INSPIRATIONS AND DISCOVERIES OF IDENTITY IN VILIS DZĒRVINĪKS’ POETRY

Kristīne Macanova

Abstract


Vilis Dzērvinīks was born on 16 March 1959 in Kromani village, Kaunata parish, Rēzekne district in the family of a blacksmith Jānis and a primary school teacher Antoņina. He studied in Ziedoņu elementary school, Rēzekne secondary school, that was graduated in 1975, Rēzekne Secondary school No. 1, that was graduated in 1977, Riga vocational training school No. 19, that was graduated in 1978 acquiring a general building master’s qualification. From 1978 to 1980 he served in the railway troops on Baikal–Amur Mainline. In 1988 he started to acquire a correspondence course at RPI (now – Riga Technical University) faculty of general technical sciences, where he completed four courses. In 1988 he began to work in LKP (Communist Party of Latvia) committee of Ludza district as an instructor in the Culture Department, in 1990 he was nominated by LTF (The Popular Front of Latvia) and elected as the Chairman of the Board of the deputies of Ludza town. In October 1991 he was elected as the Chairman of the Board of Ludza city. Later he moved to Rēzekne and was the owner of the company “Komforts” (by Paukštė, Rancāne, Salcevica, Vilčuka 2008: 160–161).

V. Dzērvinīks’ creative work has not been studied widely and its analysis has also missed out in the context of Latvian literature, but V. Dzērvinīks’ poetry has strengthened the usage of contemporary Latgalian language, as well as contributed to the development of Latgalian literature.

The article aims to reveal the factors of inspiration and identity them in V. Dzērvinīks’ creative work, describing the author’s characteristic traits. The findings of the research are based mainly on V. Dzērvinīks’ literary heritage, as well as on newspaper and book materials about V. Dzērvinīks.

The sources of the research are V. Dzērvinīks’ three volumes of poetry: “Laimeigu īsadūmōt” (2001), “Voi moz lidmašinu kreit” (2003), “Upers” (2006). To describe the author’s inspiration factors, there were used the following exploratory methods: psychology of creative work (A. Potebņa, R. Mūks) and structural semiotics (J. Lotman, R. Veidemane).

Inspiration factors can be divided into literary and non-literary ones, but it is impossible to draw a clear boundary between them, but the concept of identity is too broad and frequently used. Human identity (-ies) is formed during the person’s lifetime and is dependent on many factors. V. Dzērvinīks’ creative work depicts powerfully his affiliation to Latgalian, i. e., in this case we can speak of V. Dzērvinīks’ ethnic identity. Ethnic identity is formed, when a person accepts ethnicity-specific traditions, based on language and culture. V. Dzērvinīks’ ethnic identity is expressed both as a political and social participation in favor of Latgale and Latgalian language, that is the language of his creative writings and the dignity of Latgalian Heritage. Latgalian authors and cultural workers, who have spiritually enriched Latgale, are Antons Kūkojs, Pēteris Jurciņš, Ingrīda Tārauda, Anna Rancāne, Andris Vējāns, Antons Slišāns, Osvalds Kravalis etc., as well as emotional kinship with places of Latgale – Rēzekne, Ludza, Idzipoles Lake, Zvirgzdenes Lake, Kromanu village etc. Latgalian is considered as the familiar, but “čiuliskais” (‘other Latvians’) as the strange one.

Identity (particularity) is the person’s self-perception, self-characterization, which consists of an individual’s behavior patterns in different situations; this is how a person perceives himself. And, if there is created the inspiration – the model of identity relationships, then the inspiration is the impulse, the identity is the result of the impulse or it is something, that is formed in the result of inspiration. V. Dzērvinīks’ sources of inspiration can be viewed from two perspectives: firstly, analyzing the author’s creative writings, revealing the hidden motives of poems, and secondly, searching for answers in V. Dzērvinīks’ interviews and articles about the author.

Politics has been a bright non-literary inspiration factor in the author’s poetry. This is reflected both in the choice of the theme of poetry and the use of sharp and stinging irony and sarcasm, sharply dividing the oppositions such as familiar– unfamiliar, authorities–people.

Love as a non-literary source of inspiration creates the atmosphere of melancholy and longing lyrics in the poetry. Often it is an intimate poetry, because it is dedicated to a particular recipient. A woman in this poetry is divinized, because she is the muse – an inexhaustible source of inspiration.

V. Dzērvinīks’ Latgalian identity is revealed as a factor of non-literary inspiration. The proof of this identity is reflected both in the lyrics I self-revelation, acknowledging, that he is Latgalian, as well as in the choice of the tone of poems, when Latgalian is the familiar one, but the rest is the strange one.


Keywords


Vilis Dzērvinīks; inspiration factors; social and political changes; love poetry; philosophical poetry

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17770/latg2014.6.1657

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