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Iryna I. Horbachevska (Chernivtsy).
The Sources of Fantasy Literature: Arthuriana.

This article deals with the evolution of Arthurian plots from the ur-plot (Geoffrey of Monmouth), to model plot (Thomas Malory) and the mediator plot (Mark Twain), which is the first productive transformation of the traditional plot. In connection with Arthur, the author considers the fantasy motifs of the return of the King and the King and his land are one. Her research outlines the key moments of the plot that ensure its recognizability in the process of its further transformation.

Olena Tykhomyrova (Kyiv)

The Motif of the Grail Quest and its Impact on Fantasy Fiction


The motif of the quest for the Holy Grail, which gained prominence in the Middle Ages, became an integral part of the Arthurian myth. Interest in such narratives was revived in the 19th century, when the fantastic became one of the Romanticism’s main preoccupations. The Grail’s distinctive features include magical qualities (healing, revitalization, sustenance, etc.), while its origin and nature are often shrouded in mystery. Grail narratives that reveal the heros’ moral fibre have been immensely influential in fantasy fiction. The search for a mysterious and powerful artifact serves as a metaphor for the hero’s spiritual initiation and aspiring for higher goals. The hero’s morality and spirituality may acquire different ideological forms in fantasy worlds, but they still remain an indispensable part of their quests. The mystery of the Grail’s true nature inspires authors to create elaborate settings, that recontextualize the artifact’s symbolism within the given secondary world.


Daria Moskvitina

Yuliia Malafay (Zaporizhzha)

Shakespeare and Fantasy: a Problem Statement


         These days in the discussions about the role of Shakespeare and his legacy in the global literature process it is considered appropriate to quote a famous idea of Harold Bloom about the central position of Shakespeare in the literary canon. The same idea, though in more fantasy form, was expressed by the modern writer Fay Weldon? who described an imaginary City of Invention, in the middle of which there is a magnificent Castle Shakespeare: “You see it whichever way you look. It rears its head into the clouds, reaching into the celestial sky, dominating everything around”.

Castle Shakespeare is mapped in almost every fantasy world – from the Middle Earth and Earthsea to Discworld and Westeros. However, scholars often ignore the role of the English playwright in the formation of fantasy literary. This gives reason for the establishment of a separate research direction which will focus on the correlation of fantasy fiction with those writers whose creative activity does not have immediate connection to fantasy but has influenced its formation. The first person in this gallery of writers should certainly be William Shakespeare.

His dialogue with fantasy literature proceeds in an uncommon way. On the one hand his poetic world, as well as that of fantasy fiction, is deeply rooted in the folklore tradition. Moreover, Shakespeare’s canon itself is one of the most fruitful sources of fantasy texts. However, the reversed dialogue is also possible: the correlation of a Shakespeare work with its later fantasy projection frequently enables revealing new meaningful layers in the pretext.


This dialogue has resulted in the enrichment of fantasy literature through the Shakespearean essence on such superficial layers as elements of intertextuality, narrative strategies, plot-making techniques, features of poetics, etc. and on deep layers such as the transformation of motifs and images, word coinage and so on.


The peculiarities and functions of proto-fantasy elements in Shakespeare’s works form a specific field of study. Generally fulfilling the role of the plot development catalysts (e.g. the ghosts in ‘Hamlet’ and ‘Macbeth’), they were also employed as attractions for Elizabethan theatre-goers.


The interaction of Shakespeare’s canon and fantasy literature, as well as further re-reading and re-interpretation of his works, result in the productive process of popularizing of his dramas. This interaction inspires appearance of new artifacts, such as Shakespeare-related fantasy fanfiction and fantasy parodies of his plays. Such texts are often published by major publishing houses and are commercially successful.

Another important consequence of the interaction between fantasy and Shakespeare’s dramatic legacy is the influence of fantasy stereotypes on the further intermedial projections of his works. For instance, the modern idea of witches differs a lot from that of the Renaissance epoch: Then they were depicted as ugly old women, while today, thanks to the impact of modern fantasy literature, these characters often acquire not even neutral, but positive connotations.


Mikhaylo Nazarenko (Kyiv)

Shakespeare’s Fairies:

the Transformation of Folklore, the Influence on Tradition


This paper investigates the peculiarity of fair folk  in Shakespeare’s creative work. The main focus is on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet and The Merry Wives of Windsor. It shows that the system of images in Dream is arranged on the intersection of a few traditions: folklore per se, literature (to the extent of its correspondence with folklore), and ideology (incorporating of fairy folklore into classic tradition and political projects). Remarkably, the conflict of Oberon and Titania has no direct parallels in British folklore or literature. Shakespeare’s fairies appear in later culture tradition as the real ones, but their authorial (non-folklore) origin continues to be comprehended.


