Jaan Kärner (Born May 27 1891 in Käo village, then Kirepi municipality, today Rõngu Parish, Tartu County, died April 3 1958 in Tartu) was an Estonian poet and writer. He is known especially for his nature poetry. Many of his poems were set to music by Estonian composers of choral music. Kärner also wrote numerous novels, plays, literary criticism, and scientific literature and historical treatises. He translated works from German and Russian, most notably the poems of Heinrich Heine into Estonian in 1934.
Life and work
Jaan Kärner was born the son of a farmer. He attended Uderna school from 1901 to 1906 (Rõngu). From 1910 Kärner worked in various magazines in Tallinn. 1911/12 and 1914 he studied at the City People's University "AL Schanjawski" in Moscow. From 1917 Kärner was also politically active and in 1919 editor of the trade union newspaper Töö hääl (Labor Voice).
Since the early 1920s Kärner worked as a freelance writer. From 1927 to 1929 he worked as an editor at the magazine Looming, 1936-1938 for the magazine Tänapäev. A left-winger, he supported the 1940 Communist seizure of power in Estonia. During the German occupation of Estonia during World War II Kärner lived in the Soviet Union. With the Soviet occupation of Estonia in 1944, he returned to his homeland and joined the Communist party. He then worked in publishing as an editor at various newspapers and magazines. In 1946, Kärner descended into insanity and died in 1958 in Tartu.
- Aja laulud (1921)
- Lõikuskuu (1925)
- Õitsev sügis (1926)
- Inimene ristteel (1932)
- Sõna-sütega (1936)
- Käidud teedelt (1939)
- Kodumaa käsk (1942)
- Viha, ainult viha (1944)
- Bianka ja Ruth (1923)
- Naine vaesest maailmast (1930)
- Soodoma kroonika (1934)
- Tõusev rahvas (2 volumes, 1936/1937)
- Pidu kestab (1938)
- Cornelius Hasselblatt, History of Estonian literature, Berlin, New York 2006 (ISBN 3-11-018025-1), p. 442
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