Copyright © 1957 Lithuanian Students Association, Inc.
June, 1957  No.2(11) 
Managing Editor P. V. Vygantas


Since 1951, the Lithuanian cultural magazine Aidai (Echoes) has granted an annual prize for a work of literature or scholarship. During the course of years three collections of poetry and two biographies received the prize. This year, from the seven manuscripts submitted, three were deemed worthy of this distinction, and a triplicate prize was awarded. None of the three works is as yet published.

The first manuscript, the work of Dr. JUOZAS GIRNIUS, is entitled Žmogus be Dievo (Man without God) and subtitled — a philosophical glance at atheism. The Author, was born in 1915 in Lithuania. He began his university studies at the University of Kaunas, and continued them at Louvaln, Freibourg and the Sorbonne, receiving his doctorate from the University of Montreal in 1951, for his thesis The Existential Metaphysics of K. Jaspers. Dr. Girnius studied philosophy amidst Tomist surroundings, and is well versed in that school, but at an early time he turned his attention to contemporary existentialism. Many of his articles deal with representatives of existentialism, and his M. A. thesis was written on M. Heidegger. The author, has also published articles on aesthetics and literary criticism.

In this prize-winning work Dr. Girnius dwells on the paradox of human existence, raising the problems of death, eternity and freedom. In the second large division of the work men without God are studied, with examples from world literature. The work Is of a substantial size — 378 typewritten pages.

Dr. JONAS GRINIUS received a prize for his manuscript "Lietuvių Kryžiai ir Koplytėlės" (Lithuanian Crosses and chapels). The author, after carefully considering the various theories advanced by other students of this question, proposes his own explanation of the origin of the crosses and chapels, so common throughout Lithuanian villages and beside Lithuanian roads. He considers their evolution and their ornamentation. The work is heavily documented and over one hundred drawings and pmtographs have been collected for inclusion in the work.

Dr. Grinius was born in 1902. He studied at the universities of Kaunas, Grenoble, Paris, receiving his doctorate in 1929 in Kaunas. Here, from 1929 to 1944, he taught courses in literary criticism, aesthetics and the history of literature. Among his numerous published works are Grožis ir Menas (Beauty and Art), Vilniaus Meno Paminklai (The Artistic Monuments of Vilnius), and Žiurkių Kamera (The Rat Cell) — a drama in three acts.

The third work is entitled Senasis Vilnius (The Old Vilnius) by Dr. ADOLFAS ŠAPOKA. It is a history of the city of Vilnius from its founding to the 18th century. The problem of the city's origins, its historical growth, its role during the Union with Poland and as the capital city of Lithuania, are among the questions examined.

Among his published works, of greater importance are Jogaila (Jagiello), Lietuvos Istorija (The History of Lithuania), Vilnius Lietuvos Gyvenime (Vilnius in the Life of Lithuania), his doctoral thesis Lietuva po Liublino Unijcs (Lithuania after the Union of Liublin) and, in English, Lithuania through the Ages. Dr. Sapoka was born in 1906. He studied at the University of Kaunas, and in Prague and Stockholm. He has lectured in Kaunas and at the University of Vilnius. Presently, he resides at Toronto, Canada and is the editor of a Lithuanian weekly newspaper.    

K. Skr.