Oleksandra Filonenko (Mykolayiv)



The Western European views on magic were fully formed during the Renaissance and Baroque eras. The literature of those periods reacted to that by forming the magic modes and the isomorphic magic codes: Faërie or the magic of fairies; Magic as the magic of humans (Magic proper - positive, Sorcery - negative), Witchcraft (low magic practiced mainly by women) and Mockery. English literature provided stories about two powerful magi who became archetypal for the further development of literature: Shakespeare’s noble wizard Prospero and Christopher Marlowe’s necromancer Doctor Faustus.




Tetiana Riazantseva, Eugenia Kantchura (Kyiv, Lyubar)


This paper analyses the complex of ideological and stylistic peculiarities of the Baroque culture that found their representation in the postmodern fantasy. The authors explain that by the similarity of the historical and social circumstances between the 17th and the late 20th centuries (both being the periods of great changes). They argue that the neo-Baroque phenomenon in the postmodern fantasy prose implies not the mechanical copying of a certain worldview, certain narrative models or stylistic instruments, but their re-consideration and creative adoption that leads to a new level of development.

 Among the key factors in the conceptions of man and world that are similar in the 17th and the late 20th centuries the authors accentuate dynamism, “chaos-oriented” picture of the universe, an intensive quest for the real human nature and an adequate means of expression in literature.


Diana Melnyk, Viktoriia Yaremchuk (Lviv)

The Influence of Western Romanticism on the Creativity of The Inklings


The aesthetic and philosophical foundations of classical Western Romanticism and later Neo-Romanticism became, if not the key, one of the most important sources of fantasy literature. First of all, we should pay attention to early German Romanticism, not only because it laid the foundations for the development of this movement of literature, but also because of the fact that, besides the aesthetic and poetical principles, it formulated an important philosophical position. Early Romanticism is primarily a philosophical tendency in which the creative subject takes the central position, and therefore the artist is conceived as a supreme entity capable of transforming and creating the world, which became one of the plot-making and sense-making principles of so-called high fantasy.

An important achievement of Romanticism (both German and English) is the resurgence of the interest in the myth and in its special treatment of mythology, which is regarded as the perfect ground for the renewal of the world through artistic creativity. Myth becomes not only the basis of poetic art, but also a means of metaphorizing of the world. The literature of fantasy, after the cycle of remythologization within Modernism, again returns to the revival and sub-creation of mythologies (authorial ones). In our opinion, another crucial Romantic impetus to the creation of fantasy worlds was the modeling of history in the fictional texts, the use of linguistic analysis, linguistic games for the creation of new artistic models of the world, which, thanks to the achievements of the The Inklings in the first half of the 20thcentury, became the basis for a variety of fantasy worlds in the literature of the second half of the 20th and the early 21stcenturies.



Nataliya I. Krynytska (Poltava)

The Main Foundations of Fantasy Tradition in the U.S. Literature


The irrational fantasy tradition focused on the past is closer to the British national consciousness than to the American worldview. For decades the American nation, which is very pragmatic and rational, and, according to Ursula Le Guin, “does not believe in dragons”, used to favor science fiction, focused primarily on the future. However, on the other hand, in recent years, due to the general crisis of science centrism, we can talk about a shift of the mental paradigm in the minds of the American science fiction fans, who are increasingly looking for shelter from the contemporary reality in a nostalgic fantasy literature.

The development of fantasy in the United States is mainly based on the European traditions (folklore, heroic epic, Christianity, history, especially ancient and medieval, romance, William Shakespeare’s works, literary fairy tales, the works by the best fantasy authors, especially by J. R.R. Tolkien), but it has its own unique features.

Fantasy in the United States is developing in a high voltage between the poles of opposite charges inherent in American culture: Romanticism and pragmatism; strong Biblical tradition, which is associated with idealism and symbolic thinking, and rationality and secularism; the rule of “white” European tradition and multiculturalism; patriarchalism and feminism; love of wildlife and commitment to the progress of science; seriousness and irony and so on.

Puritanism, rationalism and transcendentalism – each in its turn acted to circumscribe or suppress the stock of supernatural legend motifs that the Americans inherited from the Europeans.

The folklore of the American Indians and African Americans has enriched national fantasy tradition, especially in the last decade. “White” America has created its own set of legends; among them Richard Dorson highlights: the colonial period, dominated by religious beliefs; the early national period, when regional heroes represented a new democratic faith; the later national period, a time of economic and occupational lore; and the contemporary period, marked by druglore and counter-culture protest.

The great American romanticists — Washington Irving, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville paid tribute to the marvelous and fantastic in their works, and due to them, American literature declared itself to the world in those days as the one that was able to depart from a purely social context, seeking answers to deeper ontological questions with the help of fantastic conventions.

According to Brian Attebery, the first work of fantasy literature in the United States was L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900), which greatly influenced the European tradition.

The second most important U.S. fantasy author to make a huge contribution to the national literature and expanded opportunities of the world fantasy was Ursula K. Le Guin, whose basic principles include cultural anthropology, Jungian psychoanalysis, European and North American mythology, feminism and Taoist philosophy.