Daiva Litvinskaitė (Institute of Lithuanian Language, Vilnius)
After Lithuania’s restoration of its independence (1990), a distinct divide emerged in the literature written by women in Lithuania. In this new tradition, women distanced themselves from the truths proposed by contemporary tropes of literature and instead imitated the real world, with stories of the everyday and the intimate. These texts, in which close attention is paid to descriptions of social realities, women’s everyday life, the search for identity, or the physical body, are frequently labeled as popular literature and, therefore, are not taken seriously.
Using feminist criticism, my presentation will focus on the question of why Lithuanian women writers have departed from literary truths and forms, as well as to understand their tendency to choose to imitate reality. I will also examine how contemporary Lithuanian women writers understand and portray their identity as women, subjectivity and sexuality, in contrast to how women were represented in the social and political discourse of the former Soviet past and pluralistic present.