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My career as a writer


Full professorship
Tomas Venclova Poet
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Tai kai yra žmona, tai jau ir atsakomybė, taip sakant, gerokai padidėja, kartu ir lengviau darosi gyventi, kadangi žmona paima dalį tų buitinių rūpesčių, pradeda juos tvarkyti ir prižiūri, kad būtum ir padoriai apsirengęs, ir nusiskutęs ir, taip sakant, prieš studentus jau negėda, nes kol esi viengungis dar ten visko būna. Prižiūri, kad negertum, kad nenueitum blogais keliais. Na, man visas tas padėjo, ir išimties keliu, tas tikrai retokai atsitinka, man Jeilas pasiūlė pilno profesoriaus vietą, ten pat Jeile, niekur kitur neišvažiuojant, nekeičiant darbovietės. O pilnas profesorius tai jau reiškia, kad esi, kad tavo gyvenimas yra garantuotas ligi pensijos. Pilno profesoriaus negali pašalinti iš darbo. Tik dviem atvejais: pirmasis, jeigu jam įrodo, kad jis nuplagijavo kokį nors sau mokslinį darbą. Tokių atvejų yra pasitaikę, retai, bet būna. Antras atvejis, jeigu jis labai amoraliai pasielgė, ten kokia pedofilija, ar koks nors išprievartavimas, dėl kurio dama, taip sakant, pasiskundė, pakelė didelį triukšmą, kad tas pateko į laikraščius ir taip toliau. Tada taip, tada gali, net ir tada tave pašalinti iš darbo. O šiaip, būdamas pilnu profesoriumi, jau ramiai dėstai ligi gyvenimo pabaigos, turi nuolatinį kontraktą, kitaip sakant, nuolatinį darbo užmokestį.

With a wife comes responsibility, as it were, a great deal more, but at the same time it becomes easier to live since a wife takes on a part of those day-to-day worries, begins to put things in order and makes sure that you’re properly dressed and shaven and, as it were, you shouldn’t look a disgrace in front of your students since when you’re a bachelor anything’s possible. She makes sure that you don’t drink and don’t go down the wrong path. Well, all of that helped me, and, as an exception, that really hardly ever happens. Yale offered me a full professorship, right there at Yale, without my having to go anywhere else, without changing my place of work. And a full professorship means that you are... that your life is assured up to your pension. A full professor can’t be dismissed except in two cases. First, if they can prove that he’s plagiarised someone else’s academic work. Such cases have happened – rarely, but they do happen. The second case is if he acts in a highly immoral way, paedophilia or rape regarding which a woman, as it were, makes a complaint, makes a lot of noise and it’s got into the newspapers and so on. Then, yes, then they can, they can dismiss you. Otherwise, when you’re a full professor you can teach until the end of your days, you have a permanent contract, so to speak, a permanent salary.

Born in 1937, Tomas Venclova is a Lithuanian scholar, poet, author and translator of literature. He was educated at Vilnius University and later at Tartu University. As an active participant in the dissident movement he was deprived of Soviet citizenship in 1977 and had to emigrate. Between 1977 and 1980 he lectured at University of California, Berkeley, where he became friends with the Polish poet Czesław Miłosz, who was a professor of Slavic Languages and Literature at the school, as well as the Russian poet Joseph Brodsky. He is currently a full professor at Yale University.

Listeners: Andrzej Wolski

Film director and documentary maker, Andrzej Wolski has made around 40 films since 1982 for French television, the BBC, TVP and other TV networks. He specializes in portraits and in historical films. Films that he has directed or written the screenplay for include Kultura, which he co-directed with Agnieszka Holland, and KOR which presents the history of the Worker’s Defence Committee as told by its members. Andrzej Wolski has received many awards for his work, including the UNESCO Grand Prix at the Festival du Film d’Art.

Tags: Yale University

Duration: 1 minute, 37 seconds

Date story recorded: May/June 2011

Date story went live: 20 March 2012