Classic Lithuanian Literature Anthology

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Juozas Grušas

The Happy Man? It's Me

    The stories of Juozas Grušas can be divided into two main categories: the ones of lyric intellectual sort ("The Girl and the Lonely Man", "The Princess Was not Wise", "The Fear and the Not Fear" a.o.); the others are paradoxical, openly conventional and symbolic ("You Did Beat Adam", "The Naked Look Ugly", "Three Paradox Novels about Cleanliness" a.o.).
    The most mature stories are distinctive with their depth of psychological analysis, depiction of a person's inner contradictions, unexpected collisions of changes of mind. In the first place they are concerned with spiritual world and interrelations of persons.
    The paradoxical stories tell absurd tales that seek to stimulate the suggestions of figurative meaning, the parabolic models of reality are constructed. By the means of contrast the writer brings to light the lower human instincts and manifestations of social degeneration, depicts the grotesque image of everyday life that resembles an arena of animal circus.
    In the restricted framework of a story J.Grušas concentrates all the greater world and settles within it a person with all of his social experience and complexities of his nature. Often in the best stories of a writer are confined such problems and collisions of existence that would be sufficient for a full-scale drama, tragedy or comedy. Within a small space of a story the writer seeks for a deep artistic synthesis by combining the insight of a psychologist with the intellect of a philosopher, and the daring artistic imagination with the disquiet spiritual experience.