Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Helping Ukraine's voice be heard by translating novels into English, beginning with Oleh Shynkarenko's crazy, brilliant "Kaharlyk"
Helping Ukraine's voice be heard by translating novels into English, beginning with Oleh Shynkarenko's crazy, brilliant "Kaharlyk"
Helping Ukraine's voice be heard by translating novels into English, beginning with Oleh Shynkarenko's crazy, brilliant "Kaharlyk"
95 backers pledged £3,575 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Helping Ukraine's voice be heard through literature project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

Helping Ukraine's voice be heard through literature

£3,575

95

Oleh Shynkarenko's novel Kaharlyk began on Facebook as a series of bulletins from an alternative reality. He created fragments of concrete music, mixing sounds such as Serbian liturgical melodies, washing machines and cows mooing to develop a soundscape for his world. The book is written entirely in blocks of 100 words. Andrei Kurkov, a Penguin published author, describes it as a “hologrammatic” novel, a series of “beautifully crafted puzzles”. 

Oleh Shynkarenko
Oleh Shynkarenko

But the book tells a story. It is set in Ukraine after a war with Russia. A man has lost his memory because the Russian military has used his brain to control military satellites. He regains consciousness in a mysterious hospital-like building and begins a pilgrimage to find his past. He journeys to Kaharlyk, a town where time has stood still following the testing of an experimental weapon. The book is an Odyssey as magical as Alice's tumble through the looking glass or Gulliver's first footprint on the sands of Lilliput. 

A "somorphone" one of the futuristic devices which feature in Kaharlyk.
A "somorphone" one of the futuristic devices which feature in Kaharlyk.

Oleh wrote the novel while Ukraine was undergoing the Revolution of Dignity in 2014 to 2015. Ukrainians piled barricades of burning tyres on the streets of their capital and overthrew a dictator who had an estate roamed by Ostriches, and palaces that would have made Nero blush. Ukraine's literature is routinely ignored. This book will help the country's voice be heard. When we have translated Kaharlyk we will publish it via Kalyna Language Press. We will use our contacts in literary circles and the book trade to make sure that the novel reaches as wide an audience as possible. It's going to be a crazy ride. Join us.

PS and don't just take our word that it's a great book. The opening paragraphs are below:

100

Everything I could imagine resembled Kaharlyk. But what was Kaharlyk, what did it look like, and where was it? It seemed spherical, apple sized, its very uneven surface covered in deformed growths. Some saw its unique beauty, but I did not know these people. Perhaps they gave me Kaharlyk to learn something important or to simply smooth out its surface. However, I did not learn and forgot everything they said. Only two words penetrated the dirty windowpane: “recollections” and “diving”. This was clearly a summons, but to what? Where was the verb? Kaharlyk melted, a key I could not reach.  

200

Suddenly Olena's face appeared, a wet maple leaf the wind plastered against the windowpane. She looked intensely at me for a moment then her face darkened. I saw her standing on the snow-covered road. Her green, knitted cap gathered the colourless vista around. Then everything accelerated unexpectedly. Olena was wafted away, a photograph swirled off a table. The photograph of my wife she took some years ago and never showed me. Or perhaps I took it. When I find her I will ask. This place seems to be a hospital. I am alone in a room with white walls.  

300

I need to work out where I am, I should probably call for someone. This place resembles a village, a very small town. Fifteen minutes ago I saw a cow or an obese horse through the window. It's unlikely big creatures roam city streets. A feral pack of urban cats could devour a herd of cows in a year. Any movement evoked a few recollections and some understanding of my situation. But then part of the knowledge acquired earlier evaporated. I rose and went to the window. The inscription “Diving into Recollections” was a large advertisement for a digital camera.  

400

The sun reached noon. The clock on the wall barely moved lethargic hands to eleven. Four minutes or four days had passed since the beginning, it's hard to say. I went to the door, pushed. It opened on a long, spectrally illuminated corridor with a dead end. I followed it peering right and left for an exit. The doors were closed; then an open door. Someone was sitting at a table in the room. His thick-lensed glasses made his eyes like those of a fish. He had clearly been looking at the door for a while, hearing my footsteps.   500 He looked with interest but without empathy, like people look at cockroaches. ‘Have you seen the girl in the green cap?’ I asked. ‘I think she was on the street just now.’ ‘I have only seen a girl in a red cap, but not today.’ He stood and came towards me. ‘If you saw something on the street, amend the time. It was long ago. Think of it as them showing you archive video footage.’ I understood nothing. ‘How can I find her?’ ‘Best leave here and look in Kaharlyk. She is probably there.’

THE END... for now... will you help us to continue the story? 

Risks and challenges

Our main risk is that we will not make enough money to fund the translation. This will further damage the image of Ukrainian literature. Many publishers are convinced that there is no market for Ukrainian culture - this in turn means that Ukraine's past is often seen through the imperialist eyes of some Russian authors. English readers, for example, if they are aware of Hetman Skoropadskyi, know him as the swaggering fop portrayed by Bulgakov. Ukrainians are often either invisible or portrayed negatively in the work of these authors. But Ukraine's rebellious spirit has set winter on fire. It is time we listened to them.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £1 or more About $1.43

    Our undying gratitude and a personal thank you e mail

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    9 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £5 or more About $7

    A PDF of "Where the Poplar Grows; Selected works of Pavlo Tychyna translated into English" by Steve Komarnyckyj and signed by the translator. This unique book was produced in partnership with the Tychyna museum in Kyiv.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    7 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £15 or more About $21

    Name listed among acknowledgments inside the book

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    11 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £20 or more About $29

    A copy of "Where the Poplar Grows; Selected works of Pavlo Tychyna translated into English" by Steve Komarnyckyj and signed by the translator. This unique book was produced in partnership with the Tychyna museum in Kyiv.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 6 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £20 or more About $29

    A copy of "The Grief of the Madonna" ; Pavlo Tychyna's great poem translated into English by Steve Komarnyckyj, and into French Georgian and Russian (by Dmytro Chystyak, Raul Chilachava and Ivan Kachurovsky respectively). All six copies will be signed by Steve Komarnyckyj. This unique book was produced in partnership with the Tychyna museum in Kyiv and is beautifully illustrated by Ukrainian artist Valery Franchuk.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 2 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £30 or more About $43

    A copy of "Kaharlyk" and name listed among acknowledgments inside the book

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    34 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £40 or more About $57

    A copy of "Kaharlyk" and name listed among acknowledgments inside the book, along with a copy of "The Raspberry's Eyelash" Selected Poems of Pavlo Tychyna translated into English by Steve Komarnyckyj and signed by the translator. This unique book was described as "a revelation" by poet and broadcaster Sean Street.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £50 or more About $72

    A copy of "Kaharlyk" and "Episodic Memory" and name listed among acknowledgments inside the book

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 10 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge £80 or more About $114

    A copy of "Kaharlyk", "Episodic Memory" and "Raven's Way" and name listed among acknowledgments inside the book

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    5 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge £120 or more About $172

    Corporate or charitable sponsors only- logo on inside cover and website- company cited in publicity for the book

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge £200 or more About $286

    A day long literary historical tour of Kyiv with Oleh Shynkarenko, author and experimental musician as a guide. Oleh will give you a unique insider's view of the Ukrainian capital and the Revolution of Dignity (flights not included :-).

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only Ukraine
    0 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)