Posts Tagged With: lithuanian

book review | When the eternal fire still burned by J. Remeika

Kai dar amžina ugnis ruseno knygos apzvalga knygu blogasAuthor: J. Remeika
Title: When the eternal fire still burned
Original: Kai dar amzina ugnis ruseno
Series: –
Genre: Folklore; Legends
Pages: 168
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

J. Remeika has put together a rare book of Lithuanian folklore called “When the eternal fire still burned“. A lot of what we had is lost due to systematic destructions we survived. And this, sadly, reminds me more of what we lost, than what we salvaged.

About the Book: A collection of short stories from across Lithuania. Most are to par in the style we seemingly enjoy here, calling ourselves the land of the lakes and rain – they’re about how this or that lake appeared there or here and why is it called that way. Some tales are repeated, as if author of this book went to another village and they had their own version. Others seemingly have sequels elsewhere or otherwise connect together. And, of course, each one teaches of the perils that await those who lack virtue.

My Opinion: So what’s my problem, you ask? These here tales are already altered greatly by christianity, even the ones where our thunder god Perkunas is an active participant. There are certain things we didn’t have, didn’t believe in, or had our own version. So it’s a bit unpleasant to read, much like witnessing someone dip sushi into ketchup, I bet.

It’s worth reading it, sure, for the language alone, for it sure changed through the years. But I can only give it 3 out of 5 and no more.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Other Fiction, Mythology Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Facts | Finally Translated | LT

I am a Lithuanian, and I have a book blog in Lithuanian, which is my native language, and I have started my “career” as a bookblogger over there too. Used to be I was a frequent guest at libraries, and was receiving, and finding news about new translations into Lithuanian, since it’s a privilege of English speaking world to not be concerned about being able to read a sequel of your favorite book and such. But as time went by, and I’ve started just skipping over the middleman by reading more and more ebooks (thanks to the fact that I started making my own money early, and bought a tablet early, since that’s also a serious blessing many don’t have, thus leaving them trapped with what choices they’re given, not the ones they can take), thus, books in English, I’ve gotten out of touch with the actual translations.

Now to find a book I loved – translated into my language is an adventure, usually experienced while in the bookstore, searching for new Witcher Saga re-print (we had them translated way before first game ever came out, but now we’re getting new shiny covers!) and so imagine my surprise, when I noticed not just one, but three familiar titles. So here’s what we’ve got, and I apologize for it’s probably irrelevant for absolutely everyone else:

 

ikalintatamsojeSarah J. MaasA Court of Mist and Fury“, translated to us as “Trapped in the Dark“, which suits the narrative, so it’s absolutely fine, many translations have different titles from the original.

High Fantasy; Young Adult (adult/mature)

 

 

 

 

 

MiglosVaikai_PaskutineImperija_BrandonSandersonBrandon SandersonMistborn: The Final Empire“, translated the same as the original. I really loved this book, so I’m really happy they not only translated it, but gave it a very fitting cover too. We’re notorious with our lame covers, believe me, there’s something to celebrate here.

High Fantasy;

 

 

 

 

 

KaravalasAnd the last, but hopefully not least, Stephanie GarberCaraval“, translated to us.. Ugh, literally, I guess. As good as it can be, taking the circumstances. While I didn’t like this book much, I see value in it, and will be happy if someone picks it up, and it becomes their new favorite. As I said before, and will say many times again: it doesn’t matter what or how you read, as long as you read, you’re doing more than a lot of people out there, be happy, be proud, and love what you love.

