Jaunā Gaita nr. 293. Vasara 2018



JG 292



JG 293


Two poems from Pāvils Johansons’ collection Paisums un bēgums (Flood Tide ̶ Ebb Tide, 2016) set the tone for this issue. In “Liktenis” (Fate), Johansons addresses death itself, and in “Mākslas teroristi” (Terrorists of Art) he addresses, with humor, the need for violence in redemption. Johansons is a popular song writer and performer. He lives in Sweden.

An elegy by Valters Nollendorfs' describes the final resting place of Ivars Ivasks (Ivar Vidrik Ivask, 1927-1992), multilingual Estonian poet and literary scholar, editor of World Literature Today. Nollendorfs mirrors one of Ivask’s Baltic Elegies (1989), dedicated to his ancestors, who are interred in the same plot in Rőngu cemetery, Estonia. Both poems are rendered in Latvian and English.

Anita Liepiņa draws on the poetry of Indra Gubiņa (1927-2017), to pay tribute to her life. Gubiņa was a prolific author of prose and poetry and a frequent contributor to Jaunā Gaita.


Earlier this year our editorial staff was joined by Vladis Spāre, a respected writer whose short stories have enriched our pages in several previous issues. A resident of Rīga, he is well-acquainted with the literary establishment there and has had extensive editorial experience with Latvian-language publications. His influence is evident in the expanded literary component of this issue, featuring short stories by Ilze Lāce-Verhaeghe, Signe Rirdance, Zigurds Skābardis, and Sergey Moreino; as well as a set of satirical fables by Edmunds Frīdvalds and poetry by Indra Brūvere.

Poet Uldis Bērziņš shares translations and commentary on couplets from 13th century Sufi mystic poet Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi.

V I S U A L   A R T

Art historian Baiba Magdalena Eglīte introduces artist Zigfrīds Sapietis (1924-2014), who specialized in wood-carving and ceramics. Sapietis lived most of his life in Scotland. His work is currently on display at the Global Center for Latvian Art in Cēsis, Latvia.

The cover design is by Daniela Treija. Reproductions of recent paintings by Dita Lūse are displayed throughout this issue.


Ojārs Spārītis, president of the Latvian Academy of Sciences, quotes Martin Luther in his assessment of the state of affairs in the scientific community of Latvia: “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”

Otto Ozols warns that “Putin is already within reach of the Achilles heel of NATO”. In Ozols’ view, the Achilles heel of NATO is Latvia.


Guntis Liepiņš comments on the testament of Imants Lešinskis, as compiled by his daughter Ieva Lešinska in a recently published book, Starp divām pasaulēm. Kalpības gadi. (Between Two Worlds. Years of Bondage). Lešinskis was a KGB officer in Soviet Latvia who organized cultural exchange events with the Latvian émigré community until he defected to the USA in 1978. Liepiņš writes from personal experience, having organized and participated in such events, and having dealt with Lešinskis personally.

Andris Padegs enumerates the accomplishments of the organization “Dardedze” (Rainbow), whose purpose was to stimulate communication and cultural exchange among Latvians everywhere in the world, including Soviet Latvia. Today, Padegs is vice-chairman of “TILTS” (Bridge), the organization which most effectively continues to bond the worldwide Latvian community through cultural exchange.


Juris Šlesers reviews Julija Šukys’ Siberian Exile. Blood, War, and a Granddaughter’s Reckoning.

Ginta Elksne reviews a monograph from the University of Latvia Institute of Philosophy and Sociology titled Piederēt un atšķirties: romu, krievu un latviešu dzīvesstāsti Latvijā (Belonging and Differing: Life Stories of the Romani, Russians and Latvians in Latvia).

Rasma Birzgale and Lāsma Gaitniece review ES, Eduarda Smiļģa dzīves ceļš (I, the Life of Eduards Smiļģis) by Rita Rotkale and Agra Straupniece. Smiļģis (1887-1966) was a founder and director of Latvia’s most important theater company, Dailes Teātris.

Lāsma Gaitniece also comments on Dace Rukšāne’s Latviskais laimes kods (Latvian Key to Happiness) and a Latvian translation of Jean Aitchison’s The Articulate Mammal.

B R I E F L Y   N O T E D

In Memoriam, Awards, Recent Publications, Art Events, Miscellaneous.


Jaunā Gaita