Every nation has its peculiarities: Russian — they are so open that sometimes do not notice how come the Latvians on the heels, and they huddled in a corner and think “ooh, nasty!”, says Andhra Manfeld. She passed in my life through all the circles of hell, and then “waved his hand at all the conventions and opened to the simple Russian women.” The writer talked to the portal Delfi, after the release of his new novel “the Officer’s wife.”
The fate of the writer of Angry Manfeld formed almost by Brodsky: “…as if life will swing to the right at the same time change to the left”. Her mother in two years, was exiled with his entire family to Siberia. Subsequently, andra was named after his uncle (mother’s brother), who died in the dugout a little boy. After becoming a writer, she described the story in the book “Children of the dugout”. The father of Andry is also a former exile. He left the family barely had a daughter. His place was taken by my step-father is an alcoholic who’s mom was hitting on the stepdaughter screaming.
Gradually the life of Andre sped downhill. “The first glass of wine, vodka and now someone rapes you in the bushes…” she recalled. It came to hard drugs. From trouble saved Kaspars Dimiters (son Vija Artmane — approx. Ed.) who at that time was a Lutheran priest and organized in Krimulda rehabilitation group Krusta skola, which included drug addicts, alcoholics, released from prison…
Consistently andra moved from Lutheranism to Catholicism and then Orthodoxy, which attracted her rigor, so necessary in a time — specific instructions and prescriptions on how to deal with their sins, how to live, how to stay away from temptations, fasting, communion, confession…
Rising to his feet, andra suddenly began to write poetry. And his story was described in the book Entitled (“Needle”), which the National theatre staged a successful production. Her novel Dzimtenīte, which helped to see the light MEP Inese Vaidere, was nominated for a literary award “the Best prose of the year”. And in General, the andra has been incredibly successful for a small town girl with no pedigree loud and punchy character. On the lack of jobs and recognition of the sin to complain. Well, except that in my personal life all was not easy. But who just.
At the time, four years ago when the producer Juris millers invited Andre to be the author of the musical, she knew about the course only that in a homemade plane flew under the bridge in Liepaja — the place was not far from her home. The millers told her the biography of the pilot, convincing that he not only shot the Jews (at least, that there is no documentary evidence), but even saved four at home, risking the life of my family. In the end, andra started to make out in the verses posed by the Millers sketches.
The further she delved into the subject, the more he realized that could no longer work. Your refusal made in an open letter: “information about the upcoming production appeared in the press before March 16. Superimposed and the situation on the Maidan. In such an atmosphere, a musical about the life and death of cukurca dangerous and obscene, it will only increase the chaos of historical interpretations and exacerbate ethnic strife. This is absolutely not what I wanted. Besides, I realized that the genre of musical a priori creates a positive attitude that is incompatible with the ambiguity of this man.”
In the end, the lyrics for the musical was written by the poet pēteris Draguns, premiered and caused a scandal. And the millers filed for andra to court, demanding the return of the advance paid 500 euros. The only lawyer who agreed to represent the writer in court, was an activist of the Association “Russian ZARYA” Hilarion Girs, what andra also wrote in an open letter: “In the struggle against Nazism unite peoples and countries. I, Andhra Manfeld, are Latvian. Illarion Girs is Russian. We also combined”.
Wells insisted that the producer was paid to Andre for writing the lyrics for the future of the musical materials that were in the concept of his vision of history. The case was lost. Andra, which at that time only a baby, left without money and unable to work, the active resistance to provide could not. At some point it just disappeared in a haze of Liepaja, which only came out this year — absolutely triumphant, with a new book, “Officer’s wife” (excerpt from the novel, which tells about Karosta 70s here). And I must admit, a new leap of its life pendulum was no less amazing than the previous…
Delfi: After a high-profile history with the Course, the Millers and the Girs you for some time completely disappeared from sight… How did this all through?
Andhra Manfeld: Is the concept of short-term wins and long-term. I think that in time came out the winner I. While the blame themselves believed. There the situation was from the series, ordered people to build a house, but not warned that the rotten logs and soil here-here will fall, then you begin to build, and understand that it is bad, refuse. And what, you don’t have to pay for the work done?
The summons I received on the ninth month of pregnancy, and the court held, when the child is barely three months. Still don’t understand what was the rush? Not a human being somehow, well I didn’t stab anyone and was not going to run. Really, it was impossible to postpone? I lost that case. That our appeal was rejected, only learned when I received notice that needs 700 euros.
I was hard to hear everything that’s said about me, but I didn’t bark back, not to get dirty. Although, I may now forever attached stigma of “the one that Cukurs-millers-Girs”… Good company! And I am with a baby and another child behind.
— How did you survive?
— Good people helped. Went to my friend Hope. (I then thought: here it is, my last hope!) See, the electricity is off, the heater is connected from a neighboring apartment, Smoking… Listened to my story, went to her, threw cry — save! Sunday come to Church — where grandma’s hug, kiss, and the money in the bag pop.