High Fantasy; Young Adult (don’t take me on my word, I think it was PG)

Categories: book facts, Books: Everything, General | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Balys Sruoga – Forest of the Gods

u_TUHN In Lithuania it is fairly common for someone in their late twenties or thirties to know stories of Concentration Camps directly from their grandparents. Not very common, but it happens. I heard one in elementary school, when one girl brought her grandmother with her to tell that story to us on a memorial day. I also heard one from a very lucky family member. She grew old and now has great-grandchildren, as rare of those chosen for camps could claim to have. In her case, young soldier ran ahead and told them to leave everything and run hide in the fields. Others were told that the house is empty and after raiding it – never returned. That’s a story of a very lucky person.
Balys Sruoga is a Lithuanian author and this book, Forest of the Gods, is his memoirs from Concentration Camp. He was taken there as part of the “intelligentsia” as we call them here, but I guess it’d translate more into a “well educated person who other people would believe if he spoke bad of this or that political fraction or regime”. And were it not his amazing skills of sarcasm and satire, this would be an extremely tragic book. Instead, the tragedy behind his words of swollen, bleeding legs, of constant hunger, of cold and beatings for nothing, is only visible after you laugh at his wits of how a drunken soldier got stuck on electric fence.
It was very interesting to read this. To see different people and human nature in them all. Some cried after they had to beat a prisoner, but couldn’t NOT beat them, for it was their job and if they disobeyed – they risked ending up in same camp with them. Some beat them and then secretly brought them food, so to sustain the life of those poor men and women. Others turned a blind to them going on dates, smoking or not working much out of lack of strength. And then there were those who enjoyed their work, the beatings, the yelling.
There’s not much I can tell of this book without repeating the history. I just suggest you read it or go on and just watch the movie, which isn’t very good, but aint too bad either. For this book, I’ll give it 4 out of 5, it was good indeed. Tho it lacked the ending. And, sad but true, author died barely few years after he entered the freedom and decent life again. He was a hansom and definitely very talented man.

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Jurgita Noreikiene – Naberijus

Naberijus  Another Lithuanian author in my radar, and yet again there is no translation of this book anywhere. In compare, I could say that Jurgita’s NoreikieneNaberius” is like a Lithuanian version of Becca Fitzpatrick’s “Fallen Angel”. Different, yet somehow similar.
Almina, the main protagonist is a Cinderella type of a girl. She’s common and her being chosen by a Justice Demon Naberius just makes sense as the story evolves, for which I give thumbs up for the author, for I sadly see no damn sense in most demonic/angelic choices many other books give. She has a contract upon her, made by her now dead mother, to have vengeance an thus justice brought upon those who have forced her hand to kill herself. Almina, of course doesn’t know that. In fact, she hardly cares how madly in love she is with the Justice and Truth demon. That’s all up until the time when demon has to fulfill his duty for Hell and kill at an order of Almina herself.
Lots of fun things happen in this book. Bulgakov’ish weddings with a demon, Lucifer, the pompous arse, the purgatory’s meaning and in the end you figure – this book was absolutely not about vengeance, revenge, justice or truth. This was all about that grey color between the black and the white and how the good angels can be evil bastards, while the vicious demons can indeed supply you with justice and kind deeds.
I liked the different things in it too, like emotion-filled lives of the supernaturals. They’re like kids, naive, no matter their age, no matter their power. So they laugh if it’s funny, and they cry if they’re ashamed or in pain. For that I give the author another firm thumbs up.
Yet all in all the book is still a little weak, a little shallow on the surface. Almina is a bit dumb, with her inability to put two and two together, when the two is pushed right under her nose and she has another two in her purse all along. And some “sticks in the wheels” to further the story a little more through the pages made no sense to it too. And the backstories of some people, and the side-characters, those where a little bland if “eatable” at all. But since this is the first book by this author, I’ll give her 2.5 out of 5 and if the author will ever read this – I hope You will write another book, because You do have great potential. I will gladly read more. We lack the supernatural authors here, and those we have – suck quite a bit.

