Jaunā Gaita nr. 265. vasara 2011

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JG 265



  • Different, atypical, unique, original, a shatterer of convention, e.e. cummingsesque … Maija Meirāne introduces Edvīns Raups as a poet whose flamboyantly changeling style is his essence: one would miss the point by seeking plain sense in his onomatopoeic inventions and surrealistic word play. Raups himself insists that, in order to be fully appreciated, his 26 short poems offered here need to be presented just as they were composed – spoken out loud in his own voice and in the order in which they are given. Recently, an English edition of his poems Then Touch Me Here was published in Canada.

  • In short prose compositions, Juris Rozītis and Agnese Matisone describe incidents of human contact, random, fleeting, poignant and profound.

  • Visual art from Svens Lūkins and Baiba Baiba is introduced by JG art editors Voldemārs Avens and Linda Treija. A color portrait of artist Voldemārs Dārznieks (1926-2010) is by Richards Liukis.

  • Sarma Muižniece-Liepiņa shares her impressions of an exhibit of art photography by Anita Līcis-Ribak in Northampton, Massachusetts, Marita Batņa reports on the 53rd annual Latvian arts festival in Melbourne, Australia, and Ilze Šēnberga-Nāgela reviews an exhibit of Ieva Deksne’s art, also in Melbourne.


  • In Kultūra un latvietība (Culture and Latvianness, 2010), the former president of Latvia (1999-2007) Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga challenges her nation to face reality and, above all, to strive for excellence. Irēne Avena reports that it is a book of bitter lessons and a worthy testament, especially for our young generation.

  • Tough, tenacious, enduring almost to the point of being compulsively obsessive – Juris Šlesers chooses words carefully to describe the character of the Latgallian philologist Vladislavs Lōcis (1912-1984), one of the few Latgallians who persevered in protecting and preserving the regional idiom of Eastern Latvia in the face of the larger threat to the Latvian language from russification under the Soviets.

  • University of Latvia (Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art) researcher Dr. Eva Eglāja-Kristsone concludes her study of cultural contacts during the Cold War between the literary establishment in Soviet occupied Latvia, and Latvian writers who had fled to Western Europe and North America.


  • Writer and curator of the Riga Museum of Literature and Music, Andrejs Grāpis, brings to light some interesting facts about early post-WWII contacts between Soviet Latvian functionaries and Latvians in exile.

  • We continue our celebration of Latvia’s emergence from the Soviet “prison of nations” 20 years ago with a poem by our former editor Andrejs Gunars Irbe (1924-2004) and photographs taken by Jānis Buls, Andris Eglītis and Rolfs Ekmanis during the “days of the barricades”.

  • The topic of conversation in the Kiberkambaris column is a threat by Jakovs Pliners, head of PCTVL, a political party which, to a large extent, speaks on behalf of the Russian minority in Latvia, to unleash a revolution, should the government require that all instruction in publicly financed schools be in the state language, Latvian: … do you want to look out the window and see Libya and Egypt?

  • The title of the section Dažos vārdos (In a Few Words) has, in the past, been translated here as Marginalia, but it is hardly marginal. It is a dense and scrupulously edited summary of information and actualities societal, cultural, and political, all centrally important to Latvian readers everywhere.

  • This year’s recipient of the award established in the memory of JG long-time associate editor Jānis Bieriņš (1908-1987) is our own contributing editor Vita Gaiķe. In an interview she reveals that she is a biologist by profession and an equestrian athlete.

  • Prose writer and playwright Laimonis Purs criticizes the tendency by some Latvian cultural leaders to devote themselves to nit-picking in the thick coat of the past, and urges them instead to help lay a foundation for healthy patriotism in the realities of the present.


  • Indra Gubiņa’s travel memoirs Vēlreiz turp un atpakaļ (Once More Out and Back) – reviewed by Astra Roze

  • Aina Zemdega’s Raksti (Collected Works) and Rolf Michaelis’ Letten in der Ordnungspolizei und Waffen-SS 1940-1945 – both reviewed by Juris Silenieks

  • Ilse Zandstra’s memoir The Amber Coast: A Latvian Family’s Journey – Juris Dreifelds

  • Nikolajs Bulmanis’ essays on Latvian émigré artists No vienas puses tā... (On the One Hand Thus...) – Voldemārs Avens

  • Juris Urtāns’ Kalnā bija stalta pils (A Shining Castle on the Hill), a report of archeological research at 58 of Latvia’s ancient fort sites – Marģers Grīns

  • Literary quarterly Latvju Teksti (Latvian Texts – Winter 2010) – Rolfs Ekmanis

  • Journal of Baltic Studies (December 2010) – Gundars Ķeniņš Kings.

Jaunā Gaita