Johan Ludvig Runeberg

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Johan Ludvig Runeberg
Birthday
BirthplaceJakobstad, Kingdom of Sweden
Died

Runeberg, Johan Ludvig

 

Born Feb. 5, 1804, in Pietarsaari; died May 6, 1877, in Porvoo. Finnish-Swedish poet.

Runeberg wrote in Swedish, but most of his works were translated into Finnish during his lifetime. The son of a sea captain, he earned a degree of master of philosophy. From 1832 to 1837 he was an editor of the newspaper Helsingfors Morgonblad.

Runeberg founded the Runeberg school of poetry and had an important influence on Finnish poetry. His first collection, Poems, was published in 1830. The narrative poem The Elk Hunters (1832) was the first work of Swedish literature to describe peasant life. In 1833, Runeberg published his second collection, Poems, and in 1843 a third collection with the same title, permeated with religious mysticism. The heroine of the romantic narrative poem Nadezhda (1841; Russian translation, 1841) was a Russian serf girl who became a princess.

Many of Runeberg’s poems idealized the patriarchal feudal system. He wrote the collection of poems about the Russo-Swedish War of 1808–09 The Tales of Ensign Stål (vols. 1–2, 1848–60). One of these poems, “Our Land,” became the Finnish national anthem. Runeberg’s last work ws a classical tragedy, The Kings of Salamis (1863). Several of his works were translated into Russian by A. A. Blok and V. Ia. Briusov.

WORKS

Runoteokset, vols. 1–2. Porvoo-Helsinki [1948].
Samlade skrifter, vols. 1–4, 6, 8–13, 17, 18. Stockholm-Helsinki, 1933–73. (Publication of Swedish-language edition in progress.)

REFERENCES

Grot, Ia. K. “Znakomstvo s Runebergom.” In his book Trudy, vol. 1. St. Petersburg, 1898.
Karhu, E. G. Finliandskaia literatura i Rossiia: 1800–1850. Tallinn, 1962.
Viljanen, L. Runeberg ja hänen runoutensa, vols. 1–2. Porvoo-Helsinki, 1944–48.
Maailman kirjatja kirjailijat. Helsinki, 1957.
Mårtensen, G. Friaren från landet och andra essäer. [Helsinki, 1967.]

I. IU. MARTSINA