Urtė Navalinskaitė, 2013-03-01

In brief: The publishing house Alma Littera presented the newest novel of Sigitas Parulskis "Darkness and Partners" ("Tamsa ir partneriai") to readers at the end of last year. The first Lithuanian novel about holocaust and murders of Jews in Lithuania caused a big agiotage at once. Why? Because, according to S. Parulskis himself, we all are antisemits a little bit. We have heard many terrifying stories about Jews kidnapping bad children, we have anecdotes mocking this nation. Still, we did not have a novel how Lithuanians treated Jews during the war years until now.

However, the author states that she was not shocked by the new novel of S. Parulskis. It does have some disgusting scenes about murders, but the described murders are not necesserily true. "Darkness and Partners" is first of all a piece of fiction rather than a historical document. According to the writer, the novel is first of all the existential novel. Another layer of the novel is religious. The text is full of quotations from the Bible, and the names of Lithuanian killers of Jews are from the Bible too – Jokūbas, Petras, etc.

One of the characters of "Darkness and Partners" states: "The instinct of conscience does not exist". This phrase left the biggest impression on the author of the article from all other loud words used in the novel. Lithuanians made exuses for a long time that even though there were some Lithuanians who killed Jews, there were many who saved them. Nonetheless, such justification does not redeem the intention to forget this dark page of Lithuanian history.

Therefore, it is not important how S. Parulskis told the story of Jews‘ murders. Perhaps some people will find it disgusting and insulting, insolent or shocking. Still, the most important is that S. Parulskis touched this theme avoided in Lithuanian literature until now. It is high time to speak about it and to agree what we have in our conscience.

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