The minimalist stories and comics of Etgar Keret have won many readers in Israel, Poland, Hungary, China, the United States and a dozen other countries. In late October 2012, Keret visited Riga, where he met with the readers of his book of short stories, The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God & Other Stories. Later he entertained a smaller audience at the residence of the Israeli ambassador.
Christopher Ricks, professor of humanities at Boston University and professor of poetry at Oxford University, is famous for his close readings of Milton, Keats, and Eliot, and also for his passion for the music of Bob Dylan. This culminated in his book Dylan’s Visions of Sin (2003), an analysis of Dylan’s lyrics that had some critics grumble that Ricks could talk one into believing that even a phone book is poetry. Ieva Lesinska, editor of Rigas Laiks, decided to find out for herself.
Legendary Georgian philosopher Merab Mamardashvili (1930-1990) was once ironically referred to by the Cheka as “the freest man in the country”. But Mamardashvili was no dissident, believing that the authorities, having “faced the truth about what I really am”, had no choice but to curtail his freedom. However, it is exactly the problem of what Mamardashvili really was that everybody is so interested in, says Rigas Laiks editor Uldis Tirons.
Freedom is a chilly virtue
“It’s not justice, it’s not equality, it’s not a warm bath.” In Riga to deliver the annual Isaiah Berlin lecture, Michael Ignatieff talks to Ieva Lesinska, editor of Rigas Laiks, about Berlin’s definition of freedom, politics and the freedom not to be political.
What is "it?"
Ever since Nike exhorted us to “Just do it!”, the pronoun has been the vessel for a whole range of cultural suggestions. Tim Ochser finds that “It” is not all that it seems.