Tulenkantajat (literature)

Tulenkantajat (literature)

Tulenkantajat (The Flame Bearers) was a literature group in Finland during the 1920s. Tulenkantajat's main task was to find a way to take Finland from the so called backwood culture to the new, modern European level of literature. They did not consider their manifestos to form a program of any sort, but instead stated that their group is the "new feeling of life", building on humility, courage, and the sense of community. The group published their own magazine. The editorial of the magazine's first issue emphasized the group's unconnectedness to any of the political parties, if not even apoliticality [cite book | last = Kantokorpi | first = Otso | authorlink = Otso Kantokorpi | year = 1995 | title = Tulenkantajat 1928-1930. Pääkirjoitukset, ohjelmalliset artikkelit, julistukset ja iskulauseet | publisher = JB-Kustannus, smak! 1 | id = ISBN 952-5019-02-0] , but less than a decade lather the group disbanded partly due to political conflicts, as some members ended up being strictly on the left while some openly promoted the values of Academic Karelia Society. [cite book | last = Kurjensaari | first = Matti | authorlink = Matti Kurjensaari | year = 1975 | title = Loistava Olavi Paavolainen: henkilö- ja ajankuva | publisher = Tammi | id = ISBN 9513027538]

Their main motto was "Ikkunat auki Eurooppaan" in English "Windows open to Europe". Tulenkantajat members travelled in Europe's big cities such as Paris, Rome, London, Berlin. The young people who started Tulenkantajat in their early 20s ended up being important cultural characters in Finnish society.

Tulenkantajat's poetry and prose got inspired by oriental themes, jazz, city and industry life and hedonism.

"People are tired of viewing the world from hazy castles in the air like romantics, or from the grey surface of the earth like realists. That is why people want to see the world during a giddy, heart-rending leap of death high from above, through a strange perspective lasting only a wink of a moment - despite the risk that the salto mortale might not succeed, the head of the daring jumper being crushed against the paved street.A leap from the fifth floor is a fully conscious trick. It is not an accident or a whim of a madman, as is often believed. It has been performed by individuals who have wanted to expand the kingdom of art to include unmapped areas of the world of beauty. This area they have found, surprising with its richness, is called modern times."- Olavi Paavolainen (1929)

Some of the most known members of Tulenkantajat were Olavi Paavolainen, Mika Waltari, Katri Vala, Elina Vaara, Erkki Vala, Yrjö Jylhä, P. Mustapää, Uuno Kailas, Ilmari Pimiä and Arvi Kivimaa.


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