Romanticist and symbolist writer and poet Jānis Poruks was born in Druviena Parish in 1871, studied at the Dresden Royal Conservatory, but after returning to Latvia he studied also chemistry and commerce at Riga Polytechnic Institute. He worked for the newspaper Mājas Viesis and the magazine Mājas Viesa Mēnešraksts, writing reviews of concerts, opera and theatre performances, articles on literature, and published his own poems and short stories. He wrote more than 150 short stories, collections of poetry, and his novel “The Pearl Fisher” remains one of the iconical works of Latvian literature, alongside Poruks’s short stories “Kauja pie Knipskas” and “Kukažiņa”, while his novel “Riga” is the first dedication to the city and gives unique insight into the life during the turn of the 20th century. His first published book – a philosophical work comparing the ideas of Lev Tolstoy and Friedrich Nietzsche – was written in German and published at Verlag von Friedrich Gottheiner in Berlin in 1894 under the title Die Religion der Zukunft: Eine Studie zur Prüfung der Ideen des Grafen Leo Tolstoi und Friedrich Nietzches’s.
The Revolution of 1905 brought about devastating consequences, terror, and fright into people, and also Poruks suffered from fear for himself, his wife and daughter. This growing unease led him to seek cure at psychiatric clinics. He continued writing until his sudden death in a clinic in Tartu in 1911.
Poruks nowadays is regarded as one of the most remarkable and outstanding Latvian writers of all times.