Vilnius Poker: The Reception of a Soviet Novel in the North American Market

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Gabrielė Gailiūtė


The article discusses an interesting situation: a novel by a Lithuanian author, written still under the Soviet regime and published on the brink of the independence, has been translated and published in the USA. For the Lithuanian readers, the book is one of the most important literary documents of the historical situation of life in the Soviet times, as well as one of the greatest artistic achievements in the late-20th century Lithuanian literature. The article analyses the reactions of the American readers, employing the script acts theory as developed by Peter L. Shillingsburg: in what "sememic molecules" does the book appear to be framed as it travels across the Atlantic? The differences between the reactions of Lithuanian and American readers mentioned in the article cover the most prominent distinctions in the social and cultural context, but also, where the reader's own context does not provide a well-defined sememic molecule, there appears to be a way for publishing and editing decisions to guide the reader to adhere to a particular mode of reading.


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Author Biography

Gabrielė Gailiūtė, Vilnius University

PhD student, A. J. Greimas Centre for Semiotics and Literary Theory


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