Ad fontes: Borys Jakubs’kyj’s Nauka virshuvannia and Formation of the Ukrainian Science of Verse

  • Andrei Ustinov
  • Galina Babak Freie Universität Berlin
Keywords: verse theory, science of versification, Ukrainian poetry, literary criticism in Ukraine, East Slavic Formalism, Borys Jakubs’kyj, Boris Tomashevskij, Tomashevshky


The essay describes an arduous process of formation of verse studies in Ukraine in the early 1920s. Borys Jakubs’kyj’s book Nauka virshuvannia [The Science of Versification] published in Kyiv in 1922 served as the first harbinger of a new Ukrainian theory of verse. In developing his science of versification Jakubs’kyj relied on the instrumentarium of the proponents of the Formalist method in literary studies who belonged to the Petrograd Society for the Study of the Poetic Language, known as OPOJAZ, and primarily on the concepts developed by Boris Tomashevskij who pretty much singlehandedly established the OPOJAZ approach to verse theory. After the publication of Jakubs’kyj’s book Tomashevskij also wrote a succinct review in which he expressed the wish to see it translated into Russian (which never happened).


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