Tomas Venclova

Tomas Venclova

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Tomas Venclova

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Tomas Venclova (born September 11, 1937, Klaipėda) is a Lithuanian scholar, poet, author and translator of literature.

Tomas Venclova is son of poet and Soviet politician Antanas Venclova. He was educated at Vilnius University. As an active participant in the dissident movement he was deprived of Soviet citizenship in 1977 and had to emigrate.Tomas Venclova. Vilnius. R. Paknys Publishing House, Vilnius, 2002. He is one of the founders of Lithuanian Helsinki Watch group (December 1, 1976).

Venclova studied at Tartu University and was strongly influenced by the brand of structuralism prevalent there in the 1970s and 1980s. In Venclova's case, the rigorously analytical structuralism of Yurii Lotman's early work on poetry was particularly influential. Venclova was also fond, at least in his work and teaching in the eighties, of making use of Saussure's work on hidden anagrams (see Jean Starobinski's Words upon Words).

Initially after his emigration, between 1977 and 1980, he lectured at University of California, Berkeley. While there he became friends with the Polish poet Czesław Miłosz, who was a professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the school, as well as the Russian poet Joseph Brodsky (both Miłosz and Brodsky were laureates of the Nobel prize for literature). Since 1980 he has been a member of the department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Yale University, after receiving his PhD from the department in...
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