Classic Lithuanian Literature Anthology

about the author
Bibliography
contents
Download PDF
List of Texts
Main Page
bg_stamp.jpg - 3098 Bytes

Juozas Tumas-Vaižgantas

DĖDĖS IR DĖDIENĖS
Uncles and Aunts

J. Tumas-Vaizgantas

    The highest peak of Vaižgantas creative work is a story "Uncles and Aunts" published in 1929. The depicted period transfers a reader to the times when serfdom was coming to an end and was abolished at last. However, the story focuses the attention not on the images of serfdom or the problems of changing social and cultural life, but on the inner world of a human being, on the depth of characters, their links with the nature and the world, on their world view. The work shows a sad fate of the luckless members of the family. According to Vaižgantas, the terms "uncles and aunts" expresses not the family relations, but the social links between the owners who have inherited the farm and the family members who have stayed in it to work and life a poor life. Their situation is mixed in between a servant, an employee and a member of the family. This position is harder than that of an employee, because they work without payment, most often for the food and modest cloths. The story is about these people: Mykoliukas, Severiutė, and Rapolas. Living in the midst of a serfs village they are able to feel and observe, to be self-conscious, to experience the highest moments of existence. The subtlety of their inner feelings is embedded in the constant flow of work, relations, and traditions, is interwoven in everyday conversations, habitual actions, ritual gestures, that acquire a special meaning imperceptibly.
    The unified rhythm of story telling is felt throughout the work as if it is written in one breath. The word is powerful, truthful, free of literary stylishness. The story achieves a harmonious balance between panoramic images of the old village and individual psychological action. The work is full of literary beauty, the world view of Vaižgantas is disclosed in with perfection, coherence and transparency.