Vytautas Martinkus: “We have to value the author” 0

Interlocutor Vidmantas Kiaušas
www.kamane.lt, 2013-09-30

In brief: The conversation with the prose writer, academician, professor of the Lithuanian University of Education Vytautas Martinkus is presented after his jubilee.

The writer is asked about the prevailing “fast” communication, new technologies and the reflection of life style in literature.

“Our contemporary literature is influenced by changes every second because life is like a pressure-cooker where everything is pressed, processes are faster and simpler than yesterday or earlier. For instance, we may read the newest text, perhaps even a novel, on the internet, texts are written by the mobile phone and even messages. All this exists and is needed. Still, I am conservative a little bit and believe that nothing will replace the deep literature, its nature and purpose.

(…) Writing requires internal concentration, searches, and all this may be performed only by a man, personality, his brain, imagination. Therefore, let’s not give creation to electronic world. (…) We should value the author. Who is alive. No matter that somebody says that he is “dead”.”

The writer is questioned about genres, that are popular among readers, especially the novel.

“600-800 original books are published in Lithuania per year, and it is simple to find out how genres distribute; nonetheless, we may notice that the number of authors who dare to write works of large volume has increased. Perhaps they have been incited by theoreticians, literature critics and semiotics, such as Michail Bachtin or others, who have stated that the novel is an open genre and no defined rules may be set for it. The second reason is the selling value of the book – novels enjoy higher demand and are noticed by readers faster.”

Interest in history may be noticed in works of Vytautas Martinkus. The writer explains: “You have to understand the social and cultural life of a certain period to write on historical themes, you have to choose certain characters and have a distance from the time you describe. I did not have such aims in my first works, and interest in history appeared from the fact that each work I write is the combination of various periods of time. In this way I came to the genre of historical novel or short story. I am not the author of historical works only, I found interesting issues for the work “Žemaičių Garlėkis” while reading newspapers. The novel “Lašai” (Drops) is slightly historical as it includes some views of the war and post-war period,” the writer reveals.

In the calendar novels “Dvylika laiptų” (Twelve Steps, 2011), book “Šuns mazgas” (Dog’s Knot, 2005) the writer combines facts, autobiographical moments, imagination, philosophy, and social experience. According to V.Martinkus, the original combination of themes appeared from his literary background, as he read books from the early days of his life. “A literature work has a certain invisible order which you create yourself or borrow from life. The deep structure of a literature work is invisible but is vital for a work,” the writer asserts.

As for future plans, V.Martinkus states that soon the selection of scientific articles “Aesthesis and Evaluations” should be published. The writer is also searching for the form of his historical novel “Tavo bažnyčios rūsys” (Cellar of Your Church) but it is possible that the novel will not be written…

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