The Dedalus Book of Lithuanian Literature (Dedalus Anthologies)
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The Dedalus Book of Lithuanian Literature attempts to reflect the transition of Lithuanian literature since the beginning of the twentieth century, when Lithuania was still an agrarian and colonized country on the margins of Europe, to its present modern and post-modernist phase. Lithuanian literature was suppressed in the nineteenth century by the Russians but by the eve of WW II was flourishing again. A new Russian occupation reversed this and led to a Soviet-style socialist realism in fiction. The last decades of the twentieth century saw the rise of a new generation of writers who dealt with Lithuania's history and the contemporary world. The Dedalus Book of Lithuanian Literature features the classic authors and the authors who have only recently come to prominence like Herkus Kuncius or Giedra Radvilaviciute.
fragrant flora. We frolicked like ponies let out into the pasture. Vilija let out a scream and dived into the very thick of the white flowers. It looked like bathing in champagne, I thought disdainfully. Nevertheless, when Saulius and Danas sat down among the lilies of the valley, I, of course, followed suit. The fragrance floated around us like a lost angel. Saulius lay down and Vilija picked the flowers, placing them on his face. I watched as the blossoms moved on top of his quivering eyelids
of chance admirers. ‘See,’ I showed Tula. ‘I see,’ she says. ‘What of it?’ ‘Take my hand again, take my hand.’ I take her hand but look at the actor. An artist: a black, thick moustache, a wide, low forehead and the neck of a master wrestler. Stocky, strong and angry. I know he’s a mean gymnast, fencer, marksman and horseman. His only shortcoming: he can’t pronounce short vowels and so stretches them out like blades of grass. But is that really important? If necessary, he’s Romeo or a Red
lost its immunity. Martynas decided that he needed to pay little attention to bodily things because now he did not need his body anymore. Everything had fallen to pieces and now it was death or Siberia that awaited him. He became so indifferent toward his body that the weekly mocking by the guards didn’t even concern him anymore. A thorough search took place every week: the prisoners were told to undress and ordered to open their mouths wide, crouch and then pull their buttocks apart to show that
fistful of flowers, full of dampness, the very first flowers to conquer the departing winter despite their fragility and tendency to wilt quickly. You needed them as proof that it has already started, that you are bringing it home and that the entire house will wake up and will overflow with spring. *** If it was only the fire of nasturtium that burned in the eyes of a cat, it would be a cat that walked alone and returned in the night only when the consequences of war become unbearable: torn
many more amazing things to see, you see only one: the reflection of the pathologist-faced moon, shining above you as if viewed from the dark water of the bottom of a river. What else could be reflected there when your big toe has a morgue number attached? Kolya listened, frozen, with a poppy seed kuciukas1 in his mouth. He glanced furtively at my foot under the table. Afterwards he looked again, as if he wanted to be certain of what he saw, i.e. that he didn’t see a morgue number. Having