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Book presentation by Tanja Maljartschuk: “The Blue Whale of Memory, Novel”






OÖ Literaturhaus im StifterHaus

A novel about the forgotten Ukrainian folk hero Vyacheslav Lypynskyi, the description of whose life is artfully linked with that of the first-person narrator: she searches in the past for footprints to better cope with her own present.

A woman suffers from unfortunate relationships, panic attacks and does not leave her flat for months. She finds orientation and support in a historical figure that played a major role in the history of Ukraine: Vyacheslav Lypynskyi. The passionate philosopher of history and politician came from a Polish noble family that lived in western Ukraine. At an early age, he identified himself with Ukraine and insisted on using the Ukrainian form of his name. After graduation, he dealt politically and historically with the country torn between Poland and Russia and demanded as obsessed with the independence of his state. A fight that took him through different countries and led to personal sacrifices.

As sickly as this historical figure and, like him, in the search for allegiance, the narrator follows this proud, uncompromising, hypochondriacal man to defy the memory of Soviet uprooting. A literarily impressive novel that shows what it means when your own identity consists of fear, obedience and oblivion.

The reading follows a discussion with the author, moderated by Mia Eidlhuber.