Ivan Franko's Sketch of Drama "To Brazil": from History of Unfinished 'Emigrational' Text
Академічний журнал "Слово і Час"
The paper provides an analysis of I. Franko's unfinished drama "To Brazil" that deals with the first wave of the Ukrainians' emigration, especially events of Brazilian Rush in 1895–1897. Since the literary text is based on important historical process, the authors characterize the special features of emigration from East Halychyna to the South American country at the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The research explores I. Franko's participation in emigration movement and outlines the
... outlines the background of the author's interest in creating literary work on the theme of emigration. Franko's sketch of emigrational drama is not lengthy. It contains the list of characters, the author's stage instruction describing the place of the first action (tavern), the first scene, and the beginning of the second. However based on the first fragment the features of conflict between two contrary characters' groups are already noticeable. These groups are presented by peasants as eventual emigrants and their antagonist agent Podorozhnyi who acts in cooperation with a subagent Jew renter Moshko. It looks like in the play "To Brazil" the writer intended to highlight only key issues of the problem, in particular the emigrational agitation. Franko's unfinished drama about the emigration contributed to appearance of the poetic cycle "To Brazil" (1896–1898) where its traditional topoi became somewhat transformed (the characters of peasants-emigrants, the agent, the Jewish subagent, archduke Rudolf, and motive of cheating). The mentioned cycle has an evident theatrical tone due to the dominance of role characters in lyrics. However, in the authors' opinion, the drama, if it had been finished, could have offered more significant psychological analysis and enriched the presentation of Brazilian discourse in I. Franko's literary works about emigration. I. Franko's unfinished drama is interpreted not only within the author's 'emigrational' text but also in the general context of the Ukrainian literature at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries dealing with emigration in Brazilian direction (L. Lopatynskyi's dramas "Mother-in-law" (1899) and "To Brazil"; A. Chaikovskyi's story "Brazilian Welfare" (1896); T. Borduliak's short story "Ivan the Brazilian" (1899); D. Markovych's short story "Brazilians" (1896), etc.). The mentioned works have their basis in traditional narrative with its fixed images (agent, emigrant, homeland, outland) and motives (departure agitation, travel obstacles, hard work abroad, comeback).