Reflections

Where Are You Going, Estonian Lit?

By Helena Läks
1/2024
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ELM asked three young Estonian writers to consider the future of Estonian literature. What direction is its substance and form heading? Wh...

Who Could Hold All the World’s Beauty?

by Joonas Hellerma
ELM 2/2023
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The reception of Emil Tode’s Border State (1993) was shaped by multiple elements that were novel to Estonian literature of the time, i...

A Night to Remember

by Maximilian Murmann
ELM 1/2023
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On New Year’s Eve a man straggles his way through Stockholm. Although he has been living in the city for quite some time, the narrator...

Now, That’s Certainly Not Literature

by Indrek Koff
ELM 1/2023
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Writer Indrek Koff takes a look at literature’s borderlands and asks what peculiarities might arise there. For some reason, I’ve always ...

On Life and Love, Continuously

By Jan Kaus
ELM 1/2022
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In Estonia, an interesting cultural discussion is underway, prompted by a call to celebrate Estonian Literature Day. The proposed date is J...

On the Openness of Literature

By Jan Kaus
ELM 2/2020
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It isn’t a stretch to assert that literature is an art of solitude. This especially true in comparison with other creative practices: many ...

Memories of Jaan Kross

By Mati Sirkel, Maima Grīnberga and Tiina Ann Kirss
ELM 1/2020
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A speech by Mati Sirkel on Jaan Kross’s 80th birthday celebration at the Estonian Drama Theater, 2000Honorable Jaan!If you would allow me t...

A path a quarter-century long

By Krista Kaer
ELM 1/2020
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A very long time ago, so long now that it came as a great surprise even to myself, Piret Viires and I were the original editors of Estonian...

Veronika Kivisilla
A perfect day

By Veronika Kivisilla
ELM 2/2019
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A perfect day naturally begins early in the morning. That is my time! I hope I never learn to sleep in! I’d never exchange the promisin...

Tiit Aleksejev
Places of writing

By Tiit Aleksejev
ELM 1/2019
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Places of writing can be divided into two: those where writing is possible in general, and those that have a direct connection to the subje...

Literature and Diplomacy

by Janika Kronberg
2/2006
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Diplomacy and literature, or fine arts in general, can be viewed as the opposing spheres of human activities. In everyday language, diploma...

A Perfect Day

By Eva Koff
ELM 2/2018
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"A Perfect Day" is a new ELM column, in which individuals associated with literature in Estonia share their recipes for a perfect day. The f...

The Dodo’s decision

By Maarja Kangro
ELM 2/2018
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“Everybody has won and all must have prizes.”   Those are the Dodo’s words in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, and both James F. E...

Love doesn’t exist
in a vacuum

By Maarja Vaino
ELM 1/2018
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Published in 1935, I Loved a German (Ma armastasin sakslast) was the seventh novel written by the Estonian literary classic A. H. Tammsaare ...

A regular writer’s salary: Really?

By Piret Põldver
ELM 1/2018
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Estonia is a small country where people generally can’t make a living purely on art and literature: the market simply isn’t large enough. ...

Fear and loathing
in little villages

By Mari Klein
ELM 2/2017
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Over the last few years, the writers Birk Rohelend and Katrin Pauts have set out to enrich the Estonian crime genre with grim, trying tales ...

Estonian Literary Awards
2016

By Piret Viires
ELM 2/2017
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Jaan Kaplinski received a lifetime creative achievement award from the Republic of Estonia. Andrei Ivanov was likewise recognized for his cr...

Five Snow Whites
and not a single prince

By Carolina Pihelgas
ELM 1/2017
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Writing about female poets, one inevitably arrives at a disturbing thought: why are some women regarded as poets, and others as poetesses? T...

Some who Live the Estonian language

By ELM
ELM 2/2016
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The Estonian Literature Center has a magnificent tradition of inviting translators of Estonian literature who hail from all around the world...

The many voices
of Estonian drama

By Heidi Aadma
ELM 1/2016
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Ten years ago was the one-hundredth anniversary of professional Estonian theatre. To celebrate the grand occasion, Pärnu’s Endla Theatre mad...

Insanity in Estonian literature

By Maarja Vaino
ELM 1/2016
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According to US literary critic Shoshana Felman, insanity is an obsession of contemporary literature: stories being told are almost exclusiv...

The irony of hope

By Adam Cullen
ELM 1/2016
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"How’s that—we do have freedom now, don’t we?" Sõrgats insisted. "Well, we do," Lumepart said, "but what am I supposed to do with that?" ...

Käsmu

By Susan Wilson
ELM 2/2005
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Mustamäe Metamorphoses

By Piret Viires
ELM 2/2005
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The aim of this article is to look at Mustamäe's metamorphoses during its forty years of existence, the reflections of those metamorphoses ...

Käsmu 2005

By Chris Moseley
ELM 2/2005
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Every four years the Estonian Literature Information Centre summons together translators from all over Europe who are active and interested...

Stealing a Window: Estonian Y-Lit

By Aare Pilv, Berk Vaher
ELM 1/2005
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In the last couple of years, several peculiar literary works have been published in Estonia which have a certain ‘family resemblance’ in th...

