LITHUANIAN QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
Copyright © 2019 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.
Volume 65, No.2 - Summer 2019
Editor of this issue: Almantas Samalavièius
On “The National Model” in Lithuanian Literature
Pietro U. Dini
In order to give a better presentation of the fates of Baltic literary and cultural communities (more specifically, my focus is on the Lithuanian ones from this point forward), there is no harm in presenting several historical-cultural coordinates about this region of Europe, which, for the most part, is still not very familiar in the West. For this reason, it is necessary to start from an excursus which would be appropriately discussed in our discourse and would review significant historical and literary events in Lithuania. Consequently, the object of my examination will become clearer: both because the history of the Baltic states is one of the events “that are scarcely mentioned in textbooks and literature, and if they are, then inadequately” (Cz. Miùosz) and because baltica (scilicet lituanica, lettica, estonica) non leguntur. Furthermore, I apologize in advance for being obliged to mention so many authors that are unknown to most in my brief attempt.
It is worth emphasising an important fact which emerges from this brief description: the relatively strong situation of multiculturalism and multilingualism which applied to the Baltic territory when it was united into a single entity after its first historical manifestation. These circumstances, which had formed over a long period of time, along with a wealth of the introduced linguistic phenomena (from Germans, Poles, Russians, Swedes; finally, once again, for a long period – Russians), determined a “delay” of autochthonous languages (Lithuanian, Latvian, Esto88 nian) in written sources (as we know, their first records appeared in the second half of the fifteenth century, in the context of the Lutheran Reformation).