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Vytautas Mačernis

Under the Hazy Skies of Unknown

    The works of V.Mačernis is a story of a self-tormenting, hesitating, and brightening up soul that seeks for the deeper values and the sense of life. "Under the Hazy Skies of Unknown" is a complete collection of V. Mačernis' s works. Here are presented all rhymed texts of the poet, including verses that were not published in selections; all his works in prose and of critique, translations of poetry, records of the diary, and all his letters that are known.
    The most significant work of V.Mačernis is a cycle "Visions", written in 1939-1942. The poet matured this work for a long time, made many amendments. This cycle of poetry is the only one considered by the poet himself to be entirely complete. "The Visions" may be called a kind of spiritual autobiography of a poet, where philosophical reflections blend together with realities of the old Samogitian farm-stead, the fates of the tribes, with memories of the author that transform themselves into visions full of poetical inspiration and of shining meaning.
    The second biggest and mature cycle of poetry is a cycle of sonnets "The Year". The variety of themes of the cycle is very wide, and the unifying title has nothing to do with content. The sonnets in some ways complement, expand, and "detail" the world, motifs, and reflections, the sources and buds of which are in "The Visions".
    The cycle of V.Mačernis "Songs of myself" (original title in English) is related with "The Visions". Here the poet reflects his melancholic moods.
    In the works of prose V.Mačernis is more concerned with the philosophical meaning of human existence, not with realistic surroundings or realistic details. His stories are attractive with their innovations.
    The articles of V.Mačernis disclose the ethic and esthetic criteria of their author, his wiews on the world literature, on national traditions, on succession of generations, on vitality of artistic word and its national roots.
    The literary activities of V.Mačernis are complemented with his translations, especially of the poetry of O. Milašius.
    The letters of V.Mačernis prove how interesting and brilliant was his personality. In them he reveals his esthetic, philosophic, ethic views, plans for the future, designs of his future works, dreams, his emotional state. The letters to Danguolė Jackevičiūtė and Paulius Jurkus are especially interesting with their autobiographical authenticity.