Movie Review


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A review of “That’s what I am”
By Kristina

Yesterday, I watched “That’s what I am”. It’s a drama that is based on true events. The film stars Chase Ellison and Alexander Walters.
It’s the story of two students, Nichol and Stanly, who is nicknamed Big G. They’re tasked to do a project and they decide to do one about tolerance. However, tolerance is the one thing their school lacks. From students, like Stanly and Karen, being bullied because of their appearances, to Mr. Simon, the schools best teacher, being rumored about a homosexual relationship. Some situations happen, that show it. That is, until Stanly enters the schools talent show. Nichol is concerned, that people will laugh at him, but Stanly still gives it a try, so, Nichol is supporting him.
Nichol is the main character of this film and he’s also the narrator. He’s one of the most relatable characters of the movie, mostly because he often reflects the audiences’ reactions. Nichol experiences a lot of things during the film, which inspire him to become a better person and follow his dreams. However, his biggest inspiration is Stanly. Stanly, or Big G, is also an important character. He’s a tall, redheaded guy, who appears to be shy and quiet. But later he’s slowly showing more personality and wisdom. At the talent show, he’s displaying a lot of bravery. This movie features a lot of secondary characters, like Mr. Simon, Mary, Ed, Norman, and, my personal favorite, Karen. Although they don’t get enough character development, they’re still pretty likable and interesting to watch.
In my opinion, this is a serious, but still entertaining film. It has a great concept, but not that great of an execution. The plot was really complicated and it was hard for me to understand what’s going on. However, the movie addresses some real life problems, has a great moral and it really made me think. The special effects are poor quality, because there’re too many shadows and quiet sounds, although I like this old look. Overall, it isn’t a perfect movie, but still worth watching!




Book Review – Between Shades of Gray By Ruta Sepetys. Written By LEU student Evelina Bankauskaitė

Between Shades of Gray

By Ruta Sepetys

Between Shades of Gray is the debut novel of American writer Ruta Sepetys. This novel is based upon the truth stories of survivors of The Genocide of Baltic people, during the Stalinist repressions of twentieth century.

The story is told by the first-person narrator. The major character and the narrator of this novel is a teenage girl Lina. The choice of the narrator makes the story even more vivid. Lina is only fifteen years old, but she is a strong young woman. She is a beginner artist with high expectations. Lina is a true rebel, who refuses to learn Russian language, even though she is forced to. Lina draws her experiences. The drawings include her friends and enemies, disasters and little joys. Her aim is to let the World know about the horrors of the Soviet Union. Throughout the story Lina never loses hope of coming back to Lithuania. She refuses to give up fighting for her and her family’s life.

Lina tells the story of her own family. She and her family are the victims of deportation. They experience terrible things: arrest, separation, long and horrible journey to a labor-camp in freezing Siberia. Lina narrates her story in a great detail. She talks about the first place of deportation in Altai, forced labour in the collective farm, life at the local people’s homes and the transfer to the island of Laptev sea, near the polar circle. The book provides comprehensive knowledge of exile: anti-sanitarian conditions, famine, food change and sharing, the death of children, nourishing mothers and other people, cartilage throwing from wagons at short stops, cruel soldiers’ behavior with the exiles, relationships between the exiles themselves, their relationship with the local population.

Even in the darkness of the polar night, between the gray clouds, the ray of hope is shining – to return, to meet again … Between the Gray Clouds is an enchanting story that takes your breath away and enslaves the heart, revealing the wonderful nature of the human spirit.

All in all, I would definitely recommend to read this book, especially for the young adults and teenagers. This is a truly earthshaking, powerful and important story about the tragic history of our nation, about the constant fear of the unknown, about thinking what a human life is worth? I promise you, once you take this book, you would not be able to put it aside. I am sure that the story about Lina’s family will deeply touch your heart.




Book review: Charlote Bronte – Jane Eyer By LEU Student Viltė

“Gentle reader, may you never feel what I then felt! May your eyes never shed such stormy, scalding, heart-wrung tears as poured from mine. May you never appeal to Heaven in prayers so hopeless and so agonized as in that hour left my lips: for never may you, like me, dread to be the instrument of evil to what you wholly love.”

Jane Eyer is an incredible tale about a young girl named Jane, abused and tortured throughout her childhood, school years, later on as a governess and even as independent woman. It is most certainly a love story too. Love that finds its way and conquers all. This book opens up with a 9 years old Jane telling her lifetime story. It is 19th century, story takes place in northern England countryside. Immediately you are taken back in time and as you start to read you will feel as if you are there, in England, living this story. Poor Jane tells about her not having parents and living with her cruel aunt Reed and her kids, her not being loved, but only treated like a burden. Tough childhood doesn’t get any better even then little girl is sent far away to the charity school. There she faces starvation levels of food, freezing rooms, and poorly made clothing and shoes.Despite the difficult conditions at Lowood, Jane still prefers school to life with the Reeds. She learns proper ladylike behavior and compassion, gains a more spiritual focus. After 6 years of hard work she becomes a teacher and later on faces her new challange- work as a governess in a mysterious Thornfield. This is there all the mystery and drama begins to show. After some time working in Thornfield Jane meets a man who later on turns ous is her employer and the owner of Thornfield. Both of the characters take an interest to each other, however they try to hide it. On top of that, young Jane notices some strange things happening in Thornfield as from time to time she hears maniacal laughter coming from the third story. This mystery stays on Janes minds, however she starts to realize that she is falling for her employer Mr.Rochester. Still she keeps her distance as she believes Rochester have feelings for other- beautiful Blanche Ingram. As evens move further Jane has to leave Thornfield for one month to attend her aunt, who is on her deathbed. There she discovers a huge secret, her aunt just before dying confesses about Jane’s uncle Eyer who left her inheritance. When Jane returns to Thornfield,Rochester tells Jane he will soon marry Blanche, so she will need to leave Thornfield. However, feelings of these two finally burst and they finally come clean. These two end up getting engaged and it seems as if the happy ending of the story. Hoever as I noticed that half of the book is still left I knew something will come up. And so it did. On the day of love birds wedding a strange man announces Rochester is already married to a woman named Bertha Antoinetta Mason. Jane runs away from Rochester, with a little money. She travels far away and even faces starvation until finally she gets a shelter from Rivers family. Later on, Jane finds out that Rivers family is actually her relatives family. All the members are cousins of Jane. She shares her uncle’s inheritance and even gets a proposal from her cousin John to get married and travel to India. Jane refuses and soon dreams about her true love Rochester. Having bad feeling she travels back to Thornfield, and to her horrid she finds it burnt to the ground. what about Rochester? What happens next? Does Jane get her happy ending after all? These answers I leave to find out for yourselves, dear readers.

One last thing I would like to mention. It’s a complicated love story, with unexpected plot twists that leave you shocked. Moreover, a lot of mystery and drama is involved. All human emotions such as happiness, sorrow, anger, fear, hate, and pity are also masterfully brought to life in this book. The conflicts between love and independence and conscience and passion are brilliantly shown in this book. Also, this love is at that time considered morally wrong, since Jane was from the lower class unlike Mr.Rochester. But in the end, love conqures all and nothing else matter except the passion that two lovers feel. It is a classical story with a vivid discriptions of people, surroundings and emotions. Strong and complicated people are described in the book, as well as the weak ones. You get to feel what characters felt and in your head you get to live what they lived. This is why once you start to read this book you will not want to put it away.




