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Algirdas Landsbergis (June 23, 1924, Kybartai, Lithuania – April 4, 2004, Freeport, NY), Lithuanian playwright, novelist, essayist, critic and journalist.
Biography In 1941-1943, Algirdas Landsbergis studied Lithuanian language at Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas. In 1944, he fled to the West with his family. Between 1945-49, he studied English and literature at the University of Mainz; taught in Lithuanian high schools in Wiesbaden and Kassel, West Germany; published Lithuanian short stories, criticism, and literary translations from English. Between 1946-48, he was co-author and editor of an avant-garde magazine "Zvilgsniai" ("Glances"). In 1949, he emigrated to the United States with his family. Between 1949-1953, Landsbergis worked at the Brooklyn public library. From 1953-57, he attended Columbia University and received a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature. From 1956-1966, he worked as a writer for the Assembly of Captive European Nations in New York City. He was Professor of History at Fairleigh Dickinson University and Edward Williams College (New Jersey) from 1966-93. Landsbergis produced and broadcast programs about Lithuania for Radio Free Europe from 1974-2004, for the Voice of America and for the Lithuanian Information Center, New York. From 1993-2004, he lectured on literature and history at libraries and Jewish community centers in Nassau County, Long Island, New York. He married Joan Jacobi (1932- ) in 1951. Sons: Paul (1952- ), Jon (1956- ). Granddaughters: Emilija (1992- ), Aylin (2014- ). Brother: Algimantas (1929- ). Sister: Gražina (1929- ).
Works His works include literary criticism published in the journal Literatūros Lankai (Literature Bows) and the newspaper Darbininkas (The Worker). His debut novel, Kelionė (The Journey) in 1954, was one of the first examples of modern post-war Lithuanian prose. Its modernist style describes the time period of the Second World War. His short stories are characterized by a diversity of topics: resistance, problems of exile life, many unexpected encounters, paradoxical situations, characters. His plays had a pronounced modernist style, with events depicted from several perspectives. Some of his plays were translated into English and produced in theaters in the U.S., Canada, and Slovenia. Landsbergis also promoted dialogue and greater understanding between Lithuania’s Jewish and Christian communities. An exhibition of his work is displayed in the Maironis Lithuanian Literature Museum, Kaunas, Lithuania: http://www.maironiomuziejus.lt/.
Organizations President, International P.E.N. Center for Writers in Exile, American branch, 1966-1976. Vice-President, International P.E.N. Center for Writers in Exile, American branch, 1976-2004. Member, Lithuanian Writers' Union (since 1992), P.E.N., U.S. Dramatists Guild.
Posthumous Tributes Lituanus, volume 51:1 (2005), http://www.lituanus.org/main.php?id=search-articles-2005 Maironis Lithuanian Literature Museum, Kaunas, Lithuania, 90th birthday celebration, June 26, 2014: http://maironiomuziejus.lt/lt/parodos/algirdas-landsbergis-19242004-419/gallery
Novel Kelionė (The Journey), 1954. (published in Keliones Muzika (The Journey’s Music). Vagos publishers, Vilnius, 1992.)
