Eugenija Valienė
Vida Savičiūnaitė
www.kamane.lt , 2009 11 23

V. Juknaitė. Photo by E. Valienė


Fragment of the exhibition

In brief: “Writing is pain to me,” the recognised writer, winner of the National culture and art prize Vanda Juknaitė persuaded during her meeting with admirers of her works at Kaunas County Public Library.

The writer Dovilė Zelčiūtė and philosopher, literature critic Jūratė Baranova, who called the books of V.Juknaitė “You Will Betray Me Aloud” and “Pronounced from the Dark” the bible of the contemporary man, helped the guest of the evening to communicate with the audience.

The book of V.Juknaitė “Pronounced from the Dark”, which received the highest evaluation and which looks at the world with a child’s sincerity, became the starting point for the conversation. The writer responded to questions laconically, sometimes getting into deeper thoughts.

V.Juknaitė emphasised the lack of communication among people: “The era of the man has ended. The human era… What was its core? Its core was the presence in each other’s eyes, in front of each other. The time comes when the man will no longer be protected by the relation with another human being. We are losing the thread that relates us with others, which is the pure human relation with another human being“.

Speaking about the essence of writing, V.Juknaitė admitted: “Strange: I discovered silence while writing. A pause became more eloquent than a word. Reality is behind the borders of language. I have sailed behind the borders of language.” She cited the texts of children written by her in the book “Pronounced from the Dark” thus confirming the importance of listening rather than speaking.

When asked about her readers and their importance, V.Juknaitė answered: “The biggest shock to me is when a man takes a book and reads it till the end as literature is dialogue. Dialogue between an author and a reader“.

The writer shared her new impressions from the visit in prison, where she met with lifelong convicts. According to V.Juknaitė, the convicts appeared to be people longing for communication.

J.Baranova was the first to react to the provocative note of D.Zelčiūtė that V.Juknaitė did not create literature after the book “Glass Land”: “Perhaps it is possible to say that she does not create but lets the life write using her?“ The writer shared her thoughts: “I understood very clearly that I was a person who was cast to a desert island by a catastrophe of life. The person cast to the dessert island writes letters, puts them into bottles and throws them into water. He/she sees others in that desert island and writes for them. Somebody finds them on another shore and grants prizes. I do not want to write. I have a feeling that somebody writes using me."

The actress Doloresa Kazragytė gave a question to the writer: "How should one survive living in loneliness for long years and how should a man not die while being alive? V.Juknaitė smiled: „Each of us is trying to stay alive during our lives. An artist is lonely and misunderstood – he/she wants to be such so much. When you think you are in trouble, look at an old lady limping along the street. You are not limping. If you don’t find yourself, forget yourself”.

A surprise was prepared for the guest of the evening – the drama studio of Kaunas College acted an extract from the book “Pronounced from the Dark”. D.Kazragytė read fragments from books of V.Juknaitė. The organisers of the event congratulated the writer with the coming jubilee.

The participants of the meeting with V.Juknaitė could purchase her newest book “Pronounced from the Dark”, the essence of which lies in the writer’s confession: “I tried to go to the edge of language, where there are no words, only whispering, mumbling and whining. Writing enabled me to come closer to reality that is behind the borders of language.“

The meeting with V.Juknaitė is part of the project of Kaunas County Public Library “Winners of the National Prize: Alchemy of Creation”. Similar meetings have already been organised with the actress Rūta Staliliūnaitė and singer Veronika Povilionienė.

The alchemy of creation of all National prize winners presented by the library was testified by exhibitions of photographs and documents. Personal pages of creative biographies of these artists have been prepared on the website of the library.


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