Ivan Petrovich Kotliarevsky (August 29 (September 9) 1769 – October 29 (November 10) 1838) – Ukrainian poet and playwright.
He was born in Poltava in the family of clerk. With Poltava connected most of his life. In 1780 – 1789 he attended the Poltava seminary; in 1789 – 1794 served in office, in 1794 – 1796 years had been a teacher in the master's estate, in 1796 – 1808 years was in military service and fought in the war against Turkey in 1806 year.
After his retirement in 1808, Kotliarevsky unsuccessfully tried to find a service in St. Petersburg. In 1810 – 1835 years he again served in Poltava in various educational and charitable institutions. He died in 1838, buried in Poltava (his grave is still carefully preserved).
Kotliarevsky's literary heritage quantitatively very small. Central place in it occupied by "Aeneid" – burlesque processed poem of the same name by Virgil. Kotliarevsky worked on this poem, from 1794, more than 30 years. The first complete edition of all six parts of the "Aeneid" appeared in 1842, after the author's death.
In the "Aeneid" is given a broad picture of life in Ukraine late 18th century. The journey of Aeneas from destroyed Troy to the future site of Rome can be seen as a metaphor for the way of Ukrainian people from the devastated Hetmanate to new – still unclear at the time – forms of national life.Kotliarevsky-playwright issued two small comedies – "Natalka POltavka" and " Moskal magician". Both were written in 1819 when the author became the director of the theater in Poltava. These were the first examples of Ukrainian theater repertoire, where live folk Ukrainian language begin to sound from the scene.
Value of Kotliarevsky in the history of Ukrainian literature is very large. It is quite justly considered a pioneer of modern Ukrainian literature, which began to develop on the basis of national spoken language. Therefore rightly year 1798, when was published first, yet imperfect version of "Aeneid", is the starting year of the new Ukrainian literature.
M. Zh., August 8, 2014.