Frans Eemil Sillanpää

Frans Eemil Sillanpää (pronunciation ) (16 September 1888 – 3 June 1964) was one of the most famous Finnish writers and in 1939 became the first Finnish writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize for literature "for his deep understanding of his country's peasantry and the exquisite art with which he has portrayed their way of life and their relationship with Nature".[1]

Frans Eemil Sillanpää
Born16 September 1888
Hämeenkyrö, Finland
Died3 June 1964 (aged 75)
Helsinki, Finland
Notable awardsNobel Prize in Literature

Early life

Frans Eemil Sillanpää was born into a peasant farming family in Hämeenkyrö. Although his parents were poor, they managed to send him to school in Tampere. At school Sillanpää was a good student and with aid from his benefactor Henrik Liljeroos he entered the University of Helsinki in 1908 to study medicine.[2][3] Here his acquaintances included the painters Eero Järnefelt and Pekka Halonen, composer Jean Sibelius and author Juhani Aho.[2]


Five years later, in 1913 Sillanpää moved from Helsinki to his old home village and devoted himself to writing.[4] In 1914 Sillanpää wrote articles for the newspaper Uusi Suometar.[2] In 1916 Sillanpää married Sigrid Maria Salomäki, whom he had met in 1914.[2]

By principle, Sillanpää was against all forms of violence and believed in scientific optimism.[5] In his work he portrayed rural people as living united with the land.[2]

The novel Hurskas kurjuus (Meek Heritage) (1919) depicted the reasons for Finnish Civil War and despite its objectivity was controversial at the time.[6]

Sillanpää won international fame for his novel Nuorena nukkunut (translated to English as The Maid Silja) in 1931.

In 1939, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his deep understanding of his country's peasantry and the exquisite art with which he has portrayed their way of life and their relationship with Nature."[7] A few days after receiving the prize talks between Finland and Soviet Union broke down and the Winter War began.[3][8] Sillanpää donated the golden medal to be melted for funds to aid the war effort.[8]

Before the Winter War, Sillanpää wrote the lyrics for what is known as Sillanpään marssilaulu to lift his spirits when his eldest son Esko was partaking in military practices at Karelian Isthmus.[9]

In 1939 his wife Sigrid died of pneumonia leaving eight children with Sillanpää.[3] Some time after, Sillanpää married his secretary Anna von Hertzen and traveled to Stockholm to receive the Nobel prize.[3]

In 1941 Sillanpää divorced his wife Anna. His alcoholism and other ailments needed hospital treatment. In 1943 he returned to public life as a bearded old 'Grandpa Sillanpää'. His radio appearances, especially his tradition of talking on Christmas Eve from 1945 to 1963 became very popular.[10]

The asteroid 1446 Sillanpää, discovered on January 26, 1938 by the renowned Finnish astronomer and physicist Yrjö Väisälä, was named after him.


Sillanpää died on 3 June 1964 in Helsinki aged 75.


Sillanpää sitting for the sculptor Mauno Oittinen in 1931.
  • Elämä ja aurinko (1916)
  • Ihmislapsia elämän saatossa (1917)
  • Hurskas kurjuus (translated as Meek Heritage) (1919)
  • Rakas isänmaani (1919)
  • Hiltu ja Ragnar (1923)
  • Enkelten suojatit (1923)
  • Omistani ja omilleni (1924)
  • Maan tasalta (1924)
  • Töllinmäki (1925)
  • Rippi (1928)
  • Kiitos hetkistä, Herra... (1930)
  • Nuorena nukkunut (translated as The Maid Silja) (1931)
  • Miehen tie (1932)
  • Virranpohjalta (1933)
  • Ihmiset suviyössä (translated as People in the Summer Night) (1934)
  • Viidestoista (1936)
  • Elokuu (1941)
  • Ihmiselon ihanuus ja kurjuus (1945)


Poststamp released in 1980 in honour of Sillanpää.

