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(pseudonym of Jonas Mačiulis). Born Oct. 21 (Nov. 2), 1862, in Pasandravys, present-day Raseiniai Raion; died June 28, 1932, in Kaunas. Lithuanian poet.
Maironis was the son of well-to-do peasants. In 1892 he graduated from the St. Petersburg Theological Academy, where he became a professor; he later was appointed rector of the Kaunas Theological Seminary. Maironis took part in the nationalist movement on the side of the clerical wing of the Lithuanian bourgeoisie.
In his collection of lyrical poems entitled Voices of Spring (1895), Maironis, a representative of romanticism in Lithuanian literature, vividly reflected the hopes of the common people for national liberation; he lauded in verse the natural beauty of Lithuania and idealized its historical past. In his satires To My School Friends (1895) and Don’t Care a Fig (1895), Maironis ridiculed bourgeois officials. In his narrative poems Through Suffering to Glory (1895; second variant published in 1907 as Young Lithuania) and Our Tribulations (1920) he depicted the nationalist movement as a single current. He wrote ballads, for example, “Čičnskas” (1919) and “Jūratė and Kastytis” (1920); his opera librettos include The Marriage of the Unlucky Dangute (1927; published 1930); and among his verse dramas are The Death of Kestutis (1921), Vytautas Among the Crusaders (1925), and Vytautas the King (1930). Maironis reasserted syllabic versification in Lithuanian poetry.
WORKSRaštai, vols. 1-5. Kaunas, 1926-30.
Rinktiniai raštai, vols. 1-2. Vilnius, 1956.
In Russian translation:
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1949.
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1962.
REFERENCELietuvių literatūres istorija, vol. 2. Vilnius, 1958.
Zaborskaitė, V. Maironis. Vilnius, 1968.