Jaunā Gaita nr. 280. Pavasaris 2015


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JG 280



We feature Jānis ElsbergsPoem on the Song Festival at Dikļi. Anno 1864, which he wrote to commemorate the 150th aniversary of that event.

Poet Uldis Bērziņš, a prolific translator, gives interesting examples of the challenging guesswork inherent in translating ancient and medieval literary texts.

In the current episode from his fictional history, Abrene 2002, Ainārs Zelčs imagines the economic development of Latgale (Latgalia), the eastern part of Latvia, as it might have taken place had there been no WWII.

We present photographic renderings of artistic creations by Krista Svalbonas on pages 1, 20, 34 and 64. Our art editor Linda Treija describes the artist’s alchemistic/architectural ideas and methods. Rita Grendze collaborated with Svalbonas on the cover art for this issue.

A humorous poem (a “mini-anti-epic”) by poet and literary/art historian Ojārs Jēgens (1924-1993) pits twin brothers Visuvaris (All-powerful) and Neatminis (All-forgetful) against each other.




Ligita Levinska discusses the experience of exile as reflected in the prose works of Guntis Zariņš (1926-1965) and Jānis Klīdzējs (1914-2000).

Jānis Liepiņš remembers Jānis Medenis (1903-1961), a poet exiled to Siberia by the Soviets, and comments on a recently published collection of his verse.

Part five of Rolfs Ekmanis’ account of the life work of poet, publicist and editor Māris Čaklais (1940-2003) looks at his literary creation from the mid-eighties through the nineties.

Andris Briedis, author of several collections of satirical prose, enumerates editors and contributors to four underground literary journals published by students at the Latvian State University (now the University of Latvia) under Soviet rule in the 1950’s.



In a 1994 speech, Lennart Meri, president of Estonia from 1992 to 2001, warned the world about the emerging irrationality of Moscow’s imperial ambitions. Author and TV talk-show host Otto Ozols draws attention to this prophetic speech and reminds us of Meri’s leading role in getting the Baltic States into the EU and NATO.

In her essay “Uzticīgā Latgale” (Faithful Latgale), independent journalist Sanita Upleja records her impressions of the people of that region and their communities. In her second essay “Pārdomas” (Meditations), she points out the dangerous inclination of some Latvians to indulge in wishful thinking and to forget the lessons of recent history.



Sandis Laime continues his study of witch lore in Northeastern Latvia, detailing some obnoxious witch behaviors.

Publicist-historian Franks Gordons summarizes the contents of a 2014 Internet article published in Moscow (RusPEN), describing extreme Russian chauvinism in Soviet security organizations between 1920 and 1950.

Anna Žīgure, past Latvian ambassador to Estonia and Finland, writes about the Winter War between the Soviet Union and Finland in 1939-1940, as reflected in the Latvian press at that time.

In his continuing account of life in a Displaced Persons camp in postwar Germany, Uldis Siliņš remembers moonshine, music lessons, school days and scouting.

The section “In a Few Words” offers a broad perspective on the world of Latvian culture, as well as on world events relevant to the inhabitants of the Baltic region and its diaspora.



Nation-building in the Baltic states: Transforming Governance, Social Welfare, and Security in Northern Europe, by Gundar J. King & David E. McNabb (reviewed by Indra Ekmane)

Back to the Motherland: Repatriation and Latvian Émigrés 1955-1958 / Atpakaļ uz dzimteni: Repatriācija un latviešu emigranti 1955-1958, by Lilita Zalkalns (Juris Šlesers)

Čikāgas Piecīšu brīnišķīgie piedzīvojumi (The Wonderful Adventures of the musical group Chicago Five, 2nd ed.), by Alberts Legzdiņš (Anita Liepiņa).

Jauki ļaudis (Nice People), a novel by Gundega Repše (Ligita Levinska)

Putekļi smilšu pulkstenī (Dust in an Hourglass), a novel by Arno Jundze (Lāsma Gaitniece, née Ģibiete).

Es mācos rakstīt (I Learn to Write), a posthumous poetry collection by Pēters Brūveris (Elīna Kokarēviča).




Jaunā Gaita