Vilnius

City of Strangers
ISBN: 
ISBN 978-963-9776-44-9
cloth
$45.00 / €34.95 / £30.00
Publication date: 
2009
296 pages, 76 illustrations (maps and photos),

VILNIUS A CITY OF STRANGERS Published by baltos-lankos, distributed by CEU Press This book explores the history of Vilnius, from its legendary beginnings in the fourteenth century to the twentieth-century dramas of wars, revolutions, and massacres, through the insightful impressions of foreign travelers. Napoleon, Dostoyevsky, Stendhal, Döblin, Tolstoy, Bakhtin, and Brodsky: these voices—among others equally compelling though lesser known—reveal the essence of Europe in their narrative encounter with this threshold city, situated at the geographical center of Europe. Laimonas Briedis has woven their letters, diaries, utterances, and reflections of Vilnius into a compelling and intimate story, and shares with the reader a deep understanding of the Lithuanian, Polish, Russian, and German identities of the place, as well as its centrality in European Jewish culture. Lavishly illustrated and carefully researched, the book is a veritable hall of mirrors, which yields an illuminating vision of Vilnius and an exceptional window on Europe.