My creative milestones of 2017. By Martynas Jakucevičius

Greetings. During this year I, Martynas Jakucevičius, have reached this sort of a milestone in different forms of creativity including music, poetry and fiction.

There are a few music genres that I work on. They are hip hop/rap and dark ambient. My ultimate goal is to achieve the complete synergy between these two genres and combine them into one so that the sounds of the genres would compliment but not hinder each other. Dark ambient (in the 1980s also referred to as ambient industrial or black ambient) is a genre of post-industrial music that features foreboding, ominous, or discordant overtones, some of which were heavily inspired by elements of ambient music. Often causing negative emotion in the listener. It is a genre that is usually misunderstood by people. A lot of people don`t even consider dark ambient as a music genre at all. Dark ambient is often used in horror movies to create that right atmosphere that makes horror movies scary.

I released a dark ambient mix this year

And with poetry it seems at least to me that I am improving which in itself is nice and a rewarding feeling. Here are my newest poems:

I remember
The black/white forests
I remember
The memories I hold dearest

And the time`s entropy
That sweeps them away
Such is all o`ours enemy
But none is immune
To sweet sweet decay

Decay of heart
Decay of spirit
Decay of body

Archway so dark
Betray the gimmick
Dismayed and bloody

Religious or cynic
Rich or poor
Healthy or in clinic
Guilty or pure

All face the same entropy
That sweet sweet decay
Oblivion enters me I await my doomsday

Universal being

I wander the decayed lands of yours
And so I wonder who am I
For I know who you are

For you are everything that is dear to me
Close to me, you are life, death
The sun, the moon and the stars
The mountains in the earth
The air in my chest

The endless waves of bottomless sea
The forests, the jungles, all beings
Including me, but what part of me
Only belongs to me
What is that part

Who am I, answer me
I question all of this
I witness the decay, the death and rebirth
Of life around, the land around

I place my feet in the sands
Stand still, I feel the wind
On my face as I grow old and decay

Forever

Forever blue
Forever young

Forever cruel
‘Again got stung!’

Oh the yonder
I still ponder

What lies under
The great beyond

Not behind it
Not above it

Nor the left
Nor right, in front it

But question is
A different one

Why don`t I go for the sun?
No, that would be mad

And truly sad
Remember Icarus?
That poor, poor lad

Sun is too far
For mighty legs of mine

And skinny hands
Don`t like to spar

I decline
I can`t go far

But still the wonder
As it is

For time is short
Remember this

And when your legs
Become so weak

Kick the bucket
And go to sleep

Explore the great beyond
And more

Forever young
Forever more

Forever calls

Forever`s lore

Ascension

I am on the edge of dying
Drinking, thinking about my sins
I look up, Orion`s belt

Trapped in a cage of lions
People`s emperors are burning in kilns
I`ll hang on Orion`s belt

That’s not what I was told, the liars
Living in small tins
Orion opens his arms

In a welcoming embrace
Embraced by dark star gods
I figured, humans are pawns
But now, I am among the gods
Life shifts away when the belt is tightened…
Life shifts away while the belt is tightened…

Legacy of Naught

When my soul leaves my body
You will cry from time to time
When my heart stops beating
We will go back in time

Where my heart beats again
Until my final moment
Reliving every memory
Again and again
Until you`ll move on
And the memory disappears
In the wind like dust
In a gust of wind
Part after part is forgotten
Oblivion is calling
Chilling oblivion
Dominion of the lost
Hegemony of the forgotten

My soul leaves my body
Cry from time to time
My heart stopped beating
Go back in time

To be continued… 😉

Here are the links where I usually post my works:
https://soundcloud.com/martynas-jakucevi-ius




Young&Talented Writers’ Club Presents Martynas Jakucevičius and his Novel/Sneak Peak

Recently I started writing fiction. It might not be perfect or something special but to me it is a milestone. The point when you decide to write and you actually are writing is a huge step in my opinion. Here is a ‘sneak peak’ of my work:

In the year of 1374 on the darkest day of the year. A day of stark and ominous nature. Full of horrors and morbid creatures of the unnatural. A full, white moon was reflecting the false light unto the lands of an isle in the Baltic sea. The island was large in size. Old, ruined, lifeless castles, towers and villages loom the land. Countless ages have past until man refound the isle. And so, on this night a group of German knights lead by Lord Toten Wulfenburg, an exiled noble of the Holy Roman Empire who was excommunicated for sodomy and hedonism. While in truth, his ambitions got the better of him and during a failed coup he ran away with a group of loyal knights and followers. Wulfenburg was large and burly – bull of a man with long blonde hair, striking sky-blue tired eyes and a dishevelled beard. The exile was hard on him. Few injuries here and there, a walking stick reflects the injuries of a leg. His appearance has definitely seen better days. Tattered ta bard and cloak, dented and dirty armor. His sheath hides the chipped, blunt sword and blood-stained blade. His followers and companions fared a lot worse. One of the knights got his hand severed. A makeshift bandage hides the ugly stump. The other got blinded by a man-at-arms in a small skirmish with a royal patrol – the emperor`s men. Most of them bore minimal injuries. While a common soldier might have abandoned their feudal during such dark and hard times, but these men are loyal men – knights, squires and servants and even some of the ladies. Exiled as they may be they still follow their doomed lord. Lord of the homeless, the exiled, the forgotten, the forsaken, the pariah. During a huge raid of a small port city on the coast of a Baltic sea the exiles managed to commandeer two small merchant ships and a huge supply of food, cloth, general goods and precious metals. They took to the sea. The pagan sea. While the Scandinavian lands to the north have been united with the Christendom and while the Baltic coast to the east is controlled by the Teutonic order there is still something ominous and doom-filling about the sea. Lord Walsenburg and the exiles sailed the calm sea for three days until they came upon the ISLE. The landing was chaotic and panic filled. In a small amount of time the servants and knights erected makeshift tents. The isle gives off a dark and atmosphere and the lord feels it. The isle itself is not charted on the merchant maps. The exiled lord sees an opportunity to disappear from the Christian world by settling the isle. Still staying in one of the ships he look over the isle. Right then one of the knights – the one with a stumped hand, comes to the lord and asks: “What are your orders, lord? We have unencumbered both of the ships. If I may ask…” ” you may” the lord answers. “Are we going to stay on this isle? I noticed that the isle is unsettled by people as far as I can tell. I have dispatched a couple of squires to scour the isle. My thoughts are that we should find a suitable place and set a more permanent encampment there.” The lord remains silent. Thousands of thoughts flood the mind. Something summons him, calls him, teases him to go forth, to explore, to find the source, the summoner. Toten descends the ship unto the soil of the beach. ” It needs name.” He whispers and ventures forth toward the camp.

1) Why do people try to avoid darker, more real or bad things, problems, themes?
2) Why it is hard for some people to share their creative works? Is it fear of criticism?
3) If you had to create a poem or a song would you make it dark, bright? Why?




