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Born May 20 (June 1), 1893, in the village of Pilotiskese in present-day Prienu Raion; died June 7, 1967, in the village of Kačerginèje, present-day Kaunas Raion. Soviet Lithuanian writer. Member of the Academy of Sciences of the Lithuanian SSR (1941). People’s Artist of the Lithuanian SSR (1963).
From 1915 to 1917, Mykolaitis-Putinas studied at the Petrograd Theological Academy. In 1922 he studied philosophy, art, history, and literature in Fribourg, Switzerland. He taught literature at the University of Kaunas (1923) and at the University of Vilnius (1940–54); he became a professor in 1928. In 1935, Mykolaitis-Putinas broke with the clergy and was excommunicated.
Mykolaitis-Putinas began publishing in 1911. His first poetry collection, Red Blossoms; Prince Žvainys, was published in Petrograd in 1917. Also among his early poetry were the collections Between Two Dawns (1927) and Roads and Crossroads (1936). Mykolaitis-Putinas’ poetry of those years contained lyrical and dramatic reflections on life and man’s place in it. His lyrical hero is the lonely rebel, absorbed in his complex spiritual world. During the Soviet period, his later poetry, while preserving its dynamic intensity, is imbued with a sense of unity with the socialist era; for example, the collections I Greet the Earth (1950), Poetry (1956), The Gift of Being (1963), and The Window (1963)
In 1933, Mykolaitis-Putinas published the novel In the Shadow of Altars (Russian translation, 1958), a partly autobiographical work that contained vivid descriptions of the Lithuanian bourgeoisie. The novel The Insurgents (part 1, 1957; State Prize of the Lithuanian SSR, 1958; part 2, 1967) deals with the 1863 revolt of the Lithuanian peasants against their landowners.
Mykolaitis-Putinas was also a playwright and the author of New Lithuanian Literature (vol. 1, 1936), The First Lithuanian Book (1948), and Soviet Literature and the Friendship of Peoples (1950). He translated works by A. S. Pushkin, M. Iu. Lermontov, and A. Mickiewicz into Lithuanian.
WORKSRaštai, vols. 1–10. Vilnius, 1959–69.
Būties valanda. Vilnius, 1965.
In Russian translation:
Dar bytiia. Vilnius, 1966.
Povstantsy. Vilnius, 1970.
REFERENCESLankutis, J. Mikolaitis-Putinas, Moscow, 1967.
Lietuviu literūtros istorija, vol. 3, part 1. Vilnius, 1961.
Korsakas, K. “Mycolaitis-Putinas.” Pergalė, 1953, no. 1.
Zaborskaite, V. Eileraščio menas. Vilnius, 1970.