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Aleksandrs Čaks’ time in Aleksander gymnasium in Riga (Riga, Viru, Saransk , 1911–1920)

Keywords: Aleksandrs Čaks, Aleksander Gymnasium in Riga, studies, literary interests
Language: In Latvian

Latvian poet A. Čaks (real name Aleksandrs Čadarainis, 1901–1950) takes an important role in Latvian literature history. Scientists have recurrently studied A. Čaks’ poetry highlighting his role and place in the development of modern poetry in Latvia in the 1920s and 1930s. The formation of the poet has been studied by many scientists, like Arnolds Būmanis (1931–1982) With Heart in the Towers of Riga (1976), Milda Grīnfelde (1909–2000) and Valdis Rūmnieks (born 1951) Why am I Čaks? (1988), Silvija Radzobe (born 1950) Taking into Account My Hatred (1990) and ‘Cosmopolite matter’ and Aleksandrs Čaks (2017). Compilations of works by A. Čaks have been published — in 1961, Aleksandrs Čaks. Poems by O. Vācietis (1933– 1983) in two volumes. From 1971 till 1976, Aleksandrs Čaks. Raksti by A. Būmanis, extensive work written by V. Rūmnieks about A. Čaks literary legacy with commentaries, Aleksandrs Čaks. Kopoti raksti in six volumes came out from 1991 till 2007. In 2010, a novel, based on information gathered in Latvia, Čaks, came out, which gave an insight of the historical, political situation in which A. Čaks lived and worked. Less researches have been made about poet’s personal life, working places, interests and education.

Čaks has not written any memories about his time in Aleksander Gymnasium in Riga. There are no memories about the economically and historically difficult time from 1911 till 1920, which highlighted his adolescence years when he was a student in the gymnasium. That’s why for the memories of the school and teachers were used stories of his classmates — Samuel Reinberg (1897–1966), Fēlikss Cielēns (1888–1964) and Uga Skulme (1895–1963). Research for A. Čaks’ time in Aleksander Gymnasium in Riga was published in the book Memory in the Mirror (2017), which marks the time of A. Čaks’ studies at the gymnasium, however, taking into account the documents acquired from the scientific expedition in April 2019 from the collections of Mordovian Regional Museum and Penza Literature Museum, factual errors that were found in the published study now were avoided. The study provides new information on A. Čaks’ education time in Saransk and Penza, Russia.