Categories: Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Kristina Sabaliauskaite – Silva Rerum [I]

silvarerum  So right away let’s make it clear. Kristina Sabaliauskaite is a Lithuanian author, one of our best writers, if I do say so myself. Silva Rerum in latin means “Forest of things“, more or less, and so was called a family book where great, usually noble boyar families would write the most memorable or the most important things that have happened in their family.
Silva Rerum follows a Lithuanian boyar family in 17th century. Their twin kids, girl named Urshule and boy Kazimieras. Urshule has her own rather rotten side. She dreams of becoming a nun, a saint, so that people would worship her and most of all – her body wouldn’t rot the way their pet cat did when it died. Kazimieras in this case – doesn’t care for much on this Earth. He knows well and good that we all will rot in hell, no matter how good or bad, or what great things we’ll do. Their mother, be it her good life, be it her miscarried or dead children or no wish to actually have them, who knows now, is in a crisis, for she can’t find a way to express her own identity. She wants to be someone else, rather than this woman, this mother, this wife. She even dreams of shaving her head and going to war, just to be away and see an adventure. That bothers me on a personal level, so I won’t talk of her. And then there’s the a lot older husband, a wise fool, if I may say so. A smart man who avoids too many things and thus it often results in too many things falling down.
Then there are their friends and true adventures that we do see. Twins, while growing up, had a friend from the village nearby, a boy who got madly in love with Urshule, but lacked the will. Pride won over him and next thing we see is how new soldiers and riff-raff were recruited in those times. Eventually they traveled to Vilnius, our Capital City, the Heart. They got there right on time for a student parade where for the first time we see a truly Bulgakov worth hero in this book (although I might also say that people in this boyar family could now and then fit the roles of Master and the Margarite), Jonas (pronounced as Yonas, not Jhonas) Kirdejus (also, Kirdeyus, our j is like y, always), who as a coincidence, plays a role of some kind of a faun, an evil trickster in the parade. We hear the story of the french smith with whom the family stays while visiting Vilnius, and we see the tragicomical, horrifying monasteries and Urshules undwindling will to join one and become a saint. In the mean time, her brother is finding friends and attending parties that’d be worth Voland himself!
It’s an amazing book, with every character so detailed, so brilliant. With every entry into the Silva, the book of the family, we anxiously await for the upcoming disaster, for we soon notice – it’s what happens. And then there’s this will to read faster where the characters you like less express themselves, just to move to the ones you do enjoy reading of. There are no dialogues, sentences are long and vast, and yet it was such an easy and wonderful read, that it’s truly a shame we don’t have a translation of it yet. There should be one, after all, we do have fantasy books translated, well, why not this? Anyways, I’ll give it 5 out of 5 and it goes straight among my favorite ones.

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Let’s talk theatre

I’m a fan, yes. And it’s not just classics, no, the broadway, the burlesque, the shimmery outfits and kitschy jokes, it all suits me well. As I mentioned before, December (I do believe it all happened in December, counting time is a bit difficult right now) was my month of culture. Some things I saw online on live broadcasts, provided free by specific channels on television and internet, in hopes to make people a little better, I guess. To some I went. I will mention only two most important ones tho. “Hamlet” and “Prima Donnas“.

Hamlet I saw online, thanks to a friend who never ceases to fill my life with such things. It was the last performance-play of Hamlet by those classic-here (Lithuania) actors and that director, namely Eimuntas Nekroshius (Nekrošius). I didn’t turn it on on time, at the moment I began – Hamlet was already making a deal with his deceased father and first thing that happened was I got cold by watching Hamlet put his feet onto an ice block! (it’s partially modern take on Hamlet, there was a lot of ice, metaphoric items and such, all dark, all cold) Must say I never saw those people perform before, as far as I can remember, but I was struck speechless. Ophelia was never as tragic. Hamlet was never this pure in his actions. And I don’t even like Shakespeare that much!

You know the story, so I will not repeat it. I will just say that this play, this particular one, stands with the movie for me. If not above. Actors were older, but they performed this so many times – it was almost an alter ego to them. I am indeed a little sad I never saw this performed at spot, but never the less I saw it live and didn’t miss the last opportunity. Sure, one’s heart does not ache for the things one doesn’t know missing. But say what you want, it’s even better to know you didn’t miss.

