Rainis and Aspazija Correspondence spans over 35 years of the creative life of these two poets. The collection contains 2 499 letters in Latvian, Russian and German: of these 1 154 were written by Aspazija to Rainis, and 1 345 – by Rainis to Aspazija. The correspondence between these two personalities of global scale provides an irreplaceable and invaluable source within the context of Latvian history and culture and the research perspective. We are honoured to have this possibility to remind this part of our heritage and acknowledge its national significance.
Rainis and Aspazija correspondence coincides in time with a long and crucial period of Latvian history; it reflects the role of these poets in Europeanization of the national culture, cherishing the very idea of the statehood and establishing the independence of the Republic of Latvia. The collection contains only original manuscripts of both poets, which guarantees its authenticity. Owing to its amount, the density of information, the content and the form, the collection represents a unique cultural value both on the national and world scale. It is a part of Rainis and Aspazija archives and it is held in Literature, Theatre and Music Collection (Literature and Music Museum). The Correspondence covers essential stages of Latvian history and culture development: New Current movement in the end of 19th century; creating the national consciousness and Revolution of 1905; the years of the World War I; and the genesis, development and realisation of the national state idea. The content of the manuscripts reveals the personal relationships of the poets and their creative work (philosophical concept of Future Human; “creative thoughts”; diaries etc.) along with their individual style, the tradition of the time, specific regional singularities of foreign languages. Many messages were written on postcards the design of which expressed the individual taste of the correspondents.
The letters were written in different periods of the poets’ lives in Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and Switzerland; they incorporate information of the local context in the most natural way by highlighting analogies and differences to the life of Latvia. The correspondence was “participated” by thousands of the contemporaries (to name just a few: writers Rūdolfs Blaumanis, Kārlis Skalbe, Augusts Deglavs, Biruta Skujeniece; politicians Pēteris Stučka, Janis Jansons (Brauns), Miķelis Valters, Felikss Cielēns, Pauls Kalniņš); by soul mates (Goethe, Nietzsche, Schiller, Ibsen, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky etc.); and by literary heroes and anti-heroes (Faust, Werther, Peer Gynt, Shakespearean heroes etc.).
Documentary heritage is kept and available for viewing in Literature, Theatre and Music Collection at the Museum of Literature and Music.
Visual material: Collection of the Museum of Literature and Music (1. Double portrait of Rainis and Aspazija, 1905; 2. Postcard from Rainis to Aspazija, 26th of March, 1926; 3. Postcard from Aspazija to Rainis, 21st of April, 1926).