Mykolaitis-Putinas is a famous Lithuanian novelist, poet, playwright and literary theorist, and a professor at Kaunas and later Vilnius University. In 1909, he entered the seminary in Seinai. He was ordained a priest in 1915. He later continued his studies at the St Petersburg Catholic Academy. Mykolaitis-Putinas published his first collection of poems in St Petersburg. After St Petersburg, he continued his studies at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland. After completing his studies, he returned to Lithuania. In 1933, he published his most famous novel ‘In the Shadow of the Altars’, which caused a great scandal in Lithuania, as it describes a priest’s doubts and his eventual renunciation of his vocation. In 1935, Mykolaitis-Putinas left the priesthood. He started teaching at Vilnius University in 1940, where he became a professor.
Mykolaitis-Putinas decided not to flee but to stay in Soviet Lithuania in 1944. During the Soviet period he was known not only as a poet and a novelist, but also as a teacher at Vilnius University (until 1954). He nurtured a lot of writers and critics, and passed on the traditions of literature in independent Lithuania to the new generation of teachers and scholars. (For a very short period of time, from 1945 to 1946, Mykolaitis-Putinas was director of the Institute of Lithuanian Literature.) During the Late Stalinist period, he was criticised by Party officials for his political passivity and his anti-Marxism. In 1946, Mykolaitis-Putinas was obliged to publicly repent for his stance. Only a couple of his writings were published during this period. The government halted the publication of his famous novel ‘In the Shadow of the Altars’. (The novel was only published in Soviet Lithuania in 1954.) Another novel by him Sukilėliai (Rebels), in which he described an uprising of 1863 in Lithuania against the Imperial Russian government, was published in 1957. Mykolaitis-Putinas’ collected writings were published between 1959 and 1969 in ten volumes. A complete collection of his writings in 13 volumes started to be published in 1989; the 12th volume was published in 2013.
Vilnius , Lithuania
- Marijampolė, Lithuania
- Sirutavičius, Vladas