Granddaughter of Gorlіs-Gorsky: “I want to be a Cossack! In the old days I would not sit at home – I would take in hand a sabre…”

Дата: 30.10.2011

Lala Lіsovska – a woman with a strong face and a twisted strand of black hair, which falls on her face. During our conversation, Mrs. Lіsovska notices that she would have preferred to be a Cossack, and I object that the Cossacks are men, and women devoted to the fate to be Guardian (custodians). But she says, that in the old days she would not sit at home for sure – she would take in hand a sabre. Perhaps that is why that unruly black strand is so incredibly similar to the Cossack’s “Oseledets.” And yet – Lala Lіsovska looks a lot like her grandfather, Yury Gorozhanin-Lіsovsky, author of the glorious book “Kholodny Yar” (“Cold Ravine”), the brave sergeant of Cossack rebels of Kholodny Yar, known under the pseudonym Gorlіs-Gorsky…

Mrs. Lіsovska’s dwelling and work are in London, mother and daughter – in the U.S., and the soul – in Ukraine. They did not dare to call this woman a foreigner, though her knowledge of the Ukrainian language is limited to a dozen of our words. On the Protecting Veil [Intercession] of the Mother of God we had little deal with her in Kholodny Yar – there were enough troubles, and no time as usual there. She carefully watched the reconstruction of the battle between Kholodny Yar inhabitants and Budionny fighters. Then she said she herself wanted to be a participant in the battle and pick up a revolver, as once her grandfather took it… The better talking we have had already in Cherkassy, where she planned to go in transit through Kyiv to Lviv. We talk through an interpreter. Mrs. Lіsovska immediately declares categorically: soon it will be easier for her to communicate in the Ukrainian language, because learning of the mother language is for her number one task. However, permission to stay in Ukraine Lala Lіsovska has as the primary purpose too. Her dream is to stay in Lviv, and as well she will gather up enough money – she will buy another house in Medvedіvka near Chigirin, with purpose to live in summer in places where the grandfather fought, and in winter to move to the city, where he wrote “Kholodny Yar”…

She begins the conversation with memories of her childhood. She was born in sunny California, and when she was only 4 years old, the family crossed the ocean and settled in foggy London. So later was her life – in travels between the two countries. Lala’s Mother, the only daughter of Gorlіs-Gorsky Lessya, could tell Lala about him little. His father died just some days after her birth, so she herself knew of him only from stories of mother. In 18 years Lala some time lived with her grandmother – and she proudly told her granddaughter about her grandfather. “She said that my grandfather was a famous writer and a true hero” – tells Lala. – “Last year I came to Ukraine, learned of my grandfather more and I am very happy that he was so respected in his homeland.” It was at the age of 18 Lala firmly decided that she would be true Ukrainian, and not only by birth. Knew – that desire is of the grandfather’s blood that flows in her veins and forces her to be not similar to the other – from her desks at school and in college …

Lala Lіsovska done much for the Ukrainian Diaspora in Los Angeles, in particular, helped to establish the cultural center “Cafe Ukraine” – make it in the Ukrainian style, purchased at a local Ukrainian Church a part of embroidered towels and adorned with them the walls… Now here is coming the Ukrainian-born youth. Lala says – Ukrainians of Los Angeles for the most part decently speak the Ukrainian language, the community has its own Sabbath school, where they study language, history, culture and traditions of Ukraine…

Lala herself first and foremost is an artist. She taught at the university, taught students the art of performance and social sculpture. So now traveling Cherkassy region, she absorbed all the bright fall colors of the area, where her grandfather fought. She tells us she visited the monastery of Motria and surrounding villages. Especially she fell in love with a winding road between the Kholodny Yar and Kam’yanka and landscapes on both sides of it. And above all – Zalizniak’s Oak. When the artist mentions it, in her eyes appears light, she passionately speaks in Ukrainian: “Du-u-ub!” and widely spreads arms as if embracing the thousand years old mighty tree, which has long been a symbol of the Ukrainian Cossacks… She considers a good mark that not far from Oak, on the outskirts of Buda farm, is built a Cossack church of Peter Kalnishevsky. She says that this is a lot of symbolism. From my side I add: I think, it is very symbolically, that during her staying at Chigirin area the granddaughter of Gorlіs-Gorsky starred in a small women’s role in a film about the same Gorlіs-Gorsky. She herself recalls these days of filming from 14 to 16 of October with enthusiasm – she said that there was only fear before acting debut, and she is pride in the fact that she contributes to the creation of memory particles about her grandfather.

Those impressions Lala will carry to ours in American and British diaspora – although not soon, because she plans to spend another four months in Galicia, gathering as much information about the Lviv period of the life of Yury Gorlіs-Gorsky. It’s interesting, that she will stay at her friends – namely in the house where once her grandfather-writer lived.

In parallel, she is seeking sponsors who would help with the publication of “Kholodny Yar” in English – it would help to read the work to the youngest part of the diaspora abroad and even natives of Europe and America – as well. Now in English has been translated the first part of the work. Granddaughter of Gorlіs-Gorsky will be a bridge between Ukraine and its true patriots, whom fate had tossed abroad. Settling in Ukraine, she plans to promote abroad the works of our artists. By the way, one exhibition of the Ukrainian art in Los Angeles she has already organized. For herself she already sees the theme of the picture – she is looking forward to winter because namely at this time she wants to draw with her own hand Zalizniak’s oak – covered with snow as nearly a hundred years ago, when in Kholodny Yar during the Winter campaign of the Acting army UNR remained on treatment one of the more glorious sergeants of the Ukrainian army – for someone legendary Gorlіs-Gorsky, and for her – just own up to heartache grandfather. Own, because although he was not able to ever touch the granddaughter of his hand but gave her a most precious heritage – the true spirit of the Ukrainian…

Everywhere along Lala Lіsovska wore Ukrainian wreath with ribbons. And in Cherkassy she came with flowers to the Shevchenko’s monument, who wrote the famous words: “And will waft the new fire from Kholodny Yar…”

 In a new documentary about Yuri Gorlіs-Gorsky his granddaughter played a cameo role. In the picture she is with a grandfather’s book and near the issue of a “Cossack region”, dedicated to Gorlіs-Gorsky.


















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