Kārlis Vērdiņš (University of Latvia)


Kārlis Vērdiņš is the chair of the Department for the Study of Culture, Society and Environment at the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia (ILFA) and a PhD candidate in Comparative Literature at the Washington University in St. Louis, U.S.A. He is interested in international modernism, queer feeling, and small literature. He is the author of five poetry collections and translator of modernist poetry (W. B. Yeats, T. S. Eliot, Georg Trakl, Konstantin Biebl, Daniil Kharms). 


 «He Must Be a Magnificent Lover»: Proletarian Bodies and Male Desire Aleksandrs Čaks’s Early Poetry

This paper explores the representations of masculinity in the early poetry by Aleksandrs Čaks (1901–1950), arguably the greatest Latvian modernist poet, in the interwar period in the Republic of Latvia. Čaks sexualizes the bodies of the working class while emasculating the bodies of the bourgeoisie, thus attempting to overturn the puritanism of the international leftist literature.