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« Tuna 3 / 2017

Jaan Kross’s Correspondence with Alma Vaarman and Huko Lumet in 1951–1954 (II)

Translations from German and Russian (Heinrich Heine, Aleksander Blok, Konstantin Simonov and others), which Kross sent from Siberia to the critic Lumet in Estonia but which were not published, are considered in the second part of Kross’s correspondence. Of great interest is Kross’s somewhat ironic brief autobiography from 1954, where he also mentions his articles on foreign policy that were published during the first year of Soviet occupation in 1940–1941, but which have hitherto not been identified. Kross continues his criticism of the linguistic ineptitude of Soviet Estonian literary criticism (ideological criticism was inconceivable at that time). His play on American themes, Marc Edfordi kaitsekõne (Marc Edford’s Defence), which he completed in Siberia, is thoroughly analysed in the correspondence with Lumet, and Lumet predicts – sincerely or hypocritically, nobody knows – that it would be a great success in Estonian theatres. Naturally, the play did not make it to the stage but it has been preserved in manuscript form. Its plot and structure are publicised here for the first time. Its plot and structure are publicised here for the first time.