Book review: Kurt Vonnegut – Slaughterhouse Five By Edvinas Matonis LEU Student

Kurt Vonnegut – Slaughterhouse 5 Book review

Kurt Vonnegut the creator of the Slaughterhouse-five novel was an American writer. In his long career he published 14 novels, three short story collections, five plays and five works of non-fiction. He is most famous for his best-selling semi-autobiographical novel Slaughterhouse-five that I will be reviewing for you. To make things clear, this novel may be considered a semi-autobiographical, because narrator of the story is the author himself, as he shows narrators identity when he says: „That was I…That was me…That was the author of this book…“. So let’s get back to business and talk about the novel. First of all, Slaughterhouse-five is the story of Billy Pilgrim‘s life, that is framed in World War 2, to be more specific in the dreadful bombing of Dresden time frame. Billy Pilgrim is a slender looking guy that was born in Ilium, New York, that was drafted for military service in the World War 2. Well, the most interesting thing about Billy is that he is not interesting character at all. He is not a hero who saves his comrades in the heat of war. He is nothing like that in this story. Billy Pilgrim is rather a dull character who is pushed through out the life without making any decisions. After witnessing these horrors of war, Billy struggles to move past the self-destructive human nature and he starts to travel through the story by jumping into different parts of his life. From this point the story becomes quite strange and absurd. He starts to jump in time when he experiences memories associated with the war. Then, Billy becomes „unstuck in time” and „has no control over where he is going next“. Due to these time jumps, he witnessed how he became wealthy optometrist, how he got married, how his children were born, how he survived a plane crash. But the most absurd thing in this story is that he believes that he was abducted by aliens. He thinks that aliens abducted and took him to their home planet Tralfamador through some kind of a time warp/black hole. Then, Tralfamadorians placed him in a zoo as an exhibit for other extraterrestrial life forms. The aliens taught him about their concept of time and how everything, even every second of time exist at once. They also taught him that death is just an unpleasant moment. Due to Billy‘s ability to jump around in timeline, he already knew these lesions when he was in bombing of Dresden. Finally, at the end when Billy was assassinated he tried to show this message to the world. He knew that he is going to die, but he did not mind it. I think that Vonnegut created a perfect portrait of a young man with the help of Billy’s character. Billy, who was drafted, thrown into the heat of war, captured, starved, yet managed to survive the terrible bombing of Dresden, while being 18 years of age. Due to this, war traumatized him so much, that in order to deal with all these horrific memories he started to hallucinate and invented an alternate reality in which he is able to jump in time. Due to these time jumps, the whole book is written in small chunks of Billy‘s life from random points. In other words, the story is not told in a chronological order. Also this novel explores themes of war and how war can affect an individual, or innocent peoples in a really tragic way. Theme of death is also quite common in this novel. But not in a sense of mourning for the dead, or fear of dying, but as a certain part of a whole existence of a person, and that we need to celebrate it while we are still here. On top of that, K. Vonnegut‘s writing style also helps reader to imagine those horrific events quite vividly.

To sum up, I know this novel sounds complex due to absurd Billy Pilgrim‘s world and all those time jump shenanigans, but it is full of irony, sentimentality, black humor and absurdity. I would recommend it to people who tend to like various science-fiction stories and have quite dark sense of humor.




1 year`s worth of melancholic, sad and dark poetry (updated). By Martynas Jakucevičius LEU student

We are happy to welcome a young artist into our poetry corner, enjoy 😉

Prophecy

When the Sun will release it`s final breath
And when the greed of men will awaken the dead
Land will favour the moon , in dept
The moon will open the tombs
Thus will begin the dance of death
And stars will weep and weep
Not a drop of life will land on earth
And when men and women will begin to die
The skies will open, releasing all the grief of the stars
Grief will flood the streets of greatest cities and castles
Sons and daughters of the Sun will align
Moon will drop from the skies
Leaving a barren wasteland in it`s wake
Lorded by those who have been doomed to rot in darkest tombs
A great battle will take place,
Death and man, will face each other with grace.

The Swords that cut deep

Draw your sword, young lord.
Draw me a bloody painting if you will
But is it the only way? To live with a burden
Such as this is just only an existence.
You – a shell of your former self.
So help me and yourself…
Draw your sword…

Loneliness

Blackness…Darkness… Void…
Heartache I cannot avoid
Where are you, my beloved?
Alone, again… Alone, I said!
I hover in darkness,
I have become rugged…
Where are you, my beloved?
In the arms of the other…
On other side of the world…
Or dead… I have said,
If you die… my love dies with you
Where are you, my beloved?
In the stars… In the dreams
I discovered you…
So, where are you, my beloved?
Loneliness, I love you…

The ethereal dream

My thoughts that make wrath manifest
Awakens the anger that hid, corrupted my soul
It manifests as fire in my dreams
It ends as buried bones of my being
My feelings that make sadness a reality
I dream and awake in an ocean
I would sink deeper if not for my devotion
It threatens to drown me
To surround me in pain
To take me to the endless abyss
To see the world through the thickest mist
My fears that makes me tremble and stutter
They define and refine me like a stone-cutter
I fear what I can and could do
I fear what I won`t and never do
Fear makes me re-think my plots
Makes me correct and connect the dots
I stand still, inactive
The fear of fears, fear of idleness
I awake from my ethereal dream
Trying to comprehend what is real
What is real or nonexistent?
What is true and what is just an illusion?
Define it and see that the world is full of delusions…

Wishes of a pariah

A lone man stands at the hill overlooking a metropolis of a city
He founds himself wanting, lacking of substance, a warm heart
A heart that is frozen at the moment, a moment that is lost in time
He remembers not the moment, but the feeling, the way that he felt
He felt the wind at his wings high above the clouds, his towns, cities
He believed and he had to pay for it, a payment of a warmth of a heart
A heart that is cold and dark, a stark contrast… A wish to have it all back…

Void

Awake… awake, my child
Witness your own reflection in a mirror, exile
A plain sight for my eyes
A simple shell, people think it holds a simple mind
But how can such a mind be simple when you have the blackest heart?
No one welcomes you to any temple
You are unwelcome, that’s when your self-exile began
You ran... and ran... and ran...
Like you, your purpose, your mission is hiding, observing
Searching for something, an apparatus, a place that is lost in time?
You bury yourself in the ground, you find no purpose
So much time wasted, so much was lost for this demented mission
Only the end awaits you, a wise madman, searching for the purpose
Of the cycle of life, but only found the void of life
Void so dark and so deep, you could lose your light in it
The void of ones heart, the void that fills your being...

Origin


I turn my head skyward
Ominous atmosphere in my mind
s sphere

My mind is nothing compared to the celestial sphere
Above all of our heads, thousands of Gods that lay in the stars
Unreachable dark and void heavens, my minds nightly sessions
Stars whispered that dark and light emissions are mostly based in heavens
That Gods bred among themselves that's
how humanity was born

Children of the Gods, the first disciples began to mix and interbreed
Worship of Forefathers started, we began to create mighty monuments
Of bone, of stone, of gold for Gods sat on thrones

Celestial

Where is the happiness that I was promised?
Where is that world full of magic and good?
Where is the future that should be filled with fleeting memories?
Where is the god that I was told to worship?
Where is that purpose of life that I should find?
Where is that paradise where people full of virtue travel to?
Where is that hell where villains face eternal torture?
Where is the love that few can fathom?
Where is that life which my mother gave birth to?
Where is the end in which we all have to hug the hooded figure?
“In you, my friend, in you.” A voice whispers from within…

Within me

Lurking, trying to escape lies a force
Strong force, that only I can see
Shame and need to placate the masses
I am an animal, emotional cannibal
Feeling alone inside, integrating
Piece by piece each day I paint my inner self in gray
What to do? How can I escape the loneliness inside?
How to escape without losing my inner self, without corrupting my consciousness?
I am losing…

Who are you?

