Bjarmian Tropes of Poetry Pioneer — a mythologeme in Finnish Metageography

Survo A.À. (Tartu, Estonia)


                    page 106117



The article analyzes origins and interpretations of a mythologeme pioneer in Finnish culture. Its literary origins are rooted in J.L. Runeberg’s poems and O. Manninen’s «The Woodsman» (1902). The hero leaves human society and enters a silent forest. He becomes the sole master of his domain. Suddenly, he sees wood chips carried along by the river. The woodsman travels far, to the upper reaches of the river, to get rid of the unwelcome neighbor: «he discover, strikes dead». This poem has indexical and laconic tropes as ancient incantatory formulas do. In the literary Finnish language, information space is structured according to the definition kirjoitustaito, an ability to write, and lukutaito, an ability to read. The definitions are taken from the traditional worldview in which lukea means to cast a spell, and kirjoittaa means to create an ornament. This cultural dichotomy determines quasi-social division between those who produce and consume texts. Nietzschean idea of Manninen’s poem turns towards a traditional archetype, inseparability of the process of creation of a sign and its interpretation, «reading» and «writing». Literary code-switching of the image of a pioneer accompanied understanding of cultural and metageographical borders of Finland. Mythology of the woodsman is widely represented in the poetic prose of Samuli Paulaharju where history and ethnography are intertwined. The specificity of quasi-social division is reflected in the bjarmian tropes, discourses marking «red» and «white» Greater Finland.


Key words: mythologeme of the woodsman, traditional archetypes, metageography, Runeberg, Manninen, Greater Finland.


DOI: 10.20874/2071-0437-2017-37-2-106-117




A.À. Survo

University of Tartu, Űlikooli, 18, 50090, Tartu, Estonia