Lithuania’s Separate Path

Andrea Pipino at Eurozine:

View of Neris river with Green bridge and the Church of the St Raphael the Archangel, Vilnius, Lithuania.

To try to get at the complexity of Lithuania, a precious tool is surely Magnetic NorthConversations with Tomas Venclova, edited by the translator and literary critic Ellen Hinsey and recently published by the University of Rochester, in the United States: it’s a dialogue almost four hundred pages long with the most important poet of this Baltic country, a dissident, intellectual, exile and in some ways the critical conscience of almost a century of Lithuanian history.

Still little translated elsewhere in Europe, Venclova was born in 1937 in Kaunas, then the capital of independent Lithuania, and went through the second two-thirds of the twentieth century observing and experiencing at first hand the violence of war, the Shoah and the years of Soviet occupation.

more here.