Justinas Marcinkevicius

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Marcinkevičius, Justinas


Born Mar. 10, 1930, in Vazatkiemye, present-day Prienai Raion. Lithuanian Soviet writer. Member of the CPSU since 1957. Son of a peasant. Graduated from the department of history and philology of the University of Vilnius in 1954.

Marcinkevičius’ first collection of poetry, Let Me Speak, was published in 1955. His narrative poem Twentieth Spring (1956; State Prize of the Lithuanian SSR, 1957) is concerned with the life of Lithuanian youth in the postwar years. His novella The Pine Tree That Laughed (1961; Russian translation, 1963) is about the contemporary young generation and its moral maturation. The narrative poem Blood and Ashes (1960; Russian translation, 1964) is an impassioned indictment of fascism. Meditation on the lives and fates of his contemporaries is at the center of A Journalistic Poem (1961; Russian translation, 1963) and the poetry collections The Hands Dividing The Bread (1963), Wooden Bridges (1966; Russian translation, 1970), and The Burning Bush (1968). The subject of the narrative poems Donelaitis (1964) and The Wall (1965; Russian translation, 1968) and the dramas Mindaugas (1968; State Prize of the Lithuanian SSR, 1969; Russian translation, 1972) and The Cathedral (1971) is ancient and modern Lithuanian history. The inspiration of these works lies in the affirmation of the indivisibility of the fate of the Lithuanian people and that of all progressive humanity.

Marcinkevičius has also published books for children (including The Ambulance, 1968). He has translated works by A. S. Pushkin, S. A. Esenin, and A. Mickiewicz, as well as the Estonian folk epic Kalevipoeg (in F. R. Kreutzwald’s adaptation) and the Karelian-Finnish folk epic Kalevala. His works have been translated into many languages of the peoples of the USSR. He has been awarded two orders.


Kubilius, V. “Poema o zhizni i smerti.” Druzhba narodov. 1960, no. 6.
Runin, B. “Ispoved’ molodogo sovremennika.” Novyi mir, 1962, no. 12.
Ognev, V. U karty poezii. Moscow, 1968.
Lankutis, J. “Mindaugas” [review]. Druzhba narodov, 1970, no. 10.
Ambrasas, K. Literatttros akiratiai. Vilnius, 1961.
Pakalniškis, R. Poezija, asmenybe, laikas. Vilnius, 1969.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Famous Lithuanian writer Justinas Marcinkevicius was also inspired to write about the area.
Many Western plays are presented on the stage, but the truly important original works belong to the somewhat older generation of Juozas Grusas or the later one of Justinas Marcinkevicius, Kazys Saja (b.
Justinas Marcinkevicius has walked this tightwire himself in much of his poetry as well as in his drama.