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Harri Veivo

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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Series:

Harri Veivo

Abstract

The article discusses Finnish avant-garde and modernist writers’ and intellectuals’ positioning in the 1920s and 1930s in relation to the international movements of the time and to the Finnish cultural and political field. The focus is on articles in journals, essays and travel-writing (written both in Finnish and in Swedish) that show how the appropriation of avant-garde and modernism was a manifold project: historical reconstruction, contemporary critical interpretation and translation into the domestic context, reflection on Finland’s place in the map of Europe and, finally, interrogation of the very nature of modernity.

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Harri Veivo, Petra James and Dorota Walczak-Delanois

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Edited by Harri Veivo, Petra James and Dorota Walczak-Delanois

Beat Literature in Europe offers twelve in-depth analyses of how European authors and intellectuals on both sides of the Iron Curtain read, translated and appropriated American Beat literature. The chapters combine textual analysis with discussions on the role Beat had in popular music, art, and different subcultures.
The book participates in the transnational turn that has gained in importance during the past years in literary studies, looking at transatlantic connections through the eyes of European authors, artists and intellectuals, and showing how Beat became a cluster of texts, images, and discussions with global scope. At the same time, it provides vivid examples of how national literary fields in Europe evolved during the cold war era.

Contributors are: Thomas Antonic, Franca Bellarsi, Frida Forsgren, Santiago Rodriguez Guerrero-Strachan, József Havasréti, Tiit Hennoste, Benedikt Hjartarson, Petra James, Nuno Neves, Maria Nikopoulou, Harri Veivo, Dorota Walczak-Delanois, Gregory Watson.