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Mykola Zerov

Mykola Zerov Ukraine poet, translator, classical and literature scholar

Ukraine poet, translator, classical and literature scholar
Mykola Zerov
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Ukraine poet, translator, classical and literature scholar
Was Poet Translator Translator Specialist in literature Writer Philologist
From Netherlands Russia
Type Literature Social science
Gender male
Birth 26 April 1890, Zinkiv
Death 3 November 1937, Karelia (aged 47 years)
The details


Mykola Zerov (26 April 1890, Zinkiv, Poltava Governorate - 3 November 1937, Sandarmokh, Karelia.) was a Ukrainian poet, translator, classical and literary scholar and critic. He is considered to be one of the lead figures of Executed Renaissance.

Brief biography

He studied philology at Saint Vladimir University in Kiev. From 1917 to 1920 he edited the bibliographical journal. He was a professor of Ukrainian literature at the Kyiv Architectural Institute (1918–1920), the Kyiv Co-operative Tekhnikum (1923–1925), and the Kyiv Institute of People's Education (1923–1935). He also taught the theory of translation at the Ukrainian Institute of Linguistic Education (1930–1933).

Mykola Zerov was perhaps the most talented of the Neoclassicist movement of poets in 1920's Ukraine. Despite the populist and propagandistic impulses of Communism, the neoclassical movement stressed the production of 'high art' to an educated and highly literate audience. Zerov, particularly, eschewed contemporary politics in his poetry, focusing on aesthetic and historical classical themes under a tight and difficult poetical structure. This approach eventually proved fatal, as Zerov, along with many other Ukrainian writers of the period, was later sent to Solovki prison camp (he was arrested by the NKVD in April 1935 and sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment). Special NKVD troika of the Leningrad Region 9 October 1937 sentenced to capital punishment. Shot on November 3, 1937 in Sandarmokh, Karelia.

Zerov was formally rehabilitated in 1958, selections of his poetry was published in 1966, but a full rehabilitation was blocked by hostility from official critics.


The street was named after Nicholas Zerov in Dnepropetrovsk, Lviv, Vinnitsa, Rivne, Novomyrhorod.

In Australian National University, Monash University, there is a chair of Ukrainian language and Ukrainian research center named after Nikolai Zerov.

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