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LITERATURE AND NATURE UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI/ COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 24.11.2014 PEKKA RAITTINEN FINNISH LITERATURE, HISTORY AND NATURE.

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Presentation on theme: "LITERATURE AND NATURE UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI/ COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 24.11.2014 PEKKA RAITTINEN FINNISH LITERATURE, HISTORY AND NATURE."— Presentation transcript:

1 LITERATURE AND NATURE UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI/ COMPARATIVE LITERATURE PEKKA RAITTINEN FINNISH LITERATURE, HISTORY AND NATURE

2 OUR ROOTS IN WILDERNESS?

3 ”ERÄMAA”AND ”KASKI” Fishing and hunting – erätalous s.c. ”wilderness economy” Runeberg’s Hirvenhiihtäjät (”The Elk- Slayers”) – ”The balance of nature and society” (Wrede, 1999) Seitsemän veljestä – slash-and-burn agriculture and civilization

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5 ”NATURE RENEWED”– RENAISSANCE NEOPLATONIC OPTIMISM Tuomas M.S. Lehtonen (1999) => Dichotomy of optimism and memento mori Robert Cajanus (1675 – 1737) => ”Suvivirsi”; from a Swedish source Memento mori; Juhana Cajanus Etkös ole ihmisparca aiwan arca (1681)

6 PANORAMIC VISION Kai Laitinen: Metsästä kaupunkiin, 1984 Runeberg: ”Heinäkuun viides päivä” (”5th of July”) The motif continues in Kivi’s Seitsemän veljestä and poem ”Isänmaa” (”Fatherland”)

7 NATION = NATURE Werner Holmberg: Ideal Landscape, 1860 Thomas Cole: A Home in the Woods, U.S.A., 1847

8 ALEKSIS KIVI, SEITSEMÄN VELJESTÄ AND NATURE

9 ALEKSIS KIVI (1834 – 1872) Born Alexis Stenvall (”Stonewall”)in Nurmijärvi, son of a village tailor Collection of poetry Kanervala (1866); plays; Nummisuutarit (”The Heath Cobblers”) The Seven Brothers (1870) – First Finnish novel proper and source for contoroversy

10 IMPIVAARA – A RETREAT TO THE WILDERNESS Seven brothers retreat to the woods and return to civilization after ten years Has often been read as a Bildungsroman Intertexts Schiller The Robbers; Walter Scott Rob Roy

11 NATIONAL ROMANTICISM VERSUS ”THE GREEN GOLD”

12 ”OUR LAND IS POOR…” Famine years 1866 – 1868; and 1695 – 1697 Physiocracy => Wealth of the nations from agriculture Väinö Linna: Under the Northern Star - trilogy (1959 – 62)

13 THE QUEST FOR REALISM A National ”Grand Narrative”=> Literature building the nation and language First generation realists: Juhani Aho, Minna Canth, Teuvo Pakkala But also; turn of the century symbolism of Eino Leino, L. Onerva et al.

14 JUHANI AHO, SHORT PROSE AND CONSERVATION (HAAPALA 2008) Aho’s short Lastuja (1891 – 1899)(”Woodchips”) and short prose on travelling and fishing Autobiographical stories on fly fishing salmon Plans to conserve Huopana at Viitasaari, ”Heartland of Finland”

15 AINO KALLAS, HISTORY, DESIRE AND ECOLOGY (MELKAS 2006; 2008) Finnish-Estonian heir to symbolism 1920’s ”Slaying Eros” trilogy of novellas; The Wolf’s Bride (1928) set in 17th and 18th century Estonia Short story ”Pyhän joen kosto”; ”The Revenge of the Sacred River”

16 TIMO K. MUKKA AND ”VIRGIN LAND” (LAHTINEN 2008; 2014) Mukka’s (1944 – 1973) books set in his native Lapland Debut novel ”The Earth is A Sinfull Song” (1964) After Second World War flight from the countryside to the cities of the Southern Finland

17 ON THE MARGINS A strong tradition of Finnish wilderness literature => An ideal[ized] subject [Finnish] male Sci-fi writer Johanna Sinisalo => Inheritor of Kallas’s themes of sexuality and transformation Finnish-Swedish contemporary fiction; Monika Fagerholm The American Girl (2004); Ulla- Lena Lundberg Is [’Ice’]


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