Paavo Haavikko (January 25, 1931 - October 06, 2008)
Born: 25th January, 1931
Died: 6th October, 2008
Nationality: Finnish author
Region: Helsinki, Finland
Notable works: "Tuulioina", "Yksityisia asioita", "Tiet etaisyyksiin"

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Biography

Paavo Haavikko, (born Jan. 25, 1931, Helsinki, Fin.--died Oct. 6, 2008, Helsinki), Finnish humanist poet, novelist, and dramatist whose work is modernistic, experimental, and linguistically innovative.

With his first collection of poems, Tiet etaisyyksiin (1951; "The Roads That Lead Far Away"), Haavikko demonstrated a rare command of rhythm and image in his virtuoso handling of the language. In his next collection, Tuulioina (1953; "In Windy Nights"), he used the wind as the central metaphor for contemporary anxiety and alienation, and in Synnyinmaa (1955; "Fatherland") and Lehdet lehtia (1958; "Leaves Are Leaves") he explores the creative process and finds it is the task of the poet to interpret humankind's common suffering. His discussion of the art of poetry continues in the complex poems of Talvipalatsi (1959; The Winter Palace).

In the 1960s Haavikko turned away from the expression of aesthetic concerns and began to incorporate social criticism into his novels and plays. In Yksityisia asioita (1960; "Private Matters"), he castigates the prevailing mentality during the civil war (1918) in Finland. His collected short stories, Lasi Claudius Civiliksen salaliittolaisten poydalla (1964; "The Glass on the Table of the Claudii Civilii Conspirators"), constitute an important social document with stylistic links to the contemporary French nouveau roman (antinovel), and his collected stage works, Naytelmat (1978; "Plays"), lean toward the theatre of the absurd. His later works include Ikuisen rauhan aika (1981; "Era of Eternal Peace"), Viisi pienta draamallista tekstia (1981; "Five Small Dramatic Texts"), and Rauta-aika (1982; "Iron Age").

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