Jaunā Gaita nr. 297. vasara 2019
L I T E R A T U R E
More than half of this issue is devoted to belles-lettres written within Latvia proper. Included are selections of poetry from Bārbala Simsone, Andis Surgunts, Reinis Runcis, and Eduards Aivars; short stories are from Andris Habermanis, Mārtiņš Zelmenis, Kristīne Ilziņa, and Monika Zīle.
V I S U A L A R T
We feature paintings by Anna Baklāne on six pages as well as the cover of this issue. Linda Treija, president of the American Latvian Artists Association (ALMA) describes Baklāne’s background and individualistic style.
Vilis Inde, who runs an art gallery in Marfa, West Texas, writes about the phenomenal success of artist Vija Celmins, whose meticulously detailed paintings of ordinary things are selling for millions of dollars.
M U S I C
Jānis Zālītis (1884-1943) was a composer of choral music, director of the National Opera of Latvia, and a leading music critic of his time. Lāsma Gaitniece describes his home in the resort town of Jūrmala, near Rīga, and cites the recollections of some of the intellectuals who gathered there.
A C T U A L I T I E S
Otto Ozols criticizes Latvia’s Constitution Protection Bureau (SAB), the parliamentary National Security Commission, and some government ministers for not working more diligently to counter Russian meddling in Latvia’s public media and democratic institutions. Otto Ozols is the pen name of independent journalist Mārtiņš Barkovskis, who at the time of this writing is campaigning for a seat in the European Parliament.
B O O K S
Indra Ekmanis, a researcher at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and an editor for Public Radio International, reviews Dziesmu un deju svētki. Tradīcijas anatomija (Song and Dance Festivals. Anatomy of a Tradition), a collectively authored monograph. According to Ekmanis, this book warrants translation into English.
Literary historian Viesturs Vecgrāvis, an emeritus professor at the University of Latvia, reviews the latest book of poems by Māris Salējs.
Our own Lāsma Gaitniece reviews Andra Manfelde’s latest novel, Vēja vīrs un mēs (The Wind Man and Us), a fantasy for children and grownups, and Varlam Shalamov’s Kolimas stāsti (Kolyma Tales) a collection of short stories about life inside the Soviet gulag.
Ojārs Spārītis, president of the Latvian Academy of Sciences, shares exerpts from his introduction to Laiku nospiedumi (Impressions of Time. the Life of Ilgonis Bērsons in diaries, letters, memories, and pictures), compiled by literary historian Madara Eversone. Bērsons is one of Latvia’s most important literary historians and critics.
Gundars Pļavkalns (1931-2018) was a poet and an influential critic whose home was in Adelaide, Australia. He published extensively in Jaunā Gaita for many decades. Kārlis Ābele and Maija Meirāne share samples of his poetry along with words of remembrance.
B R I E F L Y N O T E D
Members of our editorial team briefly describe recently published books, cultural events and awards.