LITHUANIAN QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
Copyright © 2013 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.
Volume 59, No.4 - Winter 2013
Editor of this issue: Mikas Vaicekauskas
The Archival Typescript Versus the Published Novel, or How to Recompose Ten Women into One
AUDINGA SATKŪNAITĖ is a graduate student at Vilnius University. Her current field of interest is the question of editors' roles and the impact of their editing on Lithuanian prose in the second half of the twentieth century. She also works as a freelance cultural journalist and as a literature critic for various Lithuanian newspapers and magazines.
Texts published according to primary sources that differ greatly from the version entrenched in the cultural environment arouse controversy and intense discussion among readers and literary critics. A text with a radical transformation after the death of the author is presented in this paper: a published novel that contains not a single sentence from the authorized source. Notable Lithuanian writer Bronius Radzevičius could not prepare the second part of his novel Priešaušrio vieškeliai (Highways Before Dawn) in time for publishing. Therefore, after the death of the author, an editorial committee was established, but in essence the work was completed by another Lithuanian prose writer, Juozas Aputis. After a detailed comparison of the source and the published text, it was discovered that approximately half of the primary text was eliminated, and every remaining sentence was edited. This drastic editing had a particularly strong effect on one aspect of Bronius Radzevičius's writing, his "stream of consciousness" technique. Most of the numerous episodic characters created by the author, especially women, were excluded, and their attributes were absorbed to highlight the narratives of the main characters. One of the most important thematic aspects of the source text, its erotic motives, was eliminated.
Even minimal changes to words, punctuation, or letters made to a primary text can excite heated debates about the coauthor-ship of its editors. If a published text is widely read, publication of its authorial text can sometimes cause serious controversies, especially if it reveals radical structural, thematic, or stylistic differences between the text already familiar to readers and the authorial one. An illustrative case is the 1981 edition of the American writer Theodore Dreiser's novel Sister Carrie, based on the primary text, which became the subject of conflicting evaluations and opinions. The text of this edition was judged by many critics to be "highly subjective," "longer, more cumbersome, and more explicit," whereas editorial efforts were described as "a superficial editorial romanticism." Jack Stillinger asserts that "the version that challenged, entertained, and influenced readers at the time and for the next eight decades and that put Dreiser, as it were, among the American novelists - [is contrasted with] with the Pennsylvania text's lack of this same kind of historical validity."1 But Hershel Parker writes that the 1981 edition "has transformed my opinion of the book and greatly enhanced my opinion of the author."2
But what confusion is to be expected if a published authorial text not only changes literary critics' individual appreciations and attitudes, but calls for a fundamental revision of the work's encyclopedic description? Even Stillinger discusses the possibility that the new edition of Sister Carrie may replace the one already accepted as a canonical work. And beyond that, he considers the possibility that it may change the reputation of Dreiser as a writer and alter his position in the history of American fiction. This instance is only one of many cases in which the publication of a work's primary text has led to argument. Major differences may call for a reevaluation of established interpretive schemes or postulates. The story of the text of the novel Priešaušrio vieškeliai (Highways Before Dawn), by the well-known Lithuanian writer Bronius Radzevičius, is similar to that of Sister Carrie. An examination of the edits made to Radzevičius's authorial typescript in its various publications invites a discussion of how and to what extent the reception of the novel would change if the authorial version were published.
Bronius Radzevičius (1940-1980) is considered a preeminent Lithuanian prose writer. Born during World War II, he committed suicide at the age of thirty-nine. He studied Lithuanian language and literature at Vilnius University, worked as a teacher and as an editor in the cultural press, and was a member of the Lithuanian Writers Association.3 A posthumous three-volume collection of his works included a collection of short stories, Link debesijos (Towards Cloudland), published in 1984, and a two-part novel, Priešaušrio vieškeliai. Part I was published in 1979 and Part II in 1985. Radzevičius posthumously received the Lithuanian National Culture and Arts Award for his works, primarily for the novel. The entire creative heritage of the writer was published by Vaga, which was the only state publisher of fiction during the Soviet period. Print runs of his books published during this time were sizable; the novel Priešaušrio vieškeliai (Parts I and II) reached 45,000 copies.
