Jaunā Gaita nr. 266. rudens 2011

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JG 266


  • One of the greatest of all Latvian poets, Vizma Belševica (1931-2005), wrote with dazzling virtuosity and uncompromising intellectual and emotional clarity even when evoking mystery. Poet Jānis Elsbergs, her son, presents recently discovered fragments of her unfinished poem Sadegusi balss (An Immolated Voice, 1973), about a 16th century witch-burning.

  • In a prose composition titled Kāzas (A Wedding), Gundars Ignats intertwines two seemingly unrelated stories about the pain of love.

  • Our cover design features a fragment of a painting by Raimonds Staprāns, a leader in the San Francisco Bay Area Figurative School. Linda Treija reports on a recent exhibit of his work and also introduces Rita Grendze, a sculptor who uses found (and made) objects of various materials. Helēna Hofmane gives a brief and intimate account of the life of painter Voldemārs Dārznieks. The works of all three artists are displayed in full-page color.

  • The photographic art of Helēna Hofmane is featured, as well as that of Imants Puriņš, introduced by Vilnis Auziņš.

  • Māris Brancis comments on the extensive collection of pastels in the Latvian National Museum of Art.


  • Literary critic, essayist and poet Kārlis Vērdiņš gives thoughtful tribute to the life of poet Olafs Stumbrs (1931-1996).

  • Edvīns Raups, our featured poet in the summer issue of Jaunā Gaita, was recently in Canada for the publication of a collection of his poetry in English (translated by Margita Gailītis). Vita Gaiķe reports.

  • Lev Aronson (1912-1988) was a Jewish cellist in Rīga, whose priceless instruments were confiscated when the Germans occupied Latvia in 1941. Juris Šlesers comments on his story as told by Frances Bent in The Lost Cellos of Lev Aronson (2009).

  • Sociologist Dagmāra Beitnere interviews prose writer and literary scholar Agate Nesaule (Woman in Amber, In Love with Jerzy Kosinski).

  • Poet Antons Bārda (1891-1981), in the estimation of Jānis Liepiņš, is as worthy of remembrance as his older brother, the great Latvian romanticist poet Fricis Bārda (1880-1919).

  • Vita Gaiķe reports that this year’s recipient of the annual Ēriks Raisters award for outstanding contribution to Latvian culture goes to literary critic Pāvils Vasariņš.

  • The popular post-folk ensemble Iļģi, led by Ilga Reizniece, celebrates its 30th year of making traditional Latvian music accessible to audiences the world over.


  • Resuming his serialized history of Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty broadcasting in the Latvian language during the Cold War, Rolfs Ekmanis describes some bizarre and tragic events in the 1970’s and 1980’s: infiltration by soviet agents, assassinations, and a bombing.

  • Bonifācijs Daukšts, veteran diplomat and expert on Latvia’s “near-abroad”, poet and translator, comments on Heinrihs Strods’ monograph PSRS politiskā cenzūra Latvijā: 1940-1990 (USSR Political Censorship in Latvia: 1940-1990).


  • In the fifth installment of his serialized account of life in Displaced Persons Camp Alt-Garge, Germany after WWII, Uldis Siliņš looks back with a smile at camp sports.

  • Artist and art critic Laimonis Mieriņš shares stories about some people he knew when growing up in his home parish in rural Latvia.

  • Movie actress Vija Artmane (1929-2008) was a superstar, known in the entire Soviet Union, but her 2004 autobiography strikes Lāsma Ģibiete as overly self-serving.

  • In a Few Words, Vita Gaiķe, Anita Liepiņa, Māris Brancis and Rolfs Ekmanis condense the essential news of the important cultural and political happenings in and around and far beyond Latvia to a mere 12 pages of text and illustrations.

  • Jānis Krēsliņš, Sr. responds to Laimonis Purs’ polemic in the summer issue, asserting that a healthy national self-esteem does not require denial of painful failures.

  • Should George Soros’ Open Society organizations around the world be feared and reviled or embraced with gratitude? That is the featured question in Kiberkambaris, our digest of internet discussion/diatribe.


  • Kārlis Vērdiņš. The Social and Political Dimensions of the Latvian Prose Poem − reviewed by Lalita Muižniece

  • Guna Zeltiņa, ed. Latviešu teātris no pirmsākumiem līdz mūsdienām (Latvian Theater From the Beginnings to Our Time) − Rasma Birzgale

  • Arnis Skujiņš. Zilā saite (The Blue Tether), a World War II and postwar memoir − Juris Silenieks

  • Reinis Ādmīdiņš. Dienvidzvaigzne dzejas logā (The Southern Star in the Window of Poetry), a monograph on the literary oeuvre of Lidija Dombrovska-Larsena − Juris Silenieks

  • Inga Žolude. Mierinājums Ādama kokam (A Consolation for the Tree of Adam), a collection of short stories − Anita Liepiņa

  • Laimdota Sēle. Cērt zibens marmalē (Lightning Strikes the Seashore), a historical novel about the town of Ventspils/Windau − Rimands Ceplis

  • Sarmīte Pujēna, Indra Imbovica. Valdis Vikmanis. Sava mūža diriģents (Valdis Vikmanis. Conductor of His Own Life) − Lāsma Ģibiete

  • Journal of Baltic Studies (March 2011) − Gundars Ķeniņš Kings.

Jaunā Gaita