Karl Ernst Siargava

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Siargava, Karl Ernst


(Karl Ernst Särgava; before 1935, Karl Ernst Peterson). Born Apr. 17 (29), 1868, in Vändra, now in Pärnu Raion; died Apr. 12, 1958, in Tallinn. Soviet Estonian writer. People’s Writer of the Estonian SSR (1957).

Särgava graduated from the Tartu Teacher-training School in 1889 and became a teacher. He began publishing in 1890. His cycle of short stories Ulcers (vols. 1–3, 1899–1901) depicted the life of the Estonian countryside. Särgava became a prominent exponent of Estonian critical realism. His novella The Enlightener (1904), devoted to the rural intelligentsia, revealed the failure of the educational program carried out during the political reaction of the late 19th century.

After the Revolution of 1905–07, Särgava did not appear in print for a number of years. He later published the drama The Fern Flower (1920) and the comedy The New Minister (1922). In the last decades of his life he wrote the historical novel Let’s Go to the City to Register, to Lighten Our Lives (vols. 1–2; published 1968).


Kogutud teosed, vols. 1–3. Tartu, 1938.
Teodsed, vols. 1–2. Tallinn, 1952–53.
In Russian translation:
Pomogite! i drugie rasskazy. Tallinn, 1963.


Alekörs, R. “O tvorchestve Ernesta Siargava-Petersona.” In the collection Ob estonskoi literature. Tallinn, 1956.
Alekörs, A. E. Peterson-Särgava. Tallinn, 1963.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.