Berlin Fellowship 2022 — Literature
Aušra Kaziliūnaitė, a poet, philosopher, and writer, is distinguished by her unique poetic style, which combines visual imagery and precision of form with a philosophical relationship to the world that is an inquiry into the essence of things and phenomena. Kaziliūnaitė is the author of five poetry collections. Her works have been translated into 18 languages. In 2018, Parthian Books (UK) published The Moon Is A Pill, a collection of Kaziliūnaitė’s poetry translated into English. Kaziliūnaitė holds a degree in history and religious studies. She defended her doctoral thesis and earned her PhD in Philosophy from Vilnius University in 2020. She teaches art history at Vilnius Gediminas Technical University.
During my residency, I intend to work on my novel The Picture of a Devil. I’ve been working on the idea for this novel for several years, and now I’d like to focus on writing it. The story follows two timelines. One takes place in present-day Vilnius, and the other takes readers back to a 19th-century manor house in a Lithuanian province. The artist, who is invited to the manor house, receives a strange –commission – to paint the devil. In the present, a story about the artist is told to the main character, PhD student Berta, by a young librarian who she met in the university library. The librarian says that he found the story in an old diary in the archives. At each meeting, the librarian reveals more details about the strange story. Berta falls in love. Not with the librarian, but with the artist from his stories.