Photo by Džoja Barysaitė
Dirgėla Petras, prose writer, essayist.
Was born in Žvaginiai, Klaipėda district, on February 21, 1947.
In 1965-1972 he studied the Lithuanian language and literature at Vilnius University. In 1967-1970 he worked at editorial offices of a newspaper ‘Komjaunimo tiesa’, in 1970-1972 – ‘Gimtasis kraštas’. In 1972-1973 and 1975-1976 he worked at Lithuanian Film Studios. In 1990-1994 he was a board vice-chairman of the LWU.
In the beginning he created together with his brother Povilas Dirgėla, and, approximately from 1981 – alone.
Since 1972 – the member of LWU.
My native village Žvaginiai lies close to one of the unhappiest villages of Lithuania - Ablinga. This tragedy during the first days of the war touched my Žvaginius as well, and I, being a child, could not understand why there were so many quitches in a place, where people lived a short time ago, and, who would not come back evermore. Perhaps this was a reason, why me and my brother in our creation were concern at a theme of man’s life and disappearance, resources of his strength to life and survive nobly to his dying day.
I was born on February 21, 1947 in Klaipėda district, Žvaginiai village, in a family of a farmer, therefore, in families devastated by the war, there were no my contemporaries yet, so I had to spend my childhood without playing with them. I had to create the whole world of childhood myself. Maybe, this is why, in my writings I am inclined to a certain field, where both reality and fantasy are side by side.
The beginning of my memory is related with big changes in our village. The first tractor-drivers of the Machine – Tractor Station, who came for the first time to plough a field of a collective farm with five ploughs and who stayed at my parents house, and so, the first tractors used to loom by our gates in evenings as if certain fantastic dinosaurs.
In 1954 neighbours and my parents as well, talked only about subsistence. Rather, they worked more, than talked. Therefore, I had to go alone even to primary school that was beyond a marsh and forest for the very first time. The closest Secondary School of Gargždai was already in the "German side", in Klaipėda region, twenty kilometers away from home. So, in 1959 I started a boarder life, that lasted for seven years. Seven years in an unusual palace, under red tiled roofs, among fields, where every hump reminded about the German order.
It, undoubtedly, had infused something of Klaipėda spirit into my soul.
The boarders life, the Communist Youth activity and sport taught me team spirit. I was a mischievous child. By the way, for a work at Komjaunimo prožektorius I was awarded by the Central Committee of the Lithuanian Lenins Communist Youth Union and my writings that started in the same 1965, year, also, received recognition – I won the second place at the first contest of pupils creation.
In 1971 Vaga published my and my brother book of stories and short stories Lightnings Die Out in Autumn. (Žaibai gęsta rudenį).
So, I write with my elder brother Povilas. I wrote alone till 1967, however having closed with my brother unexpectedly in creation, I understood how I still lack experience of life and that power, what maintained optimism and what I admired at my brother. It was like a destiny – my brother was born in 1941 together with his twin Petras, who died just three months before I had been born. At the age of five, the brother "put in a claim" to name me Petras as well. For him it was as if a returning of his twin. And, I have to say, it was a certain stamp of truth – we are very close spiritually. It seems to me, that only this condition let us be co-authors. And now things are the following: the brother is in Klaipėda, me – in Vilnius, joint vacation, travels and letters: Vilnius – Klaipėda, Klaipėda – Vilnius... I am more familiar with arts, while my brother – with medicine and especially with psychiatry. It is very useful for our creative cooperation. Essentially the whole life is ahead...
Žaibai gęsta rudenį: long short stories. - Vilnius: Vaga, 1971.
Pasimatymai: long short stories. - Vilnius: Vaga, 1973.
Likime, keliauk sau: novel. - Vilnius: Vaga, 1976.
Šalavijų kalnas: novel. - Vilnius: Vaga, 1977.
Pogodalis: novel. - Vilnius: Vaga, 1978.
Aistrų atlaidai: short stories. - Vilnius: Vaga, 1979.
Šermenų vynas: novel. - Vilnius: Vaga, 1980.
Mažas vaikelis su senelio lazda: long short story. - Vilnius: Vaga, 1982.
Kūlgrinda: novel. - Vilnius: Vaga, 1985.
Vėtrungiškoji dalia: essay. - Vilnius: Vaga, 1986.
Joldijos jūra: novel. - Vilnius: Vaga, 1987-1988.
Amžių dienai dūzgianti giria: novel. - Vilnius: Vaga, 1988.
Minijos žemė: essay. - Vilnius: Vaga, 1988.
Tranų pasaulis: essay. - Vilnius: Lituanus, 1990.
Anciliaus ežeras: novel. - Vilnius: Vaga, 1991.
Benamių knygos: novel. - Vilnius: Lithuanian Writers Union Publishers, 1997.
Gyvenimo intriga: essays, historical reflections. - Vilnius: Algimantas, 2001.
Ceremonijų knygos: novel. - Vilnius: Lietuvos rašytojų s-gos l-kla, 2002.
Vilties pilnųjų knygos: novel. - Vilnius: Lietuvos rašytojų sąjungos leidykla, 2003.
Begalybės riba: cinema novel. - Vilnius: Kronta, 2003.
Arklių romansai: short story and novel. - Vilnius: Lietuvos rašytojų sąjungos leidykla, 2005.
Simono Daukanto Award of the 1988.
Lithuanian Republic Government Art Award of the 1997.
National Culture and Art Prize Laureate of the 2003.
A. Vaičiulaitis literary award of the 2003.