Anthropology of Desire Correlate in Oles Ulianenko’s Novel “Syn Tini”


  • Feliks Shteinbuk Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia



Oles Ulianenko, anthropology, corporal-mimetic method, life, death, correlate of desire


Oles Ulianenko, one of the most talented and controversial modern Ukrainian writers, has been dead for ten years. However, during his life O. Ulianenko’s works were not given any appropriate professional interpretation as the literary scholars and critics applied either the wrong or inefficient method because of the numerous objective or, very often, subjective reasons. The goal of this article is to suggest an alternative variant, in comparison to the traditional literary ones, of theoretical literary analysis which is grounded on the principles of the corporal-mimetic method to interpret fiction, and which is an example of literary analysis of the writer’s novel “Syn Tini” (The Shadow Son). Consequently, the conclusion has been drawn that the meaning of the analyzed novel is not determined by moral-ethical rigorism but by an anthropological correlate of desire aimed to overcome death, hence, to accept life because the exact realization of the corresponding correlate connected with ontological categories “life” and “death” can “explain people’s existence. Not as a flock, but human beings…” (J. Lucan). Moreover, relations between a man and a woman can be considered in the same ontological-anthropological plane. Thus, Oles Ulianenko’s novel “Syn Tini” does not depict a “zoo”, albeit “human” one, not a parade of sadistic deviations which are “idiologized” or “aestheticized”, not to speak about “demonism of criminal actions” of any kind – it depicts exactly people. People who are madly driven by their desire to become someone in life, to be at least “shadow son”, since they are obviously not able to claim the status of those who can count on having their own shadow.

Author Biography

Feliks Shteinbuk, Comenius University in Bratislava

Department of Russian and East European Studies

Comenius University in Bratislava

Šafárikovo námestie 6, 814 99, Bratislava, Slovensko


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How to Cite

Shteinbuk, F. “Anthropology of Desire Correlate in Oles Ulianenko’s Novel ‘Syn Tini’”. Pitannâ lìteraturoznavstva, no. 102, Dec. 2020, pp. 55-73, doi:10.31861/pytlit2020.102.055.



Poetics. Historical Poetics