Numerous of his works have been made into films:


  1. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Literature 1939". Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 16 Jun 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e Liukkonen, Petri (2008). "Frans Emil Sillanpää (1888-1964)". Authors Calendar. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
  3. ^ a b c d "Sillanpää, Frans Emil (1888 - 1964)". Biografiakeskus. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  4. ^ Frans Eemil Sillanpää Encyclopædia Britannica
  5. ^ Rajala, Panu. "Frans Emil Sillanpään sotavuodet". Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  6. ^ "Frans Emil Sillanpää: Hurskas kurjuus – Miksi päädyimme sisällissotaan?". Yle. 2017-01-03. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  7. ^ "Frans Eemil Sillanpää - Biographical". Nobel Media AB. 2014. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
  8. ^ a b "Nobel palkinto". Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  9. ^ "Sota-ajan musiikkia - Maailman Matista Sillanpään Marssilauluun". Retrieved 2017-11-10.
  10. ^ "Sillanpää, Frans Emil (1888 - 1964)". The National Biography of Finland. SKS. Retrieved 2016-04-29.

External links

1446 Sillanpää

1446 Sillanpää, provisional designation 1938 BA, is a stony Florian asteroid from the inner regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 8.2 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 26 January 1938, by Finnish astronomer Yrjö Väisälä at Turku Observatory in Southwest Finland. It was later named after writer Frans Eemil Sillanpää.

1939 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1939.

Eino Kaila

Eino Sakari Kaila (August 9, 1890 – July 31, 1958) was a Finnish philosopher, critic and teacher. He worked in numerous fields including psychology (sometimes considered to be the founder of Finnish psychology), physics and theater, and attempted to find unifying principles behind various branches of human and natural sciences.

Finnish literature

Finnish literature refers to literature written in Finland. During the European early Middle Ages, the earliest text in a Finnic language is the unique thirteenth-century Birch bark letter no. 292 from Novgorod. The text was written in Cyrillic and represented a dialect of Finnic language spoken in Russian Olonets region. The earliest texts in Finland were written in Swedish or Latin during the Finnish Middle Age (ca. 1200–1523). Finnish-language literature was slowly developing from the 16th century onwards, after written Finnish was established by the Bishop and Finnish Lutheran reformer Mikael Agricola (1510–1557). He translated the New Testament into Finnish in 1548.

After becoming a part of Russian Empire in early 19-th century the rise in education and nationalism promoted public interest to folklore in Finland and resulted in increase of literary activity in Finnish language. Most of the significant works of the era, written in Swedish or increasingly in Finnish, revolved around achieving or maintaining a strong Finnish identity (see Karelianism).Thousands of folk poems were collected in the Suomen kansan vanhat runot ('The Ancient Poems of the Finnish People'). The most famous poetry collection is the Kalevala, published in 1835. The first novel published in Finnish was Seven Brothers (1870) by Aleksis Kivi (1834–1872). The book Meek Heritage (1919) by Frans Eemil Sillanpää (1888–1964) made him the first Finnish Nobel Prize winner. Another notable author is Väinö Linna.

Other works known worldwide include Michael the Finn and The Sultan's Renegade (known in the US as The Adventurer and The Wanderer respectively) by Mika Waltari (1908–1979). Beginning with Paavo Haavikko and Eeva-Liisa Manner, Finnish poetry in the 1950s adapted the tone and approach of T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound. The most famous poet was Eino Leino. Timo K. Mukka (1944–1973) was the wild son of Finnish literature. Prominent writers of the 21st century include Mikko Rimminen and sci-fi authors Leena Krohn (Finlandia Prize 1992) and Johanna Sinisalo (Finlandia Prize 2000).


Herttoniemi (Swedish: Hertonäs) is a neighbourhood and a suburb of Helsinki, the Finnish capital. It is located about 7 km east of the city centre and can be easily reached by metro in 10 minutes. It has an older northern suburb and a newer coastal suburb with ferry connections to the city centre. There once was a large harbour in Herttoniemi, but in the 1990s, this industrial harbour area was demolished and converted to a tightly populated residential area and marina.

There are four districts in Herttoniemi:

Länsi-Herttoniemi West Herttoniemi

Roihuvuori which is former East Herttoniemi

Herttoniemenranta Harbour of Herttoniemi

Herttoniemi industrial area


Hämeenkyrö (Swedish: Tavastkyro) is a municipality of Finland.

