Gustav Suits

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Suits, Gustav


Born Nov. 18 (30), 1883, in the volost (small rural district) of Kastre-Vōnnu, now Tartu Raion; died May 23, 1956, in Stockholm. Estonian poet and literary scholar.

Suits graduated from the University of Helsinki in 1910. Between 1917 and 1919 he was a political activist and member of the Socialist Revolutionary Party. From 1921 to 1944 he was a professor at the University of Tartu. Suits was a vocal opponent of fascism. He emigrated to Finland in 1944 and then to Sweden.

Suits was first published in 1899. He was a founder and leader of the literary group Noor-Esti (Young Estonia). Suits’ innovative verse, collected in Fire of Life (1905), Land of Winds (1913), and All a Dream (1922), marked a new stage in the development of Estonian poetry. The last collection of his poetry, Fire and Wind (1950), which was published in Stockholm, reflects the hopelessness of life in a foreign country and shows evidence of anti-Soviet émigré influences. In the field of literary scholarship, Suits specialized in the study of early Estonian literature; his History of Estonian Literature was published in 1953.


Luuletused. Tallinn, 1959.
In Russian translation:
Isbr. stikhotvoreniia, 1900–1930. Tartu, 1935.


Sögel, E. “Gustav Suitsu elu ja luuletajateest.” In his book Kirjandusloo lehekülgedelt. Tallinn, 1963.
Thauvón-Suits, A. Gustav Suitsu noorus. [Lund, 1964.]
References in periodicals archive ?
In the first decade of the new century, the "Young Estonia" literary movement, headed by the poet Gustav Suits (1883 1956), manifested the intention of the Estonian literati to abandon the German models.
The concordant effect may too often resemble Robert Frost, which makes some of the poems by Gustav Suits and Marie Under sound suspiciously alike.
The English translations, representing the same poets, Gustav Suits, Marie Under, Heiti Talvik, Betti Alver, Uku Masing, and Aleksis Rannit, with the exclusion of two others, were done at some period in the 1960s while Oras was living in exile and working at foreign universities.