Jaunā Gaita nr. 273. vasara 2013

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JG 273




  • Skaidrīte Kaldupe (1922-2013) and, especially, Imants Ziedonis (1933-2013) were among the outstanding voices of Latvian literature in the second half of the 20th century, sustaining the nation through the long, stagnant suffocation of Moscow’s rule and through the dislocations of its demise. We mark their passing with samples of their poetic oeuvre and with a poetic tribute to Ziedonis by Dace Micāne-Zālīte.

  • Andra Manfelde’s unaffected, powerful writing is displayed in a story titled “The Gold Watch and a Spoonful of Honey”, about the suffering and survival of a family deported to Siberia. It is part of a forthcoming collection. Her two recent novels Zemnīcas bērni (Children of the Pit House) and Dzimtenīte (Precious Homeland) have been reviewed in these pages (the latter in this issue).

  • Benita Veisberga, author of four prize-winning books, is well known to faithful readers of Jaunā Gaita – she has been contributing her musings since the mid-50’s of the last century. Her latest contribution starts and ends with a contemplation on the beauty of nature as seen from the windows of her home. She touches on issues of Latvia’s demographics and ethnicity, condemns careless pollution of language, and remembers how her grandfather bequeathed a ring to her in the 1930’s in the Latvian region of Semigallia.



  • Our art editor Linda Treija introduces artists Astrīda Prestone, whose works feature bold originality and an oriental aesthetic, and Normunds Brūveris, whose Famous Chillie Willie series is packed with humorous metaphors, far-out borrowings, and pointed criticism of American mores.

  • The cover of this issue is by Brencis Sils, a young Latvian artist presently residing in Münster, Germany.

  • Poet/artist Voldemārs Avens comments on an article by Rīga art critic Alise Tīfentāle on the aging of abstract art, and our contributing editor, art historian Māris Brancis continues his story of the life and art of Laimonis Mieriņš (1929-2011).

  • Music critic/editor Ilze Medne comments on a recent concert by composer, teacher, and publicist Dace Aperāne in Rīga.



  • Ligita Levinska, a younger generation literary scholar, looks deeply into Jānis Klīdzējs’ (1914-2000) novel Cilvēka bērns (Child of Man).

  • Una Alksne continues her analysis of aestheticism in the poetry of Fricis Bārda (1880-1919).

  • Maksims Strunskis examines the application of music to the poetry of Edvarts Virza (1883-1940).

  • Literary critic and Publishing House “Zvaigzne ABC” editor Bārbala Simsone takes a critical look at four young women authors who have achieved some recognition in the genre of fantasy / science fiction.

  • The theme of witchcraft is present in all genres of Latvian folklore. In the first installment of his fascinating study of this theme, folklorist Sandis Laime mentions that over 200 Latvian place names include the word ragana (witch).



  • Novelist and playwright Laimonis Purs, in a letter from his home in Latvia, reminisces about Rīga’s literary establishment under the Soviets.

  • Rolfs Ekmanis continues his history of Cold War Latvian-language radio broadcasting from the West, focusing on Radio Liberty through the years 1975-1984.



  • Our editorial team presents the usual laconic but encyclopaedic overview of recent publications, cultural awards, musical, theatrical, and motion picture performances, art exhibits and happenings, folkloric and educational events, the diaspora, recently discussed topics relating to Latvia’s past and present, statistics, as well as the geopolitical arena near and far.

  • Interviewed by Juris Žagariņš, Vita Gaiķe, a recent recipient of the Ēriks Raisters Award for her work as editor of the Toronto-based weekly Latvija Amerikā and as co-editor of Jaunā Gaita, expresses her personal views on politics, religion and other matters.



  • Elīna Kokarēviča looks at the collected works (Raksti) of poet and translator Veronika Strēlerte (1912-1995), who died in exile, and her biography Dzīve ir viens vella izgudrojums (Life is a Diabolical Invention) written by Margita Gūtmane, a poet herself. Also, seven literati take turns in an excerpted transcript of Arno Jundze’s TV round table “100 grams of culture” to answer the question “Is Strēlerte Returning to Latvia”?

  • Jānis Liepiņš comments on three monographs about three Latvian 20th century writers – Vera Vāvere’s Viktors Eglītis, Ilona Salceviča’s Saucējs (The Herald) about Jānis Klīdzējs, and Anita Rožkalne’s Lauva (The Lioness) about Astrīde Ivaska.

  • Andra Manfelde’s novel Dzimtenīte (Precious Homeland), about a Latvian woman whose financial situation forces her to become a guest worker in Scotland, is reviewed by Lāsma Ģibiete and Ilze Tauriņa.

  • Kaspars Zellis’ Ilūziju un baiļu mašinērija (Machinery of Illusion and Fear) about propaganda in Nazi-occupied Latvia (1941-1945) is reviewed by Juris Raudseps.

  • Aldis Purs’ Baltic Facades: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania Since 1945 is reviewed by Indra Ekmane.

  • Inga Žolude’s third novel Sarkanie bērni (Red Children) is reviewed by Anita Liepiņa.

  • Gerda Roze’s memoir To Peel an Onion – by Irēne Avena.

  • Gundars Ķeniņš Kings reports on The Journal of Baltic Studies 43/4 (December 2012).



Jaunā Gaita