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Juhani Aho i Sverige: Pressmottagande och Nobelpriskandidatur
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Baltic Languages, Finnish and German, Finnish.
2008 (Swedish)Book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The novelist and short-story writer Juhani Aho (1861–1921) was highly renowned in Finland at the turn of the 20th century  and was often considered an author of national importance during the early 1900s. A significant part of his literary works were translated into Swedish, and the Swedish newspapers quite frequently published reviews of these translations. The first part of this study deals with the views expressed by critics in Swedish newspapers from the 1880s to the time of Aho’s death at the beginning of the 1920s. Analysis of these reviews shows that works depicting Finns in rural settings as poor, quiet and hardworking were highly acclaimed, whereas urban stories with a cosmopolitan content were judged to be strange, surprising and not very good literature. The critics’ views of Aho’s literary world correspond to old Swedish sentiments of Finland and its people.

As documents from the archives of the Swedish Academy reveal, Aho was nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature several times during the early years of the 1900s. It was mainly learned societies and academic institutions in Finland who sent proposals in Aho’s favour to the Academy, although some members of the Swedish Academy also supported Aho’s candidacy. There were several reasons why his candidacy never came close to being seriously considered. Firstly, during the earlier years Aho had to compete with literature from the entire western world as well as its most renowned representatives. Secondly, during the Great War the Nobel Committee advocated a strictly neutral literary policy, which resulted in the exclusion of nominees such as Aho, who had earlier spoken out against Russian oppression in Finland. To this can be added the idiosyncratic views held by leading Academy members concerning the status of Finnish as a cultural language.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Section for Finnish, Stockholm University , 2008. , 117 p.
Stockholm studies in Finnish language and literature, ISSN 0346-7392 ; 12
Keyword [en]
Juhani Aho, reception studies, reception history, reception of translations, Finnish literature
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-30606ISBN: 978-91-971948-4-6OAI: diva2:272997
Available from: 2009-10-19 Created: 2009-10-19 Last updated: 2011-06-30Bibliographically approved

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