Juozas Tumas

Tumas, Juozas


(pen name Vaizgantas). Born Sept. 20,1869, in the village of Maleisïu, in what is now AniksSèiai Raion; died Apr. 29,1933, in Kaunas. Lithuanian writer and literary scholar.

Tumas graduated from the Kaunas Theological Seminary in 1893 and was ordained a Catholic priest. During World War I he visited Russia and the USA and lived in Sweden, returning to Lithuania in 1918. Tumas settled in Kaunas in 1920, and from 1922 to 1929 he taught at the university, contributed to the bourgeois press, and edited several newspapers and journals. He published valuable materials from Lithuanian folk literature in the scholarly publication Müsu senovè (Our Heritage). From 1905 to 1907 he published a series of essays and short stories under the titles Theatrical Sketches and Allegorical Sketches; his Sketches of War appeared in 1914 and 1915. Lithuanian life at the turn of the 19th century was depicted in the epic poem Flashes (1917–33), the novellas Uncles and Aunts (1921), The Mute (1930), and The Robinson Crusoe of Zemaitija (1932), and the novel Family Cancer (1927–29).

Tumas’ works combine realism with a romantic interpretation of phenomena and the expressive style of a publicist. Although Tumas’ bourgeois-clerical outlook detracted from the ideology of his works, his best writing retains significant educational and artistic value.


Rinktiniai raštai, vols. 1–2. Vilnius, 1957.
Pragiedruliai. Vilnius, 1969.
D’edèsir dedienes, Nebylys, Rimai ir Nerimai. Vilnius, 1974.
In Russian translation:
Diadi i tetki. Vilnius, 1968.


Vaitieküniené, A. Vaižgantas. Vilnius, 1959.
Vaitieküniené, A. Vaiiganto apysaka “Dédis ir dedienes.” Vilnius, 1974.
Lietuviu literatürosistorija, vol. 3, part 1. Vilnius, 1961.