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A. H. Tammsaare
Estonian writer

A. H. Tammsaare

A. H. Tammsaare
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Estonian writer
Known for Truth and Justice, Kõrboja peremees, Ma armastasin sakslast, Põrgupõhja uus Vanapagan
A.K.A. Anton Hansen, Anton Hansen Tammsaare
Was Writer Translator
From Russia Estonia
Field Literature
Gender male
Birth 30 January 1878, Albu Rural Municipality, Estonia
Death 1 March 1940, Tallinn, Estonia (aged 62 years)
Star sign Aquarius
The details (from wikipedia)


Anton Hansen Tammsaare (also known as A. H. Tammsaare; born Anton Hansen 30 January 1878 – 1 March 1940), was an Estonian writer whose pentalogy Truth and Justice (Tõde ja õigus; 1926–1933) is considered one of the major works of Estonian literature and "The Estonian Novel".


Tammsaare was born in Järvamaa, in the municipality of Albu, village of Vetepere, Estonia the son of a farmer. He came from a poor background but managed to collect enough money for his education. More so his family was quite enlightened for the time, with his father for instance ordering newspapers, which most Estonian farmers didn't. He studied in Väike-Maarja and Tartu in Hugo Treffner's Gymnasium, and afterwards at the University of Tartu, where he studied law. Tammsaare's studies were interrupted by tuberculosis in 1911. He spent over a year in a sanatorium in Sochi – where his memorial house is open to the public – and the following six years in his brother's farm in Koitjärve, Estonia (now part of Põhja-Kõrvemaa Nature Reserve), reading works of Cervantes, Shakespeare and Homer. His younger sister, Maria Hansen, was the mother of Tammaare's nephew, actor Arno Suurorg.

In 1918, when Estonia became independent, Tammsaare moved to Tallinn. It was here that Tammsaare wrote those prose works, based on the history and lives of the Estonian people, which have gained him a prominent place in Estonian literature.

Tammsaare was interested in philosophy and psychology. His novels reflect the ideas of Bergson, Jung and Freud . He was, however, skeptical about cosmopolitanism. "European culture", he wrote "is something to be overcome if one wishes to see the triumph of love, justice, and humanity spoken of so glibly". Like Carl Robert Jakobson and Jaan Tõnisson's Tartu Renaissance group, he believed that Estonian culture was best served by farmers and intellectuals from rural backgrounds. His work was influenced( at various stages) by Oscar Wilde, Knut Hamsun and André Gide, but, above all, by the Russian realists. "In the whole of world literature," said Tammsaare, I have never read anything to compare to the Russians... there is no one to compare to Tolstoy, Dostoevsky or Gogol"... Dostoevsky "really disturbed me: I lived in a waking dream under his influence. I was especially gripped by Crime and Punishment.

Selected works

Statue of Tammsaare in Tammsaare Park, Tallinn
  • Kaks paari ja üksainus, 1902 - Two Pairs and the One
  • Vanad ja noored, 1903 - Olds and Youngs
  • Raha-auk, 1907 - The Money-Hole
  • Uurimisel, 1907 - Be in Prospect
  • Pikad sammud, 1908 - Long Steps
  • Üle piiri, 1910 - Over the Border
  • Noored hinged, 1909 - Young Spirits
  • Poiss ja liblikas, 1915 - The Boy and the Butterfly
  • Keelest ja luulest, 1915 - About Language and Poetry
  • Kärbes, 1917 - The Fly
  • Varjundid, 1917 - The Shapes of the Shadows
  • Sõjamõtted, 1919 - Thoughts of War
  • Juudit, 1921 - Judith
  • Kõrboja peremees, 1922 - The Master of the Kõrboja
  • Pöialpoiss, 1923 - The Midget
  • Sic Transit, 1924
  • Tõde ja õigus I-V, 1926-33 - Truth and Justice, Vol.1-5
  • Meie rebane, 1932 - Our Fox
  • Elu ja armastus, 1934 - The Life and the Love
  • Ma armastasin sakslast, 1935 - I Loved a German
  • Kuningal on külm, 1936 - The King Is Cold
  • Hiina ja hiinlane, 1938 - China and a Chinese
  • Põrgupõhja uus Vanapagan, 1939 - The Misadventures of the New Satan (or: Devil with a False Passport or: The New Devil of Hellsbottom (the latter being a literal translation from Estonian))
  • Miniatures, 1977
  • Kogutud teosed, 1977-1993 (18 vols.) - Collected Works
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 24 Mar 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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