FOREWORD


There will be those as well who‘s pain is lighter, Since in the flames they will preserve their hope To meet the blessed future
Dante

It is impossible to imagine culture without personalities, their charm, originality and being different from otherness. In these short of heroes, values and perspectives times we find ourselves at the edge of emptiness and desperation. Which way to follow in the global world flustering between meaninglessness and self-importance when nationality as a landmark of self-identification has become just a prerogative of strategic documents? How to actualize the past and to provide new impulses for the present? By turning back we can find an outcome, those positive impulses which are going to change our future.

Focusing on contemporary adaptations of culture and history we start the edition with the publication by a theater critic Rasa Vasinauskaitė “Stage Phenomenology” who has been investigating Eimuntas Nekrošius phenomenon for many years. Two performances were chosen for interpretation: Beginning. K. DONELAITIS. Seasons and Divine Comedy, which urged to start such an existential journey, “when through a book and and its deep reading, through being face to face to your own and God’s creation there’s a move towards love-light, a small spot of which at the end of the performance Beatrice shows to Dante by disclosing the black circle of the universe, and to become close to the stage show being created by Nekrošius with accentuation of its contemporariness, “return to the things” and view to the spectacle “as intersubjective dialog of the play director and the text”.

BBy scrutinizing the theoretical attitudes of the most significant Lithuanian literature critic Vanda Zaborskaitė, a researcher of the Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore Aušra Jurgutienė is putting together facts and discoveries in such intellectual biographies as Julijonas Lindė-Dobilas, Vincas Mykolaitis-Putinas, impact, neo-romantic ideas and formula of existential protest discovered in Jurgis Baltrušaitis poetry book Learn to Live and Create in Danger, the same as the most important thing – the heritage of idealistic humanistic theory by Mykolaitis-Putinas: “As a human being I was formed mostly under Putin’s influence. I was impressed by his claim to sacralize creation, to raise art and creation above all the other human activities” (Vanda Zaborskaitė).

Kęstutis Nastopka in his article based on a publication in the reader Literature for the 12th Grade, II volume, published by the Institute of Lithuanian Literature and 11 Folklore in 2012, writes about the origins and continuities of Algirdas Julius Greimas, suggestively and simply presenting the portrait of the scholar, thinker and personality as if transferring us in time and into that unusual Greimas life journey: Tula, Kupiškis, Marijampolė, Kaunas, Grenoble, Šiauliai, Kaunas, Paris, Alexandria, Ankara, Istanbul, Paris following his footsteps and thoughts. At the same time there is a wish to paraphrase a saying by Walter Benjamin: “Greimas is following us as a pathfinder”, to tell the truth he is leading us from behind by his playful and ironic self.

Research enframed in cultural identities is not a space which is closed or limited by sanctions. By getting deeper into competencies formed by men’s and women’s heritage we find ourselves in a certain crossroad of values. Though women are doomed for centuries to unhappy living and Lithuanian men for centuries are not able to get rid of their doleful tearfulness the present is proposing new opportunities for women to realize their happiness and that is reflected in the latest statistics of marriages with foreigners. The situation is becoming threatening and Lithuanian cultural identities will be made to transform itself to preserve national priorities and demographic originality. This issue is more discussed in the article by Rita Repšienė “Cultural Identities: Women and Men (the Present and Heritage)”.

Assoc. Prof. Patric Chura from the University Akron in the USA discusses the influence of Emilija Pliaterytė to the first wave of feminism in America which was stimulated by the biography written by Joseph Straszewicz The Life of Countess Emily Plater (Grafaitės Emilijos Pliaterytės gyvenimas) and published in 1844 in the USA. It had a great impact on an American journalist and fighter for women’s rights Margaret Fuller who has written a book Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845) and one of her heroines was Emilija Pliaterytė.

A Lithuanian artist, primitivist and self-taught Jadvyga Jonelytė-Nalivaikienė (1897–1969) at this time found herself in the focus cultural history. The artist who lived in Vilnius’ Užupis district and had a peculiar attitude to surrounding environment attracted everybody by her especial world view, by her works, visions and simplicity as magnet: “When being a student I saw several works by Jadvyga Jonelytė- Nalivaikienė in an exhibition. I found her address and went to her place. On Krivių Street in Užupis the room was full of pictures. There was an impression as if you were in a flower garden” (from memoirs by Petras Repšys); “Actually the works of J. Nalivaikienė are blooms of a rare talent, original and generous, having absorbed many features of Lithuanian folk art and today they are one of the most interesting and distinct phenomena in our folk painting. They are interesting in the general panorama of primitive art as well” (Aušra Marija Sluckaitė-Jurašienė).

We are short not only of time, willingness but also of efforts to rejoice at the works and discoveries of each other. We forget that perspectives of cultural science are directly related to perception of togetherness. That is why we publicize a discussion of Polish humanitarians where they speak about a book by famous Polish 12 Foreward intellectual, Professor of Warsaw University Andrzej Mencwel Wyobraźnia antropologiczna (Antropologinė vaizduotė), published in 2006 by Warsaw University Publishing House. It gained an incredible interest. Is our society able to focus its forces and to look for common values in this changing world?

Creative meanings of imagined communities are discussed by Stanislovas Juknevičius. The author demonstrates how imagined communities create methods of collective experience spread and dedicates most of his attention to function analysis of creative imagined scientific, social political, philosophical, artistic and religious communities. He treats nation as a complexity consisting of imagined communities and makes attempts to disclose the originality of national imagination.

With the dominant digital mass media communication new technological opportunities are formed and they “not only make interpersonal communication easier but also create predispositions for new type of sociality”. Aida Savicka in her article “Virtual Social Networks: Publicity and Privacy Problematics” examines how self-perception and self-presentation of communication actors is changing, if users of contemporary communication technologies are sufficiently conscious of the properties of the new type communication.

The chapter of reviews is dedicated to two books. One of them is by Audronė Žukauskaitė – Philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari: Multiplicity Logics, published by “Baltos lankos” publishing house in 2011. It is playfully discussed by Gintautas Mažeikis and considered as being in a position of militant leftist multiple materialism. The other book is by Dalia Švambrytė Intertextuality in Classical Japanese Literature, published by Vilnius University publishing house in 2011, is reviewed by Naglis Kardelis as a very solid theoretical work which demonstrates new and significant level of theoretical maturity reached by Lithuanian studies in the field of Japanese studies.

In the chapter of surveys we present a roundtable discussion which took place during a scientific conference “Lithuanian Cultural Development in the Beginning of the 21st Century: Dialogs and Crossroads” in Lithuanian Culture Research Institute in October 25, 2012, and the themes of an international conference “Museum in 21st Century – Changes and Challenges” in Seimas, September 21, assessing the ending Museum Year, their program and future in the global world.

The circle of the themes is wide and only the most prominent personalities, heritage of sexes, history and the presence as controversies, community probabilities with the trust in imaginative powers and future perspectives can be included. As Gintautas Mažeikis puts it in his review: “But is a future discussion” we hope to continue to.