Jaunā Gaita nr. 270. rudens 2012

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JG 270




  • To poet Uldis Bērziņš, language is more than an instrument of thought, it is itself a living thing which connects with the world through man. In seven poetic “motifs” he illustrates such connection via seven named individuals. The text, in each case, is a fragment of shamanic chant, starting and ending abruptly, as if random, yet whole.

  • In Madara Rutkēviča’s short story Baba, fear, resentment, guilt and grief seem simultaneously to sunder and bind a man and his wife as her grandmother passes away. 



  • Kārlis Vērdiņš writes that Baiba Bičole in her poetic oeuvre has consistently refused to conform to patriarchal expectations of restraint in expressing honestly and artfully the full amplitude of womanly experience and emotion.

  • In the first installment of “Aestheticism in the Poetry of Fricis Bārda”, Una Alksne gives an overview of the cultural movements of mid-nineteenth century Europe and enumerates the direct influences on Bārda, an influential exponent of new romanticism and expressionism in Latvia at the turn of the 20th century.

  • Liene Lauska marvels at how the writerly muse triumphed over material deprivation and the pain of dislocation of seven Latvian authors who found refuge in West Germany.

  • Juris Silenieks comments on Dr. Lauska’s recently published volume on two Latvian writers in exile in post-WWII Germany, Pēteris Ērmanis und Jānis Jaunsudrabiņš: Die soziale und kulturelle Integration lettischer Schriftsteller in Lettland und im deutschen Exil.



  • Günter Grass’s controversial poetic cri de coeur about Israel, Iran and war, “Was gesagt werden muss” (What Must Be Said), is translated by Zigurds Elsbergs. Rolfs Ekmanis lays out the poem’s context in history and current events.

  • Ingmāra Balode of Ľ satori interviews Lithuanian art historian and writer Kristina Sabaliauskaitė about her 17th century family saga Silva rerum and the recently published sequel, Silva rerum II, about the Great Plague of 1707-1710.

  • This year’s recipient of the Jānis Bieriņš Memorial Award is art historian Līga Ejupe for her role in establishing a permanent art gallery for Latvian diaspora artists, a springboard for travelling exhibits all over North America.

  • The Ēriks Raisters Prize for journalism this year goes to Franks Gordons, a long-time contributor to these pages, whose collected essays and commentaries have recently been published in Latvia under the title Publicistika. Rolfs Ekmanis points out that Gordons, who resides in Israel, actually has been a Latvian writer all his professional life.

  • Juris Šlesers comments on two recent publications in the diminishing genre of WWII  memoirs, one by Juris Zīverts, How We Survived “the Most Interesting” Epoch in History, the other a collection of diary excerpts, three from the Soviet side, three from the German side: Two Sides / Latvian War Stories.

  • An essay by Dāvids Zalāns, a youthful senior researcher at Latvia’s Ministry of Finance, argues that economic equality is a prerequisite for social equality as well as a precondition for economic growth and development.

  • Laimonis Purs continues his account, “Taking Liberty”, of journalism in Latvia under the Soviet regime.

  • The section “In a Few Words” is devoted to the latest cultural performances, exhibits, happenings and publications in Latvia as well as important actualities past and present, beyond the country’s borders, in the diaspora and all over the world.

  • In “Kiberkambaris”, the internet discussion group “Sveiks” turns to the deep and heavy subject of the proper place for science in religion and vice versa.



  • In the second part of Māris Brancis’ serialized biography, Laimonis Mieriņš’ family become war refugees, first in Germany and then in England, where the artist’s education continues.

  • Rudīte Mazūre Godfrey describes an exhibit in Los Angeles last spring, “Riga Nouveau Babes”, works by six Latvian artists, including two who are featured in this issue, Roberts Koļcovs and Mazūre Godfrey herself. Linda Treija describes the work of another featured artist, Gerda Roze, and contributes also the cover art for this issue. 



  • Māris Brancis. Krāsa un līnija: Laimonis Mieriņš, the biography serialized in these pages – reviewed by Voldemārs Avens.

  • Andra Manfelde. Zemnīcas bērni, an account of the fate of the author’s great grandparents, who were deported to Siberia – Aina Siksna

  • Andrievs Ezergailis. Lapu agonija. Grāmata par Intu, a biography of poet and Cornell University literary scholar Inta Ezergaile – Juris Žagariņš

  • Uldis Zemzaris. Jūra un krasts / The Sea and the Shore, a bilingual album of paintings – Andrejs Ģērmanis

  • Vilnis Baumanis. Pārbaudījums, a novel about the early years of exile in New York – Juris Silenieks

  • Lidija Dombrovska. Klaidonis ar krizantēmu, Excerpts from the artist’s diaries – Vita Gaiķe

  • Journal of Baltic Studies 43/1 (March 2012) – Gundars Ķeniņš Kings.


Jaunā Gaita