Jaunā Gaita nr. 264. pavasaris 2011

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JG 264


  • Poet Inga Gaile addresses Latvians who are fleeing the economic crisis in Latvia: You think you are special, you emigrate to the Mediterranean. / You would also be special if you stayed put and sought / Your mission in this language, in this land, among this grudging, jealous, singing, thieving crowd. Uldis Grasis’ five poems include a similar appeal: Take a deep breath, / Cross yourself / And head for the barricades / But do not give up. Imants Auziņš reflects on the legacy of poet Olafs Stumbrs (1931-1996), who was reinterred in Rīga last year. In a poem, Auziņš recounts an amusing misunderstanding in California in 1983.

  • As she has done from time to time since the very beginnings of our magazine, Benita Veisberga contributes literary “notations” in a simple, unaffected style, letting the reader pleasurably imagine being her guest at home.

  • Dainis Mjartāns describes how Latvians, despite many hardships, managed to cultivate the visual arts in post-WWII Displaced Persons camps in Germany.

  • Linda Treija and Ilze Nāgela introduce Imants Tillers, a painter who has been at the forefront of Australian contemporary art for over three decades. Color reproductions of two of his signature arrays of canvasboards explore migration, displacement and diaspora. Treija also introduces Rīga-based artist Zane Lūse, two of whose paintings − illustrations from fantastic stories begging to be told are presented in color. The photographic art of Jānis Buls and Gunārs Birkmanis commemorates the rebirth of the independent Latvian state twenty years ago. Seven photographs from Modris Rubenis’ series of portraits of ordinary citizens of the town of Kuldīga are a continuation from the last issue. The cover design is by our contributing editor Voldemārs Avens.


  • In part IX of her study of Latvian cultural contacts across the Iron Curtain during the Cold War, Eva Eglāja-Kristsone focuses on the exile community’s conflicted attitudes toward cultural contacts with Soviet occupied Latvia.

  • Franks Gordons, reflecting on his personal connections with theater directors Ādolfs Šapiro, Asja Lāce and Bernhard Reich, is moved to exclaim: Latvians, Jews and Germans, all entwined together − art and persecution, passion and disillusionment.

  • Juris Šlesers recommends a book about China’s inroads on the nation of Tibet, by Chinese-American author Canyon Sam, Sky Train: Tibetan Women on the Edge of History. Šlesers concludes that the example of Tibet’s powerful and enduring emigré society is one for Latvians to emulate in our own aspirations for national survival.

  • Poet Uldis Bērziņš, who, three years ago, completed his translation of the Koran in the Latvian language, offers some poetic examples of islamic ideas of divine love.

  • Guntars Godiņš pays tribute to the monthly literary magazine Avots, a powerful voice in Latvian culture during a tumultuous time of national reawakening, 1987-1992.

  • Rolfs Ekmanis welcomes a newly born quarterly literary publication, Latvju Teksti, edited by Guntars Godiņš, not as a competitor to Jaunā Gaita, but as a partner in common cause.


  • Jānis Krēsliņš, Sr. details the siege of Sidney Street and other Latvian anarchist activities in London 100 years ago.

  • Jānis Liepiņš highlights some glimpses on the life of Fricis Menders, one of the leaders of the Latvian Social Democratic Party after World War I.

  • Velta Sniķere’s anecdotal recollections of random moments in her life are titled “Absurdities”.

  • The online discussion in Kiberkambaris addresses a distressing statistic showing that the population of Latvia is one of the most impoverished in the entire EU.

  • In laconic and fact-laden style as always, Marginalia provides a single source of information all culturally aware Latvians ought to command: who has passed on, who has won awards, new publications, music, theater, visual arts, education, strange happenings, important events in and around Latvia, in the diaspora and elsewhere in the geopolitical arena.

  • Associate editor Juris Žagariņš announces that our fund drive last fall was a big success. In the foreseeable future Jaunā Gaita will maintain its present format and quality and continue to send gift copies to libraries in Latvia without raising subscription rates.


  • Volume 4 of Olafs Gūtmanis’ Raksti (Collected works) − reviewed by Lāsma Ģibiete

  • Velta Sniķere’s reminiscences Savādībiņas (Absurdities) − Biruta Sūrmane

  • Māris Brancis’ monograph on artist Guna Ikona-Krūmiņa, Lidojums: gleznojumi un zīmējumi (A flight: paintings and drawings) – Voldemārs Avens

  • Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga’s Logique de la poésie: Structure et poétique des dainas lettones and Jānis Eifelds’ ŕ la Rabelais novel Meļu dzīres (An orgy of liars) both reviewed by Juris Silenieks

  • Journal of Baltic Studies (September 2010) − Gundars Ķeniņš Kings.

Jaunā Gaita