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He was a prolific writer, editor of nine periodicals, university professor, and member of numerous societies and organizations. Born to a family of Lithuanian peasants, Tumas was educated at a gymnasium in Daugavpils present-day Latvia and Kaunas Priest Seminary. He began contributing to the Lithuanian press, then banned by the Tsarist authorities , in or He was ordained as a priest in and posted to Mitau present-day Jelgava , Latvia. His brother Jonas was caught with the banned publications and was sentenced to three years in prison and two years of exile.

Due to his Lithuanian activities and short temper, Tumas quarreled with his superiors and was frequently moved to increasingly more remote parishes. He edited the newspaper only for a couple of months but remained in Vilnius as editor of Viltis , co-founded with Antanas Smetona. This new cultural newspaper hoped to unite conservative Catholic clergy and more liberal intelligentsia for the common good of the Lithuanian nation. In , as one of the founders of the Party of National Progress , he attended political conferences in Petrograd , Kiev , and Stockholm advocating for full independence of Lithuania.

He returned to Vilnius in , but moved to Kaunas after the city was captured by Poland. He edited Tauta , published by the Party of National Progress, and ran in the elections to the Constituent Assembly of Lithuania , but largely withdrew from politics when he was not elected. He became rector of the Church of Vytautas the Great and organized its reconstruction. From to , he taught a course on the Lithuanian literature during the era of the Lithuanian press ban — at the University of Lithuania.

Tumas published several works on writers' biographies and amassed a large collection of material manuscripts, correspondence, photos, etc. On the basis of this material, he organized a literary archive at the university. Tumas was born at midday of the Nativity of Mary O. His mother, aged 45, took all this as a sign that he should become a priest. Nevertheless, in fall , he managed to pass entrance exams to the gymnasium in Daugavpils which accepted about 50 students out of applicants.

During this time he developed an interest in Russian classic literature, particularly biographies and memoirs. After graduation, Tumas had to choose university or priest seminary. He doubted his calling for priesthood and considered studying veterinary in Saint Petersburg. It became known as the Society of Saint Casimir when one of its members obtained relics of Saint Casimir , the patron saint of Lithuania.

Tumas was first sent by the Diocese of Samogitia as vicar to Mitau present-day Jelgava , Latvia , away from Lithuanian-speaking areas. Therefore, Tumas received a very cold welcome from local priests. He received a reply in a week, but did not get a new posting until four months later. Tumas almost single-handedly edited the magazine from the December to the April—May issue.

It attempted to reconcile the Catholic dogma with the Lithuanian National Revival. His brother, caught red handed, could not avoid the punishment and served three years in the Kresty Prison and two years of exile in Bessarabia. In August , Tumas was transferred to Kuliai.

It was a convenient location for Tumas' illegal work — it was remote but also close to the Prussia—Russia border — and he organized a distribution point for the banned Lithuanian press.

It was a cultural, not political magazine. A surviving list of books owned by Tumas in shows books, acquired since The list did not include any of the illegal Lithuanian publications and thus should be longer.

They wrote complaints to bishop Paliulionis. One of the complaints attacked a translation of a short catechism by Roch Filochowski published by Tumas in with counterfeited publication data supposedly, published in at the Zawadzki Press in Vilnius.

He was to cease activities not directly related to his clerical duties and was prohibited from printing anything or traveling anywhere without an approval of the bishop. The outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War forced the Tsarist government to make concessions to ethnic minorities and the Lithuanian press ban was lifted in April He delivered a speech promoting non-violent resistance to the Tsarist regime and cited the example of Finland.

Upon learning of such activities, bishop Paliulionis urgently reassigned Tumas to Sidabravas in December and to Stakiai in March He was also arrested before moving to Stakiai, but released on bail. He enlisted the clergy to help the newspaper and they searched for a new editor among the priests. Reluctantly, bishops Paliulionis and von der Ropp agreed to transfer Tumas to Vilnius to work on the newspaper. He was promised a monthly salary of 75 rubles , but he was hesitant to take the offer.

It would not be socialist, but it would treat all social classes equally. It would defend the Catholic faith as the foundation of the order and morality and the Lithuanian nation as an equal to others. During that short time, Tumas wrote many articles on various topics, including on education, art, economy.

While Smetona was influential setting the ideology, he had a full-time job at the Vilnius Land Bank and thus Tumas handled most of the day-to-day workings of the publication. Tumas wrote reviews of literary and scientific works. Tumas was also active in Lithuanian cultural life in Vilnius. He was a board member of the Lithuanian Scientific Society and gifted some of his personal book collection to its new library.

