Jaunā Gaita nr. 271. ziema 2012
Latvian Song Festivals are never exclusively about song. Our art editor Linda Treija was co-curator of an art exhibit at the 13th USA Festival in Milwaukee, WI last summer. Sarma Muižniece Liepiņa describes the exhibit, and we feature full-page color renditions of recent works by four of the participating artists: Ilga Reke Andersone, Gints Grīnbergs, Maira Reinberga and Andris Strazdiņš. We also feature a 1986 painting by Aija Zariņa from a selection titled “100 Treasures in the Latvian National Museum of Art”.
ARTS AND LETTERS
The program of events also featured a panel of writers reading from their works. Linda Treija shares her impressions.
Art historian Māris Brancis discusses the formative years in the life of artist Laimonis Mieriņš, and Jānis Krēsliņš Sr. comments on an exhibit of the three-dimensional paintings of Svens Lūkins in New York City.
Poems are by Imants Auziņš, Anna Dzintare, Paulis Birznieks, and Leons Briedis. A satirical sketch by Juris Rozītis skewers the practice of paying homage to host country politicians during Latvian emigré cultural events.
The cover art for this issue is by Ilmārs Rumpēters.
The second installment of Una Alksne’s “Aestheticism in the poetry of Fricis Bārda” discusses the poet’s mentors and progenitors, describes his main works, and comments on his dandyism as a lifestyle choice.
Vita Gaiķe interviews Indra Gubiņa, a long-time frequent contributor to Jaunā Gaita and author of five volumes of poetry and 22 books of prose.
Otto Ozols (nom de plume) is a writer who, since the publication of his 2010 bestseller Latvians are Everywhere, has steadily gained popularity for his heartfelt, straight-talking weekly commentaries on political and social actualities. A review of his book by Rimands Ceplis and an interview by sociologist Dagmāra Beitnere give an insight into the personality behind the phenomenon. Our regular column “Kiberkambaris” (Cyberchamber) is devoted to a recent commentary by Ozols on the strained relations between the literary and political establishments in contemporary Latvia and includes some sample comments from his readers.
HISTORY AND REMINISCENCE
Ojārs Spārītis, professor and prorector of the Art Academy of Latvia tells the story of Saint Peter’s Church in Riga, for a time the tallest wooden structure in Europe and still the tallest spire in Riga’s skyline.
The wife of Joseph Goebbels, we learn, was raised by a Jewish stepfather, and her first love was a Jew who later left Germany and became an important politician in the Jewish community of Palestine. Franks Gordons titles his comments on her life and notorious demise: “So Crazy in Love, so Vicious in Hatred”.
We return to Rolfs Ekmanis’ history of international Latvian-language radio broadcasting in the second half of the 20th century. The latest installment focuses on the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, when the US State Department and the CIA secretly funded missions to support resistance forces behind the newly established Iron Curtain. Ekmanis pays special tribute to Leonīds Zariņš, a high school classmate of his who was apprehended and executed on one such mission.
The final installment of Laimonis Purs’ memoir “Taking Liberty” sheds light on many individuals he worked with as a journalist in Latvia under the Soviet regime, most notably Kārlis Ozoliņš, who held the highest government office in Latvia in the 1950’s until he lost it during one of the purges.
IN A FEW WORDS
Vita Gaiķe, Māris Brancis and Rolfs Ekmanis, as always laconic in style and encyclopedic in scope, report on newly published books, music and theater performances, art exhibits, traditional and educational events, the doings of the diaspora, news of the weird, news from Latvia past and present, all around Latvia and beyond, and from the international agencies relevant to Latvia. A section titled Scripta Manent highlights the powerful written word. A section on statistics lays bare the numbers that speak volumes about the condition of the Baltic nations.
Mārtiņš Lasmanis. Vārdi un mūzika: Literāra un muzikāla dažādība (Words and Music: Literary and Musical Diversity) – reviewed by Gunars Zvejnieks,
Edward Lucas. Deception: Spies, Lies and How Russia Dupes the West. – Indra Ekmane,
Elza Ķezbere. Dzeja un dzīve (Poetry and Life), the third volume of the poet’s collected works – Līvija Baumane,
Journal of Baltic Studies 43/2 (June 2012). – Gundars Ķeniņš Kings.