Eeva Liisa Manner Biography: Finnish poet



Eeva Liisa Manner

Eeva-Liisa Manner grew up with her maternal grandparents in Viborg on the Karelian Isthmus, after her mother died in childbirth. She went to a Sami school and was evacuated to Helsinki in 1939. Up to 1946, she worked in insurance and publishing, after which she earned a living as a writer, translator, and critic.

Eeva-Liisa Manner’s debut poetry collection Mustaa ja punaista was published in 1944; however, her breakthrough came with TΓ€mΓ€ matka (P) in 1956. Her writing ranges from poems about intimate states of mind and nature to culturally philosophical, political, satirical poems, of which the most important are Niin vaihtuivat vuoden ajat, 1964, Fahrenheit 121, 1968, and Kuolleet vedet, 1977. Her drama and prose works often revolved around the tough and harsh conditions of human lives and women’s lives. She used the forms of myth and the everyday. Her works in this group include Poltettu oranssi (D), 1968, and Varokaa, voittajat (N), 1972.

Existential and linguistically philosophical reflection and a humanist ethic are central elements in her writing. Her style varies; it is sometimes violent, sometimes playfully grotesque, and at other times sensual and sublimely lyrical. In 1994, she published IkΓ€viΓ€ kirjailijoita (E).


100 years since the birth of Eeva-Liisa Manner - wrote plays and translations for the public, but she wrote the poems for herself

 The hundredth anniversary of the birth of author Eeva-Liisa Manneri will be on December 5th. The writer born in Vyborg and settled in Tampere is considered a pioneer of Finnish modernism.

 Born a hundred years ago, Eeva-Liisa Manner's life had a tragic beginning. There was hope that the little premature baby's life would not end immediately after birth. Arvo YlpΓΆ's treatment and the premature birth cabinet at Lastenlinna saved him. Manner's mother died during childbirth, and the child was sent to his grandparents in Vyborg.

 My grandparents believed in strict religious upbringing. Manner didn't get to know his father until he was an adult.

  I had no opinions. They were all in grandma's pocket, said the author later in an interview with Yle.

 Manner and his grandparents were evacuated from Vyborg to Helsinki during the war. He didn't want to go to school, but writing was his passion. Manner's first poetry collection Black and red was published during the Continuation War.


 Eeva-Liisa Manner's breakthrough work is considered to be the third collection of poems This Journey from 1956. It was soon followed by the collection of poetic short stories Walking music for small hippopotamus and other exercises. The reception of these works was laudatory, even ecstatic. Manner became a pioneer of Finnish modernism.

Although poetry made headlines in post-war Finland in a different way than today, a living had to be obtained elsewhere. Manner, who settled in Tampere, worked as a critic and translator.

 Manner translated the texts of more than 150 authors into Finnish. There are Finnish translations from, for example, German, Spanish, English and Swedish. He called translation work the best school for writers and said that the most important thing in work is a good and rich Finnish language.

 - Translation is a struggle. That you can adapt the words and still keep the spirit of the original work. It's like playing chess against yourself, Manner said in an interview with Yle.

 In addition to poems, Eeva-Liisa Manner also wrote plays and plays. They have retained their freshness and fascination well to this day. Continental plays are still performed in Finnish theaters.

 Manner described his relationship with the theater as a love-hate relationship. He found theater work exhausting. It was difficult for him to think about the audience, because he felt that he was writing poems for himself.

  The theater is like a whore. It gives to everyone, Manner said in an interview.

 On the other hand, both writing and translating plays had a taste for life. Among other things, he translated William Shakespeare's plays.

 In the summer, Manner did his work in Tampere and in the countryside near Tampere, in Kangasa and Ruovedi. When we came to the 1960s, he also started spending time in Andalusia, Spain, near the city of MΓ‘laga. The poetry collection Fahrenheit 121, published in 1968, is set in Spanish landscapes. In his opinion, he saw more joy and life in poor Andalusia than in "technological" Finland.

 A novel based on the life of Eeva-Liisa Manner, the Poet's House received the Finlandia Prize in 2004. It was written by Helena Sinervo. In honor of the 100th anniversary, Tamme publishing house has published this year a biography written by Marja-Leena Tuurna and a reprint of Manner's collection of poems Kirjas, smalka, kyrkas.

 Manner died in July 1995, and he is buried in Kalevankankaa cemetery in Tampere.

 Which of Manner's works is significant to you? You can discuss the matter until Monday at 23:00.

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