Minna Canth

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Minna Canth
BirthplaceTampere, Finland
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Canth, Minna


(pseudonym of Ulrika Vilhelmina Canth, neé Johnsson). Born Mar. 19, 1844, in Tampere; died May 12, 1897, in Kuopio. Finnish writer. Daughter of a merchant.

Canth’s first works, which describe life in the Finnish countryside, include Short Stories (1878) and the plays Burglary (1882) and In Roinilan’s House (1883). In her play The Laborer’s Wife (1885; translated into Russian as Khomsantu, 1960) and short stories (such as “Poor Folk,” 1886), the disfranchisement and misery of Finnish workers and their growing discontent with exploitation were portrayed realistically. In the drama Children of a Cruel Lot (1888), a hero who is a rebel was presented for the first time in Finnish literature. In short stories (such as “Hanna,” 1886) and the play Sylvi (1893; Russian translation, 1960), Canth exposed bourgeois morality and rearing and defended equal rights for women. In the 1890’s the urgency of social problems in Canth’s works gave way to a moralizing, conciliatory tendency (The Preacher’s Family, 1891; Anna Liisa, 1895).


Kootut teokset, vols. 1–4. Helsinki, 1925–28.
Valitut teokset. Helsinki, 1957.


[“Dramaturgiia M. Kant.”] In Karkhu, E. G. Finliandskaia literatura i Rossiia, 1850–1900.Moscow-Leningrad, 1964.
Frenckell-Theslleff, G. Minna Canth.Helsinki, 1944.
Tarkiainen, V., and E. Kauppinen. Suomalaisen kirjallisuuden historia. Helsinki, 1961.
Kannila, H. Minna Canthin kirjallinen tuotanto: Henkilöbibliografia. [Helsinki, 1967.]


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
THE HISTORY OF NORDIC WOMEN'S LITERATURE (www.nordicwomensliterature.net) "is a trilingual web site in Danish, Swedish, and English, which for the first time makes a thousand years of women's literary history in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland, and the Aland Islands freely available online.--The site aims to be useful to all with a general interest in literature, as well as to students, teachers, scholars, journalists, librarians, and others with a professional interest in Nordic literature." Well, it has certainly piqued this readers general interest: Now, excuse me while I go learn more about Nobel-winning Swede Selma Lagerlof and Finnish writer Minna Canth.
The leading woman writer in Finland in the 1880 s and 1890 s was Minna Canth (1844-1897).
As for Finnish-language theatre, it is sad to think that the dramas of Kivi, Minna Canth, Mafia Jotuni, and Paavo Haavikko (and an unusually vigorous theatrical culture) have been cast into limbo, as has the whole small but telling corpus of Icelandic drama.