Ivan Franko

Ivan Franko

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Ivan Franko

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Ivan Yakovych Franko (, ) ( – ) was a Ukrainian poet, writer, social and literary critic, journalist, interpreter, economist, political activist, doctor of philosophy, the author of the first detective novels and modern poetry in the Ukrainian language.

He was a political radical, and a founder of the socialist and nationalist movement in western Ukraine. In addition to his own literary work, he also translated the works of such renowned figures as William Shakespeare, Lord Byron, Pedro Calderón de la Barca, Dante, Victor Hugo, Adam Mickiewicz, Goethe and Schiller into the Ukrainian language. Along with Taras Shevchenko, he has had a tremendous impact on modern literary and political thought in Ukraine. Some of Franko's descendants emigrated to the USA and Canada. His grand-nephew, Yuri Shymko, is a Canadian politician and human rights activist living in Toronto, who was elected to Canada's Parliament as well as the Ontario Legislature during the 1980s.


Franko was born in the Ukrainian village of Nahuievychi () located then in the Austrian kronland Galicia, today part of Drohobych Raion, Lviv Oblast, Ukraine. As a child he was baptized as Ivan by Father Yosyp Levytsky known as a poet and the author of the first Galician-Ruthenian Hramatyka and who was exiled to Nahuyevychi for a "sharp tongue". At home, however, Ivan was called Myron because of a local superstitious belief that naming a person by different name will dodge a...
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