Maironis Museum Introduction to the virtual exhibition (English)

We invite you to view a virtual exhibition dedicated to the 95th anniversary of the writer, literary critic, doctor of medicine Julius Viktoras Kaupas (1920-1964). Visitors can familiarize themselves with the new archival material provided to the museum by the writer's wife Dalia Galaunytė-Kaupienė-Augūnienė.

J. Kaupas was born and raised in Kaunas, studied at the Jesuit Gymnasium, where various clubs were founded, literary evenings and sports competitions were held. There was a theater troupe in the gymnasium, which was directed by actor Antanas Škėma. J. Kaupas became friends with the older artist, and they remained in contact until the death of A. Škėma. The exhibition presents J. Kaupas' memories of the writer.

The first works were also born during the gymnasium period: J. Kaupas in 1932. wrote a two-act comedy, "I'll Show You," and during his senior years, wrote his spirited impressions of a trip to Klaipėda. The exhibition includes photographs of J. Kaupas with his fellow students of the gymnasium, and extremely rare photographs of A. Smetona Military School graduate students - K. Bradūnas, V. A. Jonynas, P. Jurkus. The passion for writing, creating, drawing was strong, but the real vocation was medicine. After entering the Faculty of Medicine of Vytautas Magnus University, he successfully completed his studies. He was also a frequent guest at the Faculty of Humanities: he attended lectures, attended the Juozas Girnius Philosophy Seminar, and became close friends with the poet Henrikas Nagys and his sister Zinaida (Liūne Sutema). Visitors will see photos with Henrikas and Zinaida Nagys, with Marius Katiliškis and Alfonsas Nyka-Niliūnas. Special letters by J. Kaupas to H. Nagys: they are filled with cheerful drawings. J. Kaupas took part in VMU literature evenings, reading his works: short stories, tales. 1942 debuted with tales of "The Old Filing of the Spider" and "Vytautas and the Fly" published in the magazine "Žiburėlis". 1943 received the first prize - the weekly magazine "Banknote" was awarded the prize.

1944 Mr Kaupas moved to Germany. There was no bread, no clothes, but there was freedom. Mr Kaupas studied at the Universities of Freiburg, Tübingen, wrote and defended his dissertation and was awarded the title of Doctor of Medicine. He studied art at the School of Arts and Crafts, founded by V. A. Jonynas. Together with his friends, he took part in social activities, joining the liberal youth organization Sviesa (Light) and writing and editing an academic journal of the same name. Together with other writers, he became involved in the activities of the Lithuanian Writers' Society. He has published his works and articles in Aidai, Exile School, Žiburiai. 1948 In Germany, he has published a prize-winning book, "Doctor Scribble in Hell". J. Kaupas's book is exceptional: the writer has immortalized his native city, Kaunas, in which every corner was cozy and dear to his heart. He felt the pulse of the city, understood the spirit, lived in its rhythm. In almost every fairy tale, the action develops on the winding streets, hills, mysterious houses of Kaunas Old Town, the White Town Hall, the Green Pharmacy, the Carmelite Church, the Cathedral, the mysterious Oak Tree, Pelėdai Hill, and Laisvės Alley. Some readers and critics mistakenly attribute these tales to the world of children. The author wrote: "Doctor Scribble in Hell" is no children's literature. <...> I put my tales first and foremost to adults, my friends. It's not a children's book, and that's just why curious kids read it to be the strangest adventure, though for young readers the symbolic meaning of the book will only become apparent in adulthood. ”

1949 Mr Kaupas and his family reached America. Here he studied neuroscience; successfully passed all exams, received a work placement permit in the US. Having worked in one of the psychiatric clinics, he also coordinated lectures in nursing courses. Tense work and daily worries took a lot of time, but in the long run it was possible to reconcile "writing medical history" with creative breakthroughs. He joined the "Literary arcs" collaborators. He has published literary criticism articles, essays, short stories in Aidas, Together, News, Soil, Lithuanian Days and elsewhere. He signed literary articles under the pseudonym Coppelius (the name he chose from his favorite author, E. T. A. Hofman's fantastic story, "Sand Sand").

In America, J. Kaupas wrote short stories. In his works he unconventionally solved moral issues by presenting the problems of the adult world through the worldview of a child, a romantic idealist or an old man. He looked at everything with a childlike transparent gaze. J. Kaupas wrote: “In every human being there is a royal, one-off and unique divine nature. He has to uncover it. ”J. Kaupas had prepared a collection of short stories,“ Sunflowers in the Moonlight, ”for publication, but suddenly his life's dream book had been closed. His posthumous book had to wait for a long time: close friends Kostas Ostrauskas and Alfonsas Nyka-Niliūnas collected published works, articles, essays, and other articles published in the press and manuscripts. He published a monumental volume of his "Writings" in Chicago. Mr Kaupas's short life was imbued with a thirst for life and creative passion. “Julius was by nature an artist, a wanderer, a dreamer, for whom opera, drama, dance performances, exhibitions and Chinese were a part of his life. <...> His view of life was transparent, fruitfully entertaining, and almost childishly naive, ”Nagys wrote.
~ Prepared by Virginija Babonaitė-Paplauskienė, Head of the Literature in Exile Department