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Type of publication: Straipsnis / Article
Author(s): Žalys, Aleksandras
Title: Šiuolaikinės literatūros spindesys ir skurdas
Other Title: Contemporary literature, its brilliance and poverty
Is part of: Darbai ir dienos, 2005, nr. 42, p. 197-204
Date: 2005
Abstract: A big part of modern literature as well as modern art remind of a courtesan’s life. Concern for one’s body and looks, striving for affection and showing off, diminishing of values – these are the main features and trends of the part of literature that is normally considered modern or postmodern.Modern literature and art, with their broad, strong intentions to create a world with a distinct and unique culture disassociated from the avalanche of quasi-cultural phenomena of the present reality (Antanas Andrijauskas’ description), often, in fact, wades out deeply into the stream of quasi-culturalevents and becomes an integral part of them. Things that have little or nothing to do with artemerge and flood in all directions as freedom comes and all bolts of control disappears. Altogether, this is a serious problem of modern culture and art. It is necessary to consider this problem from a theoretical and practical perspective, providing reasoned and weighed opinions. It is necessary to search for truth, or at least for what leads to truth, instead of pretending no pseudo- or quasi-things exist. In Soviet times, under the conditions of an oppression system, the autonomy of art and creative writing was one of the main ways of legal resistance and pursuit of at least some crumbles of freedom. Today the principle of autonomy in art, which is used especially by theorists and practitioners of postmodernism, often leads to a mere carelessness,irresponsibility, ugliness, and foolishness that is admired by many, though called orgies by the artists (an expression from the cover of H.Kunčius’ novel “Tulum of Cocs”). The idea of freedom and autonomy of art is clearly recorded in a hypertrophied way in even our most distinct academic works. Therefore, some writers naturally use it a lot as they have been taught, not to mention the instincts and interests of the mob and the market. It should not be argued that an hypertophied undersanding of art autonomy is broadly expressed in Lithuanian literature. However, literary criticism has clearly influenced the unreasoned and exagerated approach to autonomy in art. The article referencing the works of the brightest writers of the present midage generation – books of G.Grajauskas, J.Erlickas, and H.Kunčius, published in the year 2004 – discusses those features of modern literature caused by the distorted understanding of the autonomy of art that might be called courtesanlike. It also examines the role of literary criticism in the flourishing of these trends. The question of current art and literature autonomy is discussed as a practical and theoretical problem. The emphasis lies upon the issues of existance in art. This topic is clearly raised by T.Maceinienė in her dialogue with the poet and philosopher A.Maceina in her book “In the begining was the Word ...”, published in 2004. One of the most important problems in presentday culture is the essential understanding and estimation of creative writing as art – modern art as well as art in general. Nowadays there is so much confusion in values that it sometimes seems this is due to strong deliberate efforts to achieve such a state. While bringing destruction to the real values, pseudo- and anti-cultural phenomena are thrown into the market to satisfy the brute in the human being, in such a way refusing, covering, and destroying the essence. It becomes obvious that this confusion needs to be discussed clearly, with a strong position, and providing proof. After all, pseudo-modernism – art without ideas and without the parameters of existencial issues – is as a drug, a palaver or playing the fool which tickles one’s senses and imagination, but does not give anything to one’s soul. On the contrary, it deprive and destroys the soul. H.Kunčius, J.Erlickas, and G.Grajauskas are, no doubt, talented writers; however, their talents are being wasted when their soul enter the writing process without tension or the search for meaning, as if it were a card game. They all have received wide acknowledgement in the world of literature and have indeed published interesting pieces of art (which could be the shine of their creativity), but their last books, and unfortunately not only those, show the misery of soul, the poorness that cannot be connected to either the real values of humanity or art. This situation portrays the problem of quite a few of our literature critics and all art critics who are not able to evaluate such phenomena of art and culture. Creative fantasy and the playfulness of imagination alone in no way guarantee a good result in art. If the writer is only a slick showman who raises vulgar things to the space and scope of people’s public life, and is not willing or able to question and ponder the existential issues and the purpose of life, this creative fantasy can shine and shock. At the same time, however, it inevitably demonstrates the misery of its spirit. There is no real art without a solid and sublime spiritual content.
Appears in Collections:Darbai ir dienos / Deeds and Days 2005, nr. 42

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