Fonds A1948-000 - Dokia Humenna Fonds

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Dokia Humenna Fonds

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  • Object
  • Textual record

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CA UCECA A1948-000

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Physical description

37.5 linear cm of material
15 Typescripts
2 Original Typescript Packagings
5 Published Volumes

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Biographical history

Dokia (Dokiia) Humenna was born on March 10, 1904, in Zhashkiv, Tarashcha povit, Kyiv gubernia, Russian Empire (currently Ukraine) to Dariia Kravchenko and Kuz’ma Humennyi. She graduated with a literature degree from the Institute of People’s Education in Kyiv in 1926. Her first literary sketch, U Stepu (In the Steppe) was published in 1924, and thereafter her prose appeared in major Soviet Ukrainian literary journals. Stalinist terror prevented her from publishing during the 1930s. In 1937 she participated in an archaeological field school at the Trypillian culture site of Khalep-ia under the supervision of Tetiana Passek. This experience, as well as Ukrainian wedding traditions, inspired Romashky na Skhylakh (Daisies on the Hill). Humenna also drew inspiration from Ukrainian archaeology and prehistory, Ukrainian folk traditions for some of her other works, including Velykyi Tsabe (The Big Shot), and Mana (Delusion). Topics of love and romance are explored in Humenna’s novel Mana. Epizod iz Zhyttia Ievropy Kryts’koi (An Episode in the Life of Europa of Crete) was also drawn from prehistory, including Greek mythology.
During World War II Humenna escaped to the western Ukrainian city of L’viv where she contributed her prose to the periodic press. Emigrating after the war, she lived in Displaced Persons (DP) camps in Austria and Germany where she began her famous tetralogy, Dity Chumats’koho Shliakhu (Children of the Milky Way), which she finished after moving to New York City. The book’s themes included a critique of 1920-1930s literary life in the Soviet Union. “Materialy do romanu Hnizdo nad bezodneiu” (Materials for the novel Nest over the Abyss) was the basis for her novel Khreshchatyi iar (Kyiv 1941-43): Roman-khronika (Decussate Ravine [Kyiv 1941-43]: A Novel-Chronicle) describing Kyiv under German occupation in the early months of the invasion. While in the DP camps she became a member of the literary and artistic organization “Mystets’kyi Ukrains’ky Rukh” (MUR).
Humenna became an American citizen in 1959. She continued to write in the United States, publishing 15 books, including Vichni Vohni Al’berty (Eternal Flames of Alberta), travel reflections after visiting Alberta, as well as contributing to journals and collections. Her main themes were feminism, prehistoric life, mythology and archaeology. Her works criticized the Soviet and Nazi regimes, and endorsed Ukrainian independence. Humenna died in New York on April 4, 1996.
For more information on Humenna and some of the works in the fonds see two articles by Myroslav Shkandrij: “Dokia Humenna’s Representation of the Second World War in her Novel and Diary” in Harvard Ukrainian Studies 32-33 (2011-2014), 665-679; and “Dokia Humenna’s Depiction of the Second World War and the OUN in Khreshchatyi iar: How Readers Responded” in East/West: Journal of Ukrainian Studies III (1) (2016), 89-109.

Custodial history

Most of these materials were originally donated in 1948-1949.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of 2 published works and 9 draft typescripts authored by Dokia Humenna.

The two published works are:
1/Dokiia Humenna. Dity Chumats’koho Shliakhu: roman u 4-okh knyhakh
Kn. 1. U Zapashnykh Poliakh. Munich: Ukrains’ka trybuna, 1948. 139 p.
Kn. 2. Bramy Maibutn’ioho. Munich: Ukrains’ka trybuna, 1948. 196 p.
Kn. 3. Rozp-iate Selo. Munich: Ukrains’ka trybuna, 1948. 165 p.
Kn. 4. Nich. New York: Vyd. avtora, 1951. 248 p.
2/Dokiia Humenna. Vichni Vohni Al’berty. Edmonton: Vyd. zakhodom Petra A. Pausha, 1959. 183 p.

The nine draft manuscripts are:
1/Dokiia Humenna. “Sosna Chekaie Chuda: Zbirka opovidan’” (The Pine Tree Waiting for a Miracle: A Collection of Short Stories) including the following stories: “Plach Dokii Humennoi”; “Abstraktna vprava”; “Kimnata z prymusom”; “Dvi”; “Vyfleiems’ka zvizda”; “Na natiahnenii struni”; “Krylate pys’mo”; “Dva vechory”; “Nevil’nyk”; “Chorne tse bile”; “Liusyne horlo”; “Prekrasna anomaliia”
2/Dokiia Humenna. “Velykyi Tsabe” (The Big Shot)
3/Dokiia Humenna. “Roman syn’oi panchokhy” (A Romance of Blue Nylons)
4/ Dokiia Humenna. “Materialy do romanu Hnizdo nad bezodneiu” (Materials for the novel Nest over the Abyss)
5/ Dokiia Humenna. “Hnizdo nad bezodneiu” (Nest Above the Abyss)
6/Dokiia Humenna. “Dity Chumats’koho Shliakhu” (Children of the Milky Way)
7/ Dokiia Humenna. “Mana” (Delusion)
8/Dokiia Humenna. “Romashky na Skhylakh” (Daisies on the Hill) including the following stories: “Kaitarma”; “Niiaz i Hiuller”; “Problema hlechykiv”; “Romashky na skhylakh”
9/Dokiia Humenna. “Epizod iz Zhyttia Ievropy Kryts’koi” (An Episode in the Life of Europa of Crete)

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

  • Ukrainian

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No restrictions on access.

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Users must abide by relevant copyright legislation.

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Further accruals are not expected.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created March 2021 (by Tetyana Dyachyshyn).

Language of description

  • English

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