General News


This time the Discussion Club of the Vilnius Book Fair invites to discuss upon the four topics

02.23 | Thursday | The Fellows Day
 Is the time of the Balts a thing of the past?

During the past thousand years, the space inhabited by the Balts has been constantly getting smaller. In the 20th century, the two remaining Baltic nations did their best to create their own states as a basis for the existence of their national languages and cultures. Will the Balts have enough will-power to continue to exist and give a meaning to their existence in the open world of the 21st century? Do the Lithuanian and Latvians need a strategy for survival?
Participants: Jonas Öhman, Mindaugas Kvietkauskas, Jolanta Zabarskaitė, Egidijus Aleksandravičius. Moderator: Darius Kuolys.

02.24 | Long Friday 
Does democracy mean the decline of morality?

A member of a democratic society is not a highly principled individual. He is a product of mass culture, who sees his desires and his ambitions as his values. Classical authors feared a decline in morality, caused by the decline of the virtues of the citizens. Today, this fear has disappeared. We understand that any political regime is based and depends on human virtues; unfortunately, we are less and less able to develop them. This is the weak side of democracy. We form the impression that an educated person is not a concept of democracy. Plato thought that the first thing that ruins a democratic society is its citizens’ perception of freedom as the main value.
Participants: Vytautas Radžvilas, Alvydas Jokubaitis.

02.25 | Saturday | The Unusual Randezvous
The writing on the wall: A history of Lithuania for the world

The subject of this discussion is images of the past, present and future that matured in the historic memory of the Lithuanian nation, and the reflections and the transformation of them in literature. When analysing the distribution of historical images in a creative space, much attention will be focused on stories of the postwar history of Lithuania, as reflected in writings from the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries. The participants in the discussion will consider how history that was concealed and falsified during the Soviet period is rediscovered, rehabilitated, and (re)constructed in independent Lithuania, in what way experience turns into fiction, to what extent a creative piece that was born during that transformation can lay a claim to being an objective narration, and what influence the artist’s work has on the self-image of society. Another especially significant sub-theme of the discussion is the process of Lithuania’s opening up to the world, as well as its history and the narrations interpreting it, which has been taking place since 1990, during which both researchers and artists, as well as the publishers presenting their work, are faced with the dilemma of deciding to what extent our experience is unique, identical, recognisable, and of interest to the Western reader.
Participants: Ruta Sepetys, Sigitas Parulskis, Jonas Ohman. Moderator: Aurimas Švedas.

Shouldn’t critics be shot? The freedoms and obligations of the critic(ism)

Several years ago, men of letters wanted to shoot the plot, metaphorically. Now it is the turn of specific critics. Perhaps that is why the editor of one weekly asked: “Is there no criticism of literature?” “Is that really so?” Or perhaps criticism itself fails to fulfil its obligation, not only aesthetic but also social? Does the latter no longer belong to it? Can the written word still mean anything in our society, or has it been ignored for such a long time already that critics have to retrain to find work as better-paid clerks?

Discussion club takes place in the FORUM (Hall 3)




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