Explaining the Soviet ‘West’ and ‘Exotic’: Lithuanian and Georgian Writers
Soviet writers were some of the most publicly recognizable intellectuals and were tasked by the state to transform society. In this presentation, Vilius Ivanauskas, Research Fellow, Lithuanian Institute of History, and Fulbright Scholar, University of California, Berkeley outlined Georgian and Lithuanian writers, members of Writers’ Union, focusing on their participation in the establishment and the dynamics of ideas. The perspective of three generations in both countries reveals the rise of ethnic (local) interests and the disconnection of everyday-life from official goals. Both writers’ organizations expressed a clear character of localism (mestnichestvo), but the Georgian case illustrates more active participation at the central level while Lithuanian writers maintained a more peripheral and less active role in the “druzhba narodov” (“friendship of peoples”) narratives.