(most frequent pseudonym of Algoth Untola Tietäväinen; other pseudonyms: Irmari Rantamala and J. I. Vatanen). Born Nov. 28, 1868, in Tohmajärvi, West Karelia; died May 21, 1918, in Helsinki. Finnish writer.
Lassila graduated from a teachers’ seminary. He lived in St. Petersburg (1900–04) and became close to representatives of the Russian liberation movement, which was reflected in his autobiographical novel, Harhama (1909). In his humorous novella Matchsticks (1910; Russian translation, 1951), Lassila emerged as a satirist of realistic orientation. His novellas and comedies (including When Widowers Fall in Love, 1911, and Children of Nature, 1912) are primarily set in a rural milieu, and strongly emphasize the petit bourgeois aspects of peasant psychology. The novellas The Genius (1915) and Resurrected (1916) attacked bourgeois society as a whole.
Lassila wrote for the workers’ newspaper Työmies during 1916–18. His revolutionary publicistic writings expressed deep faith in the victory of socialism. He was shot down by Finnish White Guards.
WORKSTotuuden nimessä. Helsinki, 1948.
Valitut teokset. Helsinki, 1954.
In Russian translation:
Za spichkami …Introduction by E. Karkhu. Petrozavodsk, 1969.
“Pirttipokh’ia i ee obitateli.” Finskie povesti XIX-XX vv. Leningrad, 1970.
REFERENCESKarkhu, E. “Put’ k revoliutsii (Uroki Maiiu Lassila).” Inostrannaia literatura, 1968, no. 12.
Karkhu, E. Ocherki finskoi literatury nachala XX veka. Moscow-Leningrad, 1972.
Erho, E. Maiju Lassila. Turku, 1957. (Bibliography, pp. 169–73.)
E. G. KARKHU