Margarita Perveņecka (born in 1976) is a Latvian playwright, set designer, and writer. In 2001, Perveņecka graduated from the Latvian Academy of Culture with a bachelor’s degree in film and theatre and since then has been publishing her writing, working for various creative platforms, and writing screenplays. Her first collection Visi koki aizgājuši/All the Trees Have Gone was published in 2006. Perveņecka has written several plays for theatres in Latvia and abroad. Ludwig’s Project/Ludviga projekts was directed by Dž. Dž. Džilindžers in 2004 for Daile Theatre; Neaizmirstulīšu desas papīrs/Forget-Me-Not Sausage Paper was performed at the TT Theatre (titled Ņezabudka Vulgaris, directed by Lauris Gundars, 2002); Civil Chain was produced at ACUD Kunst Haus in Berlin (directed by Inga Rozentāle in 2002). Her writing stands out with her unusual ways of perceiving the world, her use of scientific terms, internationalisms, neologisms, and other peculiar and poetic means of expression. Her latest novel Gaetāno Krematoss/Gaetano Crematos received the Annual Latvian Literature Award in 2011.
Man patika dedzināt [I used to Like Starting Fires], staged at Dirty Deal Teatro, 2012.
Ludviga prodžekts [Ludwig's Project], staged at Daile Theatre, 2004.
Drakula [adapted from B. Stoker's Dracula], 2003.
Neaizmirstulīšu desas papīrs [Forget-Me-Not Sausage Paper]. Staged as Nezabudka Vulgaris at TT, 2002.
Civilķēde jeb Jautrais karuselis [Civil Chain]. Published in Teātra Vēstnesis, 1998; staged at ACUD, Berlin, 2002.
Atved mani mājās [Take Me Home]. Man patīk, ka meitene skumst [I Love it When a Girl is Sad], 2003.
Rehabilitācija [Rehabilitation]. Published in Luna magazine, 2000.
Gaetāno Krematoss: atmiņas par gaismu [Gaetano Crematos]. Riga: Dienas grāmata, 2011.
Visi koki aizgājuši [All the Trees Have Gone]: stāsti. Rīga: Dienas grāmata, 2006.
Books to fall for
Gaetano's Krematos (Gaetāno Krematoss)
Gaetano’s Krematos is a novel about a tired and shadowed soul’s journey in the footsteps of lost gods. The main protagonist, Gaetano, interacts with divinely beautiful beings—wise superhumans who can create not only works of art, but whole worlds. He idolizes them, but his interaction with them is fleeting, like sunlight briefly reflecting off water in cupped hands. Unsuccessful attempts to repeat this interaction cause Gaetano to lose trust in his own abilities, which mentally paralyzes him. The only thing keeping him alive burns out in the dark. His comatose existence is sustained by memories of light, which once again awaken his longing to become one with absolute beauty and magnificence. Gaetano’s journey ends with the creation of a culminating work of art—he finally breaks into a different state of consciousness and a different reality; a self-transformation into a higher plane: divinity.
The novel’s language and structure are microscopically subtle and macroscopically detailed at the same time. Though it is frequently poetic, it is essentially an impassively technical description of episodes observed in the present. A verbalized manifesto of the characters’ inner thoughts and emotions appears at the very end of the novel, taking the form of monologue poems. What appears as an objective description reveals the inner experiences and moods of the apparently indifferent characters. In this way, the novel becomes a biopsy of the soul and a projection of the consciousness.
All languages available
All the Trees Have Gone
All the Trees Have Gone (Visi koki aizgājuši)
The common theme throughout the short-story collection All the Trees Have Gone is the life stories of people who used to be (or still are) children. They all need to decide how they should approach life. Do they do it alone, or alongside someone else? Which is more important, their calling and the quests it requires (either inspired or clouded by childish imagination), or actual social relationships?
The collection’s protagonists try to make sense of themselves and the world around them and try to find their place in it and master the rules of life. Yet the key to achieving this is always missing—a result of their childish selfishness. But they are also thwarted by and at the point when mental and physical existence meet, when love is shattered and lies out of reach. Childhood can be broken, but doesn’t end. No one noticeably grows up. Loneliness seeps into the foundation of relationships. Some characters get pushed to life’s sidelines by their defeats, and waste away like dried-out flowers. Others keep on trying to grow up.
The collection culminates in the last story, which describes the basic desire for something indefinably vast. And what is this vast thing? Becoming one with the Universe itself. For that to work, do you need another human being around? And does that person need to be someone whose existence causes deep emotions that open your eyes to the invisible world, and let you experience moments of epiphany? Or can you become one with the Universe on your own, once you’re all grown up?
All the Trees Have Gone
Visi koki aizgājuši
All languages available
Margarita Perveņecka reads from Gaetano Crematos // Youtube.com [LV]
Guntis Berelis, interview with Margarita Perveņecka // Guntis Berelis' literary blog [LV]Reviews
About the German translation of All the Trees have Gone [Alle Bäume weggegangen
] // Matthes & Seitz Verlag, piblisher's homepage[GE]
Review of All the Trees have Gone // Guntis Berelis' literary blog [LV]
2011, the Annual Latvian Literature Award for Gaetano Crematos