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IN SEARCH FOR MEANING: ALGIRDAS JULIEN GREIMAS (1917–1992)

2017-03-09

The exhibition is dedicated to the centennial anniversary of Algirdas Julien Greimas. The exhibition will be on display in the White Hall of Vilnius University Library from 9th March to 30th April. The opening event of the exhibition will take place on 9th March, at 5 PM. 

 

Algirdas Julien Greimas (1917-1992) was a scientist of worldwide reputation, the creator of semiotics – theoretical framework for the study of the meaning of language, signs and symbols, the founder of the Parisian school of semiotics and a notable researcher of Lithuanian mythology.  Born to Lithuanian parents in Tula, Russia, two-year-old Greimas and his family returned to Lithuania, where he spent his formative years. After graduating in law, Greimas drifted towards linguistics in the University of Grenoble (France); however, the beginning of World War II returned him to Lithuania for military service, where he then taught, worked as an editor, and published literary reviews and essays on culture. The war kept closing in on all fronts, and Greimas went back to France – this time to Paris – where he started his work on the universal theory of meaning, semiotics. After lecturing abroad for 15 years he returned to France, where he started a interdisciplinary meaning research seminar, which became the foundation of the Parisian school of semiotics. Greimas visited Lithuania during the Soviet occupation and held popular lectures, sent students there for mentorships, and, when Lithuania finally regained its independence, he actively supported Lithuanian culture and helped the development of the oppressed nation. He died in Paris in 1992 and was buried next to his mother in Kaunas, Lithuania. He was survived by his wife, Teresa Mary Keane.

Algirdas Julius (Julien) Greimas was named one of the most influential Lithuanians of all time. VU Faculty of Philology's A. J. Greimas Centre of Semiotics and Literary Theory was established in his honor.