Who are you?
A being of inner darkness.
Who are you?
A being of outer light.
Who are you?
I am you and you are me.
Who are you?
The one that is asleep.
Who are you?
The one that is waking.
Who are you?
I am the beginning of the end.

Cycle

Lone man stands at the base of a mount of bones,
Face is hooded as well as thoughts…
Thoughts about future troubles his mind…
“Everybody dies. Babe becomes a teen, teen becomes an adult,
Adult a senile old man… After that… After that comes dust and bones…
But dust and bones is not the end but a beginning… A beginning of a new life…” Voices sing and sing that same old song.
Thoughts die and reborn again in an unending cycle…
He speaks: “Life or death? Think about life after death…”
And as ages pass, old bones turn to dust and ash…
New bones litter the grounds…

Life`s Death

What is life without death?
Would it hold meaning or we would be blind to see reason?
Death, body decomposion, new life…
Men are mortal gods
Time is an enemy
Mortal. Mortal! We all are mortal!
And death, that beautiful death, will take us all…
We are born to die… No option to rewind…

Unknown reaper

Where are you?
I am looking for that which I do not know.

Where are you?
Castles fall, glass shatters, stone floor crumbles.

Where are you?
Guards die, skeletal remains.

Where are you?
Flowers bloom, doom.

Where are you?
Scythe swings and swings.

Where are you?
Hooded you come, skeletal hands are still.

Where are you?
There you are. Scythe swings, my life ends.

I become one with all…

Hopeless

I am so sinister
Blood on my hands flowing endlessly

Unexpected visitor
Is leaving “Wait for me.”

Swallowed by darkness
No light, no candles.

I see nothing for I am nothing
I come from nothing and I will become nothing

I am what you were and I will be what you become
Soon… Wait for me… Soon…

The Dead May Speak

I hear them – whispering
When I creep in a graveyard.
Grey tombstones, old and new
Stand a forest. Walking through
A narrow road, graves unearthed in my mind
A sorrowful soul, no heart found kind
The graves of mine, I want you to speak
Speak to me, speak and I will listen
No one lights the candles no more.
A bag of candles and a shovel in my hands
Need to dig more, more graves, for more dead
More dead need more graves
Some dead need to be unearthed, remembered
Dig…. Dig…. Dig…. A gravedigger…
Troubled mind grows…

Tombstone

Broken pen…
Broken spirit…
Den of sorrows…
Still living in it…
Slowly I am creeping…
Creeping in a graveyard…
No reason to stay…
My glance is empty…
Share a dance with me…
Dead pretenders…
But I turn into a pretender…
Cold winds…
Broken pens…
Broken spirits…
Closest people don`t even know me…
Stone me… Cut me…
Sins of a lost man…
I recite the words…
My own words uttered long ago…
So… So… So low…
Low of me…
Days go by…
Nothing changes…
A sad lullaby…

Monologue of Dust

Wandering within self
Dark moon shines
Endless halls, labyrinths
Undressed to the bone
Smoke a seldom cigarette

Rope in a hand
Kill yourself, that`s some help
Ghosts from a backyard are dancing
Waiting for the merchant
The merchant of death

Starless skies watch over me
Over for me, look and you will see
Witness it, sickness this
A puzzle of words
Thousand swords

Of thousand lords
Skeletal thoughts
Are smashed, need but one rock
This plane of existence
Withering the life of me

A machine is constructed
Pain of love
Pain of god
Rot inside
Drinking cyanide

Mixing with emerald absinthe
Before or since
It does not matter
A body with a black robe
Still exists in this cesspit




J.G. Ballard “Empire of the Sun”. Book review by Viktorija Tamašauskaitė

In the world of wealth, it seems that nothing wrong can happen. Jamie Graham also thought so until he faced the overpowering truth…

“Empire of the Sun”, a novel written by the English novelist, short story writer, and essayist J. G. Ballard was published in 1984. Even though the author of the novel is famous for the thematically and stylistically provocative fiction pieces, he is best know for war novel “Empire of the Sun”, which is semi-autobiographical novel about British boy stuck in Shanghai during Japanese occupation.

The novel revolves around the story of a young British boy, Jamie “Jim” Graham, who is living in Shanghai with his parents and does not know the life of poor. The boy comes from the upper-class family, so he cannot understand what does it mean to live in one room apartment as his nanny’s parents do. Jim is all about the privilege – he enjoys parties that their parents and parents’ friends throw, talks arrogantly with his servants and does not give any attention to what their lives are behind the walls of Jim’s home. But suddenly everything in Jim’s world changes – after the Pearl Harbor attack, Japan occupies the Shanghai International Settlement, and in the chaos that follows, Jim is left all alone in this world, doing everything to survive on his own.

While Jim is all alone, he is terrified of people that surround him and is left to be responsible for his actions and survival. He goes from one abandoned mansion to another, living there for a while and feeding of packaged food he finds on the go. But after some time Jim cannot find food anymore and is left to starve. Then the perfect idea come to his mind – he will try to surrender to the Japanese army, even though officially they are the ultimate enemies of his. After numerous attempts, Jim finally is accepted in the Lunghua Civilian Assembly Center. Shockingly, after some time Jim understands that he has more in common with Japanese soldiers than he could’ve thought. He adores the pilots and their splendid machines and he falls in love with everything they have because he is fascinated and also feels safe there.

At the end of the novel, the end of the war comes, with the Japanese army losing. The food supply runs short and Jim barely survives, with all the people around him starving to death. All the people from the camp have to march to Nantao to surrender. A lot of people die while walking, so Jim leaves them and runs away. He doesn’t see why he should march with them, knowing that he would die either from starvation or walking. But then the miracle happens – he is saved by American Bombers who throw food packages from air. Getting his strength back, Jim returns to Lunghua camp and finds there a person he know – Dr. Ransome, who is about to return to Jim’s pre-war residence with his parents.

In my opinion, this novel shows us a lot about the truth behind all wars and one boy’s experience of survival.

Viktorija 😉




Oscar Wilde “The Picture of Dorian Gray” book review by Viktorija Tamašauskaitė

“Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.” “The Picture of Dorian Gray” – a story of a fashionable, evil and scandalous young man named Dorian Gray. He was a beautiful man, but very corrupt and looking only for beauty and material things in his life. This story shows us how young man’s desires can ruin whole his life and what the desires make Dorian Gray to give up for eternal youth and beauty – his soul. The story of Dorian Gray is the most popular Oscar Wilde’s book sold all over the world. In 1890 the tale of Dorian Gray and his immorality caused a big scandal back then. As the author of the novel said, Dorian Gray had a very big moral in himself, but did not explain what exactly he meant. A few years later, Oscar Wilde appeared in trial because of his homosexual liaisons. Everybody started wondering if author portrayed himself as Dorian Gray, O. Wilde had only one answer to that: “Basil Hallward is what I think I am; Lord Henry – what the world thinks of me; Dorian what I would like to be—in other ages, perhaps.”

