Accidental Latvian: Howard Vincent Hong Cover Image

Nejaušais latvietis: Hovards Vinsents Hongs
Accidental Latvian: Howard Vincent Hong

Author(s): Velga Vevere
Subject(s): Existentialism
Published by: Latvijas Universitātes Filozofijas un socioloģijas institūts
Keywords: Howard Vincent Hong; Søren Kierkegaard;

Summary/Abstract: The focus of the present article is the role of the founder of Kierkegaard library in St. Olaf's College (Northfield, Minnesota) Howard Vincent Hong (1912-2010) in Kierkegaard studies and in the Latvian refugees' resettlement after the Second World War, where he acted as a director of the LIRS (Lutheran lmmigration and Refugee Service) in 1947-1949. The questions can be posed in the following way. What is the predominant factor of his choice of the academic career? In other words, was Hong's interest in Kierkegaard (especially in his "For Self-Examination" and "Works of Love") the reason for his volunteer work with war prisoners and war refugees or, vice versa, was the life-long Kierkegaard translation Project inspired by his social activities and public service? It seems that the answer is to be found in the interdependence of both factors. The article consists of three parts. The first chapter "Hong and Latvians" describes Howard Hong's Latvian connections. First, his work with displaced persons of the Latvian origin. Second, his role in the resettlement program both as field officer and as a sponsor (he alone was responsible for the 250 Latvian emigrants in Northfield, Minnesota). For the distinguished service to Latvia and Latvians Howard Hong in 1998 received the highest award of the Republic of Latvia - the Three Star Order, as well as there is a painting by the Latvian artist August Annus exhibited in the Kierkegaard Library. Thirdly, there is more personal reason for calling Howard Hong the accidental Latvian - the Hongs, while in Germany, adopted two Latvian orphans - Irena and Eric.

  • Issue Year: XXII/2017
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 72-91
  • Page Count: 20
  • Language: Latvian