Jaunā Gaita nr. 276. pavasaris 2014

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JG 276



Vivid imagery and incantatory voice are the hallmarks of the poetic art of Maija Meirāne, a member of our editorial board. She is the author of two poetry collections and an accomplished practitioner of the visual and graphic arts as well. The cover design for this issue is hers, and the poetry section includes some of her more recent verse.

Author of four novels in the genre of alternative history, Ainārs Zelčs treats us to an excerpt from his latest, Abrene 2002, a fable based on the premise that WWII never happened.

Māris Čaklais (1940-2003) was one of the most influential personalities in Latvian literature in the latter half of the 20th century. His boyhood and student years are the subject of the first installment of Rolfs Ekmanis’ account of his life.

Una Alksne’s study of the poetry of Fricis Bārda (1880-1919) focuses on his use of color to evoke emotion, his choices of motif and character, and the metrics of his verse.

In our new section titled “Scripta Manent”, we feature two essays by sociocultural journalist Sanita Upleja.




Helena Gintere introduces us to Vestards Šimkus, a young pianist and composer whose soaring talent and energy have won him international acclaim.

A recent exhibit of the tapestries and three dimensional textile art of Egīls Rozenbergs is reviewed by art historian Ruta Čaupova, senior researcher at the Latvian Academy of Art. A close-up view of one of his tapestries is on p. 28.

Our co-editor Linda Treija describes the contributions of 18 artists to an exhibit which she organized in Philadelphia last fall. The work of two of these artists is featured in reproduction, Indra Avena (p. 1) and Inga Strause (p. 6).

Māris Brancis concludes his series on the life and craft of artist Laimonis Mieriņš (1929-2011).




Last year marked the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Popular Front of Latvia (LTF), a tipping point in the regaining of Latvian independence from the Soviet Union. Our co-editor Juris Šlesers contemplates the sources of strength that made this happen and finds much to admire in a recently published English translation of an account of that event, Song to Kill a Giant, by politician and writer Sandra Kalniete.

Franks Gordons’ essay “The year 1915 on both banks of the Daugava River” takes us back to WW I when the Daugava was a front line splitting Latvia in two between the Russian and the German armies.

In his account of Latvian language broadcasting from Munich during the Cold War Rolfs Ekmanis reaches the year 1984, when Radio Liberty Baltic service was incorporated into Radio Free Europe.

In his study of witchcraft in northeastern Latvia, Sandis Laime details the history of changing attitudes toward various kinds of women deemed supernatural.

We return to “Looking Back With a Smile”, actor-playwright Uldis Siliņš’ serialized account of life in a refugee camp in the ruins of postwar Germany.

The section “In a Few Words” informs about important Latvian cultural events and includes news shorts and commentaries on universally important actualities in other countries.




Biruta Abula reviews 3x3 ārpus Latvijas 1981-2011 (3x3 camps outside Latvia 1981-2011), a compendium of historical information about these annual multigenerational Latvian ethnic heritage camps. Juris Žagariņš shares snapshots from his personal experiences at such a camp in Michigan in 1989 and 1990.

Jānis Liepiņš reviews Reinis and Matīss Kaudzīte’s Landvermesserzeiten, a translation into German of the Latvian classic Mērnieku laiki (Times of the land surveyors, 1879) about the turmoil wrought by land reform in two townships in the mid-19th century.

Lāsma Ģibiete reviews Ingūna Bauere’s Piedod, Karolīne! (Sorry, Karoline!), a historical novel about Atis Kronvalds (1857-1875), one of the leading lights of Latvia’s “First National Awakening”, and his love affair with German-born Karoline Roloff.

Vita Gaiķe reviews Lidija Dombrovska’s Klusuma klarnete (Clarinet of Silence), a book of poems.

Juris Šlesers reviews Ilan Berman’s Implosion: The End of Russia and What It Means for America.

Māris Brancis reviews Biruta Baumane’s Sarunas ar sevi (Conversations with Myself), a memoir.

Gundars Ķeniņš Kings summarizes the Journal of Baltic Studies 44/2 (June 2013) and 44/3 (September 2013).



Jaunā Gaita