Mindaugas Grigaitis, 2008 07 31

Laimonas Inis 

In brief: Literature evenings with authors are most probably the best possibility for writers to communicate with readers live. They may converse warmly, share their joys and worries together. However, such meetings are often caricature-like. The leader makes the introductory praising speech, the writer sits with a blissful face, later thanks for the exaggerated attention. Some colleague and friend says some generalising words and the evening is closed by wine and intellectual conversations.

The jubilee creative evening of the writer and publicist Laimonas Inis did not lack praising, awards and artistic compositions as well. The writer, who celebrated his 70th anniversary in spring, is really worth an evening dedicated to him; meanwhile, the work of a critic is not the most thankful in this ceremony - to look at the literature of the writer as it is.

The name of L. Inis appeared in the lists of the newest books very frequently during the latter years. The statistics is impressive: the novel “Madmen and Saints”, the tale for children “Singing Tree”, the selection of impressions “Wind Gates: Post Scriptums” was published in 2007, this year the book of autobiographical content “Laimonas Inis: Life with a Pen and Book: Bibliography Digest, 1951-2007” and the album of memories “Who will Free me From Myself?” were issued.

Knowing the impressive speed in which L.Inis writes books, the author of the article decided to be arid and boring – he searched for reviews and opinions on the books published by the writer during the latter years in the pages of culture mass media. He did not find any opinions at all.

After changing the strategy, the author found out that 11 books of the writer were published during the latter six years and only two reviews were written: by Elena Žukauskaitė on the novel "Mountain of Forget-me-nots" (Nemunas, July 27, 2006) and by Rimantas Marčėnas on the novel “Hamlet in White Gloves” (Literatūra ir Menas, January 24, 2003).

Therefore, the author took the last novel by L.Inis “Madmen and Saints” and tried to find out himself what kind of literature was created by the writer with so many books in his bibliography. The language of the novel full of sentimental sweetness, aesthetical metaphors and emotional exclamations reminds of a mannered decoration rather than original, individual and life speaking.

The novel flows like a formless non-articulated spring of feelings, the inertia of which is deepened by endless philosophical thoughts in the second part. It seems that the writer does not find a suitable form for expressing the plot and covers the fault by naive moralisation.

Perhaps the writer believes that the raising of philosophical problems approximates the novel to questions of existence interesting to everybody. However, the mannered gusts of sentiments and avalanches of bookish phrases suppress the pleasure of reading in general instead of encouraging authentic reflection in the book “Madmen and Saints”.

It is not clear which literature tradition L.Inis would attribute himself to; still, such a work as this novel may shine and surprise people only in the hermetic literature citadel created by Kaunas writers.

Thus, despite all possible accusations of writers towards such criticism, the author of the article comes to a conclusion once again that books are frequently published so that writers would be able to praise themselves in literature evenings once again and share philosophical thoughts on the huge spiritual benefit created by creative works to people dipped in the daily chores.

The author does not state that L.Inis was honoured, evaluated and awarded groundlessly. This should be decided by every reader personally. Still, a critic should do his job – analyse critically and endeavour that praising would not blanket the live process of literature.

The meeting of the author of the article with “Madmen and Saints” ended in a dialogue that did not start. If he followed some newest literature theory, he would announce the death of Kaunas writers’ literature most probably. Still, the critic has some youthful naivety and hopes that something will change in future.

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