Portraits

Kairi Look: An Author Who Treads Boundaries

by Annika A. Koppel
ELM 2/2023
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Kairi Look’s first children’s book, Ville the Lemur Flies the Coop, was published in 2012. The author herself could very well be that lemu...

The Book That is a Beast of its Own

by Andrei Liimets
ELM 1/2023
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Pâté of the Apes by Tõnis Tootsen (b. 1988) is the story of Ergo, the first ape who has learned to write. As the title suggests, the s...

I Am Nature, Too

By Joosep Susi
ELM 2/2022
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Tõnis Vilu is one of the most outstanding and significant Estonian poets today. He has published eight[1] works in less than a decade, ...

Martin Algus, A Writer Not Bound by Borders

By Heidi Aadma
ELM 2/2022
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In 2007, Martin Algus had a dual victory: his problem play Janu (Thirst) and youth play Ise oled! (You Are!) received first and second plac...

Jaan Kross –
An Estonian ambassador

By Cornelius Hasselblatt
ELM 1/2020
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When Estonia gained independence in 1918, one of the first tasks of the new state was to tell the rest of the world that it exists. Diploma...

Andres Allan Ellmann:
One of the few mystics

By Lauri Sommer
ELM 2/2019
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Andres Allan Ellmann (1964-1988) was one of the very few mystical poets in post-war Estonian poetry. I think it was in his blood – his moth...

Juhan Liiv:
A search for the pure word

By Mathura
ELM 2/2019
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The year 2019 looms large in Estonia’s cultural calendar, marking the 150th anniversary of the Estonian Song and Dance Celebration. Its imp...

Eduard Vilde

By Toomas Haug
ELM 1999/1
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Eduard Vilde (1865-1933) was the first Estonian prose writer to achieve classic status, and he has thereby come to be regarded as the most ...

Eeva Park
Sensuous and social

By Johanna Ross
ELM 2018/1
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A woman furtively squeezes the rounded surfaces of hard, unripe pears in her purse: she must somehow change the mind of a man who is threate...

Maimu Berg
A women’s self-esteem booster

By Aita Kivi
ELM 2/2017
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The Estonian writer and politician Maimu Berg (71) mesmerizes readers with her audacity in directly addressing some topics that are even see...

Siuru
in the winds of freedom

By Elle-Mari Talivee
ELM 2/2017
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Siuru, a literary group of the utmost importance in Estonia’s cultural context, was founded in May 1917. It was the second-to-last year of W...

Nikolai Baturin:
A celebrated stranger

By Berk Vaher
ELM 1/2017
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How can one explain Nikolai Baturin’s works and creative identity to someone from a different and distant culture, when they are quite the m...

Paavo Matsin’s performances

By Jan Kaus
ELM 1/2017
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I last saw Paavo Matsin (1970) at a museum that honors the Estonian literary classic Eduard Vilde, where we were both scheduled to speak. We...

Our Leelo

By Mare Müürsepp
ELM 2/2016
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I’ll start with children’s own assessment. Together with third-grade students, we drafted a list of important public figures in Estonia base...

Jüri Kolk
Seeking the immortal soul

By Kaupo Meiel
ELM 2/2016
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Just about a year ago, Jüri Kolk, Jan Kaus, Karl Martin Sinijärv, and I were reading our own works and a pinch of others’ to a nearly full h...

Heiti Talvik:
A Time Bomb

By Hannes Varblane
ELM 2/2008
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Besides being born a poet, one can also grow into a poet. One can develop into a poet on the basis of life experience and the heritage of ot...

The Overwhelming Personality of fs

By Mart Velsker
ELM 2/2005
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fs is currently the shortest writer’s name in Estonia, used by Indrek Mesikepp (b. 1971), who graduated from Tartu University in 1999 as an...

Ilmar Talve - a Man with Three Life Works

By Janika Kronberg
ELM 2/2004
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Reading reference works about Ilmar Talve, we learn that he is a Finnish ethnologist of international renown, an honorary member of scienti...

Albert Kivikas: Writer of the Republic

By Toomas Haug
ELM 1/2004
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Albert Kivikas (1898-1978) had three quite distinct roles in Estonian literary history. I will examine them in chronological order. Kivikas...

Aidi Vallik

By Ilona Martson
ELM 1/2004
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Aidi Vallik, author of several collections of poetry, has talked a few times about how she came to write books for young people.As a teache...

Kalevipoeg, a great European epic

By Jüri Talvet
ELM 2/2003
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On the bicentenary of birth of Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald,the author of Kalevipoeg and the founder of Estonian literatureFriedrich Reinh...

A funny and warm family

By Aare Pilv
ELM 2/2003
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This spring saw the publication of poetry collections by mother and daughter, almost at the same time – Ly Seppel’s Sparkle of Time (Ajasär...

Sulev Kaja. An Estonian at heart

By Michel Fincoeur
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“After a week’s voyage on a small, Estonian cargo ship of venerable age, across a proud North Sea, and a breezy Baltic, having as a vie...

Gustav Suits

By Ele Süvalep
ELM 1/2003
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Born on 30 November 1883 in Võnnu, in southern Estonia, into the family of a village teacher, Suits came to Tartu in 1895 and began his st...

Asta Willmann. Actress and writer

By Rutt Hinrikus
ELM 1/2003
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Autumn 1944 started the diaspora of Baltic peoples; exile scattered Estonian literature all over the world. Until that time, Estonian lite...

Rein Sepp. Things against the sky

By Tiit Aleksejev
ELM 2/2001
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The name Rein Sepp (1921-1995) in Estonian culture is above all associated with translations of a number of imposing works of literature. P...

A brief overview of Jüri Ehlvest

By Aare Pilv
ELM 1/2001
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Jüri Ehlvest is one of the most original Estonian prose authors of the 1990s, and also most difficult to interpret. The critics have been i...

The marriage of Aino and Oskar Kallas

By Sirje Olesk
ELM 1/2001
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The marriage of Aino and Oskar Kallas – a Finnish bridge in reality1.    RomanceOne of the brightest and most diverse eras in Estonia’s his...

Madis Kõiv's visionary theatre

By Luule Epner
ELM 2/1999
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Madis Kõiv (born in 1929) is a remarkably versatile man: a nuclear physicist by profession, he chairs the seminar of analytical philosophy ...

Laaban. Broad view from a narrow bridge

By Andres Ehin
1/1999
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Ilmar Laaban, often called the father of Estonian Surrealism, was born on 17 November 1921 in Tallinn. Between 1939 and 1940 and again in 1...

Ervin Õunapuu

By Udo uibo
1/1999
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Ervin Õunapuu (born in 1956) is a Renaissance man by nature, both in life and in his work. It would be a hard task to enumerate everything...