He contrasted the celebration, attended by many dignitaries, with Estonian and Latvian Song Festivals and concluded that the Grunwald celebration did not sufficiently involve all social classes.

The Polish press responded by attacking Tumas and accusing him of anti-Polish attitudes. Viltis had a permanent column to report on the situation of Lithuanian Catholics in the Diocese of Vilnius and in particular on their fight for the Lithuanian-language church services.

However, he refused in part due to debts and ill health. He collected his previous works, edited them for style and language, and published in various Lithuanian newspapers hoping to publish them as separate booklets. Tumas contributed his best works to Vairas with only a few submissions to Viltis. Bikinas edited news and political articles, while Tumas edited articles on cultural and societal matters. Tumas and others organized refugee relief — opening shelters and soup kitchens, providing clothes and basic medical care, finding employment.

In five months, Lithuanians in Riga raised 10, rubles and helped some 4, refugees. Lithuanians became more politically active, particularly after the February Revolution , working to secure Lithuania's future after the war.

In February , Tumas was elected to the Council of the Lithuanian Nation , which aspired to become an authoritative body that could represent all Lithuanians and their political objectives. Tumas and other members of his party called for full independence. The conference approved the resolution adopted by the Vilnius Conference , recognized the Council of Lithuania as the legitimate representative of the Lithuanian nation, and reiterated Lithuania's desire for full independence.

The required paperwork took seven months and Tumas devoted most of his time to writing Pragiedruliai. Tumas returned to Vilnius in May He started writing articles for Lietuvos aidas Echo of Lithuania , eventually taking over as editor from Petras Klimas , and attending the sessions of the Council of Lithuania as a guest. He was a member of the Lithuanian delegation to Vincas Kapsukas , leader of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic , in attempt to find a modus vivendi.

In his articles, he harshly criticized the new Polish administration, in particular before it enforced censorship. Tumas joined the Lithuanian Riflemen's Union and became temporary editor of its magazine Trimitas. It was his ninth and last parish. Many requested his services, because he was more lenient and accommodating.

Over the years, Tumas had collected information on Lithuanian writers and literature. In —, he lectured on topics in Lithuanian literature at the Higher Officers' Courses and a teachers' courses. He was also invited to teach at the War School of Kaunas , but refused due to lack of time. He chose to discuss different writers every semester instead of a more systematic chronological or thematic approach. The university awarded him a pension and a honorary doctorate.

Tumas was instrumental in establishing a literary archive at the university that collected writers' manuscripts, correspondence, photos, etc. Tumas donated most of his personal collection to this archive, officially established in March During that time he reviewed 66 works.

In addition to his paid jobs, Tumas was very active in Lithuanian cultural life — he was chairman, treasurer, or board members of various Lithuanian societies, committees, and commissions, [] about 20 different organizations in total. In independent Lithuania, Tumas' efforts and works received official recognition. He was promoted as honorary canon of the Samogitian Capitulum in April He also received the Latvian Order of the Three Stars 2nd degree.

His funeral, a grand public affair attended by many dignitaries, was a subject to one of the first documentaries produced in Lithuania. Tumas began writing works of fiction in Scenos vaizdai Stage Scenes was a cycle of plays poking fun at the shortcomings of the ordinary village folk first published in and Karo vaizdai Scenes of War were written during World War I and focused on the effects of war on the civilian population first published in It depicts the Lithuanian National Revival , social and economic transformation in rural Lithuania, [] and the resistance, sometimes subconscious, to the Tsarist regime by the ordinary villagers — from improved agricultural methods to sending children to school, reading prohibited Lithuanian literature, and becoming interested in politics.

Lithuanians are depicted as one large family working towards the same goal. For example, Liudas Gira considered it to be boring, confusing, and difficult to understand, particularly for the urban residents.

After Lithuania's independence in , Tumas' fiction turned from public to individual life. Mykoliukas, the younger son, sacrifices everything, including his love for Severija, for his elder brother and his family. He works the brother's farm essentially as a slave, earning nothing of his own, and is compared to Saint Isidore the Laborer. After the Emancipation reform of , Rapolas loses his job and, unable to earn his own farm due to his laziness, moves in with his brother.

He dies after accidentally eating rat poison. Severija works hard trying to earn her and her husband's keep at the unwelcoming home of her brother-in-law. After her husband's death, she is left all alone and starts abusing alcohol.

After his retirement from the University of Lithuania , Tumas was able to devote more time to fiction. The boy ran away from home and was killed trying to steal horses.


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