From the Legacy of Meilė Lukšienė’s Manuscripts: The Winding History of the Publication of the Texts by Franciszek Ksawery Michał Bohusz SJ

  • Aldona Prašmantaitė
Keywords: Franciszek Ksawery Michał Bohusz SJ, school visitation reports, Meilė Lukšienė, continuous series ‘Library of Lithuanian Studies’, publication of sources


Based on historiography and primary sources, this is a reconstruction of the history behind the intentions of Meilė Lukšienė (1913–2009), a literary scholar and a Lithuanian pedagogy researcher, to publish the works by Franciszek Ksawery Michał Bohusz SJ (1746–1820). The methods of publication chosen by Meilė Lukšienė are briefly discussed. Bohusz wrote in Polish, yet Lukšienė maintained that the translation of his texts had to be published as a source important to the development of Lithuanian culture. It was not found that Lukšienė had deliberated the possibility of publishing the texts in their original language. The research suggests that in Lithuanian historiography, the genesis of the publication of Bohusz’s texts can be associated with the translation into Lithuanian of the general Lithuanian school visitation reports from 1803 that Lukšienė had prepared for publication in 1966 but which were never released. She planned to publish a translation of Bohusz’s study O początkach narodu i języka litewskiego (1808; On the Beginning of the Lithuanian Nation and Language). It is a work that has not lost its importance to the studies on nineteenth-century Lithuanian history and cultural development. Lukšienė compiled a publishing proposal featuring a collection of Bohusz’s relevant texts. There were intentions to publish his texts, already prepared to be released, as a separate book in the series ‘Library of Lithuanian Studies’ (Lith. Lituanistinė biblioteka). The Vaga Publishing House had been publishing this series of works related to Lithuanian studies since 1966. Lukšienė presented her proposals to publish the collection of Bohusz’s texts to the Vaga Publishing House three times (in around 1973, 1978, and 1987). None of these attempts drew the publisher’s attention. It is presumed that Lukšienė’s ideological attitudes, deemed unacceptable to the Soviet regime, influenced directly the position held by the Vaga Publishing House. It cannot be dismissed that Bohusz as the author of the proposed texts could have also affected the publisher’s position, as a negative attitude towards him, both as a personality and his works, was formed in the Soviet years. The unsuccessful attempts of Lukšienė to incorporate Bohusz’s relevant texts into Lithuanian historiography should be viewed as an outcome of the ideologisation of cultural life by the Soviet regime. The history of Lukšienė’s unrealised idea is an informative source of data for research into the situation of the humanities in the Soviet period.