The novel was published in 1968, and from the very beginning it met with unprecedented popularity. The famous publishing house "Dnipro" printed it with a huge circulation. In modern scientific literature, the national narrative has been repeatedly named as a model of Soviet totalitarianism and opposition. Therefore, the novel immediately attracted the attention of the government. As they say, the party boss recognized himself in one of the characters, which played a special role in starting the prosecution against the author and his work.