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8 June 2015 | This 'n' that

F. E. Sillanpää

F.E. Sillanpää in his home receives the news that he has been awarded with the Nobel prize in literature in 1939.

This week, a short story from Finland’s one and only Nobel laureate, F.E. Sillanpää

Time has largely forgotten Frans Emil Sillanpää (1888-1964), but in the interwar years of the last century this complex writer – biologist, realist, mystic and proponent of ‘life-worship’ – was one of the most prominent in Finland. His work, intriguingly archaic and modern at the same time, is well represented by Järvi (‘The lake’, 1915), the short story we publish here.

Finland’s only Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded, perhaps not coincidentally, in the fateful year of 1939, and when Sillanpää travelled to Stockholm to receive his award, the Soviet Union had already attacked Finland. After the award ceremony, Sillanpää stayed in Sweden to raise funds for his beleaguered country.

Read the short story


The Books from Finland digitisation project continues, with a total of 393 articles and book extracts made available on our website so far. Each week, we bring a newly digitised text to your attention.


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