Runeberg, Johan Ludvig

(1804-1877)
   A Finland-Swedish poet, short story writer, and playwright, Runeberg has traditionally been regarded as the most important writer in Finnish literary history. His significance for the Finnish nation-building project of the 19th century cannot be overestimated, and the image of Finland found in his works continues to inform the self-image of his people. After studies in Abo and Helsinki, Runeberg spent some time as a tutor in the interior of Finland and became well acquainted with its Finnish-speaking peasant population. Later he worked as a newspaper critic in Helsinki. His literary debut was the poetry collection Dikter (1830; Poems), which was followed by two more volumes of poetry, Dikter: Andra haftet (1833; Poems: Second Issue) and Dikter:Tredje haftet (Poems: Third Issue). These volumes contain some of his best-known lyric poetry as well as poems that strongly express his nationalistic ideals.
   Runeberg is even better known for his epic poetry. Elgskyttarne (1832; The Moose Hunters) draws on his stay in the interior of Finland and depicts the sturdiness ofits people in hexameters. Other epic poems are Hanna (1836) and Julqvallen (1841; Christmas Eve); the latter celebrates the self-sufficiency and courage in the face of adversity of an old soldier. In Kung Fjalar (1844; tr. King Fjalar, 1904) Runeberg taps into the common Old Norse heritage of Scandinavia and further expresses his national romanticism. Fjalar tries to stay the hand of fate but discovers that fate has already anticipated his futile attempt, thereby foiling it. Man s strength, however, is measured by his willingness to stand up to overwhelming forces.
   The two-volume Fänrik Stals sagner (1848-1860; tr. The Tales by Ensign Staål, 1925) probably contains Runeberg s greatest literary legacy. A collection oflong ballads, the work tells about events associated with the war of 1808-1809, through which Finland was lost by Sweden and became a Russian grand duchy. The patriotic feeling of these songs is unsurpassed, and the introductory ballad has long been Finland s national anthem.
   Runeberg is not a great dramatist. One play bears mention, however. Kungarne paå Salamis (1863; The Kings of Salamis) is set in Greek antiquity and is, like Kung Fjalar, a story about man's opposition to his fate.

Historical Dictionary of Scandinavian Literature and Theater. . 2006.

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  • Runeberg, Johan Ludvig — born Feb. 5, 1804, Jakobstad, Swedish Finland died May 6, 1877, Borgå, Russian Finland Finnish poet who wrote in Swedish. During an interruption in his academic career, he became a tutor at a country estate, where he encountered Finland s… …   Universalium

  • Runeberg, Johan Ludvig — (5 feb. 1804, Jakobstad, Finlandia sueca–6 may. 1877, Borgå, Finlandia rusa). Poeta finlandés que escribió en sueco. Durante una interrupción de su carrera académica, mientras trabajaba como profesor particular en el campo, se encontró con el… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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  • Johan Ludvig Runeberg — Nombre completo Johan Ludvig Runeberg Nacimiento …   Wikipedia Español

  • Johan Ludvig Runeberg — Naissance 5 février 1804 Jakobstad Décès 6 mai 1877 (à 73 ans) Porvoo Nati …   Wikipédia en Français

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  • Johan Ludvig Runeberg — Johan Ludvig Runeberg, poeta finlandés, nació el 5 de febrero de 1804 en Pietarsaari y falleció el 6 de mayo de 1877 en Porvoo, es el poeta nacional de Finlandia y uno de los más importantes poetas de toda Escandinavia. El día de su nacimiento,… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Johan Ludvig Runeberg — Infobox Person name = Johan Ludvig Runeberg image size = 248px caption = Johan Ludvig Runeberg (portrait by C. P. Mazer) birth date = birth date|1804|2|5|mf=y birth place = Jakobstad, Finland death date = Death date and age|1877|5|6|1804|2|5… …   Wikipedia

  • Johan — (as used in expressions) Johan Jonaton Björling Karl Johan Huizinga Johan Ibsen Henrik Johan Johan Maurits van Nassau Oldenbarnevelt Johan van Runeberg Johan Ludvig Johan Julius Christian Sibelius Strindberg Johan August * * * …   Universalium

  • Johan — (as used in expressions) Johan Jonaton Björling Karl Johan Huizinga, Johan Ibsen, Henrik (Johan) Johan Maurits van Nassau Oldenbarnevelt, Johan van Runeberg, Johan Ludvig Johan Julius Christian Sibelius Strindberg, (Johan) August …   Enciclopedia Universal

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