Aleksis Kivi

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Aleksis Kivi
BirthplaceNurmijärvi, Finland

Kivi, Aleksis


(pseudonym; real surname, Stenvall). Born Oct. 10, 1834, in Nurmijärvi; died Dec. 31, 1872, in Tuusula. Finnish author.

The son of a village tailor, Kivi studied at the University of Helsinki. His first work, a romantic tragedy entitled Kullervo (1860; published in revised form in 1864), is about a rebel slave, one of the heroes of the national epic Kalevala. Kivi’s comedies The Nummi Shoemakers (1864; Russian translation, 1957, as Cobblers of the Heath) and The Betrothal (1866; Russian translation, 1960), and especially his novel Seven Brothers (1870; Russian translation, 1935), show features of realism. Seven Brothers depicts the Finnish countryside at the time of the coming of capitalism. Kivi also wrote romantic tragedies based on life in the middle and upper circles of Finnish society, such as The Fugitives (1867), Canzio (1868; staged in 1872), and the plays Lea (1869) and Leo and Liina (1877–78), which contain a measure of abstract religion and didacticism. Kivi is the author of a poetry collection entitled Kanervala (1866), which includes both lyrical romantic verse and verses of everyday life.


Kootut teokset, vols. 1–4. Helsinki, 1915–19.


[Tvorchestvo A. Kivi.] In the book Finliandskaia literatura i Rossiia, 1850–1900, by. E. G. Karkhu. Moscow-Leningrad, 1964. Pages 85–122.
Viljanen, L. Aleksis Kiven runomaailma. Porvoo, 1953.
Kinnunen, A. Aleksis Kiven näytelmät. Porvoo-Helsinki [1967]. (Bibliography, pp. 309–15.)