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Elena Skaudvilaitė


Skaudvilaitė Elena, poetess, translator.
Was born in Jautakiškiai, Kelmė district, on May 12, 1935.
In 1961 she finished studies of Lithuanistics at Vilnius University, worked as a teacher in Rietavas, Kaltinėnai and Laukuva, from 1973 – Veiviržėnai.
Since 1999 - the member of LWU.

In 1955 I finished Kražiai Secondary School, in 1961 – graduated from Vilnius University (I studied the Lithuanian language and literature).
From the teen years till my studies, I lived together with my parents in a former homestead of Jesuits in Greitiškė, nearby a settlement and chanted at Church chorus. A cultural organist not only primed me with the Latin, but also lent good books to me: by B. Brazdžionis, A. Miškinis, told much about others, what we did not learn in school.
I also chanted in various Catholic rituals at close and further neigbours. At that time, except many chants and psalms, I also learnt some ancient songs as well as poesy of sing of partisans. The latter one spread rapidly in the postwar period and we, young people, liked it and used to sing deeply moved.
Through windows of the school I used to see a small area of Kražiai central part where bodies of the "bandits" lay a week, shorter or longer. One day I saw a pair-horse cart full of spoils of the Russian soldiers and "stribs" and how they threw around the dead alongside a shed like logs. So, a part of acts of the state tragedy were well seen through windows of the Kražiai School. Besides, I remember sad sights of dismal images of robbed homesteads, watery faces of being deported neighbours and friends of my teenage. Shortly, I started rhyming my thoughts and feelings. My poetical experiments were signed by a pseudonym of Aušrinė, as my desire to light our land descended by bloody darkness strengthened.
The first severe critiques of my creation were workers of Security of Vilnius. On October 5, 1957 I was examined in a palace of Security for the first time. They also carried out a search in my room at a hostel. A reason for it was a classmate of Kražiai, who was arrested while attempted to reach the West sailing by a boat across the Baltic Sea and the Security found my poem For the Great Rower (Didžiajam irklininkui) in his room. Despite the fact that a charge was baseless, I was accused of the young man instigation to flee the country. There was a question, whether I had a right to study at the Soviet high school. I was not expelled from the University, but from then till the end of the occupation I had been watchfully watched, searched and examined time and again. My literary debut at an almanac of the students creation also failed: the almanac did not reach readers.
From 1961 till 1997, being chased from one place to another, in order I could not take root deeply, I worked as a teacher at Rietavas, Pajūris, Kaltinėnai, Laukuva, Darbėnai and Veiviržėnai Secondary Schools, so, in Plungė, Šilalė, Kretinga and Klaipėda districts. I protected our language and the Samogitian youth from the evil as far as possible. I was creating all that time (I am still creating), trying to approach people and not avoiding even small district newspapers and becoming known in the large areas of Samogitia: being waited by ones and being watched with suspicion by others. I was warned not to admire at Jurgis Baltrušaitis, Maironis (!), to cut connections with clergy and other people the authority did not like. For the "mystic", apolitical and pessimistic poesy, for pupils tours around historical places, temples, a grave of V. Mačernis etc, for communication with "especially dangerous state criminals" (!) I was threatened to be fired. Despite the fact that various inspectors did not rap my work and said time and again that Secondary School was a too narrow place for me and wished to leave the province.
Therefore, working a pedagogical work in not perfect conditions I, nevertheless, did not abandon a field of the literary creation.
I did not belong to any organization or party except Movement (Sąjūdis). Till 1989 I was a member of the Klaipėda Section of Young Writers, from the mentioned year I am a member of the Samogitian Writers Association. In 1994, being encouraged very insistently, I joined into a Union of the Lithuanian Countryside Writers, but left it approximately after six months, being sure I could not respect its authority. Having cooperated and still cooperating in various periodical and one-off publications with my essays, reviews and articles I feel I am worth to be a member of the Lithuanian Writers Union. The membership would be a moral support for my further creation.


Upelis šnara: poems. - Vilnius, 1990.
Namų dvasia: poems. - Vilnius: Lietuvos pedagogų leidykla, 1992.
Laikas, likimas, viltis: poems. - Kaunas: Judex, 2001.
Ne gegutės balsas: poems. - Klaipėda: Eldija, 2002.

Translations from Russian language:
Č. Aitmatovas. Motinos pankas. - Vilnius: Vaga, 1966.
N. Tichonovas. Šešios kolonos. - Vilnius: Vaga, 1971.
M. Lopišas. Liūtis. - Vilnius: Vaga, 1975.
Ibn Hazmas. Balandės karoliai. - Vilnius: Vaga, 1979.


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