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Book Title: Seven Brothers|
The author of the book: Aleksis Kivi
Edition: Aspasia Books
Date of issue: 2005
ISBN 13: 9780973716528
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 367 KB
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Reader ratings: 3.8
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Along with The Kalevala, Aleksis Kivi's Seven Brothers is Finland's most celebrated literary treasure. The crowning accomplishment of Finland's first literary genius, Seven Brothers remains "the greatest Finnish novel of all time", the classic among the classics in Finnish literature. Published in 1870, in the author's 36th year and two years before his untimely death, Seven Brothers laid the foundation for what Kai Laitinen later called "The Great Tradition in Finnish Prose". This tradition is characterized by realism, humor, respect for the common people, and depiction of nature as both friend and foe. Received at the time of publication by uncomprehending arbiters of literary taste, who still delighted in romantic approaches to literature, Seven Brothers fared poorly in early reviews. Posterity, however, has resurrected the reputation of Aleksis Kivi, and critics, scholars, and readers at large continue to praise the virtues of this trail-blazing, exceedingly rich novel. Richard Impola's superb English translation captures the brothers' rustic milieu and the exceptional dynamics of Kivi's creative style and artistic conception.
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Read information about the authorAleksis Kivi (born Alexis Stenvall) was a Finnish author who wrote the first significant novel in the Finnish language, Seven Brothers (orig. Seitsemän veljestä). Although Kivi was among the very earliest authors of prose and lyrics in Finnish language, he is still considered one of the greatest of them all.
Aleksis Kivi was born at Nurmijärvi, Finland, into a tailor's family. In 1846 he left for school in Helsinki, and in 1859 he was accepted into the University of Helsinki, where he studied literature and developed an interest in the theater. His first play was Kullervo, based on a tragic tale from the Kalevala.
From 1863 onwards, Kivi devoted his time to writing. He wrote 12 plays and a collection of poetry. The novel Seven Brothers took him ten years to write. Literary critics, especially the prominent August Ahlqvist, disapproved of the book, at least nominally because of its "rudeness" – Romanticism was in its forte at the time – but maybe also because it was written in the southwestern dialect of Finnish, while Ahlqvist himself preferred the northeastern dialects of his homelands. The Fennomans also disapproved of its depiction of not-so-virtuous rural life that was far from their idealized point of view, and his excessive drinking may have alienated some.
In 1865 Kivi won the State Prize for his still often performed comedy Nummisuutarit (transl. Heath Cobblers). However, the less than enthusiastic reception of his books was taking its toll and he was already drinking heavily. His main benefactor Charlotta Lönnqvist could not help him after the 1860s. Physical deterioration and the development of schizophrenia (suspectedly caused by advanced borreliosis) set in, and Kivi died in poverty at the age of 38.
In 1995-1996, Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara wrote an opera about Kivi's life and works. In 2002 director Jari Halonen's movie The Life of Aleksis Kivi (orig. Aleksis Kiven elämä) premiered in Finnish cinemas.
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