« 2020. № 3 (153)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2020. № 3 (153), 594—604

UDK 821.161.2-32.09″19″:[343.261-052:323.28](477.83+477.86)


SPECIFICITY OF NARRATIVES ABOUT SUBJECT-EMOTIONAL AND SPIRITUAL NATIONAL MARKERS IN THE LIFE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS (on materials recorded in Stryi district of Lviv region and in Burshtyn, Ivano-Frankivsk region)



Candidate of Philology

Junior research folklore department

of the Institute of Ethnology of the National Academy

of Sciences of Ukraine,

Svobody ave., 15, 79000,

Lviv, Ukraine

Contacts: e-mail:

Abstract. An important aspect of life and development of the Ukrainian nation is the broad cultural discourse on the issue of Soviet totalitarianism, the creation of a coherent Ukrainian memory base. It should certainly be based on the narratives of former political prisoners. In view of this, the main idea of the proposed intelligence is focused on the individual modes of survival of Ukrainian political prisoners in the human-killing system of the GULAG — subject-emotional and spiritual markers, exploring them as one of the means of self-preservation during the place of physical, psychological and mental destruction of the individual.

Ubject-emotional markers in this context are tangible values created in captivity, which evoke certain positive feelings, a sense of «one’s» microp space in an «alien» macro-space. These include rosaries, images, drawings, leaflets, embroidery, needlework and more. The second category is intangible. These are: traditional rituals for religious holidays, songs, spiritual practices (collective prayers, liturgies), etc. A study of the motif-like system of folk prose about subject-emotional and spiritual national markers of political prisoners demonstrates its rooting in tradition. The closeness of stories and narratives to Ukrainian folk culture is evidenced by the sacramental codes in the texts: concepts, images, archetypes, motives. At the same time, they reflected the latest national-patriotic spirit. The analysis of the poetics of works reveals the functions of prison creativity, which contributed to the preservation of fundamental social identities — representative, consolidating, axiological, expressive, psychotherapeutic, protest. Thus, the texts are not only a striking expression of the folk philosophy of the period in which they were produced, they show the peculiarities of the values system of that time, they are an organic component of the treasury of nation-wide literary heritage.

The main attention in the article is paid to motives and images. It is noted that the texts are characterized by traditionalism both at the level of ideas and poetics. The basis of the article is the author’s field materials.

Keywords: story, motive, image, national specificity, political prisoner.

Received 19.05.2020


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