Songs and writings: oral and literary cultures in early-modern Finland renews the understanding of exchange between the learned culture of clergymen and the culture of commoners, or “folk”. What happened when the Reformation changed the position of the oral vernacular language to literary and ecclesiastical, and when folk beliefs seem to have become an object for more intensive surveillance and correction? How did clergymen understand and use the versatile labels of popular belief, paganism, superstition and Catholic fermentation?
Why did they choose particular song languages, poetic modes and melodies for their Lutheran hymns and literary poems, and why did they avoid oral poetics in certain contexts while accentuating it in others? How were the hagiographical traditions representing the international medieval literary or “great” tradition adapted to “small” folk traditions, and how did they persist and change after the Reformation? What happened to the cult of the Virgin Mary in local oral traditions?
The first Finnish 16th-century reformers admired the new Germanic models of Lutheran congregational hymns and avoided the Finnic vernacular Kalevala-metre idiom, while their successors picked up many vernacular traits, most notably alliteration, in their ecclesiastical poetry and hymns. Over the following centuries, the new features introduced via new Lutheran hymns such as accentual metres, end-rhymes and strophic structures were infusing into oral folk poetry, although this took place also via secular oral and literary routes. On the other hand, seventeenth-century scholars cultivated a new academic interest in what they understood as “ancient Finnish poetry”.
The book has an extensive English Summary for the international readership.Book Details
Finland-Swedish writer Monika Fagerholm is one of the most important contemporary Nordic authors. Her experimental, puzzling and daring novels, such as Underbara kvinnor vid vatten (1994) and Den amerikanska flickan (2004), have attracted much critical attention. She has won several literary awards, including the Nordic prize from the Swedish Academy in 2016; her works have travelled across national and cultural borders as they have now been translated in USA, Europe, Eastern Europe and Russia. Fagerholm’s wild and visionary depictions of girlhood have long had an impact on the Nordic literary landscape; currently, she has many literary followers among young female writers and readers in Finland and Sweden. Novel Districts. Critical Readings of Monika Fagerholm is the first major study of Fagerholm’s works. In this edited volume, literary scholars explore the central themes and features that permeate Fagerholm’s works and introduce novel ways to understand and interpret her writings. The book begins with an introduction to her life, letters and the minority literature context of her writing and briefly describes the scholarship on Fagerholm’s works. After that, Finnish and Swedish scholars and experts on Fagerholm scrutinize her oeuvre in the light of up-to-date literary theory. The insights, theories and concepts of gender, feminist and girlhood studies as well as narratology, poststructuralism, posthumanism and reception studies are tested in close readings of Fagerholm’s works published between 1990 and 2012. Thus, the volume enhances and deepens the understanding of Fagerholm’s fiction and invites the attention of readers not yet familiar with her work. The articles demonstrate the multitude of ways in which literary and cultural conventions can be innovatively re-employed within 20th and 21th century literature to reveal new perspectives on contemporary Finnish and Nordic literature and ongoing cultural and social developments.
This book is part of the Studia Fennica Litteraria series.Book Details
The poem Kalevipoeg, over 19,000 lines in length, was composed by FriedrichReinhold Kreutzwald (1803–1882) on the basis on folklore material. Itwas published in an Estonian-German bilingual edition in six instalmentsbetween 1857 and 1861; it went on to become the Estonian national epic.This first English-language monograph on the Kalevipoeg sheds light onvarious aspects of the emergence, creation and reception of the text.The first chapter sketches the objectives of the book and gives a shortsummary of the contents of the twenty tales of the epic, while the secondchapter treats the significance of the epic against the cultural background ofnineteenth-century Estonia.
The third chapter scrutinizes the emergence of the text in moredetail and, in its second part, takes a closer look at the many intertextualconnections and the traces the epic material has left in Estonian literatureup to the present time. The fourth chapter is a detailed case study of onedebated passage of the fifteenth tale.
The fifth and the six chapters deal with the German reception of the epic,which partly took place earlier than the reception in Estonia. In the fifthchapter, the first reviews and an early treatise by the German scholar WilhelmSchott (1863) are discussed. The sixth chapter presents the new genre of‘rewritings’ of the epic – texts which cannot be labelled as translations butare rather new creations on the basis of Kreutzwald’s text.
In the seventh chapter several versions of these retellings and adaptationsare compared in order to show the stability of some core material conveyedby various authors. A concluding chapter stresses the significance of foreignreception in the canonization process of the Kalevipoeg. At the end, acomprehensive bibliography and an index are added."
This book is part of the Studia Fennica Folkloristica series.Book Details
This book presents current discussions on the concept of genre. It introduces innovative, multidisciplinary approaches to contemporary and historical genres, their roles in cultural discourse, how they change, and their relations to each other.
