Leino, Eino

   A Finnish poet, novelist, and dramatist, Leino did for Finnish poetry what Aleksis Kivi had done for the Finnish novel. Highly gifted and very productive, Leino showed that the Finnish language had the resources that were needed to create great poetry in it. Leino stands as the originator of Finnish poetry, and his influence has been acknowledged by all of his successors. Leino was also a skilled translator and wrote enduring essays about Finnish literature.
   Leino grew up in a middle-class family in northeastern Finland, close to Karelia. He received a good education and published his first poetry collection, Maaliskuun lauluja (1896; March Songs), at the age of 18. Of his nearly 30 collections of poetry, Helkavirsia I (1903; tr. Whitsongs, 1978) is generally thought to be his finest; the long epic ballads are connected to the Kalevala tradition both thematically and formally. A companion volume, Helkavirsia II (1916; Whitsongs), is reflective of the pessimistic mood during World War I.
   Leino wrote poems about all manner of subjects, from such universal topics as nature and love to the current events of his day. He also wrote several novels, but they are considered much inferior to his poetry. PaivaHelsingissa (1905; A Day in Helsinki) is a satirical treatment of contemporary issues. The presentation of contemporary life is also the strength of a series of novels: Tuomas Vitikka (1906), Jaana Ronty (1907), and Olli Suurpaa (1908). A series of plays in six parts bears the title Naamioita (1905-1911; Masks).

Historical Dictionary of Scandinavian Literature and Theater. . 2006.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Eino Leino (wrestler) — Eino Leino (April 7, 1891 ndash; November 30, 1986) was a Finnish freestyle wrestler and Olympic champion.He received a gold medal at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, [http://www.databaseolympics.com/games/gamessport.htm?g=7 sp=WRE 1920… …   Wikipedia

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