Myths are a really of import portion of life for every society regardless of clip, district and the degree of civilization and economical development. There are many types of myths: spiritual, cultural, political, and historical. Some of them live 100s of old ages, some non more than a twosome of old ages. The definition of the myth is really complicated. It is non merely a traditional, typically ancient narrative covering with supernatural existences, or heroes as we use to cognize, but a myth besides can be “ a fable or fictionalized narrative, which has been elevated to serious fabulous, symbolical and honored degree so as to be true to the all state ” ( definition harmonizing to Ernest Renan ) .
The Ukrainian society is non an exclusion. We have our ain myths, everybody cognize narratives about brave and honest Cossacks, Ukrainians heroes. This is a manner to laud our state, a manner to hold something to be proud of. Furthermore, there are myths which are of import merely for a little group of people, one if them shall be dealt with in this essay.
Historical status for the beginnings of this myth:
The clip when Galicia was portion of Habsburg Empire was for most people merely a few paragraphs in school books of history. They tell us a sad history about the bad Austrians which did non let the good Ukrainians create their ain independent province. This is a tradition in Soviet and post-Soviet apprehension of this period of Ukrainian history. Recent research in archives prove quite the contrary: this period has been rather a positive clip for every group of Galician society. A rapid development of industry ( new mills and engineerings, railroad lines ) , agribusiness ( the settlement of feudal system ) , civilization ( sezession, fin-de-siecle ) took topographic point.
The Emperors of the Austrian Empire had a really good repute in the Galician society. From Franz II to Franz-Joseph I, all of them tried to develop in economical and cultural manner the most undeveloped portion of the imperium. For illustration, the settlement of the personal service of provincials has brought the glory of the emperor. He becomes like God for the provincials, his portrayals ever were hanging together with spiritual icons.
The emperor Franz-Joseph I was a really of import figure for the citizens of Galicia non merely in political significance but besides symbolically. In the societal hierarchy of that society he had the first topographic point on Earth and the 2nd topographic point in the cosmopolitan hierarchy after God. The emperor was a symbolical guarantee that the Sun rises, the Earth turns and everything corsets on its topographic point.
After the First World War the universe changed. The Empire stopped bing and the Emperor died. Stability and order were replaced by pandemonium and terror. The people were non ready to such critical and unexpected alterations.
All this feelings are good illustrated in the all right literature. There are many writers who wrote novels full of the nostalgia to the peaceable universe of the Austrian Empire. Joseph Roth was one of them. He is a authoritative in the German speech production literature. His fresh “ Radetzki Marsh ” is the most popular of his plants. Roth was born in the Galician town Brody at the terminal of Nineteen century, and like a journalist for one Austrian newspaper, he was a informant of all the horror of the war.
After the prostration of the Soviet Union, many historic events, personalities and periods received a new reading. Research workers have found many new facts in archives. Those facts show another image than the official Soviet historiography. The opinion of the Habsburg ‘s monarchy does non intend merely a war middle class against labor ; ranges against the hapless ; Austrians and Poles against Ukrainians. Of class it was non clip of a modern democracy and prosperity. The Austrian authorities had an ain involvement in the economical development of the part: in their program, Galicia should go an agricultural resort base for the whole imperium, but the benefits from this program reached besides citizens of this part.
The alterations concern all right literature excessively. Many writers which had been forbidden in Soviet times, were published in independent Ukraine. Joseph Roth was one of them. His novels were full of romantic nostalgia and glory of the Habsburg Empire and at the same clip they look like historical paperss. This manner convinces the reader the world of events and individuals described.
Joseph Roth ‘s novels are more popular in the circle of Galician intellectuals and are non good known by the mean Ukrainian reader. The same state of affairs is true for other authors who created this myth in their works: Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, Karl Emil Franzos, Bruno Schultz etc. The intellectuality of their work limits the circle of readers to few intellectuals. And because his novels are connected with the history of Western Ukraine they are more interesting for Galician readers. Some illustrations of “ Habsburg ‘s myth ” are collected in the book `Leopolis multiplex` . In the chapter “ Lemberg: before and now ” there are rather celebrated individuals who describe their nostalgia for, as they call that clip: “ Habsburg ‘s Eden with few small errors. ” There are sociologist Ostap Sereda, historian Vasyl Rasevych, anthropologist Roman Dybasevych, journalist Volodymyr Pavliv and others.
Actuality of this narrative about period of Habsburg clip can be explained in the context of the general letdown in modern societal, cultural and political life in independent Ukraine. In some instance this letdown provokes the mental desire to happen some inventive topographic point where people live better. This is a typical procedure of the creative activity of “ utopia ” . Utopia is a narrative about inventive topographic point of perfect society and felicity. Very frequently this narrative can be an inventive portion of history of some state or part. In this instance it is Galicia in the clip of the opinion of the House of Habsburg.
As a decision I can state that the visual aspect of the myth about the Habsburg Empire, like a narrative about the ‘golden clip ‘ of the domination of human rights and tolerance were renovated in Galicia after the prostration of Soviet Union. Reasons for the redevelopment of this myth in independent Ukraine within Galician intellectuals ‘ circles were letdown in modern political relations of Ukraine, having new historical information and literature about that period of clip. Volodymyr Pavliv gives one of the best sum-ups of the grounds why Habsburg ‘s myth appeared in Ukrainian civilization. He says that “ the roofs of our nostalgia are in our desire to acquire those lost values as Freedom, Order or Beauty back, and because we do non see the positions to make this ideals in our close hereafter ” ( p. 93 ) .