Jaunā Gaita nr. 248. marts 2007

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JG 248


LITERATURE: Arnolds Jansons' (1912-1991) short story, Kā tētiņš gribēja nonākt debesīs? (The ascension attempt of Uncle Joe Stalin), vividly and in dazzling, image-laden language portrays the tragedy and comedy of the Soviet era. Jansons himself was arrested and deported to Siberia twice: 1941-1948 and 1949-1961, and his literary works confiscated. Marta Landmane's second installment of her World War II novella, Neskumsti, meitenīt! (Don't grieve, lassie!), tells of the German troops' driving the Soviet army out of Latvia (1941).

POETRY features the works of Voldemārs Avens, Velta Sniķere and Jānis Viesiens.

LITERARY CRITICISM: Poet Uldis Bērziņš, a Turkish language and literature specialist, discusses several Turkish authors in Who Deserves the Nobel Prize? He contrasts the works of the 2006 Nobel recipient, Orhan Pamuk, with those of the also-ran, e.g., Yasar Kemal, and finds that while Pamuk in his works elegantly unmasks the good and the evil, Kemal enthuses about them, and "enthusing" is not what judges of "serious" literature find Nobel-worthy. Gundars Pļavkalns continues his discussion of form and style in literature (see JG 246). Ilona Salceviča analyzes the future of Latgallian-language literature by reviewing a number of recent novels and short stories by Ontons Stankevičs, Leons Širins, Valentīns Lukaševičs, Ontons Matvejāns, and others.

ART AND ARTISTS: Voldemārs Avens introduces the paintings of Laimons Eglītis, based on objects found in nature and characterized by academic perfection as well as highly individualistic and complex composition and visual charm. Laimonis Mieriņš reviews the work of the four 2006 Turner Prize nominees: Rebecca Warren, Mark Titchner, Phil Collins, and the winner of the Ł 25,000 prize, abstractionist Tomma Abts. We have reproduced paintings by Eglītis, Jānis Zuntaks and Avens (the cover is also his) and an art photo by Imants Urtāns.

MUSIC: Helēna Gintere writes about pianist Artūrs Ozoliņš, tracing his career from his first professional appearance to his most recent recital in Toronto. She also writes about the composer and pianist Volfgangs Dārziņš (1906-1962), best known for his piano arrangements of Latvian folk song melodies and avant garde piano concertos, sonatas, and preludes, now part of the canon at the Latvian Academy of Music. Arvīds Purvs marks the centenary of the birth of Jānis Norvilis (1906-1994), organist, conductor and composer.

HISTORY: Rolfs Ekmanis continues his series of articles on international radio broadcasts in the Latvian language during the Cold War. This essay focuses on Brīvā Latviešu Balss (Free Latvian Voice) broadcasting from Madrid, 1955-65, as part of Spain's radio broadcasts to 16 nations in the Soviet bloc. Rita Laima Bērziņa, a former reporter for the Baltic Observer, recapitulates the October 2006 murder in Moscow of the Russian investigative reporter and human rights activist, Anna Politkovskaya, and the death by radiation of Aleksandr Litvinenko in November 2006 in London.

REVIEWS: Pauls Toutonghi (1976), Red Weather (2006), a comical/farcical novel bordering on the tragic, set in Milwaukee,1989-90, in a family of recent Latvian immigrants; Jānis Mauliņš, Vilkaču sila līdumnieks (2005), a historical novel set in 16th/17th century Livonia; Nora Ikstena, Nenoteikta bija (2006), the biography of the much loved author Imants Ziedonis; Inga Ābele, Austrumos no saules un ziemeļos no zemes (2006), a journal of inward journeys and travelogues; Ieva E. Kalniņa, ed., Latviešu rakstnieku portreti. Laika spoguļzīmes (2004), essays on five contemporary writers: Edvīns Raups, Māris Salējs, Inga Ābele, Pauls Bankovskis, and the late Ieva Roze; Ainārs Dimants, Pašcenzūra pret paškontroli Latvijas presē (2004), 82 interviews with journalists regarding self-censorship and quality control in the press; Broņislava Mārtuževa, Kopotas dzejas (2004), poems with dominant themes of God, nature, her native land, and patriotism; Marta Landmane, Vēl vilni vel (2006), poems focusing on the loss of one's country, life in exile, relationships, and the loneliness of old age; Janīna Kursīte, ed., Suitu identitāte (2005), on the cultural heritage of the Alsunga district in Southem Courland; Gundars Keniņš-King reviews the Joumal of Baltic Studies, fall 2006, and welcomes the recent turnover of all technical editorial matters as well as marketing of the Journal to Routledge.

CYBERSPACE: Juris Žagariņš has compiled discussions regarding the viability of the current Latvian model for economic growth.

IN MEMORIAM: Marianna Ieviņa eulogizes Valdemārs Ancītis (1921-2006), poet, linguist, critic, historian of culture, bibliophile, ethnographer, folklorist, author of children's literature.


Maruta Lietiņa-Ray

Jaunā Gaita