Juhan Liiv

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Liiv, Juhan


Born Apr. 18 (30), 1864, in the volost (small rural district) of Alatskivi, now in Tartu Raion; died Nov. 18 (Dec. 1), 1913, in the volost of Kavastu, now in Tartu Raion. Estonian writer. Son of a poor peasant.

Liiv studied at a church school and became a journalist. His first works were published in 1885. He won fame for his collection Ten Stories (1893) and the novellas The Cuckoo From Kja-kimjaä (1893), The Shed (1894), and The Sorcerer’s Daughter (1895). Liiv emerged in these works as a precursor of Estonian critical realism and an artist with a profound knowledge of contemporary village life. His short pieces are collected in From the Depths of Life (1910), and his verse in Poems (1909). Liiv’s great poetic talent was not fully appreciated until after his death.


Kogutud teosed, vols. 1–8. Tartu, 1921–35.
Luuletused. Tallinn, 1969.
Proosa. Tallinn, 1973.
In Russian translation:
Izbr. stikhotvoreniia. Tallinn, 1933.
Povesti i rasskazy. Tallinn, 1954.
Stikhotvoreniia. Moscow, 1962. (Preface by D. Vaarandi.)


Vinkel, A. “Zhizn’ i tvorchestvo Iukhana Liiva.” In the collection Obestonskoi literature. Tallinn, 1956.
Tuglas, Fr. Juhan Liiv. Tallinn, 1958.
Vinkel, A. Juhan Liiv. Tallinn, 1964.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Hix's recent books include a poetry collection, Rain Inscription (2017), an art/ poetry anthology, Ley Lines (2014), and a translation of selected poems by Estonian peasant poet Juhan Liiv, Snow Drifts, I Sing (2013), translated in collaboration with Juri Talvet.
Kreutzwald (1803-1882) and the lyrical-philosophic poetry by Juhan Liiv (1864-1913).
Hix) (5) Juhan Liiv spent his life in elementary poverty and was sporadically troubled since 1893 by mental illness (a kind of schizophrenia).
(10) Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald, Lydia Koidula and Juhan Liiv, on the one hand, and Gustav Suits, Villem Ridala and Henrik Visnapuu on the other hand.
In Juhan Liiv's trochee the dissimilation between the second and the third duration is more complicated.
Of the Estonian poets, the most significant influence on Talvet's poetry comes from the terse, intimate style of Juhan Liiv (1864-1913), the realization of whose weighty message Talvet has helped to spread internationally.
Juhan Liiv (1864 - 1913), a major Estonian lyrical poet and thinker whose work after a long delay has recently been introduced in English translation, wrote a poem in which he claimed that translation--"a coffin", as he called it--breaks down the imaginative force of a young nation and suffocates its creative capacity.
Hix) Juhan Liiv's patriotic poetry is much subtler than the fatherland-poems written by Lydia Koidula.
In 1966 the Juhan Liiv Poetry Prize was established.
Supplied with Harris's foreword, the anthology consists of samples from folk poetry and Kalevipoeg, the leading poetic figures of the first national awakening (Lydia Koidula, 1843 1886, Karl Eduard Soot, 1862 1950), through the solitary Juhan Liiv (1864 1913) and the orientally meditative Ernst Enno (1875 1934) to representatives of the first (Gustav Suits, Marie Under, Henrik Visnapuu) and second generations (Heiti Talvik, Betti Alver, Bernard Kangro) of the Western-oriented currents of poetry, concluding with the promising new diction of Arved Viirlaid.
In 1953, a comprehensive Anthology of Modern Estonian Poetry, from the poems of Juhan Liiv to those of the contemporary young Estonian poets in Western exile, was issued by the University of Florida Press, in Gainesville, USA.
In his book he discusses the work of Sven Kivisildnik (one of the most polemical and scandalizing figures in contemporary Estonian poetry, a writer whom Krull defines as "counterrevolutionary"), Juhan Liiv (whose "marginality," despite his generally classical aura, Krull stresses), Uku Masing, Jaan Kaplinski, Mati Unt, and Aleksander Suumann.