Friday, February 28, 2014

Yurii's Realm

I have long embraced the Heisenberg principle of nationalism: the closer you look at a  nation-state, the more likely it isn’t there any more.  Today’s case in point, Ukraine.  Yurii Andrukhovych seems to recognize this perspective in his 1993 novel Moskovodiada, where he itemizes the titles of Olelko II, king of Ukraine, descendant (so he says) of he Riurykovychs and Dolgorukiis:

Sovereign and Ruler of Rus-Ukraine, Great Prince of Kiev and Chernihiv, King of Galicia and Volhynia, Master of Pskov, Peremyshl and Koziatyn, Duke [Hertzog] of Dniproderzhynsk, First of May and Illich, Great Khan of Crimea and Izmail, Baron of Berdychiv, of both Bukovyna and Bessarabia, and also New Askan and Outer Kakhovka, rhe Wild Field and the Black Forest of Arkhysenior, Hetman and Protector of the Cossacks of the Don, Berdiansk and Kryvyi Rih, Tireless Shepherd of the Hutsuls and Boikos, Lord of All the People of the Ukraine, including Tatars and Pechenegs, peasant farmers [malokhokhlamy] and salo-eaters, with every Moldavian and Mankurt, on Our Pure Land, Patron and Pastor of Great and Little Slobidska Ukraine, and also Inner and Outer Timutorokan, the glorious descendant of all the ages, in a word, our proud and most eminent Monarch.

--Reprinted in Andrew Wilson, The Ukranians:  Unexpected Nation (2000; new material 2002—and I gather there is a new edition from 2009).

Ernest Renan says that history is as much about forgetting as remembering. 


Jimbo said...

Hah, well that's what you get for being an incredibly productive breadbasket. So is our Midwest except that our Midwest wasn't (still isn't) a great crossroads of multiple armies and invaders over many centuries and Ukraine was (hence the titles).

brad said...

Where did the Union Republics of the USSR come from? The Czar's empire was not organized in any such way, was it?

Brad DeLong