Eugenija Valienė
www.kamane.lt , 2009 12 08

In brief: An evening of Juozas Erlickas called live classic was organised in the big hall of Vytautas Magnus University on the 4th of December. The new book of the author “My Love in Glass Gumshoes” was presented in the packed hall. J. Erlickas performed songs from his newest book (accompanied by Daumantas Slipkus and Juozas Staniulis), cited extracts of his written texts.

The writer spoke about the issue of crisis, emphasised the lack of communication among people, several snappy phrases were dedicated to Kaunas city: “It is good where we are not present. Kaunas is such for us, people from Vilnius.” The writer joked that Kaunas inhabitants should be glad that the city was not the capital of culture as the tube would have been constructed here immediately in the opposite case.

The classic could hardly breathe in the crowd of admirers. Photo by E. Valienė


J.Erlickas among admirers (the writer is not even visible)

The same mood that was present on the stage during the writer’s evening may be found in the presented book “My Love in Glass Gumshoes” (Vilnius: Tyto alba, 2009, p. 821). One should agree with V.Šiukščius that “the main principle of creation of J. Erlickas is inversion and contamination (mixing and merging). Metaphors are turned into direct language, while daily views become symbols”. The text and creator, character and author are inseparable. The author remains consistent, the same and sometimes monotonous throughout the book; still, he occasionally surprises by new perspectives of viewing.

The title of the book prompts that the prevailing theme is the love to another person. The author speaks as the 1st person, singular, and makes the text more intimate and persuasive in this manner. Love for another person is not a matter-of-course thing; the author tries to answer the question what love is, to define it and express it by tangible shapes.

Love is understood as a feeling relating two persons due to which they become strangers and due to which the relations of a couple become complicated. The man is identified with a domestic animal in texts frequently. However, according to J.Erlickas, “a man needs more attention than a dog. No wonder that the two-legged friend becomes boring and is cast away in a couple of years” (p. 288-289).

There are many allusions to other works (from Lithuanian literature mostly) in the book. Four parts of the book are called similarly to parts of the poem of K.Donelaitis “The Year”. Being ironical, J. Erlickas uses parody frequently. There are many elements of absurdity in the book.

Inversion, contamination, stylisation, elements of absurdity are the most typical features of J. Erlickas’ works; meanwhile, the explored themes are usually based on empiric experience. As the writer sang during the evening, “I sing what I see. I live in that song.”

J.Erlickas signed books for free

The cover of the book "My Love in Glass Gumshoes” is designed “like a postcard with a memento written on the other side” according to the author. J.Erlickas says, that “it may be given to a beloved person or used for defence from a beloved person due to the weight. “Let uneducated people defend themselves by chumps and cultured people should defend themselves by books”.

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