Aleksandrs Čaks


Aleksandrs Čaks

Aleksandrs Čaks (birth name Aleksandrs Čadarainis) (October 27, 1901- February 8, 1950) was a Latvian poet and writer. Čaks is arguably the first Latvian writer whose works are distinctly urban, compared to usual depictions of country life or small villages in earlier Latvian literature.

He was born in Riga to a tailor's family, and, continuing to live in Riga, he followed the city's life in his poetry. Čaks published his first poetry book, "Seši", in 1928, dedicated to Riga and its life. These poems included topics and characters previously not shown in Latvian poetry - the city night life, homeless people, prostitutes, poor suburbs, even the sewers in blockhouses. In his works, Čaks shows his deep love for Riga as it is, which is well seen in the title of a poem, "Heart on the pavement". Riga is not the only subject of his poems, though - Čaks has also written romantic poetry and works dedicated to the Latvian riflemen. Čaks also wrote some short stories, although they are generally not as well-known as his poems.

In 1949, with Latvia being a part of the Soviet Union, Čaks was accused of straying from Marxist values and writing politically incorrect works. The accusations weakened Čaks's health, and he died of heart disease on February 8, 1950. Currently, one of the central streets of Riga is named for him. There's also a memorial museum in that street and a statue in nearby Ziedondarzs park.

Bibliography

From the collection of the Library of Congress, Washington, DC:

*"Augstā krasta" (1950)
*"Č-a-k-s" (2005) 4 volumes; Facsim. reprints. Originally published: Seši, 1928, and Zaļā vārna, 1929.
*"Cīņai un darbam; dzejas" (1951)
*"Debesu dāvana: vienas vasaras dzejoļi" (1980)
*"Dvēsele kabatā: dzeja" (2000) ISBN 9984053008
*"Dzejas izlase" (1996) ISBN 9984044106
*"Igra zhiznʹi︠u︡" (1971)
*"Izlase" (1971) 2 volumes.
*"Kārlis Skalbe: raksti un atmiņas" (1999) ISBN 9984175979
*"Kļava lapa" (1969)
*"Kopoti raksti: 6 sējumos" (1991-2001) 5 volumes. ISBN 5796602683
*"Kremlī pie Ļeņina" (1980)
*"Mana mīlestība" (1958)
*"Mana paradīze" (1951)
*"Mana Rīga: dzejoļi un poēmas" (1961)
*"Mūžības skartie" (1950)
*"Mūžības skartie: dzejas par latviešu strēlniekiem" (1981, 1988) ISBN 5410003217
*"Patrioti, dzejojumi un dzejoļi" (1948)
*"Raksti" (1971)
*"Rīga: 30. gadi" (1983)
*"Savādais gaidītājs: dzeja un proza" (2004) ISBN 9984057380
*"Selected poems" Preface and selection by Arvīds Grigulis; translated by Ruth Speirs. (1979)
*"Spēle ar dzīvību: noveles, stāsti, tēlojumi" (2000) ISBN 9984173313
*"Tikai tevi es mīlējis esmu: dzejoļi" (1986)
*"Umurkumurs" (1968)
*"Vēlais viesis" (2005) ISBN 9984720888
*"Zelta ielāps: dzejas izlase 1972" (1972)
*"Zem cēlās zvaigznes; dzejoļi un dzejojumi" (1948)


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