Classic Lithuanian Literature Anthology

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Simonas Stanevičius

ŠEŠIOS PASAKOS
Six Fables

S.Stanevicius

    The literary heritage of S.Stanevičius consists of an ode "The Glory of Samogitians" and six fables. In two of the fables ("A Fox and a Raven", "A Fox and Geese") S.Stanevičius had used the motives of Esop's fables. Other four fables ("A Man and a Lion", "An Eagle - the King of Birds", "The Brownies", "A Horse and a Bear") are based on folklore (three of them are called Samogitian tales) or created by himself.
    The most significant of the fables by S.Stanevičius are "The Brownies" and "A Horse and a Bear". He depicted the way of life of peasants, expressed their interests and aims.
    In "The Brownies" peasants are shown as a rising economic and social power. A Samogitian peasant in the fable is a self-conscious person, equal to others, living on his own land free, happy and rich. The land, the freedom, diligence, good working instruments are the foundation of his welfare and happiness. The fable is full of the sense of superiority, self-reliance, and self-esteem of the peasant.
    A political fable "A Horse and a Bear" by S.Stanevičius reveals the poverty and slavery of the peasants, "hardships of prison" under the oppression of serfdom. The fable shows the allegories of Samogitians and Highlanders as a bear and a horse. In this fable S.Stanevičius had expressed the idea of national unity of Lithuanians.
    Other fables by S.Stanevičius treat different moral ideas, they condemn hypocrisy, deceit, and false pretenses.
    The ode "The Glory of Samogitians" was devoted to glorify the cultural work of Samogitians in Vilnius. S.Stanevičius had sung not only Vilnius, the city he loved and in which he had studied, but had generalised the patriotic beliefs which were evident in social life and cultural activities of that time. "The Glory of Samogitians" was the first original publication in an ode genre in Lithuanian literature. At the same time it had become an anthem of the enlightened youth.