O P I N I O N
Editor’s note: Our colleague Prof. Pinchos Fridberg drew our attention to a page on Radio Svoboda’s website, by Elena Fanailova, featuring both the audio and transcript of a recent interview conducted by Donata Subbotko for the Polish weekly Gazeta Wyborcza with the famed Lithuanian humanist, poet, essayist and professor Tomas Venclova. Text of the Polish version appears in Gazeta Wyborcza. The Russian text also appeared, at Prof. Fridberg’s initiative, in Obzor.
The following brief excerpt, concerning Banderism in Ukraine and analogous tendencies in Lithuania and elsewhere, has been translated into English (from the Russian) by Ludmila Makedonskaya. See also Defending History’s section dedicated to Tomas Venclova. Our page on bold Lithuanian truth tellers includes some of Prof. Venclova’s writings from the 1970s onward. His famous essay from the period, Jews and Lithuanians, is available in his collection of essays Forms of Hope.
MEP Leonidas Donskis asks: ‘What Happened to Us?’
O P I N I O N
by Tomas Venclova
This authorized translation of the Lithuania original which appeared today in Bernardinai.lt was prepared by Geoff Vasil for Defending History and appears here with the author’s approval.
The section of the essay on current Lithuanian Jewish issues starts here.
423 years before Christ’s birth, Aristophanes’ comedy The Clouds was performed in Athens during the festival at the Great Dionysia. It only won third place, Cratinus’ comedy The Bottle (about the dramatist’s own battle with alcohol) taking first place, and Ameipsias’ play, about which we know almost nothing, placing second. These other comedies haven’t survived, but we are still reading The Clouds today. In terms of literature, this is probably Aristophanes’ greatest work, with a superb poetic chorus—and it’s undeniably funny.