Jaunā Gaita Nr. 256. marts 2009

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JG 256



  • Eighteenth-century English religious poet Christopher Smart, a forerunner to William Blake, wrote Jubilate Agno while locked up in an insane asylum. Jānis Elsbergs’ translation of fragments of this poem includes some lines from Smart’s homage to his cat Jeoffrey, as well as lines comparing Smart’s own condition with the suffering of Christ.

  • In the concluding act of Plato and Marija, or The Third Eye, a play by Leons, Marija and Adrians Briedis, Plato winds up his political and philosophical discussions with assorted citizens of contemporary Latvia, and takes his leave to return to ancient Greece, accompanied by some who are unable to find happiness in a world which everyone is fleeing.

  • Literary historian Eva Eglāja-Kristsone continues her study of contacts between the literary establishment in Soviet Latvia and Latvian writers in exile. The KGB established a Committee for Cultural Relations (KKS), but recruitment of members carefully screened out overt enthusiasts for open exchange.

  • Benjamiņš Jēgers (1915-2005) had a distinguished career as a scholar of Germanic and Baltic linguistics, but it is his monumental five-volume Bibliography of Latvian Publications Published outside Latvia, 1940-1991 that guarantees his immortality. He was a very private man, and, sadly, we learn only now of his death. Jānis Krēsliņš, Sr. looks back on professor Jēgers’ life and his achievements.


  • Juris Ķeniņš writes of his father Tālivaldis Ķeniņš (1919-2008), the author of a great many works of chamber music as well as eight symphonies, twelve concertos, three cantatas, an oratorio, choral works and a number of educational pieces. While in exile, he joined the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto, teaching composition and contrapuntal techniques.

  • Franks Gordons offers a review of Aivars Stranga’s book Jews in the Baltic: From Earliest Arrival to the Holocaust, 14th Century – 1945, published last year by the University of Latvia. Gordons supplements it generously with information from his own vast knowledge and experience.

  • Rolfs Ekmanis, in his continuing history of international Latvian-language radio broadcasting during the Cold War, writes about Latvian radio voices out of Madrid from 1969 until 1972. During this time, the American Latvian Association (ALA) attempted to coordinate the broadcasts and was, ultimately, responsible for „pulling the plug” while the Lithuanians and Estonians continued their Radio Nacional de Espańa broadcasts.


  • Juris Žagariņš looks at the terrible state of the world in an essay titled „What to do?” and concludes that Latvians all over the world owe it to themselves to demand a correction in Latvia’s election law.

  • In a speech on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Latvian state, Māra Celle forthrightly lists some things that are wrong with present-day Latvia and, balancing these against the things that are right, concludes that the nation is still strong.


is represented in full-page color reproductions of paintings by Linda Treija and Lelde Kalmīte and a sculpture by Kārlis Rekevics. Rekevics’ sculptures are intuitively composed amalgamations of found and imagined objects. Lelde Kalmīte’s painting goes on display in an exhibition at a center for Latvian diaspora art established in 2007 in the Northern Latvian town of Valmiera. She writes that the nucleus of this center’s collection consists of 94 diaspora artists representing a wide variety of style and idiom.

  • Art historian Māris Brancis writes about the work of Jānis Liepiņš (1894-1964) currently on display in a Rīga gallery.

  • There are also three artful full-page photographs from the cameras of Rimands Ceplis and Rolfs Ekmanis.

  • The cover is by Ilmārs Rumpēters.


Obituaries, Awards, History, Latvian Literature in Other Languages, The Literature of Other Languages in Latvian, On Criticism and Poetry, Literary Heritage, Periodicals, On the Web, Cinema/Photography, Music, Theater, Visual Art, The Latvian Language, Education/Science, The Baltic States, The Russian Federation, and Statistics − these are the subtitles in this collection of cultural news shorts from all over the world.


  • Jānis Elsbergs on a collection of Andra Manfelde’s poetry

  • Juris Šlesers on a study of archeoastronomy by Ojārs Ozoliņš

  • Juris Silenieks on a collection of fictionalized monologues by Gundega Repše

  • Anna Žīgure on a collection of stories in a Western Latvian dialect by Kārlis Zvejnieks

  • Gundars Ķeniņš Kings on the latest issue of the Journal of Baltic Studies

  • Ivars Antēns on a collection of humorous writings about the yearly 3x3 Latvian cultural/educational conclaves



Jaunā Gaita