Latvian Queer Kharms? Sex and Power in Rihards Bargais’ Gossip

Kārlis Vērdiņš, Jānis Ozoliņš


In 2012 the Latvian poet Rihards Bargais published a book called Tenkas (‘Gossip’), a collection of small absurd narratives, inspired by the Russian writer Daniil Kharms, that describes his fellow writers, well-known Latvian personalities and himself. Many of the pieces have an explicitly sexual character; one of them even resulted in legal action for libel, a situation unique in Latvian contemporary literature. Crossing several boundaries of reality and fiction, private and public, as well as the allowed and the forbidden, Bargais confronts society using sexual imagery in his literary work.


Latvian literature; gossip; homoeroticism; sexuality; narrative

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ISSN 1406-0701 (print)
ISSN 2228-4729 (online)