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Thread: Eeva Kilpi

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Glasgow, UK

    Finland Eeva Kilpi

    I found Eeva Kilpi's name on the Ladbroke's list for the Nobel and, while she's a 100/1 shot, I thought we could do with a thread on her. Why not?

    There's no English wiki page on her, so I'll quote a bit from the profile on WSOY:
    Over a career spanning forty years, Eva Kilpi (b. 1927) has focused on depicting female emotion and the histories of Karelian families. She lived her childhood in Karelia and, like thousands of other Finns, was forced to flee to Finland when the Soviet Union seized the area at the close of the second world war.

    Kilpi's traumatizing move from Karelia to Finland, from the countryside to the city, left its mark on her early work, in which a childhood idyll is often contrasted with a sense of alienation and pointlessness in urban life. She subsequently shifted her focus increasingly to the problems experienced by a women striving for independence in a world dominated by men and money. Her feminism, if it may be called that, is neither theoretical nor programmed but empathetic and practically oriented. Throughout her work she has placed special emphasis on a theme scorned by many writers - ordinary life, its joys and sorrows.
    Only one novel - Tamara - seems to have appeared in English translation, and that was over thirty years ago.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: Eeva Kilpi

    Apart from her feminism and examination of women's rights, there is her Karelian background, as the WSOY website mentions. The battle for, and loss of, Southern Karelia is one of the great Finnish traumas of WWII, alongside the bitter disputes between Reds and Whites at various times in Finnish history.

    What is interesting is the order of Kilpi's book themes. "Tamara" was a novel involving sex from a woman's point of view. Only later does Kilpi seem to have started examining her lost idyll of Karelia in books such as "Evacuee for Life" and her books about her childhood and the Winter War.

    Even if she is only 100/1 as a Nobel winner, I do hope that the publicity she has been given via Nobel speculation will draw people's attention to her and the land that Finland lost to the Russians at the end of WWII. Several key Finnish authors came from that part of the world, depicted it, or lived there, such as the poets Eeva-Liisa Manner, Elmer Diktonius, Rabbe Enckell, and other authors such as Tito Colliander, Paavo Rintala, Benedict Zilliacus, Edith S?dergran, Hagar Olsson, Ralf & Oscar Parland, Gunnar Bj?rling and Eva Wichman. Even the major Swedish Modernist poet (i.e. from Sweden) Gunnar Ekel?f visited other writers in the area.

    The Karelian isthmus was one of the places where Swedish-language Modernism started. This was on account of the cosmopolitan upbringing of many people in the Karelian isthmus, South Karelia and the city of Viborg, people who often knew four languages: Finnish, Swedish, Russian and German and thus had access to a wide range of European influences.

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