  Doubt thou the stars are fire;
  Doubt that the sun doth move;
  Doubt truth to be a liar;
  But never doubt I love.

Hamlet_Mamontovas_msg2theming

  And then there’s the “Broadway” type of a comedy of cabaret/burlesque called “Prima Donnas” (Primadonos), by Domino Theatre (I was a little lame not to dig into who built the play or who’s the writer at least). It’s a rare thing for us to get good plays or shows locally, for I live in this smaller town in between two biggest cities in Lithuania – it’s far to go to either. So when chance drops into your lap – you don’t miss it. I took mother to this one, for it was her birth day around that time and what better present than something you can remember forever?

  It all starts with loud music, smokes, colors and two guys dancing a very proper performance. Soon after we figure – they’re our main stars. Two guys who spent many years in Art studies, but they’re both still at the bottom of it – performing at cabaret, dancing in feather boas and glittery jackets. Neither wants that. So when they see the news in paper, that this so-and-so granny is dying and only wishes to see her grandchildren one last time – they must seize it. At least two millions are on stake… The catch in this plan is that the grandchildren are both female. But as one of the lads said – for two million dollars the question in whether you can pretend to be a woman is only one: which dress will you wear?

  It’s not the classy “and then they fell in love with other grandchildren of this granny, but they got mad at them for pretending just for the money, but then they all fell in love again and forgave each other everything“. There’s a twist there too – the girls, one true granddaughter and a friend of hers (they both helped the granny to find her grandchildren, so neither knows these two rather big girls are actually men), they find out who those two are sooner. And best is – they know those two actors and both are great fans of them!

  It was really well made, funny, with little bit but well used music. Actors were great, fast to react to audience and little mistakes that tend to happen not because of lack of talent, but because of the scene-factors. Like, one of the guys fell off the scene, low scene, I’m sure he didn’t hurt himself, but he was quick to jump up, drop a witty line in response and jump right back up! Really, as my mother said – sad we didn’t get flowers when going there.

PrimaDonnas_1

 

Categories: Little Joys | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cheri and the Horrors

Let me start by telling you a tale of “buy three for the price of one” sales on books. It’s extra-hard for me to pass these ever since I was 11 years old, when I first bought two books worth 12 dollars for barely 4 dollars, left from my lunch. This time, few days ago to be specific, I bought a fourth Hellsing manga, “I am Legend” and “Cheri“, all three attached together. I didn’t know what this “Cheri” is, but I figured – it’s together with two vampire stories, it can’t be that bad, right?

Colette_EN_LT

Lithuanian and English

 

So I took it to be read first, before Legend, before Hellsing (that one I’ve read a long time ago, I just didn’t have my own copy). No vampires, I’ll say, altho there was a single mention of them, when Leya called herself a vampiress, craving the young body of Cheri (Fred). It’s not the “wow, that was good” type of the book, but I have no regrets in owning it. Why? Well, because Leya, mother of Cheri, and all their friends are also courtesans. It’s just terribly interesting for me to watch what those women can make out of a man in life and I’m never disappointed. Mind you, I don’t find this profession anywhat worse than any other. Where there’s a demand, there’s offer, thus if the women are “vile” for doing this – shouldn’t you start by getting to the demanders? Anyways, so that’s that, a fine book. I presume I missed those stories of fancy hats, tights vests tie pins.

Right after finishing it I went for watching the movie. Mind you, I’m not the type who sits down and watches something easily. Either lure me with amazing things, or I’ll escape the first chance I get. Funny thing, what lured me in “Cheri” movie were the details all around them. The green with gold glass goblets, the fully gold covered tea cups, the wide wine-red smoking-robes, the previously mentioned hats and all those aging courtesans. They followed the book pattern really well, for one of them indeed seemed a cross-dressed man (maybe she was indeed a he, I didn’t check the actor list), and the other one had a really fake looking wig.

