Janonis, Julius

Janonis, Julius

 

Born Apr. 5, 1896, in the village of Beržiniuose, in what is now Biržai Raion, Lithuanian SSR; died May 30, 1917, in Tsarskoe Selo, now Pushkin. Lithuanian poet and revolutionary figure.

Janonis’ poetry was first published in 1912. He joined a Marxist circle in 1913 and adopted Bolshevik views after the beginning of World War I. Early in 1916 he moved to Petrograd, where he became active in the Bolshevik party. He was arrested in December 1916 and February 1917. Janonis worked in the editorial office of the Lithuanian Bolshevik newspaper Tiesa and was a correspondent at the Seventh (April) All-Russian Conference of the RSDLP-(B). After falling seriously ill with tuberculosis, he committed suicide.

Janonis was the founder of Lithuanian proletarian poetry. In his works he combined precise detail and concrete imagery with intense lyricism and the energy of strongly felt experience. He gave expression to the proletarian struggle in such poems as “The Blacksmith,” “The Army of Labor,” “To Toil-hardened Hands,” and “To the Worker.” Janonis’ collection Poems, which was published in 1918 in Voronezh, had a decisive influence on the formation of Lithuanian revolutionary lyric poetry.

The Janonis Memorial Museum is located in Šiauliai; in Biržai there is a monument to the poet. Janonis’ poems have been translated into other languages of the USSR and several foreign languages.

WORKS

Raštai, vols. 1–2. Vilnius, 1957.
In Russian translation:
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1955.
Poet. Vilnius, 1966. (Contains poems and 14 interpretations of Lithuanian artists.)

REFERENCES

Istoriia litovskoi literatury. Vilnius, 1977.
Lietuvių literatūros istorija, vol. 2. Vilnius, 1958.
Julius Janonis. Vilnius, 1966.
Kubilius, V. Julius Janonis. Vilnius, 1970.
Kapsukas, V. Raštai, vol. 10. Vilnius, 1971. Pages 382–433.

V. KUBILIUS

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