Jaunā Gaita Nr. 61, 1967
EXILE AS A PERSONAL PROBLEM, Gunars Irbe, p. 17
Exile, originally a political problem, has in 21 years become predominantly a personal one, demanding continuous personal decisions. The individual member of an exiled group has made an adjustment to his environment and is no more bound by necessity to his compatriots. There may develop differences between his own and his group's attitudes to such basic concepts as freedom and truth. An exiled writer faces conflicting loyalties - to his colleagues in his homeland who are prevented from communicating with him by strong repressions, and to his audience in exile which seems imaginary and gives him little support. The exiled writer must continually answer the question: Why am I here today? and face decisions in order to retain his integrity. For him creative freedom is indivisible from personal freedom.
FOUR SWEDISH POETS, Andrejs Irbe, p. 18
As the fourth installment of JG poetry in translation series, Andrejs Irbe presents four Swedish poets, Harry Martinson, Stig Carlson, Sonja Akesson, and Tomas Transtromer. A short essay accompanies the translations.
NEILIS IS THE LATVIAN PAUL KLEE, Antons Vorkalis, p. 30
A. Vorkalis interviews the painter Kārlis Neilis (b. 1906) who lives in Austria. A recent one-man show in Stockholm marked Neilis' sixtieth birthday. The artist talks on contemporary art, art criticism, buyers and collectors, the Latvian element in art, and his own painting.
THOUGHTS ABOUT THE LATVIAN STATE, Ilgvars Spilners, p. 33
It is not idle to think about a future independent Latvian state, but our concern at present should be with the ideals and ideas underlying it, not its probability or practicality. An independent Latvian state is needed to protect the Latvian nation from physical and cultural annihilation. But the effectiveness of an independent Latvian state will depend largely on the desire of its citizens to take responsible part in its government. Therefore it is important to instill now into Latvians political ideals according to which they may shape their state in the future.
MATTER, THOUGHTS, AND SUSPICIONS, Imants Bite, p. 35
The author takes issue with the symposium on abstract art in JG 41. He points out the sensationalist element in modern art. He defines painting as a static system of optic stimuli arranged on a plane, in which the given qualities of matter are used to evoke complex psychic processes. Being made of matter, a painting is never 'abstract'. It also always is a representation and an imitation, regardless whether it represents an object per se or the emotion produced by an object in the artist. If the image of an emotion corresponds exactly to the emotion itself, i.e. the painting can be 'understood', then it is not abstract, rather as much as imitation as a 'realistic' representation of a given object. If the emotion cannot be objectified in an image, being too personal and private, then it belongs to the field of psychiatry, not art. And if a spot of color is not to be understood as representation of an emotion but as a stimulus to such an emotion, then we have returned to the principle of association, so important in painting objects per se.
THE EVOLUTION OF LATVIAN INDEPENDENCE ( IV ), Uldis Germanis, p. 38
Shortly after the occupation of Riga by German forces on Sept. 3, 1917, a Bloc of Democratic Parties in Riga (BDP) was formed, which early in October passed a resolution demanding an independent, indivisible, neutral Latvian republic. From the BDP evolved the National Council which on Nov. 18, 1918 declared Latvian independence. The author discusses the role of the BDP and the Latvian Social Democratic Party as well as their respective publications under the Kerensky government. The strong Bolshevik element among the Latvian riflemen backed the SDP and led to its victory in the province of Vidzeme, where it established a majority dictatorship.
THE LATEST ABOUT TOTAL PROPAGANDA, Uldis Germanis, p. 51
Bruno Kalnin's doctoral thesis (University of Stockholm, 1956) has been re-issued in a condensed version as Agitprop. Die Propaganda in der Sowjetunion, Wien-Frankfurt-Zürich, Europa 1966. The author demonstrates a total, permanent, and systematic propaganda machinery, doubtless the most complex in the world. Its shortcomings are caused by shortcomings in the Soviet system itself, - the restless and nationalistic aspirations of non-Russian nations and the evident gap between reality and propagandistic wishful thinking.
HAPPENINGS ON THE BORDERLINE OF IMAGINATION, Ojars Kratins, p. 52
Andrejs Irbe's second collection of short stories The Goat of Marisandrs (Viisterās, Ziemeļblāzma, 1966) is less subjective and more concrete than his first one. He is concerned with broadening the reader's consciousness in unexpected directions and in revealing the manifold, often clashing private world views of human beings. The stories fall into several very distinct types, from a quasi detective story to a balladesque horror tale. Irbe, foremost among the younger Latvian authors, is a master in the subtle use of symbolism.
SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION OF LATVIAN FOLKLORE - XXI, Laimonis Streips, p. 59
Laimonis Streips continues his humoristic investigation of Latvian folklore, concentrating on the role of rivers. The drawings by Reinis Birzgalis ably assist him.