Oles Musynka

Interview with Professor Paul Robert Magocsi





This is a candid interview conducted by the Ukrainian-oriented writer Oles Mušynka with Professor Paul Robert Magocsi in 1993.

Mušynka prefaces the interview with the following:

The name of the American-Canadian scholar, Paul Robert Magocsi, is not unknown in the Prešov Region and in Ukraine. Many people have spoken about him and his views, whether in a positive or a negative light. To describe him, people have also used various epithets, often of exaggerated proportions, which are at best doubtful. Taking advantage of the opportunity of being half a year in Canada and working alongside Professor Magocsi, I asked him to answer a few questions. The result is the following interview, which hopefully will introduce the reader to both Professor Magocsi and to his views concerning certain, frequently discussed problems. These statements are directly from him without any intermediary or discussion.

Some provocative questions are posed, such as:

  • How in your case do you combine the role of a Ukrainianist with the role of a Rusynist? Does not one contradict or conflict with the other?
  • It is a generally known fact that your name has appeared on a list of agents of the Czechoslovak State Security Service (ŠtB) which was published in the “independent newspaper,” Rudé krávo. How do you explain the fact of the appearance of your name on this list?
  • Do you consider Rusyns a distinct nationality?
  • Certain of your critics in this matter state that the present-day Rusyn movement is for you a kind of scholarly experiment. What do you think of such criticism and how do you evaluate your own role in this movement in general and in the Prešov Region in particular?

… and more.

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