I remember the first time going home, suddenly craving ice cream. But you know, people of my children on the milk collected. And imagine, could not resist — bought the smallest. Another Sunday suits me the woman who puts the money: take it, child, for ice cream! And as the grandmother was very old stopped, pulled out a wallet, which forty years must get shaking hands the coin — Lord, how ashamed I was to take, but because people sincerely gives…
— What are you doing in Karosta?
— After I came to Orthodoxy, I decided to go to Liepaja to see the beautiful city, where four of the temple. Three came in, food on the bus in the fourth — came in Karosta and froze: in front of me a space ship with yellow domes, and like the creepy house as if the war had just ended. This konstrastom angles and round domes, and the divine human, and freaking beautiful, the sea and the temple — I fell in love with this place.
In 2005 I got married for the second time. Lived in a tiny apartment in Tukums, from which all the time wanted to get somewhere. Saw that in Karosta luxury apartments are being sold very cheap — I bought a 112 square meters during the seven thousand lats. Happy scary, but later it turned out that overpaid — no one there especially was not torn, the roof began to leak, the wiring to spark…
But that was then. And then we came to Karosta on the eve of the referendum about the Russian language and first met the woman with the red hair. She at once entered into communication — is very worried that Russian Latvians hurt that she lived in, and Latvia is not needed. Proudly she announced that her husband, a submarine officer, never hurt her and even voice is not raised. I asked where her husband — she said that in Belarus went in the 90s and lives without her. It is this woman whom I never met, became my red gateway to the world of the wives of the officers karasti, about whom I wrote my novel.
— Who gave the idea?
— Everything came together. In my hometown Kuldiga almost never met Russian — Roma there were more. And in Karosta, I’ve gotten in the whole world. After talking with the new neighbors and parishioners in the Church, I thought that they will do a series of interviews with the officers wives, as they were then: drank coffee, walked, played cards… It was such a special like no other world, neither Latvian nor Russian, nor even a typical military town — the other. Karosta itself is already a city in the city, she even postcode was different and the architecture is special, and this parallel world separate collapsing world in the crumbling Karosta…
And only I came up with as called the initiator of the project “Mēs. Latvija, XX gadsimts” Gundega repše and offered to write a novel in a series in which each writer talks about certain years of the history of Latvia. I agreed, just saying that the name “Officer’s wife”. I got 70 years — then there are all the events of my novel.
— How did you work? Where to look for wives?
— Sometimes I came to him. Sometimes, they come to me. But then I stop the war with Ukraine — all closed at once, saying that what we want from this Latvian writer?! I remember there was one such wife, with a long white braid, but she had not asked — not open and that’s it. Ask what you were doing: nothing special, torpedoes cleaned. Trying to learn more — silent. Gradually they accustomed to me — I went with them into the temple, and talked with the priest…
— How they see the Soviet era?
— Most believe that it was well — danced, happy life, no iron curtain was not. Idealize their youth — this is normal. But when I hear “God forbid that Stalin was” I think, uh-Oh. There’s a very fine line even a little bit, and it seems that this is God’s will. But I know that it is not. Life is not the Kingdom of God, but just the opposite — the realm of men with the devil, it’s our space that we can change…
About it to me very well told one woman that I met when I wrote most of the book. She was born in Mologa, the city that in Soviet times flooded for the construction of hydro — such Atlantis with carved wooden shutters and roofs. She was a gymnast, before she married and went abroad (now can’t remember what country I lived in for the contingent of Soviet troops, and from there moved to Latvia on a closed missile base. Then they believed God, bowed to the icons… When I asked her, what about the iron curtain and Lenin, she said, “Yes Nasr..be my Lenin!” Her husband quickly retired… If you could Unscrew the back, I’d make the woman the Central character of his novel. But in the end she was the mother of the main character.
Yes, what we, Latvians, are proud — we are fragile and vulnerable, and therefore do proud
— I’ve always wondered what a national city of Liepaja, coexisted with the Soviet military, and then inspired the horrific activities of the Latvian world Osipova, Kravtsova…
— On the one hand, it’s parallel worlds. On the other, people live there, and there: births, deaths, love, change, the children they have. I wanted to show a mirror reflection of the Latvian and Liepaja military town of the 70s and its inhabitants, officers ‘ wives. Age one of them could be my mother, and her world, undoubtedly, would affect the world of her child.
I thought, sets me in a time machine and go during the years when I was running my human program. I remember when I weaned my youngest daughter Augusta, she was nervous for a long time and didn’t sleep. We then looked through all the Russian TV series on Dostoevsky “Demons”, “the Brothers Karamazov”… In such a world, began her program.
My novel begins in 1994: the guy climbs on the roof of the Cathedral karasti…
— Eclairs! It was a real case. He is an idealist, and that hung the white flag in a time when all around were wondering how to sell guns to buy video no ideals.
