Posts Tagged ‘ Lithuania ’

University of Hartford Archaeologist Locates Burial Ground For The ‘Anne Frank’ of Lithuania – Hartford Courant

Matilda Olkin’s university photo (University of Hartford)

A team of University of Hartford faculty and students went to Lithuania last summer in search of the burial grounds of Matilda Olkin — a young college student and poet killed by Nazi sympathizers. They found the grave and hope to share Matilda’s story with other students through a documentary.

Source: University of Hartford Archaeologist Locates Burial Ground For The ‘Anne Frank’ of Lithuania – Hartford Courant

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Separate paths – Why Lithuania hasn’t followed the example of some of its central European neighbours | Eurozine

No more social realism: The Green Bridge over the River Neris in Vilnius, Lithuania. Source: depositphotos.com

Central Europe is filled with cities and countries with multiple historical identities. Vilnius in Lithuania is one of the prime examples. Andrea Pipino revisits the city after a 25-year break, and asks why Lithuania has not succumbed to the siren song of central European nationalism.

Source: Separate paths | Eurozine

Why Vilnius rules. On people and monuments | Versopolis

Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, a small post-Soviet Baltic state. It also used to be the capital of The Grand Duchy of Lithuania (GDL), with its first written reference dating as early as the 14th century. Lithuania is a young democratic country with long and difficult history to match, winters that will get on your nerves, and one of the oldest languages in the world. Linguists studying the ancient Indo-European languages, chiefly Sanskrit, learn Lithuanian first, because they are closely related: Similar in conjugations, pronouns, names for body parts and structure of a great number of words. Naturally, there have always been many languages spoken in Vilnius: Lithuanian, Yiddish, Polish, Russian, and now also English.

During the interwar period, as Lithuania had lost possession of Vilnius, as well as the Baltic coast, Lithuanians only constituted 2% of the residents of the city. The number only increased after World War II, with Vilnius returned to Lithuania again. For several centuries, it had been a city of Poles and Litvaks, mostly, an interesting crossroad of cultures. Only Jerusalem and Vilnius are said to have so many different temples so close to each other: Catholic, Orthodox, Evangelist, Uniate, Judaist…

Vilnius does have a special Vilnian charm. Baltic states remain a terra incognita to the Western civilization. Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn are confused with each other. So…

What makes Vilnius special?

Many things, really. Vilnian Baroque, established by Silesian architect, Johann Christoph Glaubitz, for instance, and Litvak culture – for several centuries, Vilnius used to be the spiritual center of Ashkenazi Jews, often referred to as the Northern Jerusalem. This is where writer and Nobel Prize winner Czesław Miłosz studied, this is where his friend, Joseph Brodsky, another Nobel laureate, partied. French writer Romain Gary, the only writer ever to win two Goncourt Prizes, was born here. Some wonderful Yiddish-language poets lived in Vilnius – my beloved Moyshe Kulbak, Abraham Sutzkever. Of course, many interesting Lithuanian writers also worked in Vilnius – Žemaitė, S. Nėris and others.

Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva’s letters to her Vilnian friend were found recently. Polish Romanticist poet Adam Mickiewicz studied here – there’s a monument to him in Paris, too. Born in Vilnius was Jewish anarchist, writer, activist and prisoner, Alexander Berkman, the significant other of the most dangerous woman in the US, in the beginning of 20th century, also Litvak, Emma Goldman. The students of Vilnius Academy of Arts – mostly Jews from around the present-day Lithuania, Belarus and Poland – moved to Paris in early 20th century, forming the second wave of École de Paris, which made a great impact on Western modernism.

One text is evidently not enough to fully reveal the love I have for Vilnius. So let’s do it in a simpler way: I’ll tell you how this whole cultural variety is displayed in the city’s monuments and sculptures.

Four Lithuanian Writers

The central street of Vilnius – Gedimino prospektas – is where she sits: Žemaitė (Julija Beniuševičiūtė-Žymantienė, 1845–1921). A woman in a rustic headscarf and with a pipe. The latter was left out, in the Soviet monument – it was probably considered unattractive: A woman with a pipe, yuck… An impoverished, noble-born girl came to Vilnius from Žemaitija, Western Lithuania. She would walk barefoot because, according to her, “stones tear up the shoes.” She brought up 7 children with her husband, and fell in love with another man 30 years her junior, who later married her daughter. A decided feminist, she took part in the first Lithuanian women’s congress, in 1907. During World War I, on the eve of her 70th birthday, she decided to go to America. Even there, out of eccentricity, she kept the accessory of a countrywoman – the headscarf. It remained the detail of the writer’s personal style.

Next to this monument, feminist readings take place. Me and my friends placed a colorful balaclava helmet on Žemaitė’s head once – after the picket to support the Pussy Riot girls, who were in prison at that time, when we still liked them. In short, this monument is full of life, and Žemaitė Square turns sometimes into an interesting public space.  . . . .

Source: Why Vilnius rules. On people and monuments | Versopolis

Memory Unearthed | Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

“I buried my negatives in the ground in order that there should be some record of our tragedy.”
—Henryk Ross

“Memory Unearthed” offers an extraordinarily rare glimpse of life inside the Lodz Ghetto during its existence from 1940 to 1944, through the lens of Polish Jewish photojournalist Henryk Ross (1910–1991).

Source: Memory Unearthed | Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

“Žibutė” / 9 / Eileen Myles in Vilnius

Mainichi Annual Selection 2014 - 毎日新聞

Jan. 1, 2014
deep inland night
not one of the winter stars
moves

— Bruce Ross (Bangor, ME, USA). Posted 5 times in 2014.

Comment:**Bruce Ross, a master of haiku in English, has been the face of the Mainichi “Haiku in English” column for many years. His haiku reflects the tranquility of his mind and the haiku scenes are beautifully constructed.

Oct. 14, 2014
the moon
will soon be here—
i open the window

— Abraham Freddy Ben-Arroyo (Haifa, Israel). Posted 3 times.

Comment:* Kindly enough.

July 8, 2014
sparrow’s song
always close
to the edge

— Tyrone McDonald (Brooklyn, NY, USA). Posted 4 times.

Comment:* This is surely a result of “awareness practice.”

Nov. 6, 2014
flash of lightning
within a second
honest faces

— Goda V. Bendoraitiene (Klaipeda, Lithuania). Posted 4 times.

Comment:** “Honest” has life in this haiku.

Dec. 8, 2014
Morning chill
Silence absorbing into
Wood cutting sound

— Toshio Matsumoto (Osaka, Japan). Posted 5 times.

Comment:** Excellent, especially the second and the third lines with two phases of sound.

Annual Selection 2014 - 毎日新聞.

ECOLOGY WITHOUT NATURE: Zooetics Video

ECOLOGY WITHOUT NATURE: Zooetics Video.

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