Radzevičius's only novel examines how a person's inner being is formed by means of his senses and experiences, at first under the influence of rural surroundings and later under that of the city.4 The work is included in required reading lists at high schools and universities, and students are tasked with its analysis in graduation exams. The statements and appreciations of literary critics regarding the novel have been an integral part of high school and university textbooks and anthologies for the past thirty years. These evaluations generally emphasized that in the main character, Juozas, Radzevičius drew a dramatic portrait of his generation's transition from rural to educated urban life during the years of the Soviet occupation. Part I of the novel Priešaušrio vieškeliai was published while the author was still alive, whereas Part II remained in the form of a typescript. After the author's death, the state publishing house assembled an editorial board to prepare Part II for publication, and another Lithuanian author, the short-story writer Juozas Aputis, executed the bulk of the editing.5 Priešaušrio vieškeliai Part I was first published in 1979 and republished several times: in 1985, 1995, 2005 (as extracts to be studied in high schools), and 2008. The author himself took an active part in the preparation of the first edition of Priešaušrio vieškeliai Part I.
The publication of Part II was carried out under different circumstances. Radzevičius's death halted the implementation of the editorial agreement. The editorial solutions that were adopted have since raised doubts regarding the authority and reliability of the published text. Donata Linčiuvienė, who edited Aputis's work on Part II,6 could herself be counted as a doubter since she has written that "Aputis presented his own artistic solution - a novel-puzzle, a Lithuanian version of Julio Cortazaro's Rayuela. Another person approaching Radzevičius's work would have arranged things differently. However, it was not yet the time for such an innovative novel."7
Aputis expresses his editorial stance in a foreword to the published version of Part II of the published novel.8 Here he recounts the experience of editing the thick pile of typescripts. He writes that his primary goal in editing the authorial text was shortening it and making it less fragmented. Furthermore, Aputis and Radzevičius's close friends remember hearing the writer himself state that the end of the novel was not working out and "that once he gets down to finally finishing it, only half or even less of all those pages will remain."9 Can we take these arguments as valid reasons for a radical revision of the text, especially in the context of modern textual scholarship?
There were three editions of Priešaušrio vieškeliai Part II: the first appeared in 1985, the second in 1995, and the third in 2005 (as with the 2005 edition of Part I, this consisted of excerpts used in high school readings). Moreover, the text of the novel may be found in the Lithuanian Classic Literature Anthology online.10
The examined typescript consists of nine folders, approximately matching the chapters of the published text of the nov-el.11 The authorial folders have no titles; the chapter titles were created during the editing process. Each folder has a Roman numeral: I, II, IIa, III, IV, etc. A variable amount of the text of the typescript was used in the book chapters - the material in some folders is shortened more radically than in others. From folder I, 36 pages are eliminated, from II and IIa, 45; III, 89; IV, 104; V, 107; VI, 118; VII, 121; and VIII, 47, for a total of 667 pages.
Two more variants of the typescript of Priešaušrio vieškeliai were discovered later.12 It was determined that the typewritten text of the variants is nearly identical, but the amount of editorial markup varies greatly, with far less markup on the variants. (There are also slight differences in the number of pages and their division, although these differences are not relevant to this paper's analysis, which focuses on the typescript variant used by Aputis.) A comparison of the typescript with the later-discovered variants revealed that the variant of the typescript used by Aputis is missing two pages.
During the comparative analysis of the primary and the published text, the primary text and each chapter of the published text were divided into episodes, which helped reveal obvious structural and thematic differences between the texts. These differences will be discussed further in detail.