The reader is guided into the discussion surrounding this key concept and its history through a general introduction, followed by eighteen chapters that represent a variety of discursive practices as well as analytic methods from several scholarly traditions.
This volume will have wide appeal to several academic audiences within the humanities, both in Finland and abroad, and will especially be of interest to scholars of folklore, language and cultural expression.Book Details
Helsinki in Early Twentieth-Century Literature analyses experiences of the Finnish capital in prose fiction published in Finnish in the period 1890–1940. It examines the relationships that are formed between Helsinki and fictional characters, focusing, especially, on the way in which urban public space is experienced. Particular attention is given to the description of movement through urban space. The primary material consists of a selection of more than sixty novels, collections of short stories and individual short stories. This study draws on two sets of theoretical frameworks: on the one hand, the expanding field of literary studies of the city, and on the other hand, concepts provided by humanistic and critical geography, as well as by urban studies.
This study is the first monograph to examine Helsinki in literature written in Finnish. It shows that rich descriptions of urban life have formed an integral part of Finnish literature from the late nineteenth century onward.Around the turn of the twentieth century, literary Helsinki was approached from a variety of generic and thematic perspectives which were in close dialogue with international contemporary traditions and age-old images of the city, and defined by events typical of Helsinki’s own history. Helsinki literature of the 1920s and 1930s further developed the defining traits that took form around the turn of the century, adding a number of new thematic and stylistic nuances. The city experience was increasingly aestheticized and internalized. As the centre of the city became less prominent in literature,the margins of the city and specific socially defined neighbourhoods gained in importance.
Many of the central characteristics of how Helsinki is experienced in the literature published during this period remain part of the ongoing discourse on literary Helsinki: Helsinki as a city of leisure and light, inviting dreamy wanderings; the experience of a city divided along the fault lines of gender,class and language; the city as a disorientating and paralyzing cesspit of vice;the city as an imago mundi, symbolic of the body politic; the city of everyday and often very mundane experiences, and the city that invites a profound sense of attachment – an environment onto which characters project their innermost sentiments.
This book is part of the Studia Fennica Litteraria series.Book Details
White field, black seeds— who can sow? Although the riddle from which this these words are taken comes from oral tradition, it refers to the ability to write, a skill which in most Nordic countries was not regarded as necessary for everyone. And yet a significant number of ordinary people with no access to formal schooling took up the pen and produced a variety of highly interesting texts: diaries, letters, memoirs, collections of folklore and handwritten newspapers.
This collection presents the work of primarily Nordic scholars from fields such as linguistics, history, literature and folklore studies who share an interest in the production, dissemination and reception of written texts by non-privileged people during the long nineteenth century.Book Details
This book examines phenomena from Finnish and Finnish-Swedish literature written in the years between the 1980s and the first decade of the new millennium. Its objective is to study this interesting era of literary history in Finland and to sketch some possible directions for future development by identifying literary turning points which have already occurred.Book Details
Six articles in Changing scenes represent the ongoing reassessment of fin de siècle literature in Finnish research. The period was seen in earlier research as something of a national renaissance or golden age and interpreted in the light of its national symbols and meanings. Only recently has more attention been paid to its international dimensions and its role in the modernisation of Finnish culture. In particular the spotlight has been trained on the reflection in Finnish literature of manifestations of the degeneration thinking so common in Europe at that time. Research has also picked out works and writers that featured less in earlier studies.
One modernist Finnish poet, Neustadt Prize-winning Paavo Haavikko, is also examined in an article representing the latest Finnish research in this field.Book Details
The recent fascination in Finnish folklore studies with popular thought and the values and emotions encoded in oral tradition began with the realisation that the vast collections of the Finnish folklore archives still have much to offer the modern-day researcher. These archive materials were not only collected by scholars, but also by the ordinary rural populace interested in their own traditions, by performers and their audiences. With its myriad voices, this body of source material thus provides new avenues for the researcher seeking to penetrate popular thought. What does oral tradition tell us about the way its performers think and feel? What sorts of beliefs and ideas are transmitted in traditional songs and narratives? Perspectives from the study of mentalities and cultural cognition research provide a framework for investigating these issues.
This collection of articles works from the premise that the cultural models which shape mentalities give rise to manifest expressions of culture, including folklore. These models also become embedded in the representations appearing in folklore, and are handed down from one generation to the next. The topics of the book cover age-old myths and world views, concepts of witchcraft and the Devil stretching back to the Middle Ages, and the values and collective emotions of Finnish and Hungarian agrarian communities.Book Details