In the novel, I reflect on how the ideals are crumbling, crumbling family. I wanted to see where it went. Dug right up to the revolution — not sexual, and socialist. It turns out that in the days of Lenin are naked parades went — our feminists with bare Boobs resting. Was the theory of “glass of water” that need for sex is like thirst: I drank a glass and went on. I wanted to show a child that grew up without a dad like I did — it was called “fruit of love”. And in my story there is a husband, wife, lover. The wife of a Russian officer daughter, a mistress, a Latvian, who herself grew up without a father.
Russians and Latvians are you coexist peacefully or fight?
There’s one story that is copied from my life. In Kuldiga Latvian of the three secondary schools only mine was a single Russian thread. And somehow we got in an argument with a Russian girl Angela so that she had slapped me in the face. There was a bruise. The class for a grade. But in my novel the fight never reached — limited to the face.
— What do you now about this think? What side are you on?
— Due to the fact that I am Orthodox, I can be there. I’ve grown to the point that for humanity nationality — only one of the main, but not necessarily the main aspect.
I “the last Hope” said: I know you, Latvians are proud, turn up their noses — I have a husband like this. Yes, what we are proud, we are fragile and vulnerable, and therefore do proud. Just every nation has its own peculiarities: Russian — they are so open that sometimes do not notice how come the Latvians on the heels, and they huddled in a corner and think “ooh, nasty!” I waved to all the conventions and opened to the simple Russian women.
— But before you were inspired by the national idea? During the awakening, for example, where were you?
— In the den. To my shame, all the major events in the life of my country passed by me — I did not even really understand what happened. Just discovered at some point that money has changed. When in 2010 I wrote Zemnīcas children, I have experienced all that went through my ancestors, I have come to a national rise. I understood that man is the image of God, but first he needs to become himself, to realize their identity, language. It was not for me empty words — they came from within.
Then the nationalists to power has come, and the people EN masse, not punching yourself in the chest: I am a patriot! When the 18 of November was one of the first marches Lāpu gājiens, it was a small handful of people with torches walked through Old Riga, modestly, as if they were ashamed of their feelings. And I went — it was such a andrehraund. And then I heard them sing the song “Mēs sitīsim tos utainos, Arvien, arvien…” (“We will beat those lousy…”) at First I thought it was a song about homeless people, but I explained that it was a song of the Legionnaires. But when you sing in the trenches is one thing, but then I felt in these words an unhealthy attitude to Russian and saw myself going somewhere. And went not.
Would live as if tomorrow death may not gnawed the throat of another
Do you have any suggestions how to solve this notorious national question, how to connect the two halves of Latvia, Liepaja with Karostas, Riga with Maskacka?
Today on Facebook she wrote that if she gets chemo, we’ll let you live the biggest for five years. I think it will be interested in the national question? And we live as if we have eternity ahead, waste time on unnecessary quarrel. Would live as if tomorrow is war or death, maybe not today gnawed the throat of another… What are we thinking? Family value, hedonism put on a pedestal, the man fancied himself a God if all this junk out of my head not to throw, we are dead: the whole nation, Europe, world… But if you want to get to, maybe, live a little more.
— What helped you not to break down when fate has once again struck so painful?
— Faith. I just physically need to go once a week to the Church for the sacrament: once the forces are updated, the spirit is cleansed is significantly stronger baths. I read somewhere that a man has three States — sleep and awake States and staging when you become like a child — it is achieved during prayer. Man, it must, otherwise it dies. That is, he looks like alive, but inside is empty…
In Karosta, home to many Baptists. We so lightly speak, and I saw this picture: there is a Baptist on the street and leads the handle of a drunkard, so carefully… We all must do from time to time, and not only think about yourself. However, one does what one can. Else will write a book — I will write. Else will each homeless person to save — Dr. Lisa will. Someone translated her diaries into Latvian and published. I read this small, very shrill note and see the evil comments of people who probably don’t even read and just saw the title. Read and weep.
— Why you eventually left Karosta?
— I like it — it’s so beautiful there. Especially when the lilac blooms to die from the beauty. I think lilac is the Russian flower. But the more I stay there could not — it was too tragic. Decided that I need to live in some Latvian place — on a farm where grass, lake or river, where the quiet and gentle. But Karosta is no place of tenderness — it is very beautiful and tough: all these ruins, explosives, which is almost every day, jealous guy who hit the bride with a car and then jumped out the window. The temple is very save, but still, this place is some kind of tuning fork tragedy.
However, I will write a book about Karosta, if formed. A children’s tale about the fog. Spring in Liepaja he’s some kind of especially thick, can not see anything — only the Golden domes are shining. And I made up a story how once the temple disappeared in the fog, the children went to look for him and found magic stones, through which is visible the essence of things…
When I went through all of that, I realized that the real value of life was there — in silence and poverty Karosta. There was tempered steel. What I have now life is normal — it is only on the surface. It will take time — it will be necessary to dive again.