The Hidden Sigh: The End of the Avant-Garde in Olavi Paavolainen and Aaro Hellaakoski

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This article presents a new perspective on research in Finnish modernist literature by examining the idea of the end of the avant-garde in Olavi Paavolainen’s (1903– 64) and Aaro Hellaakoski’s (1893–1952) views on modernism in the late 1920s. Paavolainen was one of the most prominent figures in the contemporary debate on modernism; Hellaakoski’s typographically experimental poetry collection Jääpeili (Ice mirror) is considered to be a pioneer in Finnish modern poetry. In this article, the end of the avant-garde refers to the impression that the most experimental trends had already passed elsewhere in Europe. In Finland, the end of the avant-garde was, on the one hand, used as a weapon against modernists, but on the other, it also played a significant role in the understanding of the present state of art by the defenders of modernism.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Finnish studies
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)27-54
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 6122 Literature studies

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