A Ukrainian writer, ethnographer and folklorist, Ivan Nechuy-Levytsky (1838–1918; pseudonyms, Ivan Nechuy, I. Bashtovy, Hr. Hetmanets and O. Krynytsky) is best known for his realist novels, such as Mykola Dzheria (1878), Kaidasheva Simya (Kaidash’s Family, 1879) and Marusia Bohuslavka (1875). Born into a priest’s family, Ivan followed in his father’s footsteps, obtaining a theological education. After graduating from Kyiv Theological Academy in 1865, Levytsky obtained his Master’s degree followed by a teaching position at Poltava Theological Seminary. He continued his teaching career in several other educational institutions until in 1885 he moved to Kyiv, where he dedicated himself to his writing.
In Kyiv, Ivan Levytsky also actively participated in Stara Hromada (Old Community, 1859–1876; a Kyiv organisation made up of the Ukrainian intelligentsia, which mainly engaged in public, cultural, political and academic activities). Ivan Levytsky’s first works were published under the pseudonym of Ivan Nechuy in various Lviv periodicals. His other literary works include: Burlachka (The Wandering Girl, 1880), Khmary (Clouds, 1874), and V Dymu ta Polumyi (In the Smoke and Flames, 1911). Ivan Levytsky also published popular works on Ukrainian history, language, and mythology, as well as other subjects.
We chose his Svitohliad Ukrainskoho Narodu: Eskiz Ukrainskoi Mifolohii (Ukrainian Folk Worldview: a Sketch of Ukrainian Mythology, 1876) to be included in our Ukrainian Scholar Library series, and we are presently in the process of preparing it for publication. Levytsky spent the last days of his life in a hospice for the destitute, where he died in 1918. He was buried in Kyiv.