or the Unusual Events Once Upon a Time in
the Land of Paudruvė
Translated and with an Afterword by Elizabeth
Kazys Boruta, Lithuanian
writer and poet (1905–1965)
Because of his political views, Kazys Boruta spent
years in prison both before and after WWII. In the last
phase of his life in Soviet Lithuania, he earned a living
by translations published under a pseudonym.
Most of Whitehorn’s Windmill
(Baltaragio malūnas) was written in 1942,
during the German occupation. Bearing a lyrical style
that gives full rein to the oral folktale tradition
Lithuania is famous for, the novel is by turns romantic,
farcical, fantastic, and tragic. The sense of spirituality
that permeates the work reflects Lithuania’s pagan
roots that were overlaid with an occasionally over-zealous
Catholicism not so very long ago.
The story is about Whitehorn the miller’s efforts
to find a match for his beautiful daughter, Jurga, against
various calamities with and among suitors, neighbors,
priests and other inhabitants of the village, and ultimately
against the devil’s spell. The interesting plot
made the novel popular as juvenile literature, too.
"Upon beginning Kazys Borutas novel, the
reader will first be struck by the simple, informal
prose and fairy-tale setting. But this mid-20th-century
Lithuanian classic is anything but provincial.
It is in the depictions of Lithuanian folk tradition
that the heart of Whitehorns Windmill lies, especially
for an uninitiated English-language reader. The steadily
paced fantastical elements, free of intrusive plot devices
and didacticism, flow over the reader calmly, just as
the current from Whitehorns windmill would if
he or she were standing beside it. Towards the end of
the novel, Boruta poses the question: What sort
of fairy tale is this then? He isnt claiming
too much when he answers: Why its life itself!"
- KGB Bar Lit Magazine
Paperback 978-963-9776-71-5 $17.95 T/ €13.95 /
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