Future Classics - How Should Freedom Be Used?

By Priit Kruus
ELM 1/2005
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In this article, the younger generation of Estonian authors will be discussed, in whose works we understand who are contemporary Estonians ...

Dictophone Shamanism

By Lauri Sommer
ELM1/2005
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I will mostly talk about what has stayed with me. What has become familiar. Manipulating phonograms recorded on wax rolls, tapes, discs and...

Westi Among Da Esti

By Robert Alan Jamieson
ELM 2/2004
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Shetlandic poet Robert Alan Jamieson reports from the Literature Across Frontiers Käsmu translation workshop held in Estonia, May 8th- 15th...

Estonian Life Story: Narrative and Testimony

By Rutt Hinrikus
ELM 1/2004
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Although the notion of autobiography developed in England only in 1786, the life story, together with memoirs, diaries and correspondence, ...

Finnish Kalevala and Estonian Kalevipoeg

By Jaan Puhvel
ELM 2/2003
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But they were no longer alone. While the belated fallout of the enlightenment in Western Europe triggered the end of serfdom, it was instea...

Summer thoughts of a translator

By Danute Sirijos Giraite
ELM 2/2002
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Then there are the books about translation theory. The more I have been exploring them during my 25 years as a translator, the more convinc...

Rivulets into the Sea of Poetry

By Ene-Reet Soovik
ELM 2/2002
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Exchange of teaching staff between educational institutions in different countries is a common phenomenon. It does not always happen, howev...

The German Verdict

By Cornelius Hasselblatt
ELM 1/2002
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Every good translation is a new verbalisation of content or of amessage and is not the simple transposition of words from onelanguage to an...

Rehepapp: the beauty of ugliness

By Kaisu Lahikainen
ELM 1/2002
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I started to read this novel on a long train journey, and I nearly missed my station. The initial impression was really weird: I felt almos...

Mushrooms and Poetry

By Mati Sirkel
ELM 1/2002
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The first Luulesild/Runon silta (Poetry Bridge) between Estonia and Finland occurred way back in 1982. The number of venues where the poets...

Estonian Voices in the Swedish Language

By Birgitta Göranson, Ivo Illiste
ELM 1/2002
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Only a few months ago, the prestigious National Geographical Society in Washington, D. C. published a coffee table book: "Peoples of th...

Can literature save the world?

By Andres Ehin
ELM 1/2002
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Can literature save the world? Yes, it is busy with saving-work. It does the work together with allies – other fine arts are the nearest am...

August Gailit

By Jaanus Vaiksoo
ELM 1/2002
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1.    Beauty and uglinessThe literary work of August Gailit (1891-1960) has fascinated readers of different generations throughout the twen...

Estonian literature in latvian in the 1990s

by Maima Grīnberga
ELM 2/2001
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by Maima Grīnberga In terms of the number of active translators, translated Estonian authors and the availability of information, the si...

On Estonian nature writing

By Kadri Tüür
ELM 2/2001
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Timo Maran, Kadri Tüür                                You look at the lake,                         and the lake looks at you through      ...

Soovinirs

By Harvey Hix
ELM 2/2000
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Rather than narrating my encounters with Estonia according to some contrived plot, or explicating them in subordination to a thesis to ...

Literaturexpress

by Karl-Martin Sinijärv
ELM 2/2000
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 4 June - 16 July 20001 continent + 100 writers + 43 countries + 98 languages + 44 days + 7000 kilometres by railway + 8 trains + 11 passed...

Estonian science-fiction

By Raul Sulbi
ELM 2/2000
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It is rather difficult to maintain that ‘science fiction’ existed in Estonian writing before 1990, and almost equally difficult to claim th...

Estonian literature in the 1920s and 1930s

By Marin Laak
ELM 2/2000
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At the beginning of the 19th century, at the peak of Romanticism, K.-J. Peterson (1801-1822), one of the first known poets of Estonian orig...

Gathering the flowers

By Mati Sirkel
ELM 1/2000
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I think the time has come to say a few words about poetry anthologies in translation. There are already enough to draw some conclusions. Be...

Estonian prose 1998

By Mihkel Nummert
ELM 2/1999
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Imaginary TriangleA.A. So…an overview of Estonian prose for ‘Estonian Literature Magazine’. It probably goes without saying that the no...

Estonian poetry 1998. Fashions and figures

By Hasso Krull
ELM 2/1999
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During the seventies and the eighties the annual review of poetry in the literary magazine Looming was an important and influential institu...

A lesson of harmony

By Doris Kareva
ELM 2/1999
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As a child of four or five, I used to long for paints and paper, so that I could draw to my heart’s content. My father gave me a piece ...

The presence of Baltic literatures in Spain

By Albert Lázaro Tinaut
ELM 1/1999
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From the coasts of the Mediterranean, the Baltic world appears to be as unknown, distant and exotic as the Fergana Valley, the mosques ...

The goat and the storks

By Jean-Luc Moreau
1/1999
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On reaching the age of reason I learned two things. Firstly, that there was no such thing as Father Christmas; and secondly, that there was...

Eduard Vilde

By Toomas Haug
1/1999
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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...