Experiences and Reflections of the War in the Poetry of Henrikas Nagys Cover Image

Karo patirtys ir refleksijos Henriko Nagio poezijoje
Experiences and Reflections of the War in the Poetry of Henrikas Nagys

Author(s): Manfredas Žvirgždas
Subject(s): Literary Texts
Published by: Lietuvos edukologijos universitetas
Keywords: Existentialism; heroism; war; dramatism; nihilism; Nazi occupaion; catastrophism; poetics of landscape.

Summary/Abstract: Henrikas Nagys was known during WWII as an original poet who integrated modernist features into Lithuanian Neo-Romantic tradition. His aesthetical worldview was influenced by the Post-Impressionist German and Austrian poetry and Existentialist philosophy, which was taught in the war-time Kaunas University by Juozas Girnius. In the prewar period Nagys was interested in the intellectual and ontological conflict between prophet-like superman figure of Poet and quotidian, trivial-thinking masses. In the times of Nazi occupation Nagys as well as many men of letters of his generation focused on the heroic aspect of Existentialism. Like his academic supervisor Girnius, Nagys realized his time as the “Volcanic epoch”: mission of its poets and thinkers is to “blow-up the present moment” by the means of radical ideas and to dissent views from official doctrine of the totalitarian regime. Nagys reflected his war-time experiences as significant stage of Heideggerian “being-toward-death” (Sein-zum-Tode). In this article mostly the poems and essays of 1941–1944 by Nagys are analyzed (most of them were not published in his later collections of oeuvre). Those texts testify polemic intensity, dramatic features of epoch and its inner ambiguities.

  • Issue Year: 15/2013
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 52-62
  • Page Count: 11
  • Language: Lithuanian