agosto 31, 2012

ANTANAS BARANAUSKAS (1847)

Roman Catholic bishoip and poet who wrote one of the greatest works in Lithuanian literature, Anykysciu silelis (1858-59; The Forest of Anyksciai).

The 342-line poem, written in East High Lithuanian dialect, describes the former beauty of a pine grove near his village and its despoliation under the Russians ("Hills with tree-stumps, bare slopes! Who would believe in your former beauty?"); it depicted in symbolic form the plight of Lithuania under the tsarist regime.

Baranauskas interest included dialectology and mathematics, though his work in those disciplines was seriousy compromised by his lack of training. Neverthless, he provided the most detailed classification of Lithuanian dialects up to his time.

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