“She is all the great heroines of the world in one. She is more than an individual. I love her, and I must make her love me. I want to make Romeo jealous. I want the dead lovers of the world to hear our laughter, and grow sad. I want a breath of our passion to stir dust into consciousness, to wake their ashes into pain. ”

A very handsome and self-confident has found a secret to be young and beautiful forever. Seeing all these people around him that are his age, Dorian understands how precious is the secret of his eternal youth and lives his life the best he can, partying and enjoying life as much as possible. He knew that his actions will not have any influence to him, Dorian Gray lives a very lavish and wild life, breaking heart after heart. Finally, he meets a girl who falls in love with him – Sybil Vane. We could say that Dorian Gray also falls in love with her, but when he treats her so badly we can understand one things – he cannot love a pure heart like Sybil’s. A girl, being treated so badly, finally cannot handle the pressure – she kills herself. But things don’t stop here. Sybil’s brother, James Vane, still blames Dorian Gray for his sister’s death and seeks for revenge. But Dorian has another dark secret – in his attic he is hiding a portrait of himself which is a secret to his youth. Gray’s body in real life remains healthy and young, while in the portrait he becomes older and uglier each day. Frightened of what he sees, Dorian Gray finds another beautiful and innocent girl to conquer – Hetty Merton. He promises himself to treat her right so that the picture of him would get better. But it does not. Each day it gets more grotesque. What will Dorian Gray do to escape this madness? In my opinion, this books is a marvelous piece of art. When I read this book I couldn’t do anything else until I finished it. The story is engaging, has a certain dark and supernatural Gothic period feeling. All in all, this story of Dorian Gray shows people what most people seek more in life – beauty, fame and materialism. But within the lines you can see a lot of beautiful and strong lines about our lives, strong ideas and quotes.




Daphne Du Maurier “Rebecca” book review by Kamilė Mačenskytė

A young lady, who works as a traveling companion to a wealthy American woman Mrs. Van Hopper finds herself falling in love with a many years older widowed man named Maxim de Winter. Her heart isRebecca flustered with beautiful mirages of a happy ending when Mr. De Winter proposes to the heroine in only two weeks of their relationship. She immediately agrees and travels with the rich man to his home – a mansion called Manderley. Unfortunately her „happily ever after“ dream bubble is popped, when she starts to feel that the ghost of late Rebecca de Winter is still hanging around. The staff seems to push her away, family friends constantly compare her and she feels like a horrible replacement that does not fit anywhere. The more she tries to compare herself to Rebecca the more useless and pathetic she feels, which leads her to believing, that Mr. de Winter is still in love with his late wife. Their relationship seems to be falling apart, as the heroine feels her husband becoming colder and colder, when one evening, the missing body of Rebecca is finally found. After this revelation Maxim has no other choice but to admit to his new wife the truth. Rebecca was a horrid person, who cheated on him constantly and disrespected him through out their whole marriage, so Mr.de Winter lost his patience and shot his wife. After this revelation, a lot of troubles has yet to come to the heroine and her husband, but at least she finally finds peace with herself and shakes off the long stuck Rebeccas image. She once again starts to believe in her husbands love and finds the strength to help him overcome the problems that await.

This book shows us how strongly people love and how love changes them, sometimes for the better,and sometimes for the worse. Our heroine presents us how far one can go for a person they love, how many things they can refuse and leave behind only to have the warmth of a loved person, as well as if you find the right person , many frightening things and situations can become a little less scary with them by your side.

 




Willa Cather “My Antonia” book review by Kristina Ufertaitė

This is a very interesting and gripping story, which is narrated from the author’s (Willa Cather) point of view as one of the main book characters friend (Jim Burden). My Antonia is a novel about a girl (Antonia Shimerda), her hard but joyful life, boy (Jim Burden) who loved her his entire life from all of his heart and beauty of the country they are living in. Antonia is a girl who works as a farmer for half of her life because of her family’s financial situation It’s her brother’s farm and he is responsible for it, but Antonia’s brother (Ambrosch) does not even try to move his finger and find someone who would help him in farming instead of Antonia. Tony (Antonia) Shimerda is a very strong girl who experienced a lot of hard and confusing things in her life: her father’ suicide, heavy field work, boyfriend’s fraud and loneliness. But she still manages to see beauty in other people, stay happy and be thankful of what she has. Everyone should learn how to appreciate what we have and how to be happy every day because we are not doomed yet if we have something to eat or someone by our sides. The title My Antonia” is with word “My” due to Jims inscriptions which were presented in the introduction. This novel is considered as Cather’s first masterpiece and I agree with that because I could nottake my eyes off the book until I finished it. I think everybody should read such an inspiring and beautiful book to find something positive in their lives. I know I did after reading this book. 💡




Albert Camus “The Stranger” book review by Karolina Orlovska

The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your existence is an act of rebellion.’’

Albert Camus

“The Stranger” is one of the books, where existential problems of a person are touched. The novel was published in 1942 and written by a French philosopher, author, and journalist Albert Camus. In all his works we clearly can see the theme of absurd and the individual facing it.

The novel begins with the situation when the mother of the main character dies. This doesn’t affect him at all: he doesn’t even cry. I’ve got the feeling that he feels bored at the funeral and it seems strange to me, same as it could be to other readers. This lack of emotions creates “the wall” between Meursault and society. We could compare it with the game – if someone doesn’t play by the rules – he falls out. The same happens with the society, because rules are norms or standards by which society lives and in this situation, Meursault is not playing according to the rules. That is why the author gives the name to the this novel “The stranger” or other translators may translate it as “The outsider”. When topic switches to love – it is also the same story. Meursault doesn’t show emotions – he enjoys the physical contact with Marie who works at the same place as he. She, on the other hand, represent his life – free and without any obligations.

The second part of the book is about Meursault being in prison. This is because his neighbor, Raymond,involves him in a conflict with his wife and the Arab, he also gives Meursault the gun, which results in Arab getting killed by Meursault. This was like a favor for Raymond and he acted as though Meursault was his friend. From my point of view – the biggest absurd is that on the trial he as though is judged not for the murder, but for unwillingness at his mother’s funeral. The prosecutor at the trial sees him as a monster who deserves to be killed.

At the end I would like to say, that not always we must play by the rules, sometimes life send us challenges that we must complete acting against the rules. Life is changing, so do we. There are a lot of “Strangers” in our society nowadays. And as Meursault mentioned while speaking with chaplain, that nobody has the right to judge him for his actions or for who he is, and no one has the right to judge someone else. 💡




John Fowles’s “The Collector” Book Review by Izabela Daržinkevič

“I think we are just insects, we live a bit and then die and that’s the lot. There’s no mercy in things. There’s not even a Great Beyond. There’s nothing.” (J.Fowles)

UtopiaNowadays, people spend a lot of time looking for the answer who we are and what is the main aim of our life. A few years ago I have also started thinking about who I am and why I am living. I found a lot of different articles and movies, but recently I’ve realized that the best way to answer all these questions is reading books. Of course, not all books are fit for this purpose. Existential and psychological novels are the best books that can help to explain many difficult spiritual things. I have read several books which changed my way of thinking, books like “Utopia” by Thomas More, ”The Master and Margaret” by Michail Bulgakov and a few other, but one book has become a mystery to me – it is “The Collector” by John Fowles. I am still trying to understand what the main topic of this novel is, but every time I start thinking about it, I have many different questions and there’s always something that I cannot explain.