The editing of the primary text of Priešaušrio vieškeliai Part II included changes to individual words and their morphology, typographical errors, and stylistic imperfections, e.g., variant spellings of the same name.13 The editor also changed the micro- and macrostructure of the source text.
The macrotextual content was changed by eliminating certain episodes, by shortening them or by changing the order of the episodes, either within the same chapter of the text or by moving an episode from one chapter to another. Modifications on the microtextual level included changing the inner structure of sentences and combining sentences. In many cases, the editor created a new connection between sentences by means of ellipses. The morphology of individual words was changed as well. Consider the following cases:
Verb tense - the past frequentative is replaced with the past tense: "Grįždavo nualintas kaitros (Used to come back exhausted by the heat)"14; "Grįžo (Came back)." Noun gender - feminine gender is replaced with masculine: "Viena kaip kriauklė... ([She is/was] as solitary as a snail)"15; "Vienas ([He is/was])." Noun forms - the word vaikinas (fellow, young male) is replaced with vaikas (child): "Tas vaikinas begaliniai dievino, idealizavo merginas (That young man endlessly worshipped, idealized girls)"16; "Tas vaikas (That child)."
In instances like these, a new and different syntactical structure and meaning was created. And sentences or sentence groups in neighboring episodes are sometimes rearranged and presented within other episodes. It is frequently difficult to find and identify sentences in Radzevičius's authorial text that correspond to sentences paraphrased by Aputis.
An in-depth comparison of the authorial typescript and the first edition Priešaušrio vieškeliai Part II revealed that, as the novel was edited, approximately half of the authorial typescript text was eliminated. Every sentence of the source text was edited, which means that not a single sentence of the publication matches the authorial typescript exactly.
So if the published novel does not contain a single sentence of the authentic authorial text, what can we still consider the work of Radzevičius? The title of the novel? The time and place in which it is set? The name of its principal protagonist or those of other characters - or some of them, at any rate? And what do we call the editor of a novel that does not contain a single sentence of the authorial source text? The wber-author?
The fragments in the source text that demonstrate the heaviest editing are those containing both active and passive erotic motifs. Some are eliminated altogether, while others are shortened - one might say they were cleaned up. While the published text retains this thematic aspect, it is noticeably toned down. The edited version considerably narrows the scope of Juozas's erotic world. In it, we usually see generalized existential images unattached to a particular female character. In the published novel, the reader will not find the definition of Eros articulated by Juozas (Extract 1) or his description of a specific instance of lust (Extract 2):
|1. Tada jis rašė, kad erotas pereina keletą fazių: kai jis kiek pailsęs, pasitenkinęs, jis nori būti plastiškas, grakštus, tada jis tarsi nukrypsta į save, jam reikia kažko nepasiekiamo, tobulumo, jis tenkinasi pats savimi - taip gimsta šokis, daina; erdvumas, jaukumas, atvanga.17||1. Then he wrote that Eros undergoes several phases: when he [is] a bit weary, satisfied, he wants to be plastic, graceful; then he seemingly turns inward; he needs something inaccessible, perfection, he contents himself by himself - thus a dance, a song is born: roominess, coziness, leisure.|
|2. Ji eina priekyje, o jis tom pačiom akim, kaip ir prieš trejus metus, o gal anksčiau, žiūri į jos liemenį, klubus, ypač į per visą nugarą einantį užtrauktuką - kaip lengvai ši suknutė nuslystų nuo jos pečių, nuo viso kūno."18||2. She walks in front, and he, with the same eyes as three years ago, or maybe earlier, looks at her waist, hips, especially at the zipper that goes down the whole back - how easily this dress would slip off her shoulders, off the whole body.|
Other eliminated images are those that create an erotic tension between the principal male and female characters, as well as those that emerge among the several female characters. The result is the elimination of most of the episodes in which various women talk about their erotic experiences or disappointments:
|Ne, Juozai, ne tai, šnekėjo ji kiek vėliau, čia ne meilė, geismas. Tau jau labai... Šitie klubai, negi niekuomet nepasisotinsi, o aš sau kartais atrodau tokia niekinga... Kaip kalė, Juozai...19||No, Juozas, not like that, she spoke a little later, this is not love, not desire. This is too... These hips, won't you ever have enough, and I sometimes find myself so disgusting... Like a bitch, Juozas...|
Ne, Juozai, ne tai, šnekėjo ji kiek vėliau, čia ne meilė, geismas. Tau jau labai... Šitie klubai, negi niekuomet nepasisotinsi, o aš sau kartais atrodau tokia niekinga... Kaip kalė, Juozai...19
No, Juozas, not like that, she spoke a little later, this is not love, not desire. This is too... These hips, won't you ever have enough, and I sometimes find myself so disgusting... Like a bitch, Juozas...
