He was born the son of a tailor in Riga, where he lived most of his life. In his poems , Čaks primarily addressed city life. was the first Latvian writer whose works have a distinctly urban character and stand out from the traditional theming of rural life, which was characteristic of Latvian literature until then (the brothers Reinis and Matīss Kaudzīte , Rūdolfs Blaumanis, etc.). Čaks published his first volume of poetry in 1928 , which portrayed the life and doings of the Riga people . His poems incorporate themes and characters previously not featured in Latvian poetry, the urban nightlife , the homeless , prostitutes , the poor suburbs and even the sewers in the apartment blocks . In his poems, Čaks showed his deep love for Riga, particularly evident in the title “The Heart on the Sidewalk”. Despite everything, Riga is not the only subject of his poems, Čaks has also written romantic poems and pieces dedicated to the Latvian resistance fighters of the First World War . He has also written short stories and plays.
After Latvia had been reoccupied by the Soviet Union in October 1944 , Čaks found himself increasingly exposed to the accusation of deviating from Marxist values and of producing or having produced works that were politically “unimaginative”. Broken by these allegations, Čaks died of heart failure on February 8, 1950. Today one of Riga's main arteries bears his name ( Aleksandra Čaka iela ), a museum has been set up in his former apartment near this street (Lāčplēša iela 48/50, apartment no. 14) and in the Ziedoņdārzs park, also located on Čaka iela ( On the corner of Artilērijas iela) a monument was erected for him.
- Aleksandrs Čaks: Kopoti raksti 6 sējumos. Rīga: Zinātne, 1991-2007
- Aleksandrs Čaks. Raksti 5 sējumos. Rīga: Liesma, 1971–1976
- Aleksandrs Čaks: Mūžības skartie. Dzejas par latviešu strēlniekiem. Rīga: Zinātne, 1988.
(Complete bibliography at http://www.literature.lv/lv/dbase/bibliografija.php?id=34 )
- Aleksandrs Caks: Selected poems [Preface and select. by Arvids Grigulis. Transl. from Latvian by Ruth Speirs]. Riga: Liesma, 1979.
- Aleksandrs Caks: Minu armastus. Tallinn 1976
Huelmann, Magdalena: “The heart on the pavement”: Aleksandrs Caks and Riga. in : 300 years of culture (s) in Riga / Anja Wilhelmi [Hrsg.]. - (Northeast Archive NF 11). - Lüneburg: Nordost-Institut, 2003
- Literature by and about Aleksandrs Čaks in the catalog of the German National Library
- Poems by Aleksandrs Čaks in German translation at http://www.literatur.lv
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Čadarainis, Aleksandrs (real name)|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||Latvian writer|
|DATE OF BIRTH||October 27, 1901|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Riga , Russian Empire|
|DATE OF DEATH||February 8, 1950|
|Place of death||Riga , Soviet Union|