Andrejs Pumpurs

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Andrejs Pumpurs (born September 10 . Jul / 22. September  1841 greg. In Courland part of the former municipality Lieljumprava today Birzgale in Latvia ; † June 23 jul. / 6. July  1902 greg. In Riga ) was a Latvian poet . He wrote the Latvian national epic Lāčplēsis ( The Bear Ripper ) and was an important figure in the political-literary movement Jungletten .

Andrejs Pumpur's bust in Daugavpils


Pumpurs grew on the banks of the Daugava (lett .: Daugava on). He was one of three children from the parish chosen by the Lutheran clergyman for the German class at the church school in Lielvārde . After that, he was unable to continue his education because of the poverty of his family. He worked as a raftsman and did odd jobs with his father. In doing so, he came into contact with the oral tradition of Latvian stories and legends, which is particularly widespread in the area where he was born and which was to shape his later work. He wrote his first poems and early sketches for the epic between 1867 and 1872 in Vecpiebalga , a rural center of Latvian education and cultural life.

After a short stay in Riga , he went to Moscow in 1876 and was introduced by Fricis Brīvzemnieks to the Slavophile Iwan Sergejewitsch Aksakow and the editor Mikhail Nikiforowitsch Katkow . As the third Latvian, Pumpurs voluntarily sided with the Serbs in the Russo-Turkish war . The experiences in Serbia had a strong influence on his already passionate patriotism . His military career later brought him to Sevastopol and Odessa , where he received officer training. In 1882 he returned to the Livonia Governorate . He served in the unit that later became the Ust Dvinsk regiment and took part in secret meetings of the Narodnaya Volya movement. From 1895 on he worked as a quartermaster in Dvinsk (Lat .: Daugavpils ). He traveled extensively to supply the Russian troops, and after one of these trips to China he died of rheumatism.

Literary work

Pumpur's first poem was published in the journal Baltijas Vēstnesis in 1869 . His best-known work, the epic Lāčplēsis , was published in 1888 on the occasion of the 3rd General Latvian Song Festival . In 1895 his collected works were published under the title No Daugavas līdz Donavai (From the Daugava to the Danube). On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the appearance of Lāčplēsis , the Soviet Writers' Association of the Latvian SSR published an interlinear translation of the epic (by Gunārs Cīrulis ) in addition to an English and a German .


  • Viktors Hausmanis, ed .: Latviešu rakstniecība biogrāfijās. Rīga: LZA, 1992.
  • Anita Rožkalne (ed.): Latviešu rakstniecība biogrāfijās. 2nd, rev. and exp. Edition - Rīga: Zinātne, 2003.
  • Teodors Zeiferts: Latviešu rakstniecības vēsture. Rīga: 1922. Available under latviešu valodas tekstu korpuss .
  • Arveds Švābe: Latvijas vēsture 1800-1914 . Uppsala: Daugava, 1958.
  • Arveds Švābe, ed .: Latvju enciklopēdija . Stockholm: Trīs Zvaigznes, 1952–1953.

Web links

Commons : Andrejs Pumpurs  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files