8-1   The greatness of geniuses is always alluring and mystical... There is a wish to touch it or to inhale it from far away. So was always and so will be. And one of the genius figures not only of her time, but also of past and future epochs is Lesya Ukrainka.

...«I am not of sleepy character»
   One from the endlessness of sides of the phenomenon and talent of this woman that she didn't look for excuses and certain sanction to her principles, beliefs, was not afraid to think as thought, and was always ready to fight. First of all it had the bright manifestation in faith in nationalist ideals. She loved Ukraine deeply, simply because she loved, not looking so certain explanations to this. And clearly knew,that if it was necessary to give life for it, she would do this without looking back. Lesya Ukrainka was guided only by "internal orders" of irrational will, at times indifferent to consequences. Friends, close friends often criticized and spoke ironically of her quick temper, which sometimes bordered on absurdity. While silent was imperceptible. Even it seemed that she wasn't present. When she started to speak and eyes burned with certain fire - there was nobody except her.
    In «minutes of despair» if it was necessary she could simply «drown in mood» someone's honor and conscience for good deeds, for that «if only dropped this prison wall», behind which her thirsting and mutilated nation lived. Once, during a visit to Kolodyazhne (family bought house in the village and moved moved from Lutsk in May 1889), one rich countess, which was landowner, asked: «And why you, Larysa Petrivna, almost always use rustic language?» «And here you, countess, aren't you afraid to use rustic bread and this bread doesn't poison you?» - the answer sounded with light sarcasm.
    Lesya Ukrainka can be described as stubborn, fanatical and skeptical in her views on everything. Her every day she began from her own «internal drill» and «drills of the small world», first of all were her people: mother-father, sisters-brothers. She was always oppressed by miserable pragmatism in views both on ordinary things, and on certain categories, connected with spirituality. She didn't overcome the conflict between what is «right» and «necessary». Always sure - only her opinion is infallible and each step is correct and progressive. She said about herself in letters: «1 am not of sleepy character» and I have very nomadic soul»  In the character of Lcsya Ukrainka would be possible streak to see two not so good streaks: egoism and quick temper. And many contemporaries, sarcastically laughing, called Lesya Jewish woman and openly said that the poetess «sat not in her sledge» and instead to write about the history of the native country in serious way instead of to put different sorts of Cassandras into heads of Ukrainian people. But say only those, who measured by little and lived by little. And character of Lesia Ukrainka, the mirror of the epoch, "not her" epoch, in which she should be been born. That was sickening period of unrealized Ukrainian Renaissance, when it was believed only in rationality, moderation and substantiality at the level of mathematical formulas. And Lesya was the person of the great passion.
    Love to Beethoven and English blouses...8-2
    If you could meet Lesya Ukrainka today, how she would look like? Firstly it is question of appearance, hairdo, clothes. For some reason I imagine meeting her in one of the cozy Lviv taverns. Jazz music mixed up with scent of coffee and... she enters. Slim and stately, above average height, she is dressed in white blouse of Victorian style with high standing collar. Authentic white embroidery on the front. Sleeves disperse down by «tulip» and come to an end with the narrow embroidered cuffs. Long skirt of mustard colour is on her - simple, but elegant. Lesya approaches to the table slightly limping, but it doesn't spoil her beauty - and sits down opposite. Her hair is golden wheat-coloured did in two braids, which are tightly gathered on theback of the head. This woman has light blue eyes of the excaptional beauty and piercing deep look. And some gentle children's curiosity is read in itl. As though Lesya cxpccts from her companion answers to the questions hanging in the air, the explanation of some very simpler thought. «Surprise me if you will be able», - eyes of 28 - year-old Miss are laughing.
... And I am lost before that look, understanding that 1 hardly shall surprise. During our short conversation we will slightly touch music. Lesya will tell, that most of all among world classics she is imposed by Beethoven. Since she was a child she spent days and nights with his «Moonlight Sonata» near piano, which was bought by her parents, when she was 5 years. It was called «Piano of Lesya». It seemed to her, that melody was filled with some deep magic, and it is simple to listen silence with it. And she also loves Ukrainian folklore. Together with Mykola Lysenko and Klyment Kvitka she wrote down the large number of folk songs.The deversity of her talent was helped by interpenetration of two kinds of art - music and literature.
