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Novels, Histories, Novel Nations

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Book Series: Studia Fennica Historica ISBN: 9789522226297 9789522227461 9789522227607 Year: Pages: 345 DOI: 10.21435/sfh.19 Language: English
Publisher: Finnish Literature Society / SKS Grant: Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation and SKS
Subject: Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2018-01-09 11:01:57
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"This volume addresses the prominent, and in many ways highly similar, role that historical fiction has played in the formation of the two neighbouring ‘young nations’, Finland and Estonia. It gives a multi-sided overview of the function of the historical novel during different periods of Finnish and Estonian history from the 1800s until the present day, and it provides detailed close-readings of selected authors and literary trends in their social, political and cultural contexts. This book addresses nineteenth-century ‘fictional foundations’, historical fiction of the new nation states in the interwar period as well as post-Second World War Soviet Estonian novels and modern historiographic metafiction. The overall focus is on traditions of writing rather than on isolated highpoints, on chains of transnational influences and on narrative elements that recur both synchronically and diachronically. The volume shows historical fiction prefigured many narratives, tropes, heroes and events that academic history writing later adopted. The comparison of the two literary traditions also opens up a much broader view of how historical novels narrate the nation. While existing explorations of historical fiction have mostly been written from the perspective of the old and great nations, this book shows that the traditions of the young nations ‘without history’ often challenge many mainstream views on the genre."

Spreading the Written Word: Mikael Agricola and the Birth of Literary Finnish

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Book Series: Studia Fennica Linguistica ISBN: 9789522226747 9789522227553 9789522227546 Year: Pages: 195 DOI: 10.21435/sflin.19 Language: English
Publisher: Finnish Literature Society / SKS Grant: Helsinki University Library and SKS
Subject: History --- Linguistics
Added to DOAB on : 2016-09-27 11:01:55
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"The Protestant Reformation began in Germany in 1517, and the adoption of Lutheranism was the decisive impetus for literary development in Finland. As the Reformation required the use of the vernacular in services and ecclesiastical ceremonies, new manuals and biblical translations were needed urgently. The first Finnish books were produced by Mikael Agricola. He was born an ordinary son of a farmer, but his dedication to his studies opened up the road to leading roles in the Finnish Church. He was able to bring a total of nine works in Finnish to print, which became the foundation of literary Finnish. 

The first chapter outlines the historical background necessary to understand the life’s work of Mikael Agricola. The second chapter describes Agricola’s life. Chapter three presents the Finnish works published by Agricola. The fourth chapter is a depiction of Agricola’s Finnish. Agricola carried out his life’s work as part of a network of influential connections, which is described in chapter five. The sixth chapter examines the importance of Agricola’s work, research on Agricola and Agricola’s role in contemporary Finnish culture. The book mainly focuses on language and cultural history, but in terms of Church history, it also provides a review on the progression and arrival of the Reformation to Finland.

Finnish is a Uralic language but the source languages of Agricola’s translations – Latin, German, Swedish and Greek – were all Indo-European languages. Thus, the oldest Finnish texts were strongly influenced by foreign elements and structures. Some of those features were later eliminated whereas others became essential constituents of standard Finnish. To illustrate this development, the Finnish in Agricola’s works has systematically been compared with the standard contemporary language."

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2015 (2)