Introduction: The Latvian Lācis

  • Susan Ingram York University


"Anna Lācis came to international attention as Asja, Walter Benjamin’s Latvian Bolshevik love interest, and her reputation has tended to rest on that relationship rather than on her influential work mediating between the Weimar German and early Soviet cultural and, in particular, theatrical realms.... the point of this special issue is to draw attention to the necessity of rigorously questioning and situating such forgettings, and to the limitations of monolingual approaches as well as the specificities of non-Anglo ethnonational discourse per se. Given that a not unsubstantial part of Lācis’s life was spent, and most of her theatrical work done, in Latvia, it should not come as a surprise that Lācis has never been forgotten there. However, how has she been remembered, and why? This special issue begins to overcome the decided lack of availability of that knowledge in languages other than Latvian."