Jurgis Kunčinas

„Glisson’s loop“

The life wandering of the protagonist is set on the real topography of Vilnius. The city is described as being “stinky,” “harmful” and “dangerous to health,” yet at the same time drawing in the manner of “fate.” The plot of the novel is confined by the Old Town, the area of the city marked by reeking, closed-in, damp courtyards, blood-stained alleys, crumbling ancient facades and poorly maintained, overcrowded apartments. The “enchanting” past of the city is juxtaposed by incompetently placed (Soviet-era) modern architectural fillers, with the story of Jaras unraveling together with the description of disappearing Vilnius. Although the novel is full of local topographical details, the text shies away from being a didactic portrait of specific urban sites. The protagonist moves around the city without a clearly defined itinerary, drifting from one place to another by following his own “inner map” of the place. Still, the main narrative axis of the novel is Pilies and Didžioji Streets (formerly known as M. Gorki Street). Nature as well as city churches play little role in the descriptive geography of the novel.