Some details of the erotic world of the women are simply integrated into the life of the main female character or woven into the general narrative of the novel. The main editor chose to delete the individual, inner monologues of most of the female characters and the mental space that opens in the course of their polyphonous relationship with Juozas, as well as the collective voice of the women - "we."
The dynamics of the female characters of the typescript text and their kaleidoscopic impressions are eliminated in the published version. Also, the number of episodic characters is greatly diminished. The authorial typescript of the novel contains few episodes that do not introduce new characters or at least mention their names. Most of the secondary characters in the published text of the novel remain equally important throughout the narrative. The text of the typescript presents the secondary male characters in a mosaic fashion; they appear only in separate fragments of the text. The storylines of the secondary female characters in the primary text are, on the other hand, developed rather evenly.
There are ten such female characters in the authorial typescript. Eight of the characters - Marija, Serafima (Serafina),20 Laima, Klementina, Elvyra, Virga (Virginija), Vilija, Aurelija -are completely eliminated; not a trace of them remains in the published text. One character, Elza,21 remains nameless in the edited text and is seemingly hidden underneath the storyline and the name of the main female character. The name of another female character, Daiva, with a rather erotic storyline, is often mentioned in the typescript text, but only a few times in the published edition; episodes in which Daiva appears are either depersonalized or deleted.
The city in the published text of the novel Priešaušrio vieškeliai always seems apart from the characters and does not turn into a space that provides an exceptional experience. The passages that reveal the cityscapes and connect the city imagery with the erotic one are eliminated in the published text:
|Mane visuomet artinantis prie šio miesto apima senas virpulys, ar vidurnakčiais jis pasitinka pašvaiste. Jis buvo mums kaip pažadas, gražus ir labai geras pažadas. Visas gyvenimas, kas gi kaltas, kad ne visi pažadai ištesimi, sukliudo ligos, nelemtos nenumatytos, nė nuo vieno konkretaus žmogaus nepriklausančios aplinkybės, šį jausmą galima sulyginti su meile, kuri taip graži iš tolo, tačiau pamažu išblunka, kai tampa kasdienybe, taip ir šios gatvės - virto jos painiais labirintais, tuštuma, apšiuro, papilkėjo. Tai alaus bačkos, tai kavinės, tai neturėjimas ką veikti, tvorų ramstymas, dūlinėjimas su nuoboduliu ir apmaudu: įgrista o vis tiek grįžti išsiilgęs, su senosiomis viltimis, einant bulvių, kefyro, stoviniuojant troleibusų sustojime aikštelėse.22||Whenever I approach this city, the old thrill always comes over me, or midnights it welcomes me as a glow. It was like a promise to us, a beautiful and very good promise. Throughout life, whose fault is it that not all promises are kept; illnesses, unfortunate unexpected circumstances, independent of any concrete person, interfere; this feeling might be equaled to love, which is so beautiful from afar, but fades gradually as it becomes commonplace, just like these streets - they have become confusing labyrinths, desolate, frayed, grayed. It's beer barrels, it's cafes, it's not having anything to do, propping up fences, hanging around in boredom and vexation: it annoys you, yet you come back to it longing anyway, with your old hopes, going to get potatoes, sour milk, waiting at the trolleybus stops.|
