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Owing to the efforts of Hryhoriy Kochur’s family, the house, to which the translator came back from exile and where he was able to dedicate more time to his favourite activity – translating, has now been reconstructed into the private Literary museum named after Hr. Kochur. The spouses, Andriy and Mariya Kochur, following their hearts have opened a museum in memory of the Master, just as he was following his heart throughout all his life and creating immortal masterpieces, which nourished the Ukrainian literature during the hardest times of drought and which now constitute its firm basis.

The people, who overcoming all the criticism, suppression and camps, desperately and solely managed to hand down to us the most valuable treasure of our Motherland – the Ukrainian Word, are now looking at us from the pictures in the museum.  The first to welcome everybody here, just as the host is supposed to, is Maestro (his friends and disciples used to call him so) Hryhoriy Porphyrovych Kochur. The portrait of Hryhoriy Porphyrovych is surrounded by his friends – the same people who enjoyed his company, appreciated his pieces of advice and learned from him still during his lifetime: I. Svitlychnyi, V. Chornovil, V. Stus, I. Dziuba, L.Kostenko, O. Seniuk, O. Zalyvakha, I. Zhylenko, V. Skurativskyi.

A bit farther along the corridor there is a cradle of the Ukrainian translation, the workshop, where the word was coined and strengthened – Hryhoriy Porphyrovych’s chamber. The room, just as during the translator’s life, is simply furnished: a working table, a sofa, the shelves full of books and some “souvenirs” from the camp. Among them we may see a hand-drawn map of Hryhoriy Kochur’s place of exile, which was once given as a present, as well as a numbered box for the prisoner’s personal things.

The next room keeps alive the memories about Hruhoriy Kochur’s teachers and friends – Mykola Zerov, Maksym Rylskyi, Mykola Lukash. The memorial exhibition with the selection of books from Zerov’s private collection, which was chosen and then presented by his wife Sofia Fedorivna herself, is dedicated to Mykola Zerov – the teacher and supervisor of Hryhoriy Kochur, as well as an outstanding translator and active participant of the neoclassical trend.

The museum is not only a place of remembrance about the life and creativity of Hryhoriy Kochur, but also the library of rare books (those preserved in Ukraine in single copies are available here). Delicate female hands are now working on the compilation of a comprehensive catalogue of Hryhoriy Kochur’s library. This will be not an easy task – the greater part of the library has already been arranged, though there are still some priceless books, on which Kochur used to spend nearly all his money, waiting for their turn in the basement. His son Andriy takes care of the building, keeps everything in order by means of mending this or that thing with his own hands.

Mr. Andriy and his wife are doing everything possible for the visitors to return home with the most pleasant memories about the museum, and they definitely succeed in it, since the atmosphere is friendly and warm here. The dinner is simmering on the cooker – yes-yes – the spouses are going to treat the visitors to a meal. This museum has no analogues: people share their knowledge and memories here, they are allowed to work with the books for as long as they need, and they have an opportunity to get acquainted with Kochur in person.

If you ever happen to have a wish to visit the Literary museum named after Hr. Kochur, then by all means follow the path in Irpin from the railway station stretching along the railway and leading to house ¹12 Kochur Street. This is the same street along which Hryhoriy Kochur used to carry the cultural present day: books in his bag and translations-masterpieces in his brilliant mind.

With gratitude for the seen and respect for the heard –

Nataliya Hrytsiv,

Assistant Lecturer of the department of Translation Studies and Contrastive Linguistics named after Hryhoriy Kochur

 

 “There was a great amount of photographs represented in the museum, which left unforgettable impression on me, from which the greatest representatives of the 1860s, scientists, artists, translators were talking to us. Unexpected discovery to me was the fact, that all these people were personally acquainted with Hryhoriy Kochur, and that he had such a direct influence on their creative work.

    The acquaintance with Hryhoriy Kochur’s  son – Andriy Hryhorovych, and daughter-in-law, Maria Leonidivna was extremely important to us. These people did their best to create the museum, organize archives, books and epistolary heritage of the translator, in the same way giving an opportunity to the young generation of scientists, translators and just caring visitors to open the new world of Hryhoriy Kochur.

   Besides educational travel, this trip will be one of the best memories of our student’s life.”

Olesia Kharchyshyn, second-year student

 

“I was really impressed with a great amount of archive materials, including photographs, documents, letters which were connected with the intelligentsia of that time - Mykola Lukash,Ivan Svitlychnyi, Vasyl’ Stus, Mykola Zerov, Viacheslav Chornovil, Lina Kostenko. Hryhoriy Kochur’s house, as Maria Leonidivna told us, was “The Irpin University” indeed.

  Not only the universal knowledge, but also phenomenal memory attracted our attention. I remember Maria Leonidivna’s story about the fact, that when Hryhoriy Kochur was eighty years old, he couldn’t remember on what page was the necessary citation and said that something wrong was with his memory, despite the fact that he remembered the name of the book, its publishing house and the year of publication.

    I have a great wish to go somewhere else with my group, because this is a useful experience, which will help us to form our worldview, ideals, beliefs and will help us choose the right life position.”

Vasyl’ Shatruk, second-year student

 

“What a great work did both the son of Hryhoriy Kochur and the son’s wife, in spite of the fact that they didn’t have enough possibilities and money. This memorial house was saved in pristine conditions, which was exactly the same during Hryhoriy Porfyrovych’s life. This frontroom is a fair speciment of artlessness and great wisdom of the master. The visiting of this museum gave me an opportunity to understand   Hryhorij Kochur  much deeper  at first as a simple man. To understand what hard life the translator had to live and all severities he faced alone.  Hryhoriy Kochur found the strength to continue the work, all the time carrying the love to his nation.

 Truly, he was an incredibly talented person, and firstly because he dedicated his whole life to the wealth of his nation. He enriched our Language and Culture.

   I am proud of the possibility of studying at the department, named after him, and I believe that Hryhoriy Kochur will be an example for a lot of young translators.”

Nazar Yatsyshyn, second-year student

 

“There was a great amount of famous writers, translators about which I read only in books and I even couldn’t imagine, that I would have a chance to be in the place, where They were, that I would sit on the chairs, on which They sat,  that I would drink tea at the same table They did…

 I have never seen so many books before.  Unbelievable is the fact that Hryhoriy Porfyrovych read them all and remembered what every book was about…

I got an inspiration to study, to translate, to read, and I understood that my future profession is the exactly thing I am longing for in my life!”

Vita Dzumedzei, second-year student

 

The visit to Hryhoriy Kochur’s museum  means not only looking through the letters, photographs, camp writings of the poet,  but also hearing and re-living the memories from  Andriy Hryhorovych and Maria Leonidivna’s stories about his life. I believe that every self-respecting Ukrainian should visit that museum, as it is really hard to put in words the feelings which you experience while visiting that place.

It’s a pity that we were only a few hours, not a few days, in the museum.  In any way, I am thankful for that pleasant gift presented by my fate, which will be kept in my memory for long years.

 

                    Nazariy Trokhymchenko, second-year student