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The purpose of this paper is an attempt to reflect on the beginnings of Ukrainian modernism. The article is an analysis of the “Open letter to Ukrainian writers” by Mykola Voronyi and his polemics with a well-known Ukrainian writer, Ivan Franko. This letter, which was published in the journal “Literaturno-Naukowy Wisnyk” in 1901, is a very important document of the epoch, bearing the mark of a literary manifesto. This little note made the Ukrainian intelligentsia aware of the crisis of so-called narodnytstvo poetics and the need for far-reaching modernization of Ukrainian literature. The writer postulated the rejection of adopted schemes in favour of the latest European trends in literature. The attempt to implement the program demands was an edition of Mykola Voronyi’s literary collection, “From the Valleys and Above the Clouds”, which has also been analyzed and discussed in this paper. The author concludes that the “Open letter to Ukrainian writers” can be considered one of the first manifestations of Ukrainian modernism
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