Straipsnis XVIII amžiaus lietuvininkas XIX amžiaus lietuvių tekstuose: gyrimo retorika


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An 18th-Century Lithuanian in 19th-Century Lithuanian Texts: The Rhetoric of Praise

  • Bibliographic Description: Irena Buckley, „XVIII amžiaus lietuvininkas XIX amžiaus lietuvių tekstuose: gyrimo retorika“, @eitis (lt), 2016, t. 661, ISSN 2424-421X.
  • Previous Edition: Irena Buckley, „XVIII amžiaus lietuvininkas XIX amžiaus lietuvių tekstuose: gyrimo retorika“, Darbai ir dienos, 2015, nr. 63, p. 155–167, ISSN 1392-0588.
  • Institutional Affiliation: Vytauto Didžiojo universitetas.

Summary. This article discusses the ways in which an 18th century poet appeared close to, and the ways in which he appeared distant from, the creators of an engaged 19th century discourse. A rhetorical analysis of the apologia of Kristijonas Donelaitis is provided. Processes of the rhetoric of praise are discussed: the formation of the topic of the example; the intentional omission of what is less significant; the magnification of what is most honorable; and the employment of the rhetoric of sublimity. In 19th century Lithuanian texts, Donelaitis becomes a sort of metonymy for expressing the vitality of the Lithuanian language and culture. Still, it cannot be claimed that he was assessed unequivocally – the attitude toward him was determined by conceptions of national (ethnic) identity, religious affiliation, and aesthetic principles. Regardless of divergent religious and political developments, at the beginning of the century a tendency to emphasize the integrity of Lithuanian territories is evident. Some literary scholars combine Donelaitis’ homeland into a single territorial unit together with Aukštaitija (Highlands) and Žemaitija (Samogitia). Religious affiliation becomes especially important from the middle of the century onwards, when following the insurrections the religious factor becomes dominant in culture and Catholicism comes to be seen as one of the principal supports for upholding ethnic identity. In such a context Protestant Lithuania Minor and its representative Kristijonas Donelaitis are not emphasized: the creators of didactic prose are much more interested in propagating the ideology of Catholicism. Toward the end of the century these differences emerge in the conflict between Bishop Antanas Baranauskas and the young aušrininkai, although the national aspects of Donelaitis’ literary work seem to be considerably more important than any differences in religious affiliation.

Keywords: Kristijonas Donelaitis, rhetoric, apologia, topic if example, national (ethnic) identity, religious affiliation.