“The collector” was written by an English novelist of international stature John Robert Fowles and it was his first novel that became very popular. A few years after publishing (1963) the book, a featured film with the same title was created. On one hand, it seems that “The collector” is a tragic love story, but on the other hand, it’s something more than that. As I said before, this novel is full of various topics and perspectives. It is about love and relations, happiness and sadness, domestication and about some of us – poor people who are still looking for something good for our soul. This whole inner world is presented only by relations between the two main characters Frederick and Miranda.

The author presents two very different people. Frederick Clegg is a young lonely man who collects butterflies in his spare time. Miranda Grey is a middle-class art student at the Slade School of Fine Arts. Frederick is obsessed with Miranda, he likes her looks, but he does not realize what is happening in her mind. The lack of social skills prevents him from talking to her, but he dreams how he is going to meet her and marry one day. His dream comes true, but only partially. Frederick wins a large money prize and hopes that Miranda will love him at least for his money. He decides to buy an old isolated house in the countryside, arranges everything for his guest and kidnaps Miranda. Further, the author presents a fight between two main characters. There are a lot of external and internal conflicts. All that happens next is self-knowledge in a very uncharacteristic way even for extreme situations.

John Fowles uses two perspectives to tell his story. One part is presented from Frederick’s point of view and the other part is presented in a way of reading Miranda’s diary. This way, the author shows much more details for his readers and creates a very gloomy atmosphere. “While being a guest” Miranda analyzes her whole life. Of course, she tries to get out of her cell, but she is not strong enough to physically fight with Frederick. She understands that freedom is the most important value in life. butterflyMiranda remembers her family and friends, but a big part of her memories is occupied by a man named G.P. Finally, she realizes that she would like to get married with G.P. and continue her artworks. At the same time, Frederick hopes that one day Miranda is going to love him because she is the aim of his life. He tries to be a nice and person, but the lack of social skills and education prevents him of normal conversations with Miranda. Frederick has a very big disadvantage it is his selfishness interlaced with fear. On one hand, Frederick has reached his goal – he has Miranda very near and nobody, as it seems, can destroy his beautiful life. But on the other hand, the result did not meet his expectations. J. Fowles says “We all want things we can’t have. Being a decent human being is accepting that.” When a person, in this case Frederick, dreams about Miranda for a long time he feels happy about his dreams, but when Miranda becomes a real person – someone he can touch or talk with – Frederick loses his interest, loses his aim and now he has to look for something new. At the end of the story, after Miranda‘s death, he realizes that he has found his cruel „vocation“ – to collect not only butterflies but also young beautiful girls.

When I have finished reading this book I tried to imagine what my reaction and behavior would be if I were in Miranda‘s place. Also, I tried to understand and even justify Frederick‘s behavior, but it was really hard. For one moment I even thought that Miranda was to blame for some of Frederic‘s actions. I cannot say that this book has revealed the purpose to my life, but I have found two main thoughts which are very useful. The first, is that we should reduce our level of selfishness and try to live as if today is the last day of our lives because one can never know what can happen next. The second, is that all our goals are like butterflies – we need a lot of time to catch them, and we can never know what the result will be. Some people are like Frederick – they collect small and large butterflies and hide them for the future so that later they could boast about the wonderful collection and have a hope that the biggest and the most beautiful butterfly that can satisfy all the expectations is captured.




“End? No, the journey doesn’t end here!“ by Tomas Aleknavičius

Many know J. R. R. Tolkien as the writer of “The Lord of the Rings”. Do all know that he did not begin, nor stop with this novel? Many don’t bother to wander that maybe there is more of the Middle-Earth they learned to love so much just waiting to be discovered. “The Lord of the Rings” was written in 17 years. Tolkien polished his story relentlessly so it would fit his grand design. What is even more remarkable is that the action of the novel takes place at the end of the Third Age of Middle-Earth history. By the way – ages in Tolkien’s writing are periods of time defined by major events such as cataclysms or great shifts of political power. So, how about the Ages that come before? What about those that come after? These would be very good questions to ask. And Tolkien answers. He answers with the totality of all of his life’s work. He gives you “The Silmarillion”. It is a collection of stories that were published after his death in 1977 by his son, Christopher Tolkien. Tolkien, the elder, began writing the stories that would later become “The Silmarillion” back in 1914. He intended them to become an English mythology that would explain the origins of English history and culture. As a scholar of mythopoeic literature he wanted to give his people something that he thought they, as a nation, were deprived of. Although “The Silmarillion” was rejected by publishers over and over again, Tolkien never gave up. As relentlessly as he cared for every detail in his works, so too, he wrote to editors and publishers seeking those that would take “The Silmarillion” out into the world. Encouraged by the success of “The Hobbit” he tried once more, but it was not yet his time. After this last attempt he returned to puffing his pipe and polishing the philosophy and the theology of Middle-Earth to the very end of his life. Several years after Tolkien’s passing, his son, Christopher, edited and compiled the narrative that is now known as “The Silmarillion”. Finnaly in the fall of 1977 the greatest work of J. R. R. Tolkien was published.

“The Silmarillion” is compiled of five parts:

4. Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age – or “The Lord of the Rings”.
After the end of the Third Age comes the Fourth Age or the Age of Man, where the Middle-Earth gradually becomes more and more like our Earth, but Tolkien never wrote down more than an obscure definition of the Ages to come. Instead, he left us with “The Silmarillion”. A grand adventure spanning over thousands of years “The Silmarillion” accounts for the fall of the Melkor, the First Enemy, the downfall of Numenor, the greatest kingdom of Men, the retreat of the Elves and the Valar from the everyday lives of men.

I have given you, dear reader, a glimpse of what Tolkien worked on, his entire life. Short and clouded as it may have been, still you might have caught the idea or should I say the reason why I write about this man. What he has accomplished surpasses many of his peers, not to mention followers. Single handedly this man has created a mythological background, languages, cultures, histories that encompass as much as some of our own, real world traditions. One man, in ~60 years has done something that nations work on for centuries. And we have the opportunity to see it, read it for ourselves. Isn’t that amazing? With this in mind, I invite you to journey through the First and Second Ages of Middle-Earth in the next series of articles. I will talk about each of the legends separately and the themes that join them thus forming the underlying base of values and beliefs upon which Middle-Earth is built.




Never laugh at live dragons by Tomas Aleknavičius

Symbols – codes of meaning, used by people in their daily lives, or by authors in their writings. Tolkien’s works are also full of various symbols. Some are simple, just like those we use in our everyday lives. Some are a bit more complex. The two of the most prominent symbols, both, appear in “The Lord of the Rings” as poems. The first one goes like this:
“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

“Renewed shall be blade that was broken” – a line describing something all too familiar for a fan of fantasy. A sword. Swords have always been symbols of strength, will, power, honor and sometimes even hope. Equally a weapon and an instrument to protect those one cares about and provide for them a sword is one of the most well-known symbols of our world. So it’s not surprising that it made his way into fantasy writing. But the poem speaks of no ordinary sword. This sword is Narsil, The Red and White Flame, re-forged into Andruil, The Flame of the West, the sword that when broken by Sauron still managed to cut the Ring of the Dark Lord’s finger and destroy his power for a long time. When he returned it was this same sword that called the Men of the West to battle against the darkness of the East one last time. The legends of this sword are deeply rooted in the history of the Middle-Earth.
Another very important symbol is incorporated into the name of Tolkien’s famous novel – “The Lord of the Rings”. The symbol of a ring in Tolkien’s work and its importance was revealed during the council of Elrond, where the encryption on the One Ring was read aloud:

“Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men, doomed to die,One_Ring_To_Rule_Them_All
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

A ring, as a symbol, has been present in human life for as long as man can remember. It represents eternity, the ever-changing cycle of life. It is also a symbol of power – wise men, priests, bishops, kings and emperors all wore rings to symbolize their influence and strength. The One Ring is no different – it is eternal and grants its master an extremely long lifespan. Upon making it Sauron poured all his malice into it, giving it, and himself, so much more one_ring_to_rule_thempower. Thus, the One Ring, is actually as classical as a ring symbol can be!
These two symbols, the sword and the ring, are in opposition since the very beginning of “The Lord of the Rings”. The ring, in Tolkien’s works, symbolizing greed for power, abuse of it and the sword – the return of the king. In other words, the sword brings order, stability, prosperity, strength, but most importantly – hope. For only a true man, destined for the sword would wield it. Same as only Sauron could use the One Ring to its full potential. So the Ring is made for one singular purpose – to destroy all that the Sword represents.lord (2)
As we know it (SPOILERS), no actual clash of Sword and Ring occurs in the story. But the tension these two symbols generate ignite some very interesting inner conflicts. One of them is Aragorn’s fear of “falling for the ring”. His ancestor, the wielder of Narsil, Isildur, had a chance to destroy the One Ring, but decided to keep it, thus allowing Sauron to come back to power. Aragorn is tempted by the same desire. This temptation becomes his ultimate test if he ever wants to ascend to the title of king.
Another interesting, yet not so much developed conflict centers around the fears of Sauron. Sauron, being a tool more than a character in “The Lord of the Rings” is a main antagonist, but that is really all we know about him. That he is out there, that he is mean, that he must be stopped. And one more thing – he is very, very scared of the Narsil and the man who will bear it. Old wounds do tend to remind of themselves, and Sauron’s wounds are no exception. He remembers very well the cursed sword that destroyed his empire, with a single slash, when it was at its highest! He is very afraid that that will happen again. Because even though he is so powerful and has lived for thousands of years, some of those without a body, he is still so very afraid of death.

A ring for Power. A sword for Hope. The two not always carry these same meanings, even in the works of Tolkien. But for the “Lord of the Rings” they came together, against each other, to spark one of the greatest tales of adventure know to fantasy literature. Now it’s time for each reader to find their own meaning of these or other symbols that Tolkien has hidden in his works. “Fly you fools!”




“Little by little, one travels far” by Tomas Aleknavičius

“The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

“The road goes ever on and on” said Bilbo to Gandalf. “Now far ahead the road has gone”gandalf-coin sang Frodo to himself while wandering about the Shire. These words delicately describe the fragile wanting of every hobbit to explore, experience and discover. Yet, that wish remains contained. Mostly, by the greenhouse like conditions of the Shire. Only a handful dared to step further than any hobbit before and… a little bit further.
How could such a world, were the small and courageous triumph over the big and greedy, not inspire entire generations? The evil powers of Tolkien’s world desire power above all other things. They seek to destroy and enslave all other things to get it. And the faith of the world is put into the hands of a couple of hobbits, no taller than a human child. Why? Because they were afraid. Because they were not strong enough. Because they had no powers, no great weapons. Because they dared to take that one little step further. Their journey was long. Their road went far. So far, down from the door where it began…
The Fellowship of the Ring breaks apart at Amon Hen, where they stopped to rest, before completing one and beginning the second, even more perilous part of their journey.. The terrible power of the Ring corrupts one of its members, and the rest are attacked by orcs. From here on Frodo and Sam continue on alone. Two hobbits on a suicide mission in to the heart of Mordor. Two hobbits against a million of orcs. Poor orcs…
But before that they have to pass the ever tricky mountains of Emyn Muil. Long story short – they make it! Straight into the Dead Marshes. Not a lovely place. Not because it’s dead, mostly because it’s marsh-land. Tiresome, dangerous and treacherous to cross. But it serves its purpose and safely leads the brave hobbits to the Black Gates. Here, however, they change their minds and decide to enter Mordor through a “back door”, so to speak. Here I will stop, so not to spoil any more important details, for possible future readers.
As you can guess, it’s not a Sunday afternoon kind of a hike, these two hobbits set out for. They knew that from the day they decided to take it. But did they fully understand it? I doubt it. That is why their determination amazes readers all over the world so much. As most heroes of epic stories they experience one dangerous situation after the other. They lose everything along the way. At one point they even lose hope. Only to regain it with their very last breath of strength.
I only chose this little part, this one line of the entire plot, to share with you one of the most important lessons Tolkien is trying to teach us. “I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay, small acts of kindness and love. – Gandalf “.

Ordinary courage. Simple people. Greatness in a sunset over the sea, not in the glimmering of a thousand swords. To the people of Middle-Earth this lesson associates with the bravery of hobbits. With that first step Bilbo Baggins took, that was followed by Froddo, out into the world, following the call of an adventure burning deep inside their hearts.

Listen to your heart. Where is it calling you to?GandalfWriting




The Book vs. The Film by Gytė Batūraitė

Which is better – the book or the film – is a question that makes both book and film critics angry, because there is no definite answer for this. It is a well known fact that people are divided into two types: the ones, who believe that no film will ever be better than the original book, and the ones, who believe that watching films is more beneficial than reading a book.

However, there are a few of pros and cons for both books and films.


First of all, while reading a book you cannot communicate with people as much as you could while watching a film – you need to concentrate and be in a quiet environment, so that nothing would distract you. Reading, no matter how thick the books is, consumes a lot of time. However, even if the book is thick, that means that there will be more details revealed, the plot will be fully developed and explained. Nevertheless, reading makes you use your imagination, so you can interpret the actions of the character, to visualize how the character looks and understand the whole plot of the story better. And the most important thing – you can read them anywhere.
Nowadays the film industry is taking a big part of our lives, especially when there are so many films that we can watch on television. Films most of the time consume less than 2hours, so it seems more convenient than reading a book. Also, you can do it while doing other things, like drawing, doing homework or something else, and still you would not miss too much of a plot. Moreover, the film gives you the visual appeal, so you know how the character looks, where and on what conditions the action is happening. However, it has a few disadvantages. The heroes can be quite different than you imagined them to be in the original book. Nevertheless, you cannot get into the character itself – you are just an observer, and you do not feel the emotions of the character.

Furthermore, if you want to watch a film you need electricity or the device you are watching a film on (phone, laptop, etc.) to be charged.


To sum up, both watching films and reading books are an interesting way to spend your free time, all you have to do is to choose either one of them.




Book Characters: “Vibrant personalities with rich backstories” Lord of The Rings part 2 by Tomas Aleknavičius

“Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens”

There is something in every book, every story, that makes captives of our hearts and conquers our minds. It gives life to most boring descriptions and plot twists. It makes us feel part of the world we are reading about. Characters!
Isn’t it all about them? Could we have a book full of marvelous descriptions and not a single person? Well, yes we could – they’re called encyclopedias. Now tell me, how many of you read encyclopedias for fun…? I thought so.
Tolkien’s characters are vibrant personalities with rich backstories. They are full of life, passion, courage, greed, power, envy, lust. I would like to introduce you to some of the characters of the “The Lord of the Rings”.
Oh, and if you care – SPOILERS!!! There, you have been thoroughly warned.

