The first real poet: in the mid-1930s there were calls for Poruka to be expelled from school curricula as “non-pedagogical”
Jānis Poruks (1871–1911).
Viesturs Sprūde, “Latvijas Avīze”, JSC “Latvijas Mediji”
Writer and poet Jānis Poruks was born in the family of the owner of Druviena “Prēdeļu” in Cēsis district 150 years ago – a classic of Latvian literature, who is also called the most controversial Latvian lyricist and the first to bring philosophical thought into Latvian literature.
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At the same time, the author of “Battle at Knipska” and “Pearl Fisherman” is considered by literary scholars to be the brightest representative of Latvian romantic prose of the late 19th – early 20th century, placed in the same line with Rainis, Aspazija and Kārlis Skalbs.
Writer and art theorist Viktors Eglītis considered Poruka to be the first Latvian writer to be a poet in the true sense of the word.
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Subsequent generations had difficulties with his works, because, on the one hand, Poruks was recognized as a classic, but, on the other hand, the images he created were too interested in the spiritual, not material, they were too romantic, benevolent, unable to fight evil and for their own. place in life.
This was one of the reasons why there were calls in the mid-1930s for Poruk to be dropped out of school as “non-pedagogical”.
As noted by the poet Willis Plūdonis, it was more difficult to understand him “as all those who sang about the hills and valleys of the Motherland”, because Poruks seemed “as if detached from the earth, from all national and public interests”.
Quoting Kārlis Skalbi: “Poruka’s poems are like withered flowers placed in a book about the memory of deep lonely thoughts. They smell of sadness and pain, surrounded by the cool thoughts of destruction. ”
Due to a mental illness, Jānis Poruks’ life ended relatively early, but he left more than 200 prose and more than 300 works of poetry.