Finland’s Literary Treasure

“A strong desire derives a person straight through the hardest rock.”
― Aleksis Kivi, Seven Brothers

Aleksis Kivi’s Seven Brothers is Finland’s most celebrated literary treasure.  It was published in 1870 and  it’s one of the first novels written in Finnish language. I am not a fan of Finnish classics but I do see why it’s loved.

Title of the books tells it all, Seven Brothers is a story of Jukola Brothers: Juhani, Aapo, Tuomas, Simeoni, Timo, Lauri and Eero. The brothers live in Finnish countryside, they quarrel with other people and also have other problems (for example, they must learn how to read)  that make them escape their responsibilitiesinto woods. Plot is mainly about how brothers spend ten next years living in distant Impivaara trying to make a life for themselves (and succeeding poorly in that).

Their flight was like the moon’s course through the blue fields of the sky. She does not turn aside for a flimsy cloud that tries to block her path, but sails through it serenely and emerges on the other side brighter than before.”
― Aleksis Kivi, Seven Brothers

I didn’t enjoy reading this book mostly because it was written in from of the play. All of the problems the brothers encountered were funny, history was fascinating and this story had good moral, yet this wasn’t my piece of cake. For me it’s OK to read but I would give Seven Brothers only 2/5 stars.

How-To Read Seven Brothers
1.
If you’re Finn, you must read it (probably will be forced to read it in school). If you are interested in reading classics from another countries, here’s your book. Translations are not that good but some books are impossible to be translated well.
2. You know Dudesons show? It’s kind of like Seven Brothers. Some of their stunts are ridiculous and will make you laugh.
3. If you don’t like plays, do not read this. Or dialogues. Discussions between the characters are written as if it was a play.
4. The literary circles of author’s time hated this novel. They disliked the image this book gave about rural life in Finland during 19th century but it’s really good and very realistic. I think it also helps you to understand Finns and Finland today: stubborness, sisu, use of alcohol, nature.
5. You could have a look at the book here.

 Are there classics from your country that you don’t like?

                                    Buy the book: Seven Brothers on Amazon

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