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Reflections on Belonging

The Vilnius Review begins to publish a cycle of essays called "Reflections on Belonging". Lithuanian writers and writers of Lithuanian origin will write about literature, translation, language, gender, identity and belonging.
Are we, as poet and translator Rimas Uzgiris puts it, "post-colonial, post-identity, post-home"? Or do we belong somewhere? Is language our only home? What does it mean to write - in one language, in two, in several languages? What is lost in translation? How does mobility and migration affects our life and literature?
These and other themes will be reflected upon by different writers, translators and essayists.

"Reflections on Belonging" is sponsored by association LATGA.

 

Boy by Paulina Pukytė

by Paulina Pukytė

Our folk sculpture is wooden, religious, spiritual. The Pensive Christ. The Christ of Sorrow. Sad Christ. He’s not sad anywhere else but here!
Is he sad because we don’t have anything to be happy about?
Should we be happy that he is sad only here, in our country?
Do we like being sad?
We do. We are lyrists. Lyrical folk songs, traditional costumes, artificial braids.

Photo by Dainius Dirgėla

by Antanas Sileika

Where else but here could I find such terrible histories that might make compelling novels? To people who live here, these types of stories are not really anything exceptional. They are the stories people heard from their parents or grandparents. But I was not here in Lithuania to hear them, so these stories never became “normal” to me.

Vygantas Paukštė, Lost Lamb, 1994. Canvas, 90x110cm. From the MO Museum collection

by Donatas Petrošius

The truth is, for normal people, all poetry is a foreign language. All philosophy is a foreign language. All reality—seeing things as they really are—is a foreign language. If you have been gripped too tightly by reality, ontology or poetry, you may then find it difficult to switch back to everyday conversations.

Dainius Dirgėla, Decision made

by Rimas Uzgiris

Generally speaking, how can I be a Lithuanian writer writing in English? It is very hard indeed to belong to a national literature without writing in that nation’s primary language. Are there any examples of such?

Paulina Pukytė. On A Bench. 2014. Two found slides. From a solo project "Girls And Boys".

by Eglė Kačkutė

The latest writing about mobility and migration in Lithuanian is an almost exclusively female phenomenon and thus infuses the staple themes of literatures of mobility with an intensely gendered quality.

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