Towards the issue of French men of letters in the literary-critical works by Ivan Franko (Paul Bourget, Georges Huysmans, Erckmann-Chatrian, les Goncourt)
The article is devoted to intercultural relations in terms of literary criticism. The proposed paper is the third and the last one in the series of articles conceived by its author on Ivan Franko’s interest in the French literature. Analysis of some works by Ivan Franko written at the end of the 19th c. has been made, where the critic specially emphasized the biographical phase in the examination of the history of literature and existence of the Naturalist school of the French novelists. The impetus for the writer was the appearance of the thirty-volume history of French literature from the beginnings of French letters to the 14th c. I. Franko primarily addressed the works by P. Bourget, classifying him among the writers «beginning to gain respect for themselves». Also, mentioned occasionally is the writer Huysmans, a follower of E. Zola’s traditions of Naturalism. More fully I. Franko spoke on the work by Erckmann-Chatrian, presenting «to our numerous compatriots two narratives in a separate book» of these writers in the Ukrainian language, considering them a model for elaborating great issues of the present day. A place of importance in I. Franko’s literary studies related to French novels was occupied by the oeuvre of the prominent writers Edmond and Jules Goncourt, whom the critic considered to be «writers great and powerful in their talents». Through the efforts of these powerful talents, I. Franko noted, the frames of the novel have expanded in an unprecedented way; the modern novel created by these great writers embraces everything that is called human life. Assessment of the legacy of the writers mentioned in this article is related to another problem of French studies yet, viz. I. Franko’s introduction of these writers into the Ukrainian literary process, particularly Ukrainian literary translation. Some statements about the prose writers of the second half of the 19th c. presented here, as well as a more extensive exposition of I. Franko’s interpretation of the Goncourt brothers’ works enable us to comprehend the reasons for the Stone Mason’s interest in these French novelists’ works.