Olavi Paavolainen

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Olavi Paavolainen
Olavi Paavolainen.jpg
Olavi Paavolainen in 1928
Born(1903-09-17)17 September 1903
Died19 July 1964(1964-07-19) (aged 60)
Helsinki, Finland
Occupation(s)writer, poet, essayist
Years active1919–1964
Vaino Kunnas, Olavi Paavolainen, 1928 Olavi Paavolainen by Kunnas.jpg
Väinö Kunnas, Olavi Paavolainen, 1928

Olavi Paavolainen (17 September 1903 – 19 July 1964) was a Finnish writer, essayist and poet. He was one of the prominent figures of the literary group Tulenkantajat (″The Flame Bearers″), and one of the most influential Finnish writers of the inter-war period. [1] [2] Paavolainen started his poetry career in the literary magazine Nuori Voima . [3]


Paavolainen was interested in Fascism and National Socialism, but after the World War II he turned to the political left. Paavolainen's notable works include the 1936 travel report Kolmannen valtakunnan vieraana (″A Guest of the Third Reich″) and the 1946 Synkkä yksinpuhelu (″A Gloomy Soliloquy″), based on his war diaries. [2] On the basis of the latter book, an adaptation of the Sign of the Beast was made in 1981, directed by Jaakko Pakkasvirta. [4]

Paavolainen was bisexual. [5] In the 1930s, he had a long relationship with the writer Helvi Hämäläinen. In 1945–1953 Paavolainen was married with the actress Sirkka-Liisa Virtamo. After the divorce he was in a relationship with the communist leader Hertta Kuusinen. [1]



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  1. 1 2 Liukkonen, Petri; Pesonen, Ari. "Olavi (Lauri) Paavolainen (1903–1964)". Authors' Calendar. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  2. 1 2 "Olavi Paavolainen". 375 Humanists. University of Helsinki Faculty of Arts. 29 September 2015. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  3. Günter Berghaus (24 May 2016). International Yearbook of Futurism Studies. 2016. De Gruyter. p. 127. ISBN   978-3-11-046595-2.
  4. "Pedon merkki (1981)". Elonet. Archived from the original on 12 October 2013. Retrieved 7 September 2020.
  5. Toikka, Pekka (13 August 2008). "Kesäklassikko: Biseksuaali kareliaani sodassa" (in Finnish). Killtomato. Retrieved 22 January 2019.