Aivars Ozoliņš (1975) is a Latvian writer, journalist and political comentator. He studied Foreign Languages at the University of Latvia. Ozoliņš worked as a head of the foreign news department at the “Diena” newspaper and in 2010 he established the newspaper “Ir”. His book Dukts, written in 1991, is considered one of the most prominent examples of Latvian postmodernism prose.
Dukts. Riga: Liesma, 1991; Jumava, 2014.
Sapnīši un Gandrīz simts [Dreams and Almost Hundred] (Dreams by Eva Rubene). Riga: Zinātne, 1989.
Books to fall for
Dukts is his only book-length publication. It is an exemplarywork of postmodernism, in which influences as wide ranging as Kharms, Kafka, Barthelme and Latvian nonsense poet Ņurbulis intermingle to create a unique blend of literature about nothing. Perhaps fittingly, after Dukts came out, which was soon followed by the short story Fairy Tale No. 13 (Pasaka Nr. 13), He has not published any other work since, and has abstained from talking publicly about his writing. However Dukts is one of the very few books with staying power from that heady era in Latvian literature when authors immersed themselves in all that had been previously forbidden or unwelcome. In 2014 the book was republished, and the book is being enthusiastically discussed yet again at universities and dorm rooms all over Latvia. The book offers a kaleidoscopic mixture of characters, ideas and wordplay, mostly centred on the concept of “Dukts” – a word with no real meaning in Latvian. As the narrator says in the book: “The essence of Dukts (although as of yet we’re not sure what it actually is) can be best portrayed by a single infinitely long, over-exposed film, which has to be seen instantaneously to be understood.” The book then details all the futile historical attempts to define or comprehend Dukts before showing the concept in practice with a brilliant series of surreal short stories.
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Guntis Berelis, Kā atrast ideālo valodu? Ceļā uz Duktu, review of Dukts // Guntis Berelis blog, 1993 [LV]