By Ausra Paulauskiene
Ausra Paulauskiene's publication misplaced and located: the invention of Lithuania in American Fiction pursuits American in addition to eu students within the fields of literature, ethnic stories and immigration. the writer discovers imprecise texts on Lithuania and indicators Western and japanese academia to their value in addition to the explanations for his or her forget. For the 1st time, Abraham Cahan's autobiography The schooling of Abraham Cahan and Ezra Brudno's autobiographical novel The Fugitive obtain an in depth assurance, whereas Goldie Stone's My Caravan of Years and Margaret Seebach's That guy Donaleitis (sic) obtain their first scholarly attention ever. the writer argues that misrepresentations, misattributions and exclusions of Lithuanian legacy within the U.S. have been produced by means of significant political occasions of the 20 th century.
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Additional info for Lost and Found: The Discovery of Lithuania in American Fiction
Your city was the capital of the Lithuanian SSR and was called Vilnius . . Nonetheless, it is the same city: its architecture, the landscape of the surrounding region, and its sky shaped us both” (Milosz, Beginning with My Streets 23). Abraham Cahan knew the same city when it belonged to the Russian empire and called it in Yiddish—Vilna. He, like Milosz and Venclova, matured in Vilna/Wilno/Vilnius and he, like the other two, chose a life of exile in America. Even if Cahan did not claim his Lithuanian roots, who can deny the fact that Cahan was born, raised and educated in Lithuania?
But in Breslau, Germany, difference takes over: “For the first time I could see the marks of a highly civilized nation. In Breslau, it seemed to me, everyone dressed like a nobleman. And I marveled at the cleanliness” (210). Cahan was made aware of his Litvak identity when he crossed the border of ethnic Lithuania; his “Russian” identity, for its part, was constructed when he crossed the border from East to West. 38 Aušra Paulauskienơ 6. Finally a “Russian” Jew The United States, in particular, made Cahan aware of his arrival into a ready niche of prescribed identity.
However, he makes a very important claim about Russified “Polish” Jews that undoubtedly applies to Lithuanian Jews and to Cahan specifically. “In most Lost and Found 33 cases, especially where the aspiring Jewish intellectual came from a traditional family, Russification meant more than just learning Russian; it implicitly meant rejecting a good many of the practices that had made the Polish and Russian Jews distinctive for so many centuries” (12). Cahan’s desire to be a “Russian” implies his unwillingness to be a Litvak.