Vienuolis, Antanas

Vienuolis, Antanas

 

(pseudonym of A. Žukauskas). Born Mar. 26 (Apr. 7), 1882, in the village of Užuožeriai, now in Anykščiai Raion; died Aug. 17, 1957, in Anykščiai. Soviet Lithuanian writer. People’s Writer of the Lithuanian SSR. Born into a peasant family.

Vienuolis worked in the Caucasus from 1903 to 1907 and was imprisoned in Tbilisi for participating in the Revolution of 1905-07. From 1907 he lived in Moscow. He graduated from the department of medicine of Moscow University in 1910. In 1918 he moved to Lithuania. Vienuolis entered the Lithuanian literary scene after the Revolution of 1905-07 as a realist democratic writer (the essay “In Prison,” 1905; Caucasian Legends, 1905-06). He wrote short stories that exposed the arbitrary rule of the kulaks and the clerical obscurantism in the Lithuanian countryside (“The Drowned Woman,” 1909), as well as the philistine mores of the intelligentsia (“He Has Returned,” 1908; “The Wife,” 1909). Vienuolis presented critical portraits of the nobility and bourgeois intelligentsia (the novel Before Daybreak, 1925; the novellas The Cancer, 1920, and The Intellectuals’ Ward, 1921; and the play Twilight, 1936). He used historical themes in the novel Crossroads (1932)—which deals with the struggle of the Lithuanians against the Crusaders—and the play 1831 (1936). The novella The Adopted Daughter (1946) and the novel The Puodziunkiemis (1949; Russian translation, 1952) depict the class struggle in the Lithuanian countryside under the bourgeois government, realistically portray the kulak-entrepreneur, and present images of the laboring peasantry and vivid landscapes. In 1957 he published the book From My Recollections and the collection Folktales and Legends.

WORKS

Raštai, vols. 1-7. Vilnius, 1953-55.
Rinktinė, 3rd ed. Kaunas, 1960.
Amžinasis smuikininkas. Vilnius, 1969.
In Russian translation:
Usad’ba Puodzhiunasov. Moscow, 1953.
Kavkazskie legendy. Vilnius, 1955.
Utoplennitsa. Vilnius, 1955.
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1959.

REFERENCES

Korsakas, K. A. Vienuolio romanas “Puodžiūnkiemis.” Vilnius, 1953.
Žekaitė, J. A. “Vienuolio kūryba iki 1917 mėtu.” In Literatūra ir kalba, vol. 2. Vilnius, 1957.
Stonys, J. A. Vienuolio realizmo problemos (1917-1940). Vilnius, 1966.
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