The first part of Tolkien’s trilogy is named “The Fellowship of the Ring”. There is a reason why. One of the most important events of this book is the gathering of the Council of Elrond to appoint nine people, representing the free races of Middle-Earth, to destroy the One Ring. They will come to be known as – The Fellowship of the Ring. Coincidence? I think not!

Here they are:

1Aragorn – son of Arathorn, also known as Elessar, was the 16th Chieftain of the Dunedain of the North; he was later crowned King of Arnor and Gondor, the First High King of the Reunited Kingdom. He was a great warrior, possessed great knowledge of the lands of Middle-Earth, and helped the cause of the Fellowship greatly.
Gandalf – the Grey, later known as Gandalf the White, and by many other names, was a wizard sent to Middle-Earth with a single task – to combat the threat of Sauron. By his initiative the Fellowship was formed and the final campaign of the War of the Ring began.
Legolas – was an elf, son of the Elf-king Thranduil of Mirkwood. He was his fathers most trusted messenger and a master bowman. With his keen eyesight, sensitive hearing and excellent bowmanship Legolas was a valuable resource to the Fellowship.
Boromir – was a valiant warrior known in Gondor for his greatness, having already achieved great merit in Gondor prior to the Council of Elrond.
Samwise Gamgee – also known as Sam, was a hobbit of the Shire. He was Frodo’s gardener and best friend. Sam proved himself to be a most dependable and loyal companion of the entire Fellowship, and played a necessary role in protecting Frodo and destroying the One Ring.
Frodo Baggins – son of Drogo Baggins, was, also, hobbit of the Shire. He was and is most renowned for his leading role in the Quest of the Ring in which he bore the One Ring to Mount Doom where it was ultimately destroyed.
Meriadoc Brandybuck (Merry) – was, guess what – a hobbit! Also, one of Frodo’s cousins and closest friends. He loved boats and ponies and had a great interest in the maps of Middle-Earth.
Peregrin Took (Pippin) – as you can guess, was a hobbit of the Shire. In addition to that, he was one of the Frodo’s youngest but closest friends.
Gimli – son of Gloin, was a well-respected dwarf warrior in Middle-Earth. He was the only one of the dwarves to readily fight alongside elves in the War of the Ring.
So now you know what kind of people live in Middle-Earth. You may now form an idea of your own about what kind of place it is. Before you go remember this – big or small, rich or not so much, all members of the Fellowship had their part to play in Tolkien’s story. Not all of them survived, not all showed courage in the face of danger. In my opinion, that is exactly what makes their story so alive. Not all can keep their faith when the road darkens.

Tomas Aleknavičius




“The Lord of the Rings” book review part 1 by Tomas Aleknavičius

A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities

Many of us read. We read newspapers, textbooks, “Facebook” messages. Subtitles of our favorite shows and so on. But the biggest, most important meeting with reading is when we pick up a book. A book…? You might be surprised. Many of you may be bookworms like me, and have already read dozens of books. But not all of us are like that. Even I was not really fond of long reading sessions when I was younger. But one book inspired me, one book took me by the heart and dragged me across its yellow pages. Actually, it still holds me strong! The book is “The Lord of the Rings”.

1

Elf looks pretty much like this

This book was written by an Oxford University professor John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, and it made him famous. Alongside its prequel “The Hobbit” it introduces the turbulent life of Tolkien’s Middle-Earth and throws the reader straight into the “War of the Ring”. Don’t worry, I will not spoil your reading by revealing any important details.
However, I will make an educated guess, and say that some of you have heard of this book. Maybe, you’ve even seen the movies! Actually it has influenced literature, film, music, theater, and many other aspects of our daily lives so much, that we don’t even notice it! Anyone that has played a role playing game or video game, knows what an elf looks like, right?

What if I told you that before Tolkien all elves looked like this

What if I told you that before Tolkien all elves looked like this?

This is only one of the many ways Tolkien has changed the way we view the world around us. He has taught countless people about friendship, loyalty, honor, courage, the gifts of life and death. Bit by bit, if you allow me, I would like to show more of his work, share with you more of his vision, so we, together, could learn to see the world as a bit more magical place.

 

 

Tomas Aleknavičius




Emily Brontë “Wuthering Heights” Book Review by Viktorija Tamašauskaitė

Wuthering Heights, the novel that no one expected to become such a popular book, was published in 1847 and written by one of the Brontë sisters – Emily.There is an interesting story behind Brontë women that caught my eye while researching about the novel “Wuthering Heights”. In the 19th century when Emily, Anne and Charlotte were trying to publish their novels, it was really hard for women to be taken as seriously as men in writing and publishing sphere. So they had to figure out what to do. And they did – sisters wend under the male pseudonyms Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell for a while. And when it was safe enough to announce who they really were it was a shock to all those people who liked their novels. I found it quite amusing because this fact represents not only the attitude towards women at that time but also shows the reader what he or she can expect to find in the book.wuthering heights (2)
The novel “Wuthering Heights” itself, according to the critics (and I agree with them), is a masterpiece of Gothic love that includes moonless nights, supernatural encounters which helps to create the atmosphere of mystery, fear and makes the reader to want to know what happens next. “Wuthering Heights”, if I may say so,represents a passionate, intense and crazy love between Catherine Earshaw and Heathcliff. Love, which seemed doomed from the beginning.
When Catherine was little, one evening her father brought home an adopted child, which he took care of as any other child of his. Catherine and the adopted child, Heathcliff, grew together as their love for each other. Catherine and Heathcliff grew their interest in each other as well. It seemed wrong to love each other while living under the same roof. But when Catherine’s father died and she could be with Heathcliff for eternity, her brother, Hindley, bullied, humiliated him and finally told Heathcliff to go away because he has nothing to offer to his beloved sister. I found it too harsh because Heathcliff only wanted good for Catherine and her real brother was so stubborn that he couldn’t understand Heathcliff’s purest interests. So Heathcliff, after all that humiliation, went away with a belief that one day he could change his status and be more suitable man for Catherine. And he did change: Heathcliff returned as a rich and polished man to Wuthering Heights years later with the plan of revenge. As we can understand, he became not only rich and powerful but also full of wuthering heights (3)anger.
Even though the story is tragic, chaotic and dark we still get the feeling of love which can conquer all. At first this novel might seem a little bit shallow. Yes, that happened to me and I am not proud of it. At first I read the blurb and thought that it would be another story of two people who cannot be together for some reason. But when I read the whole novel I thought to myself “And you thought it would be lame…”. In a way it was about two people who cannot be together because of the social status. But to me it seemed much deeper later. Brontë in “Wuthering Heights” introduced us not only to the feeling of wild and passionate love but also how money and society can change people’s attitudes towards each other and themselves. Money not always brings happiness: it often makes positive feelings go away and instead of those to feel greed and anger.

Well, at the end I would like to mention one last interesting fact: “Wuthering Heights” is considered to be one of the greatest English literature pieces of all as well as Emily Brontë is considered to be one the best writers of 19th century between women and men. And now, after I read one of her books, I will totally read more because I liked everything about “Wuthering Heights”: the idea, the style of writing and etc. I hope you will enjoy reading this novel too. 😉

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