By controlling the expression of Eros, the editor perturbs the poetic quality of the text. The demotion of the erotic developments in Part II of the novel could stem from ideological reasons, as the novel was published while Lithuania was occupied by the Soviets. During that period, eroticism in fiction was subject to the pressures of what was understood to be the official norm, which required eroticism to be expressed obliquely, if at all. Works that included open eroticism were usually censored, along with those containing other discouraged topics, such as open worldviews, religious inclinations, anti-Semitic manifestations, and criticisms of Communism. On the other hand, Aputis's individual artistic understanding of the erotic motifs, along with a possible wish to avoid giving the impression that Radzevičius was a Casanova (the novel was perceived as strongly autobiographical), may also have been significant factors. Some rough and primitive erotic episodes are found in the published novel, but they are part of its secondary plotlines:
|Feliksas ragina: "Ko tu lauki, visos jos, griebk, tverk, dulkink, tempk į patvorį, kur nori. Ji ir pinigų prilaiko, jie prie aerodromo gyvena, tėvas berods lakūnas, namelį turi, būsi ir sotus, o jei ne, nepatiks, va taip!"23||Feliksas urges: "What are you waiting for, they are all the same, grab, catch, fuck, drag them behind the fence, wherever you want. She has some money saved, they live near the airport, it seems her father is a pilot, has a small house, you'll be satisfied, if not, if you don't like her, that's it!"|
This raises the question of whether, during Soviet times, direct ideological censorship was accompanied by whitewashing an artist's public image: the lives of approved writers were presented idealistically. The protagonist's sexual musings and experiences might have been erased in the interest of maintaining a sanitized official image of the author.
The influence of ideological censorship on the authorial typescript was revealed by a thorough comparison of the different editions of Priešaušrio vieškeliai Part II. The post-Soviet edition (1995) was released with text that had been deleted from the first edition (1985) due to ideological issues. A comparison of the editions turned up several ideological paragraphs likely to have attracted censorship in 1985 that were restored in the 1995 edition. One instance is a passage that directly addresses censorship:
|- O cenzūra? Kaip į tokius dalykus žiūri cenzūra?|
- Kas? - nustebo jis. Cenzūra? Jokios cenzūros aš nebežinau, anksčiau ji man buvo, teisybė, pernelyg paisiau, mat buvau iš anksto prieš ją nusistatęs, jokios cenzūros nėr. Cenzūra egzistuoja tavy, baisiausia cenzūra, baimė kitų ir visokie kompleksai.24
|"What about censorship? How does censorship take these things?"|
"What?" he was astonished. "Censorship? I don't recognize censorship anymore, earlier I did, actually, I gave it too much attention because I was set against it; there is no censorship. Censorship exists inside you, the worst censorship, a fear of others and all kinds of complexes."
However, these sorts of restorations in the post-Soviet edition account for only a small portion of the differences between the authorial typescript and all subsequently published texts. Eliminating the majority of the female characters found in the source text amplifies and accentuates the storyline of the main female character, Stela. Her name is the title of one of the chapters in the book, a decision made by the editor, which indicates his attempt to emphasize her role. With expressions of eroticism reduced, the main character also becomes more consistent, more positive, possibly even straight-laced. The pattern of the changes reveals the editors' attempt to stabilize the narrative, to make it as smooth as possible, to purify the text by giving up its polythematicity, to limit the instances of stream of consciousness and polyphony. The edited text of the novel not only skews the authentic structure of the authorial typescript, but also removes some of the most important stylistic traits of Radzevičius's work.
