Textual Problems in Translating Petras Cvirka’s Frank Kruk

Elizabeth Novickas (Independent scholar, USA)

Petras Cvirka’s controversial role in Lithuanian literature is reflected in the three available versions of his first novel, Frank Kruk, first published in Kaunas in 1934. An extant copy of a book marked up by the author for the Latvian translation (published in 1941) shows Cvirka attempting to correct some of the factual mistakes critics had pointed out in his descriptions of America. Later, after Cvirka’s notorious trip as part of the delegation to ask for Lithuania’s incorporation into the USSR and his appointment to head the Lithuanian Writer’s Union, he began re-editing the novel before its next publication. These edits were included in all subsequent editions of the novel published during the Soviet period. The paper analyzes both sets of edits and discusses some of the problems inherent in selecting a version of a text for translation.

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