Cheri_1

Cheri_4

 

Cheri_2

Cheri_3

  One thing was terribly odd for me tho. It’s a narrated movie. Like some “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory“. If it was at least narrated by a woman it maybe wouldn’t have felt as if an oompa-loompa was about to jump out and start singing.

  The other thing is – congratulate me! I finished first season of “American Horror Story“. And it wasn’t good. I’m told the second one is by far better, but first one knocked the will out of me to watch on further, so I’ll put it on the tab for next week. As for now, lets figure what’s what, shall we?

  Okay, so there’s this fancy old house, suspiciously cheap. Tourist-lurers keep bellowing – it’s a MURDER house! And it is. You move in – you die. No, first you somehow, for some weird-ass reason decide you want a baby. Then a thing in spandex suit or what it was, comes to help out on that. Then you figure you’re growing a demon baby in thy womb, as if priests weren’t terrified of you being a woman in the first place. Then – everyone dies. Usually killed by ghosts who died there before. For if you die there – you cannot leave. Ever. And that house is CRAWLING with ghosts of crazy people, I tell you. Some died because of hate crimes, others – for infidelity, others more – suicided and so on. They love, they hate and most of all – they all want your baby. Oh, and they want their house back, so just pop that thing out and get the hell out or else…

  So that’s that – murder, lots of murder, pretty much – you wasn’t excited enough about my new vase! – stab, stab, stab! Then there’s rape and infidelity. Then there’s psychotic teens and creepy little kids. Oh and did I mention everyone keeps killing everyone?

  First serie – awesome. Second – o-kay. Third – …not so much anymore. Last serie was quite alright tho, that’s why I didn’t ditch the idea of giving second season a chance some time later.

AHS_1ahs_2

  Let’s return a bit to the topic of books, for I didn’t mention one more. I happen to be a secret lover of all kinds of Asia involving books, even if it’s purest fiction of all fiction, with realms that aren’t ours. Thus if I see a sale or other cheap little book (I try to cut down on book buying. You should see my home, really, it’s pure gain to buy less damn paper books…), I get it. This time I got Ihara Saikaku book “Five Women who Loved Love“. First two stories were a disappointment and I was cursing my stupid head to buy a book with such a suspicious title in the first place. But then the last three made it worth my while.

  It’s all about… Well, honestly, there’s no one pure topic. I’d say – tragic love – but that’s not it. I’d say – falling in love – but that’s not it either. I’d say – okay, being unfaithful and getting what you deserved for it – but that’s also not true. First two – tragedy, oh tragedy. The girls are insanely young, thus saying “women” is a hard thing for me. And first two do things that I can’t work through my mind. Say, a lover in the dark mixed you up with someone else, you slept through whole activity he took, then woke up and figured you probably love him terribly, thus you should, absolutely, run away with him? Let me just back away, slowly… Or better, some old geezer dropped a pot on your head, messed your hair up, his wife decided you had a little tumble with him and thus began spreading vile rumors on you, you decide that if that’s so, you’ll give her REAL reason to spread rumors and thus again – run off with some weird old man you met once, twice? Sense can begin any time now. And it did, by the way, for next three stories did make sense, by all means. The last one didn’t even end with deaths, and there was even some homesexuality mention (and more) in the last two, which gave the “five women” a little charm. Especially as I always dearly admired samurais and while friends and mates all wanted to be police officers, high ranking military men, professional athletes – hell, I wanted a katana! So there’s that for me.

English, Lithuanian

English, Lithuanian

I did the the little book, it’s also – not the best thing you can get – but definitely not the worst. I also got it quite some time ago, so I can’t figure how I forgot all about it. I guess I just didn’t expect old Japan to be the setting for it. Oh, and let me add, that while stories are short and definitely not the most interesting things you could read – there are these little footnotes and such which speak of those-times-Japan, the culture, traditions and other facts. Those were the best!

 

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