translated from Lithuanian by Cornelius Hell, Akvilė Galvosaitė und Markus Roduner
»The Lithuanian language: melancholic, but dignified, a shop rich of things, like a second-hand bookshop or, to continue the comparison, like a cubbyhole – a rich language«.
Laurynas Katkus proves himself as a gentle but effective narrator. He elaborately reveals everyday life, social circumstances and the atmosphere in the still communist and in the end post-communist Lithuania. Katkus discusses threshold situations in his essays – processes of change, of ephemeral and emergence. The range reaches from political change, over vivid accounts of youth experiences in life and love up to self-reflection. As an author, he discusses processes of writing as well as the actual meaning of literature of whom he is the most confident advocate: Finally, literature is »still this underground cellar vault with that an art building doesn’t collapse«.
Laurynas Katkus, born 1972 in Vilnius/Lithuania, studied comparative literature in Vilnius and Leipzig/Germany and completed his dissertation on the subject exile in modern poetry. He published a number of poetry volumes.