Born May 15 (27), 1891, in the volost (small rural district) of Kirepi, now in Tartu Raion; died Apr. 3, 1958, in Tartu. Soviet Estonian writer; Honored Writer of the Estonian SSR (1946).
Kärner was the son of a peasant. In 1911–12 he attended the A. L. Shaniavskii People’s University in Moscow. He made his debut as a writer in 1908. His first poetry collection Shadows of Stars was published in 1913. Several of his books were published in the 1920’s, including the poetry collections Songs of Time (1921) and The Harvest Month (1925) and the verse novel Bianca and Ruth (1923).
In the 1930’s, Kärner became known as an antifascist poet. He published a collection of critical reviews, Leaves in the Wind (vols. 1–2, 1924–37), and a novel, Woman From the World of Poverty (1930, 2nd ed., 1954; Russian translation, 1966). During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45 he published his poetry collections By Orders of the Homeland (1943) and Hatred, Only Hatred (1944). Illness forced him to stop writing in 1946. He received the Order of the Badge of Honor.
WORKSValitud teosed, vols. 1–2. Tallinn, 1961–65.
In Russian translation:
Izbrannoe. Introduction by O. Urgart. Tallinn, 1949.
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1961.
REFERENCESUrgart, O. Boevaia poeziia Iaana Kiarnera. In Ob estonskoi literature. Tallinn, 1956.
Ocherk istorii estonskoi sovetskoi literatury. Moscow, 1971. Pages 141–43.