Jaunā Gaita nr. 231, decembris 2002

JG 231

This issue is a rich collection of essays, poetry, stories, memoirs and drama. The poetry is by Juris Kronbergs, Juris Zommers, Jānis Krēsliņš, Gundars Pļavkalns and Kārlis Vērdiņš. Indra Gubiņa contributes a sketch of a horse and rider on the Irish coast that she compares to the Latvian motif of the horse that comes out of the sea.

Aina Siksna's play Žēlupīte - the name of an imaginary East Latvian hamlet - describes the first visit to Latvia of a young computer programmer from Sweden and his search for his father's books, which were sent to Latvia in the 1960s but have since disappeared.

JG contributing editor, Juris Silenieks, the recipient of this year's Raisters Prize, describes his experiences near the end of World War II in Germany. His search for his mother and sister led him to discover that they had drowned in the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff, a German liner filled with 6 000 to 9 000 refugees and wounded soldiers.

Ilona Salceviča contributes an overview of recent Letgallian literature. Until 1990 publishing in Letgallian was not allowed. However, now there is a renaissance of writing in Letgallian, with young writers choosing it over standard Latvian and established authors, such as Andris Vējāns, returning to their native dialect. Philologist Aija Priedīte describes the government's efforts to encourage the non-Latvian inhabitants of Latvia to learn the state language.

Juris Rozītis reviews the collected works of Anna Dagda (1910-1995), containing poetry, literary criticism and accounts of her life by contemporaries.

Kārlis Račevskis continues his discussion of the post-colonial syndrome in Latvia, rebutting several of Uldis Bluķis' arguments in JG 229. Sigma Ankrava, a professor of literature at the Univeristy of Latvia, contributes an analysis of the post-colonial Latvian identity, pointing out that Latvia has long been a buffer between two powerful and opposing world views.

Last summer's successful Latvian song festival in Chicago is described by Nikolajs Bulmanis and Biruta Abula. Māra Gulēns looks at the latest achievements of director and playwright Baņuta Rubesa, while Rasma Birzgale-Vītola explores the life of actor Kārlis Veics.

This issue contains more than our usual quota of book reviews. Gundars Pļavkalns discusses two recent Latvian novels, Kelīna Klāna's The White Asp and Egīls Ermansons' The Edge. Our Editor-in-Chief, Rolfs Elman's, looks at the mammoth Dictionary of literary Biography, especially those volumes which include Latvian writers. Also, he examines the historical minutes of the meetings of the Language Section of the Latvian Society of Rīga. The section's long-time leader was the renowned Baltic linguist Jānis Endzelīns. Gundars Ķeniņš-King reviews two recent issues of the Journal of Baltic Studies. Anita Liepiņa looks at a collection of poems by the late Velta Toma, Juris Silenieks comments on the literary magazine Luna and the poetry collection Logz 1.0, by the young poet Pūķis. Astra Roze reviews Laima Muktupāvela's novel, The Mushroom Contract, which concerns Latvian labourers in Ireland and the story collection, A Dozen. Maija Meirāne's new volume of poetry, Night Letters, is reviewed by prof. Janīna Kursīte. Finally, playwright Uldis Siliņš introduces his latest book, We are Carnikavans, a history of his colourful hometown, a fishing port on the Baltic Sea.

The Internet debate in this issue is about the merits of voting systems - proportional representation versus regional representation. Rolfs Ekmanis remembers the Barricades of Rīga in January 1991, the spontaneous defense of critical government buildings in the center of Rīga against the Soviet Interior Ministry troops.

Artists represented in this issue are Ilgvars Šteins, Arnolds Mazītis and Indra Avens. Laimonis Mieriņš describes some recent art exhibits in Rīga, including a retrospective of Biruta Baumane's work, an exhibition of Daina Dagnija's paintings, and the show Witnesses of the Times, which looks at Latvian art through the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

The extensive essay by the late Uppsala University professor, Haralds Biezais (1909-1995), on the Spanish humanist philosopher, Juan Luis Vives (1492-1540), is being published for the first time.

The cover of this issue is by Vitauts Sīmanis.

Ilze Valdmanis

Jaunā Gaita