(Non)Quotidian testimonies about contemporaries and ourselves
The article presents an oral history project “Conversations Gathered by Mara and Kazys Almenas, 1965–1977”. The little-known material is housed at the Lithuanian Research and Studies Center in Chicago, USA. On June 14 and July 23, 1965, Kazys Almenas interviewed the spouses Zinaida Nagytė-Katiliškienė (pen-name Liūnė Sutema) and Marius Katiliškis, both known as the Katiliškiai. In the interview, the two prominent Lithuanian émigré writers reminiscence about their contemporaries Antanas Škėma (1910–1961), Algimantas Mackus (1932–1964), and Julius Kaupas (1920–1964). All three were writers too and good acquaintances of the Katiliškiai, and in the cases of Mackus and Kaupas, very close friends. The conversations point to many interesting quotidian and non-quotidian details about the life of Lithuanian writers in Germany after WWII and later in the U.S. Antanas Škėma, his personality and works, receive special attention. By talking about their fellow writers, Zinaida Nagytė-Katiliškienė and Marius Katiliškis also reveal their own aesthetic creative principles. The two interviews present them not only as writers but also as a married couple with its specific dynamics and respect for each other and each other’s works.