It is part of the Pirkanmaa region. The municipality has a population of 10,527 (31 August 2018) and covers an area of 505.10 square kilometres (195.02 sq mi) of which 41.34 km2 (15.96 sq mi) is water. The population density is 22.7 inhabitants per square kilometre (59/sq mi).

The municipality is unilingually Finnish.


Hämäläis-Osakunta (HO, colloquially Hämis) is one of the 15 student nations at the University of Helsinki, Finnish-speaking and established in 1653 at The Royal Academy of Turku. In 1828, the Academy moved to Helsinki adopting the name university and Hämäläis-Osakunta moved there along with the other nations. HO represents the historic region of Tavastia (nowadays, roughly Pirkanmaa, Tavastia Proper and Päijänne Tavastia), so it recruits its members actively there. The building of the nation, built in 1931, is located in Kamppi, on Urho Kekkosen katu.

Ihmiset suviyössä

Ihmiset suviyössä is a novel by Finnish author Frans Eemil Sillanpää. It was released in 1934. In 1948, Valentin Vaala directed a film based on the book. The fifth edition of the novel was published that year.Ihmiset suviyössä has been said to be an ode to a Finnish summer night. It deals with the biggest issues of life; birth, death and what effects love or the lack of it has on man.

June 3

June 3 is the 154th day of the year (155th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 211 days remaining until the end of the year.

List of book-based war films (1898–1926 wars)

This is a list of list of war films that are based on books. All wars in this list took place between 1898 and 1926

List of firsts in Finland

This is a list of firsts in Finland.

List of people on the postage stamps of Finland

This is a list of people on stamps of Finland and Åland Islands, including the dates of issue of the stamps honoring them.

(continue with 1986)

, Åland Islands

One Man's Faith

One Man's Faith (Finnish: Miehen tie) is a 1940 Finnish drama film directed by Hugo Hytönen and Nyrki Tapiovaara, starring Gunnar Hiilloskorpi, Mirjami Kuosmanen and Hytönen. It follows the downward spiral of the farmer Paavo after his wife dies in childbirth, her family reclaim their dowry and he resorts to drinking. It is based on the 1932 novel with the same title by Frans Eemil Sillanpää, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Tapiovaara.The film was Tapiovaara's last. He left the film unfinished when he—after several rejections due to his political left-wing background—was accepted to the Finnish army and died in the Winter War. The film was finished by the producer Erik Blomberg, Blomberg's wife Kuosmanen and the actor and director Hytönen.It was released on 1 September 1940.

Roger Martin du Gard

Roger Martin du Gard (French: [dy gaʁ]; 23 March 1881 – 22 August 1958) was a French novelist, winner of the 1937 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Scandinavian literature

Scandinavian literature or Nordic literature is the literature in the languages of the Nordic countries of Northern Europe. The Nordic countries include Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway (including Svalbard), Sweden, and Scandinavia's associated autonomous territories (Åland, Faroe Islands and Greenland). The majority of these nations and regions use North Germanic languages. Although majority of Finns speak Uralic languages, Finnish history and literature are clearly interrelated with those of both Sweden and Norway who have shared control of various areas and who have substantial Sami populations/influences.

These peoples have produced an important and influential literature. Henrik Ibsen, a Norwegian playwright, was largely responsible for the popularity of modern realistic drama in Europe, with plays like The Wild Duck and A Doll's House. Nobel prizes for literature have been awarded to Selma Lagerlöf, Verner von Heidenstam, Karl Adolph Gjellerup, Henrik Pontoppidan, Knut Hamsun, Sigrid Undset, Erik Axel Karlfeldt, Frans Eemil Sillanpää, Johannes Vilhelm Jensen, Pär Lagerkvist, Halldór Laxness, Nelly Sachs, Eyvind Johnson, Harry Martinson, and Tomas Tranströmer.

September 16

September 16 is the 259th day of the year (260th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 106 days remaining until the end of the year.

Sillanpää (surname)

Sillanpää (meaning "bridge's end") is a Finnish surname.

Valentin Vaala

Valentin Vaala (born Valentin Ivanoff) (13 October 1909 in Helsinki – 21 November 1976 in Helsinki) was a Finnish film director, screenwriter and editor. His career spanned several decades, from 1929 to 1973, and has been called one of the most significant, in both quality and popularity, in the history of Finnish cinema.

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