Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Living memory

Juhani Salokannel 's biography of Jaan Kross (Sivistystahto, WSOY, 2008) has been translated into Estonian by Piret Saluri, and on Monday the translation was launched in Tallinn at a ceremony attended by Kross's widow Ellen Niit, other members of Kross's family, and Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, writes Hannu Marttila. In his speech, President Ilves remarked that although the book was written for a readership (i.e. Finns) who had not experienced occupation by a foreign power, it would none the less be instructive for younger Estonians now in their 20s and 30s.

1 comment:

Eric Dickens said...

Yes, David, I intend obtaining that book as well as the second volume of Kross' voluminous memoirs. The first volume alone ("Kallid teekaaslased" - "Dear Fellow-Travellers") is 700 pages long, and the second volume may be similar.

I'm glad that Piret Saluri has translated the book into Estonian, as my reading knowledge Finnish isn't as good (although I helped translate a couple of Finnish pages for Salokannel once when he was working at the Finnnish Institute in Tallinn).

In his Radio Free Europe journalist days, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, a native-speaker of English, translated some poetry by Doris Kareva and maybe others into English. So he knows what literary translation is all about.

Ilves is right about the younger generation. It is now 20 years since the tumult of 1989, the People's Front, the Estonian Congress, the rise of Lennart Meri and so on. So a whole generation of young Estonian people has grown up that has never lived in Soviet reality.