University of Klaipeda, Lithuania
The Origins of Vydūnas’ Lithuanian Imagery
The texts of Simonas Daukantas (1793–1864), which captivatingly depict the powerful origins of the nation, influenced Lithuanian authors of the nineteenth and early twentieth centurie., Their work in turn influenced the development of Lithuanian consciousness and the establishment of modern society. In Vydūnas’ (real name Vilhelmas Storostas, 1868–1953) first poetic and journalistic efforts, early dramatic works, and in the almanac Bendraitē (1902) we find many paraphrases of Daukantas’ historical narrative, Lithuanian imagery and indirect quotations, word combinations, etc. This article examines how Vydūnas, relying on Daukantas’ texts, learned the expressions needed for public discourse and adapted his ideas. He interpreted history as an archetype of the connection between the nation and man, and from those historical texts he adopted the images of the harmonious life of ancient Lithuanians, the topic of healthy living and laid the foundations for his philosophy. Many of the ideas later developed by Vydūnas can be found in the articles of the almanac Bendraitē. Here he first tried to discuss the past of Prussian Lithuanians in the context of the history of Lithuania Proper and to culturally unite the two parts of the nation separated for many years.
The article‘s concept is based on the ideas in Martin Puchner’s book The Written World. The Power of Stories to Shape People, History, Civilization (2017).
Key Words: Lithuanian imagery, nation, history, written world, philosophy