No. 35




Skalbe and his Little Notes

Like Estonia, Latvia will soon be celebrating its centenary. The notes of Kārlis Skalbe, a Latvian writer and activist from the time when the Republic of Latvia was founded, continue to be relevant to this day.

Kārlis Skalbe was a Latvian writer, journalist, and teacher who helped to found the Republic of Latvia. He served as a member of the People’s Council of Latvia (1917), and was elected to the Constitutional Assembly. He was also elected twice to the Latvian parliament.

Little Notes (an excerpt from a work Skalbe, K. Mazās piezīmes. Rīga: Zinātne, 1990). contain several topics that reach beyond specific historical events, and showcase the author’s views in a generalised, condensed manner. These include the relations between the people and the intelligentsia; socialism and socialists in the context of Latvian national sovereignty; Bolshevism and its roots; Latvian character and identity, and its influence on political behaviour. The national identity is a recurring theme for Skalbe in his Little Notes. He writes: “There is one great goal in these times: the Latvian nation is striving for self-determination.”