Chapter 2 In Kainuu as in Colorado – Receptions and Appropriations of Beat Literature in Finland in the 1960s

In: Beat Literature in a Divided Europe
Author:
Harri Veivo
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Abstract

The Finnish public was introduced to Beat literature at the end of the 1950s. The movement continued to attract wide-ranging interest throughout the decade that followed, influencing the development of Finnish poetry and the evolution of personal morality in Finnish society. This chapter discusses the different contexts in which American Beat authors were discussed and translated and shows how Finnish authors positioned themselves in relation to the movement and to the literary and real-life role models it embodied. It shows how debates about Beat were motivated more by tensions within Finnish culture and society and by the evolving media landscape in the country than by the literature itself. While the restless 1960s and two of that decade’s prominent literary figures – Anselm Hollo and Pekka Kejonen – are the focal points of the analysis, the chapter traces the enduring presence of Beat literature up to the present.

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