Lenguas, literaturas y nacionalidades en Lituania (y en el Báltico oriental)
Languages, literatures and nationalities in Lithunia (and in the East Baltic region).
This article’s focus is on Lithuania and its literature, but many considerations contained in it are also valid for the whole East Baltic cultural region.
A preliminary distinction is made inside Lithuanian literature between Ortsgebundenheit and Sprachgebundenheit, in order to show and discuss the strong multilingualism which has characterized the Baltic region already in an early period. A short excursus follows, pointing out the possible importance the “national literary model” could have had in different epochs.
Similarities with the situation in Latvia and Estonia, but also with other central European countries, are stressed concerning the delay in building sovereign states; a parallel is drawn especially with Catalonia. The importance and the role played by the language in all these cases is underlined and commented on. Other considerations regard the literature in exile and the new literary tendencies that have emerged after the identity protest movement at the end of the 1980s which led to the declaration(s) of independence.
Finally, general thoughts are expressed concerning the concept of “national literature” in the case of countries whose history has been characterized by an intermittence of sovereignty (the case of the Baltic countries), and for other longer-established European countries. The supporters of Weltliteratur normally completely neglect these aspects. In the author’s mind, however, they also should be attentively considered.