10 July, 2017


Happy Monday friends! I hope you packed light and got some party clothes, cause this Monday we are one more embarking on a journey!

So today we are in Lithuania and we will explore:


Lithuanian writer Vincas Mykolaitis-Putinas:
Vincas Mykolaitis, known by his pen name Putinas ( January 6, 1893 – June 7, 1967) was a Lithuanian poet and writer. He was also a priest, but renounced his priesthood in 1935. After studies in western Europe Mykolaitis settled in Lithuania, teaching at the University of Lithuania. During his stay in France, Mykolaitis started to work on his the most famous novel — Altorių šešėly (In the Shadow of the Altars). The 3-part novel was published in 1933 and caused a scandal in Lithuania as it described a priest doubting and eventually renouncing his calling. In 1935 Mykolaitis renounced his priesthood. In 1940 he started to work at Vilnius University, there he became a professor.


The novel "In the Shadow of Altars" realistically describes the process of emotional and intellectual maturation of a creative personality, talks about important issues of spiritual life. The central figure of the novel is a poet and a priest Vasaris. The contents of the novel consists of the psychological analyses of his personality. Vasaris has a tender soul, he is a dreamer full of poetic inspiration, an idealist who hates hypocrisy and could not bare the limited obligations of a priest. He tortures himself by understanding that his poetical gift does not match his assumed duties and that he cannot learn about real life. From the studies in the seminary he feels that his nature resists the vocation of a priest, but lacks will to sever the links with priesthood at once.

The novel "In the Shadow of Altars" had started a new route in the history of a Lithuanian novel. Putinas has created a complex psychological image of an intellectual character, in a simple and natural form has written a work of high integrity and has shaken the limited folklorism and wandering formalism from the Lithuanian literature. "In the Shadow of Altars" still remains one of the best psychological novels in Lithuanian literature.


It is a mandatory read for Lithuanian kids in school. I first read this book when I was in the 11th grade, and I remember thinking that this book was really difficult to read even as a native Lithuanian. The words are really complex, there is a lot of descriptions about the religious aspects and how preparation for masses go and the entire world of Catholic seminar works to become a priest.

Young me always liked this book very much. I got a 10 (or for our American friends A+) from a test on this book, and I just got sucked into the whole romance thing, the main character's decision to leave the clergy and so one. But after re-reading it few years ago I only then realized how emotionally deep this book is. How there are so many layers of emotional development, personal development and psychological development it holds.

I truly think this is one of the best book I have ever read, and I am really proud that Mykolaitis-Putinas is a Lithuanian author! Plus I have visited his birth place, because his great-great nieces and nephews allow people to go into the troba - or cabin in English, where he lived and wrote.

Guys, let me know if you have at least heard about this one, and/or would like to read it!

See you next Monday!


Post a Comment