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2018 | 9 "Memory, Melancholy and Nostalgia" | 97-108

Article title

Nostalgia for the Lost Homeland as Part of Identity in Alė Rūta’s Works


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4th International Interdisciplinary Memory Conference “Memory, Melancholy and Nostalgia” (17-18 Semptember, 2015 in Gdansk)

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The article examines the representation of nostalgic memory of the lost homeland, Lithuania, in the Lithuanian diaspora writer’s, Alė Rūta’s (1915-2011), trilogy called “The Destiny of the Exiled”, which consists of the novels Pirmieji svetur (1984; Eng. - The First Abroad), Daigynas (1987; Eng. – The Seedling Plot), and Skamba tolumoj (1997; Eng. Echoes from Afar). These novels describe the multilayered problems of Lithuanian immigration into the U.S.A. and life of the immigrants there. Alė Rūta (Elena Nakaitė-Arbienė) is a well-known Lithuanian author, most of whose works (novels and collections of short stories and poems, all written in the Lithuanian language) have been published by the publishers of Lithuanian diaspora in the United States of America. The trauma of the loss of the native land results in the transmitted nostalgia in her novels. The author both mourns over the lost homeland and shares with the readers her grief over this loss and longing for seeing it again. In doing this, Alė Rūta echoes the nostalgic voices of many immigrants, who left their native country at different periods. The article also discusses the issue of preservation of ethnic identity, which is constructed on nostalgic and often melancholic memories of the past, and explores different types of nostalgia, which forms a core of Alė Rūta’s trilogy.


  • Vytautas Magnus University (Lithuania), Department of Foreign Language, Literary and Translation Studies


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