Kupiškis in the life and works of Juozas Baltušis

Genovaitė Dručkutė

The land of Kupiškio is the soil of Juozas Baltušis, a Lithuanian writer where he spent his childhood and younger days. The role of Kupiškis as a native space in the life and works of this famous Lithuanian author is analysed in the paper. First of all, his personal relation, as reflected in the letters, reminiscences, private and official visits of Baltušis to his homeland, is discussed. The emphasis laid on his links with Kupiškis, which had never been interrupted, and his constant attention to the problems of the people of his hometown. The reminiscences of Kupiškis people, who had personal and official contacts with this prominent man, their confirmations, views and evaluations are discussed as well.

Part 2 of the paper deals with the place names of the Kupiškis area mentioned in the works by Baltušis. These mentions, on the one hand, are acting like topographic road signs, which structure his narratives. On the other hand, they helped Baltušis to draw a precise map of the interwar Kupiškis area with two centres highlighted: the Puponys Village and the Kupiškis Town. The site names mentioned in the works by Baltušis reflect the cultural, social and political changes, which took pace in the 20th century in Kupiškis and the rest of Lithuania.

Part 3 is devoted to the discussion of the persons created by Baltušis and their and prototypes among the Kupiškis people. A problem of the relation between author’s imagination and the reality is raised. The mixed reactions of prototypes and people who were familiar with them is noted.

The conclusions at the end of the paper mark that the works by Baltušis define the physical, historical and psychological identity of the local area. A distinctive character of Kupiškis as a region reveals itself in a finite time, acquiring the features of the myth at the same time.