By William Faulkner
A suite of poetry by means of the literary nice William Faulkner.
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Extra info for The Marble Faun and A Green Bough
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.