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.
It doesn’t care.’ ‘No, son,’ replied the father. ‘The earth is alive. You’re young and you don’t understand.’ ‘No!’ said the son. ‘Just look. They dug a pit, shot them and left. We came to cover it up. We will cover it. Yet, the earth is silent. It is dead, it doesn’t care. You can kick it, stomp on it, soak it with blood.’ ‘That’s not true!’ said the father and gave his son a stern look. ‘The earth is alive, you’ll see for yourself.’ The men were ordered to cover the ditch so that no traces
ones they used to call neo-realist. At the time, of course, it didn’t seem that way; it didn’t even occur to me. A gloomy evening with a beloved person and vermouth that triggers sadness. During the dusk, when you look at the chrysanthemums outside the window, all that’s breathing on your neck is the approaching All Saints’ Day and the draft when someone opens the door. Maybe you’d remember everything exactly the same way, Tula. The café is still quiet with a distinctive, but barely detectable
their experiences. They spoke of clandestine ambushes, raids, intelligence operations, and battles waged not only by the artillery units but also fighter pilots, tank crews and saboteurs. The chief of the division’s political branch, Lieutenant Colonel Afanasy, despised the newly minted heroes – many among whom sported the order of the Red Star on their chests. The yellow ribbon worn by light casualties and the red ribbon given to those who had been seriously wounded in the course of duty so
beaten, calmly listened to the sentence: twenty-five years in a camp and ten years of exile. He stood, almost not hearing the list of charges. He was sure that this disgustingly red cloth was dipped in the blood of his murdered brothers-in-arms and all those Lithuanian citizens who were tortured, beaten to death or exiled to Siberia. He had seen a lot of blood, enough to paint all the Communist flags and all the tablecloths. There would still be enough left over for the Pioneer’s ties. It was
showed us the cane, the one Dumbrauckas had left him as a keepsake. My oldest brother approached father and grabbed the cane from his hands. He turned it again and again, as if considering something in his mind, then he threw it onto the lumber pile, saying with a barely audible voice. ‘Let’s burn it, father!’ ‘No, no, children,’ answered father pleasantly. ‘Let this cane remain amongst you. When you look at it, remember that even your parents had once been punished. As you remember, don’t be