Why Jurgis Baltrusaitis (1873-1944) - between East and West? Jurgis Baltrusaitis, a Lithuanian poet, a translator, an editor, a diplomat, a significant figure at the turn of the centuries in the Russian cultural milieu, represents a migrating author in the sense of his intentional programmatic dual domicile or biliterariness. This dioceism makes Baltrusaitis‘ relationship with the Russian and European modernism complicated, in which there is expressed the unique confrontation of the impulses of the European modernism (concretized also by significant translational activities), of Russian literary and extraliterary (cultural-philosophical, theatrical, musical and fine art) concepts and traditions in Lithuanian culture, its myths, legends, archetypes and emblems. If the words 'Between East and West' in the title are followed by a question mark, it refers to the problematization of a thus formulated perception of the author in the sense of translational and editorial activities through the prism of his works. The basic East-West trajectory can be in the relation to Baltrusaitis' Lithuanian origin and to the province of his translational and editorial activities extended to the North-South trajectory. The North is represented mostly by the reflected and translated works of Scandinavian philosophers, thinkers, dramatists and prose writers, the South by the Italian element, which noticeably divides the typically modernistic diapason of the 'West-European' impulses in the Russian environment - the French and the German. The almost depersonalized epicality, the emphasized cyclic turns and analogy between the natural and the human remain the characteristic features of symbolist artists (Baltrusaitis and the painter M. K. Ciurlionis). Besides literature, Baltrusaitis belonged among outstanding personalities also in theatre: he organized Russian theatrical events, well-known are his activities associated with Komissarzhevskaya Drama Theatre and with his guest tours in West-European countries - and on the other hand his mediated role in the cooperation of D. Craig with Russian cultural environment. The fundamentals of the poet's concept of the lyrical subject are built on the mutual relationships between the world and the character. The aim of the study was to clarify Baltrusaitis' position between the East and the West in the time of its natural integration in the Russian cultural and literary course of events.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
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