It is also worth mentioning that, as writers, the author and the primary editor exhibit rather different styles and possibly even a different understanding of the artistry involved in writing fiction. The structural, thematic, and stylistic alterations made to the authorial text give readers the impression that Radzevičius was an author of rural fiction. The original typescript belies his placement in that category. Literary critics frequently support this mistaken assumption in their analyses by stating that urban civilization remained foreign to the writer. The editorial changes have led to another erroneous interpretation: that Juozas, who is the central character in both the authorial and the published versions, is the novel's main narrator. Readers and critics were consequently induced to see the novel as a conventionally patriarchal story. It is often said that the portrayal of women in the published texts is an exclusive function of the main character's life story and point of view. Such statements reflect the fact that most women were silent, sexless, senseless, even nameless figures in these texts.
When discussing the
thematic aspects of Radzevičius's novel, literary critics usually
emphasize the importance of love and the role of the main female
character. The influence of Eros on the protagonist's existential
experiences is unduly diminished by the editing, since the erotic layer
of the typescript is minimized. Given that the novel's readers and
critics had not seen any of the novel's distinctive stylistic features
(its streams of consciousness and polyphony), few of its episodic
characters (especially women), and no more than a negligible number of
the thematic subtleties prominent in the authorial text, they were
bound to misperceive the features of the novel as it was originally
written. Most of their interpretations are appropriate to Aputis's
editions, but are much less germane to Radzevičius's text. Lietuvių literatūros enciklopedija
(Encyclopedia of Lithuanian Literature) provides a statement that has
long been included in textbooks and has already become an accepted
"fact" of Radzevičius's works, namely, that "the entire artistic
heritage of Radzevičius is uniquely solid."25 Would literary critics and historians remain so assured after reading the authorial text of Priešaušrio vieškeliai Part II?
Aputis, Juozas. "Pratarmė." In Bronius Radzevičius, Priešaušrio vieškeliai II. Edited by Juozas Aputis. Vilnius: Vaga, 1985, 5-7.
Kubilius, Vytautas, et al. Lithuanian Literature. Translated by Rita Dapkutė and Diana Bartkutė. Vilnius: Vaga, 1997.
[Linčiuvienė, Donata.] "Redaktoriaus amplua: diplomatas, psichologas, cenzūros įrankis." Interview with Donata Linčiuvienė. Colloquia, 24, 2010, 145-59.
Radzevičienė, Genė. Buvusiojo laiko vieškeliais; Saulius Radzevičius. Likimai; Bronius Radzevičius. Kas plazda giluminiuose gyvybės kloduose. Edited by Juozas Kundrotas. Kaunas: Varpas, 1999.
Radzevičius, Bronius. Priešaušrio vieškeliai II. Authorial typescript, 1981. Writers Union of the Lithuanian SSR, fund No. 34.2; files No. 431, 432, 433, 434.
______. Priešaušrio vieškeliai II. Authorial typescript, 1985. Maironis Museum of Lithuanian Literature, Bronius Radzevičius fund, signature R5P, 9 folders.
______. Priešaušrio vieškeliai II. Authorial typescript, 1985. Vaga, publishers, stock No. 23.2; files No. 4238, 4239, 4240, 4241, 4242.
______. Priešaušrio vieškeliai II. Edited by Juozas Aputis. Vilnius: Vaga, 1985.
______. Priešaušrio vieškeliai II. Edited by Juozas Aputis. Vilnius: Viltis, 1995.
Sprindytė, Jūratė. "Bronius Radzevičius." In Lietuvių literatūros enciklopedija. Edited by Vytautas Kubilius, et al. Vilnius: Lietuvių literatūros ir tautosakos institutas, 2001.
Stillinger, Jack. Multiple Authorship and the Myth of Solitary Genius. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.
Vaitiekūnas, Dainius, ed. Kūrybos studijos ir interpreatacijos: Bronius Radzevičius. Vilnius: Baltos lankos, 2001.
West, James L. W. IIl. "Theodore Dreiser," Sixteen Modern American Authors, Volume 2. Edited by Jackson R. Bryer. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1990.