Classic Lithuanian Literature Anthology

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Maironis

(1862-1932)

Maironis

    Maironis was a founder of new Lithuanian poetry, the greatest poet of the period of Lithuanian press ban. He had expressed the national aims of that time and was called the singer of the national renaissance. His poetry had influenced other writers so much that it was called Maironis poetry school in literature.
    Jonas Mačiulis (officially Maciulevičius) was born in 1862 in Pasandravis manor, Šiluva community, Raseiniai district. His parents were free peasants and had close relationship with Polonised gentry. The foundations of education J.Mačiulis had received from his father and Betygala school that he attended for six months. In 1873 J.Mačiulis had entered the preparatory class of Kaunas Gymnasium. In the sixth year he had started writing poetry in Polish. In 1883 he entered Kiev University to study literature. Respecting the wish of his parents after a year, in 1884 he entered the clerical seminary in Kaunas. After graduating the seminary, he continued his education in the Imperial Roman Catholic Spiritual Academy in St. Petersburg in 1888-1892. In 1891 J.Mačiulis was awarded the degree of a candidate of theology and was initiated to priesthood. At that time he had used his pseudonym Maironis for the first time. In 1892 he was awarded the a degree of a Master of Theology. In 1894-1909 he was a professor in the Clerical Academy of St. Petersburg. These years were the best and most creative for J.Mačiulis. He had written his best works at that time. In 1903 he was awarded a doctoral degree in Theology.
    In 1909 J.Mačiulis had returned to Kaunas and was appointed a Rector of the Kaunas clerical seminary. He did not leave this post till his death.
    J.Mačiulis died on June 28, 1932, and was buried in Kaunas.