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The Orthodox Nationalist: Vasyl Stus, the Ukrainian Solzhenitsyn – TON 022019

Dr Matthew Raphael Johnson looks at GULag survivor and Slav Nationalist Vasyl Stus this week, who unfortunately died just a few years before the iron curtain fell.

Vasyl Stus (1938-1985) is not well known in the west, in fact, he is not known at all. Part of the reason why is that he is a standing condemnation of the mass society from which poetic “celebrities” are generated. The poet is not someone who writes in verse, but the man of culture. The prosaic is the opportunist. Its a mindset rather than a specialized form of writing.

Stus spent a substantial portion of his adult life in Soviet GULags and hence, is known to only a few specialists. He was a fearless dissident that often deliberately provoked the security police in his protests against the tyranny of the Regime. Worst of all, his focus – to a great extent – is how many social benefits come from conformity to the ruling class, a direct attack on not just the police state, but all coercive bureaucracies from academics to journalists. The GULag, in other words, is just a hyper-manifestation of postmodern liberalism. He is the Ukrainian Solzhenitsyn and should be treated as such.

Presented by Matt Johnson

The Orthodox Nationalist: Vasyl Stus, the Ukrainian Solzhenitsyn – TON 022019


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