Legendary Latvian writer to get roasted during Poetry Days

Within the annual international festival "Poetry Days", the Rainis and Aspazija museum is hosting two interrelated events to offer the opportunity to speak and joke about the legendary writer Rainis and his play "Uguns un nakts" (Fire and Night, 1905), the Association of Memorial Museums said August 24.

On September 7, at 18:00, an open mic will take place, in which everyone is invited to roast Rainis. On September 11, there will be scientific readings at 17:30, and at 20:00 – “Rainis Roast in Fire and Night” will have the writer joked about by experienced comedians. The Museum Raiņa un Aspazijas māja is located at Baznīcas Street 30, Rīga.

The Association of Memorial Museums said that "Rainis was not only a serious politician, a genius poet, a playwright, but also a master of satire who liked to laugh at the weaknesses of people of his time. So there is no reason to think he would lack the ability and sense of humor to laugh at himself."

"In general, a mocking satire was Rainis' favourite genre, which, in his opinion, helped to expose negligence and stupidity of those in power, thereby contributing to positive changes in society," explained the Association.

Today, one of the genres of satire is the “roast”, a set of stories from several comedians, all dedicated to a person. "Rainis has lived such a filled life and left so much behind he really has something to be joked about. This does not mean that Rainis is being taken less seriously, but we just want to remind you that Rainis had the capacity to look at the ridiculous side of the world," said the organizers of the roast.

Rainis was the pseudonym of Jānis Pliekšāns (1865 – 1929), a Latvian poet, playwright, translator, and politician. Rainis' works include the classic plays Uguns un nakts (Fire and Night, 1905) and Indulis un Ārija (Indulis and Ārija, 1911), and a highly regarded translation of Goethe's Faust. His works had a profound influence on the literary Latvian language.

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