Plays (in Lithuanian) Meilės Mokykla (The School For Love). Algimanto Mackaus Vardo Knygų Leidimo Fondas, Chicago, 1965. Penki Stulpai Turgaus Aikštėje (Five Posts in the Market Place), Algimanto Mackaus Vardo Knygų Leidimo Fondas, Chicago, 1966. Vėjas Gluosniuose (Wind in the Willows), Gluosniai Vėjuje (Willows in the Wind). Algimanto Mackaus Knygų Leidimo Fondas, Chicago, 1973. Trys Dramos (Three Plays): Barzda (The Beard), Paskutinis Piknikas (The Last Picnic), and Sudiev, Mano Karaliau (Goodbye, My King). Algimanto Mackaus Vardo Knygų Leidimo Fondas, Chicago, 1980. Vaikai Gintaro Rumuose (Children in the Amber Palace). Ateities Literatūros Fondas, Chicago, 1985. Du Utopiški Vaidinimai (Two Utopian Plays): Komediantai (The Comedians), and Idioto Pasaka (The Idiot’s Tale). Algimanto Mackaus Vardo Knygų Leidimo Fondas, Chicago, 1994. Onos Veidas (The Face of Ona) (unpublished)
Plays (in English) Five Posts in a Market Place. Manyland Books, New York, 1959, 1968. (also published in Confrontations With Tyranny: Six Baltic Plays with Introductory Essays (pp. 33-94), Alfreds Straumanis (ed.). Waveland Press, Prospect Heights, IL, 1977.) The Last Picnic. Manyland Books, New York, 1978. Children in the Amber Palace. Légèreté Press, 1986
Short Story (in English) Words, Beautiful Words. Arena, vol. 6, March 1962. Published by the P.E.N. Center for Writers in Exile, London. (also published as Žodžiai, Gražieji Žodžiai in Keliones Muzika (The Journey’s Music). Vagos publishers, Vilnius, 1992, in Lithuanian.)
Short Stories (in Lithuanian) Ilgoji naktis (The Long Night), 1956 Muzika Įžengiant Į Neregētus Miestus (Music Entering the Unseen Cities) (8 short stories). Ateities Literatūros Fondas, Southfield, MI, 1979. (also published as part of Keliones Muzika (The Journey’s Music). Vagos publishers, Vilnius, 1992.) 5 short stories in Modernioji Lietuvių Egzilio Proza (Modern Lithuanian Exile Prose). Versus Aureus, Vilnius, 2006.
Editor Algirdas Landsbergis, Clark Mills (eds.). The Green Oak, Selected Lithuanian Poetry. Voyages Press, New York, 1962. Algirdas Landsbergis, Clark Mills (eds.). The Green Linden. Voyages Press, New York, 1964.
Essays (selected) The Baltic Case – A Personal Perspective, New York, 1991 Looking at the “Jungle of Freedom” from the Vilnius TV Tower, Nova Revija, Slovenia, 1991.
Theatrical Performances (selected): Penki Stulpai Turgaus Aikštėje (Five Posts in the Market Place), Off-Broadway, New York City, 1962, Kaunas Drama Theater, 1989. Sudiev, Mano Karaliau (Goodbye, My King), Klaipeda (Lithuania) drama theater, 1990. Idioto Pasaka (The Idiot’s Tale), Slovenia, 1992.
Awards Kelionė (The Journey), “Draugas” (newspaper) novel prize, 1954. Penki Stulpai Turgaus Aikštėje (Five Posts in the Market Place), Cleveland Regional Prize for Literature, 1966. Muzika Įžengiant Į Neregētus Miestus (Music Entering the Unseen Cities), Lithuanian Writers' Association Award, 1980. Paskutinis Piknikas (The Last Picnic), Los Angeles Drama Association Award, 1980. Vaikai Gintaro Rumuose (Children in the Amber Palace), Lithuanian Community drama prize, 1981. Onos Veidas (The Face of Ona), Lithuanian Community drama prize, 1983. Order of Gediminas, Grade 5, government of Lithuania, 1999.
Sources http://lt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algirdas_Landsbergis (Lithuanian language wikipedia). Algirdas Landsbergis. Universal Lithuanian Encyclopedia, T. XI (Kremacija-Lenzo rule). Vilnius: Science and Encyclopaedia Publishing Institute, 2007, 492 pages. Babonaite-Paplauskiene, Virginija. Archyvai: Kelione I Algirdo Landsbergio kelione (Archive: A journey into Algirdas Landsbergis’ journey). Kaunas, Lithuania: Naujasis Lankas, 2014. Maironis Lithuanian Literature Museum, Kaunas, Lithuania: http://maironiomuziejus.lt/lt/parodos/algirdas-landsbergis-19242004-419/gallery Paul, Jon and Joan Landsbergis, personal collection.
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