literatūras mēnešraksts


July 2001 • Summary

(For previous summaries visit the archive)

July issue of “Karogs” is devoted to the capital of Latvia, Riga. The issue is introduced by Rudīte Kalpiņa’s (1966) essay “Riga - for personal use and advertising”. The author writes, “the special ability of Riga to attract is immeasurable”.
The chapter “Writer and Riga” presents longer excerpts from Andris Kolbergs’ (1938) book about Riga; these are excerpts about the district of Riga, called Latgalian suburbs or Moscow forstadt, and its historical and modern aspects. The chapter also presents a photo-essay by Gunārs Janaitis (1934) and Jānis Rokpelnis (1945) about one of the most characteristic streets of Pārdaugava - Ojāra Vācieša iela (Ojārs Vācietis’ Street). You can also read the works of several modern Latvian poets about Riga and a longer translation of Raits Birkmanis (1917-1975), a Latvian poet from Australia, “Tsar Aleksey Mikhailovich near Riga in 1656”.
In the chapter “Texts” you can get acquainted with the latest poetry by Māris Čaklais (1940) and Roberts Mūks (1923) and an essay of memories by Modris Zihmanis “The Last Summer”. As the author says in the preface, this work “reflects the events in a country farmstead during the last year of the free Latvia and the tragic fates of the two neighboring countries - Latvia and Poland - after the criminal Molotov-Ribbentrop pact in the autumn of 1939”.
In the chapter “Writings” Russian poet Ludmilla Azarova (1935) writes about the endangered situation of Russian language in Riga in her essay “Space”, devoted to the European Year of Languages. The philosopher Jānis Nameisis Vējš (1936) reviews the understanding about man in the works of Riga-born British philosopher Isaiah Berlin (1909-1997) in his essay “Among Liberals and Cannibals”. The critic Ruta Veidemane continues her discussion about catharsis in art in the article “The True Home of Catharsis”. The critic Ausma Cimdiņa reviews the first novel by Ainārs Zel?s (1958) “1945 Riga” in her article “The Peace-loving Anti-utopia”. The literary scientist Eva Lossane reviews the novel by Nora Ikstena (1969) “Lessons of Virgin”. The literary scientist Benedikts Kalnačs reviews the collection of plays by Lelde Stumbre (1952) “Crown”. The folklorist Dace Bula writes about the unpublished texts of the Dainas (Latvian folk songs) in her article “Weeds, Nightmares and Trash?”. The literary scientist Viktors Hausmanis (1931) looks closely at the reflection of Riga in Latvian drama from the 19th century till our days in the article “Riga in Plays and on Stage”.
In the chapter “Review” we wish happy birthday of the month to the literary scientist Jānis Zālītis and the poet Ilze Binde (both 1951). We remember also the writer Harijs Gāliņš (1931-1983) and the legendary singer and still unsurpassed chronicler of the musical life of Latvia, Mariss Vētra (1901-1965).
The chapter “Event of the Month” introduces the essay by the poet Jānis Peters (1939) devoted to the writer and poet Vizma Belševica (1931) and her 70th birthday. You can read also an interview with the literary scientist Ojārs Zanders whose 70th birthday has been celebrated this year. Zanders’ book “Bookstore of the Ancient Riga in the Context of Hansa Cities” received the title of the “Best book of 2001”.
The chronicle of events informs the readers about the news of literary life in July.
In the chapter “In Neighboring Countries and at Home” read the insight in the international conference “The Latest Ukrainian and Latvian literature between milleniums”. In the column “Nora in e-mail” Nora Ikstena shares her musings on the dilemma of writer’s rational intellectual and subjective emotional experience in the writing process. You can also get acquainted to the latest books.
“In Memoriam” is devoted to the writer and painter Veronika Janelsiņa (1910-2001).