Sillanpää, Frans Eemil


Sillanpää, Frans Eemil
born Sept. 16, 1888, Hämeenkyrö, Fin., Russian Empire
died June 3, 1964, Helsinki, Fin.

Finnish novelist.

The son of a farmer, he studied natural science but returned to the country to write. Shocked by the Finnish civil war of 1918, he produced his most substantial novel, Meek Heritage (1919), relating how a humble cottager becomes involved with the Red Guards. After several collections of short stories in the late 1920s, he published his best-known work, The Maid Silja (1931), about an old peasant family. People in the Summer Night (1934) is his most polished and poetic novel. In 1939 he became the first Finnish writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.

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▪ Finnish author
born Sept. 16, 1888, Hämeenkyrö, Finland, Russian Empire
died June 3, 1964, Helsinki, Fin.
 first Finnish writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature (1939).

      The son of a peasant farmer, Sillanpää began studying natural science but in 1913 returned to the country, married, and began to write. His first short stories were published in journals in 1915. From 1924 to 1927 he worked for a publishing company in Porvoo. A new creative period followed in the early 1930s, when he wrote several of his best works.

      Sillanpää's first novel, Elämä ja aurinko (1916; “Life and the Sun”), the story of a young man who returns home in midsummer and falls in love, is characteristic. People are seen as essentially part of nature. Instinct, through which life's hidden purpose is revealed, rules human actions.

      Shocked by the Finnish civil war of 1918, Sillanpää wrote his most substantial novel, Hurskas kurjuus (1919; Meek Heritage), describing how a humble cottager becomes involved with the Red Guards without clearly realizing the ideological implications. The novelette Hiltu ja Ragnar (1923) is the tragic love story of a city boy and a country servant-girl. After several collections of short stories in the late 1920s, Sillanpää published his best-known, though not his most perfect, work, Nuorena nukkunut (1931; Fallen Asleep While Young, or The Maid Silja), a story of an old peasant family. Realistic and lyric elements are blended in Miehen tie (1932; Way of a Man), which describes a young farmer's growth to maturity. Ihmiset suviyössä (1934; People in the Summer Night) is stylistically his most finished and poetic novel. His reminiscences, Poika eli elämäänsa (1953; “Telling and Describing”) and Päivä korkeimmillaan (1956; “The High Moment of the Day”), throw new light on him as a writer.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Sillanpää,Frans Eemil — Sil·lan·pää (sĭlʹən pă ), Frans Eemil. 1888 1964. Finnish writer whose novels include Meek Heritage (1919) and The Maid Silja (1931). He won the 1939 Nobel Prize for literature. * * * …   Universalium

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