New Project Compiles Latvian Characters in Fiction and Film

Imaginary Latvians is a project that collects Latvian characters in world literature and international cinema. The project aims to reflect the diversity of Latvian characters in fiction and film, and to make encounters with imaginary Latvians into a special event similar to finding a lucky charm.

In novels by Jeffrey Eugenides, Don DeLillo, and Dave Eggers, a Latvian family plays the kokle, an older Latvian woman walks backwards down the stairs, and Latvians dress in black and furs, because they are ashamed of their bodies and want to disappear. Fictional Latvian characters are also found in works by several Nobel Prize winners, including Vladimir Nabokov, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, and Günter Grass, as well as legendary film director Alfred Hitchcock.

Since the launch of Imaginary Latvians, many readers in Latvia and abroad have shown an interest in the project, including US Ambassador to Latvia Mark Pekala, who has submitted several Latvian characters. The project’s editors are currently working on a website, where visitors will be able to study the compiled Imaginary Latvians, as well as submit the Latvians they have encountered in their own reading.

Readers are encouraged to share their encounters with Imaginary Latvians by writing to or sharing through Facebook and Twitter. The editors of the project are Rihards Kalnins and Krisjanis Mazurs.

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