In passing, I am in a hurry to ask at when is the best time for work: «... I belong to those people, who when they sec a small cloud before them, It seemed that them that the sun went out, and when they caught ray, it seems to them that the sun came to live in their very souls, but for some reason I can work mostly during cloudy time, and I become mostly incapable to indentify myself in words during sunny time».
At first I didn't periculary love those shirts or English blouse as they were called by Lesya. She said, that they were designed for big long-bodied German women, but not for her - small and very thin. Lesya Ukrainka was very feminine and always loved to dress well, especially in the national costume. But she never used cosmetics and looked in the mirror briefly and chary - two-three minutes. She wasn't too fond of her appearance, because she has repeatedly stressed: «too white». Although Lcsya was the beauty. Her face radiated the unusual deep spiritualized fatigue.
    And Alazani Valley like the Dnieper
    «If I was not Ukrainian, I would probably become Georgian, -jokingly said Lcsya to their tenant Nestor Gambrishvili. The young man came to Kyiv to study and he rented a flat from the Kosach Family. They were friends.
    Nestor taught Lesya Georgian language and she him - French. One day she saw the book of Shota Rustaveli «The Knight in the Panther's Skin» at the table and at once filled up the young men with questions about Georgia. She was interested with everything: nature of Georgia, literature, music, theatre. Subsequently, when Nestor left, they'd exchange letters for along time. In the autumn of 1896 he presented Lcsya the dagger of the extraordinary beauty, created
by Daghestan masters with the silver handle: «Miss Lesya, be firm in your noble work, like this dagger.» After this words Nestor and Lesya have never seen each other. And than Georgia will open its arms to the poetess not anymore with words, but palm in palm.
   In autumn 1903 Lesya Ukrainka arrived for treatment to Georgian town Tiflis. She always emphasized that Georgian and Ukrainian people arc rather similar and she extremely loved this country. Later, having appeared in Kakheti, Lcsya was sincerely was surprised by luxury of the local nature. She compared the Alazani Valley with the Dnieper.
   And further, according to the words of poetess, she lived in «in the very Colchis. It was said about the ancient Kutaisi, exactly here according to the ancient tradition Argonauts caught the golden lieee on the river Rioni. Lesya Ukrainka wrote drama «The Forest Song». And than it was 1911...
Colour of tale. What is it?
   8-3Lesya Ukrainka dreamed about Mavka as a main character of her drama from the stories of her mother: «1 kept that mavka «in my mind», during that time, when in Zhaborivka my mother told me something about mavky, when we went by some forest with small, but very thick trees». And during summer evenings in remote Kutaisi, when Lesya remained alone, and the little fragile mavka sprouted in the imagination and tickled and the poetess understood, that it won't come to the end till she won't give the of her Ukrainian sun to Mavka.
And Lesya wrote. She wrote «The Forest Song» passionately and with lightning speed, having lost hold on reality. Work was written in 10-12 days. During this period she couldn't sleep and eat. This beautiful drama - a constellation of Slavic folklore and mythology. while working over it, Lesya Ukrainka united Ukrainian folklore tradition in all its completeness and greatness in her creative intention.The work equal to «The Forest Song» have not appeared since its writing. And hardly other works of Ukrainka can be compared with it. Besides the main deep philosophy of the drama, which is reproduced in tragic element of the great soul, will and the search of harmony through a touch to the nature, In «The Forest Song» it is possible to savor language and a form of the verse and each mythological hero. And imagination and reality, ordinariness and bright dream. We also observe confrontation between two opposit worlds: cruel and discrepant -there person lives, and romantically-ideal beautiful worldnpacHBoro світу - there live Mavka and many other heroes of tales, which are cut from nature.
    Almost all people in «The Forest Song» are taken by Lesya from life and have real prototypes.For uncle Lev Lesya even didn't change the name in drama. Lukash - one of three nephews of uncle Lev Yarmylo. That is he who went boating with Lcsya, taught to make pipes, and was always whistling, some strangely beautiful melodies. Lesya valued this work very, because «The Forest Song» gave her the most joyfull minutes of pleasure during the process of its birth.
   There is no wish to adjust sad tones to Lesya Ukrainka, certain Utopian draft moods. This person lived among us and all human was not strange to her. As well as any genius, this woman was weaved from contrasts, but she had the most important in herself - willful dreams, which corccd to run forward and to burn with the enternal flame for the past and future generations.

Tetyana Zemlyakova

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