Jaunā Gaita Nr. 260. pavasaris 2010

< JG 259   JG 261 >

JG 260



  • Our featured younger generation poet, Jānis Vādons, at home in Rīga, says of himself: I am connected to life, to dreams and to visions. This connectedness and the (in)coherence of it is what I express in my poetry.

  • Leons Briedis poetically bemoans the failure of the people to elect leaders such as Demosthenes, ancient Greek paragon of statesmanship, regularly opting instead for some populist demagogue from their own midst, who turns monstrous in a position of power.

  • Koknese (Kokenhusen) is a town on the Daugava, about 100 kilometers upstream from Rīga. It contains a park around the ruins of a 13th century castle, which, until the end of the 17th century, when it was destroyed in the Great Northern War, was a residence of the archbishop of Rīga. In the late 19th century, Baltic German Baron von Löwenstern built a magnificent manor house nearby, soon destroyed in the Revolution of 1905. Koknese is also the home town of writer Laima Kalniņa, who shares her meditations on these historic upheavals in the context of her own childhood memories in a story titled “A Beginning”.

  • Our spring issue is graced with reproductions of exuberantly colorful abstract paintings by Leons Samulis and Ila Kellermane as well as black and white photographs by Aina Balgalve, Raimo Lielbriedis and Ramona Kalniņa. To commemorate the reunification of Germany twenty years ago, Rolfs Ekmanis shares a color photograph, taken in 1987, of a bit of inspired graffiti on the west side of the Berlin Wall.

  • Commenting on an exhibit of the art of Stass Paraskos in Leeds, England, Laimonis Mieriņš recounts how, some thirty years ago, the Cypriot artist precipitated a scandal by exhibiting there.

  • Vilnis Auziņš reports on Design Awards for photography. The Latvian Designers Society instituted this award for the first time in 2009.


  • Vita Gaiķe presents Lolita Gulbe, the winner of the Ēriks Raisters Memorial award for 2009. Gulbe is a poet who has contributed much to Jaunā Gaita and has published seven collections of her work.

  • Literary scholar Eva Eglāja-Kristsone continues her serialized account of the dynamics of cultural contacts between Latvians in the home country and Latvians in political exile during the Cold War, covering the years 1980-1987 when initiatives on the Soviet side were waning in awareness of looming geopolitical change.

  • Herta Müller, the winner of the Nobel Prize in literature in 2009, rejects the notion that choice of language is important, prefers to live in exile and considers writing an act of exorcism. Irēne Avena characterizes her as an unsentimental truth teller whose art is a musical counterpoint of repeated staccato sentences using varying instrumentation.

  • Marta Landmane’s poetry is simple and straight-forward, her words are powerful, never exaggerated. Sarmīte Janovska-Ērenpreisa recounts Landmane’s career to date.


  • In the first of three installments on higher education, Prof. Gundars Ķeniņš Kings focuses on the US.

  • Dzintars Edvīns Bušs, an environmental ecology expert living in Rīga, contributes a broad-brush analysis of the causes for the ongoing global economic crisis.

  • Tireless foe of all sources of disinformation, Franks Gordons, tackles the Russian Institute for Democracy and Cooperation in Paris.

  • Uldis Siliņš continues his laughing-through-the-tears memoir of post-war refugee-camp life in Alt-Garge, Germany. Someone catches scarlet fever and all 18 barrack-mates have to be quarantined in eight rooms in a residence away from camp. Paradise! exclaims Siliņš.

  • The Marginalia section, as usual, does not fail to surprise and delight with news shorts from all over the world.


  • Agate Nesaule’s novel In Love with Jerzy Kosinski (reviewed by Biruta Sūrmane)

  • Volumes 2 & 3 of Aina Zemdega’s collected works Raksti (Juris Silenieks)

  • Jānis Lejiņš’ historical trilogy Zīmogs sarkanā vaskā (Dzidra Purmale)

  • Gundega Grīnuma’s  Piemiņas paradoksion commemorating Rainis’ and Aspazija’s Swiss exile (1906-1920) in Castagnola (Aina Siksna)

  • Eva Eglāja-Kristsone’s and Benedikts Kalnačs’ (eds) Back to Baltic Memory: Lost and Found in Literature, 1940-1968 (Rolfs Ekmanis)

  • Rasma Grīsle’s linguistic study Heterotonu vārdnīca un heterotonijas pētījumi (Lalita Muižniece)

  • Daiga Joma’s short stories Dvēseles bezvējš (Amanda Jātniece)

  • Kristiina Ross’ un Pēteris Vanags’ (eds) Common Roots of the Latvian and Estonian Literary Languages (Jānis Krēsliņš, Sr.)

  • Ilgvars Veigners’ Latvieši rietumzemēs an encyclopaedic work on Latvian communities outside their home country  (Valters Nollendorfs)

  • Pauls Toutonghi’s Red Weather (the German version) (Biruta Sūrmane)

  • September 2009 Journal of Baltic Studies  (Gundars Ķeniņš Kings).                           

Jaunā Gaita