Latvian Writers’ Strategies of Resistance during De-Stalinisation: The Case of Gunārs Priede
This paper traces developments in the Soviet Latvian literary scene between the late 1950s and early 1970s. The first part examines aspects of social organisation as demonstrated by the daily routines of so-called creative unions characteristic for the overall pattern of the way in which social mechanisms worked under Soviet rule, even if there were constant attempts to overcome the limits set to expression by the communist system. The second part provides a case study of the biography and creative work of Latvian playwright Gunārs Priede 1928–2000, a leading representative of the young generation of authors of that period. The paper not only points towards the parallels in social and aesthetic developments at the Soviet periphery, but also discusses the clearly observable illogicality and unpredictability of the decisions made by Soviet officials which mirror the absurdity of the social foundations of communist rule.