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reflections on belonging

a palmers chronicle right bw

Graphic Novels

It seems to me now that by discovering the things that naturally captivate your attention, but through the lens of science, philosophy, or politics, you acquire immense power and become more conscious. You finally find a way to discuss these topics with others. Without that, everything is relegated to the level of emotions and hunches, and maybe that is a very vulnerable position.

So, when we change our mode of speech, or if we manage to find a more personal, routine, micro-perspective for a global topic, we imbue it with a new quality. Tones, half-tones, shadows, variations between humor and (self-)irony—these are very important tools for me both in life and in my creative pursuits.

Photo by Regimantas Tamošaitis
And yet I ask myself: is there a person in this world whose life can’t be portrayed both in one way and another? Both strange, intriguing and a participant in various events, and at the same time as completely boring? Most likely there is no such person. The writer only needs to make the right choice of viewpoint. 

Photo from monthly "Metai"
So my text grows like an infant – rocked and carried around. It’s a really pleasant and delicate sensation. When I sit down to write, everything is already done and clear to me. All that’s left is the technical bit.

Photo by Laima Stasiulionytė
The idea of freedom is very important to me – the freedom to choose, to make mistakes, to make decisions and thereby live an authentic life, as much as that is even possible. Perhaps that’s what some readers of Malalietka found to be abnormal: the narrator behaves as she sees fit, not caring about the opinions of others, seeking to test every “truth“ herself.

Photo by Rimas Užgiris
And anyone who wants to write poetry should be reading contemporary poetry, and they should be asking themselves if the language they are using is right for their experience, or are they just re-hashing old themes with the same old linguistic devices?

Photo by Rita Valiukonytė

Interview by Saulius Vasiliauskas

One of the most active translators of Lithuanian literature into English is Romas Kinka.

Photo by Liudas Masys

Interview by Saulius Vasiliauskas

But mature understanding of one’s past only comes later. To change the image, the past is clay and memory and memoir are sculptures that have been fired and made permanent by the imagination. Giving form to the past fixes it, perhaps fictionalizes it, perhaps puts a gravestone upon it. It is also a way reconciling oneself to the past, of looking back, in my case not in anger, because I have so little to be angry about, but with wry amusement at the callow youth I was at that time.

Photo by Monika Požerskytė, courtesy of Lithuanian Culture Institute

Interview by Jurga Tumasonytė

My family’s story about the decline in status of my great-grandparents always sounds very sad and very funny at the same time. This humorously sorrowful story can be read in its entirety in the prologue of the book Blue Blood. And when I took on the historical material, I was overcome with different emotions entirely. It was a great surprise and horror.

Photo by Dainius Dirgėla

Interview by Saulius Vasiliauskas

Domestic, undomestic, creativity—all of this is merely one huge buzzing lump of life, and as I said before, I like living very, very much, amen.

Photo by G. Kavoliūnas, 2017

Interview by Saulius Vasiliauskas

I understand memory as an organ of the human psyche that is capable of resisting the indifference of historical time. It seems to me that attention to and love for certain places, such as, for instance, one’s space of residence in the city, enhances this organ. Then we also begin to feel the natural connections with the fates, thoughts, and texts of people who used to live in that place.

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