Linna, Väinö Valtteri

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Linna, Väinö Valtteri


Born Dec. 20, 1920, in the village of Urjala. Finnish writer. Son of a butcher.

Linna went to work at the age of 14 as a farmhand, lumberjack, and factory worker. In his first, largely autobiographical novel, The Goal (1947), and in the novel Dark Love (1948) the influence of modernist aesthetics is evident. In subsequent novels Linna strove to create developed realistic pictures. The novel The Unknown Soldier (1954) tells about Finnish soldiers in World War II. The trilogy Here, Under the North Star (1959–62; Russian translation, parts 1–2, 1963–66) is an epic tale about the historical fate of the Finnish torppari (landless tenant peasants). Linna described the awakening and development of social consciousness in the popular masses, the class struggle, the revolutionary events of 1918 in Finland, the moral staunchness of the Finnish revolutionaries, the orgy of reactionism in the country, and the increasing fascist leanings of the Finnish bourgeoisie during the 1920’s and 1930’s, as well as events of World War II and the postwar years. In his publicistic writings, Linna opposed modernism in art.


Karkhu, E. “Pisatel’ i sud’by naroda.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1964, no. 3.
Maailman kirjat ja kirjailijat. Edited by T. Anhava. Helsinki, 1957.
Stormbom, N. B. Väinö Linna, [2 vols.]. Porvoo-Helsinki [1963].


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.