ISSN 0235-0351 (printed edition)
Editor ENE RIET
Second Editor MAIRE LIIVAMETS
Text Editor ELLEN ARNOVER
Copy Preparator TIIU TALI
Designed by KERSTI TORMIS
Lately, I have also been paying closer attention to people’s literary requests and taste – to observe the so-called social demand for culture. And for a long time already I have been keeping my eye on the reading habits of book-lovers and listening to their book-talk and what books they prefer, perhaps inspired by the coming Estonian Book Year. In doing so, I admire the producers of mass culture and the authors of recreational stories who have the instinct to meet the popular appetite, though I myself read often sad-looking publications printed in small number of copies for a few target groups. These include largely low-budget paperbacks on Estonian history and culture. But there are various delicatessen available for Estonian readers today – just help yourself. The key issue seems to be the skill to make a choice among books. Alas, no reliable research results on our readers’ prferences, e.g. their skill to make choices are available, though research is carried out in our field, too! I don’t know, of course, which books rich Estonian people do read, in case they bother to read at all; I can guess more which books might comfort an old schoolmaster or gardener as they were brought up, like myself, surrounded by the books of instructive nature. I am certain that the fans of Peeter Sauter, Kaur Kender or Mõru Maik, Hiram’s first novel, do not care much of the books which treat the relations of soil and people, but the admirers of the last mentioned pieces might page the works of Sauter or Jüri Ehlvest for the respect to the young national literature, though they get their kick out of peppermint tea. An Estonian librarian is professionally bound to taste every fruit grown on the Estonian literary field, but there is no doubt he/she has a different stomach for two Estonian bestseller writers – Jaan Kross and Kaur Kender. May be we should do it for the sake of Estonian literature? (For heavens sake, I must name Tõnu Õnnepalu and Contra, too, but my time is up for today.) No modern writers who can satisfy the needs of all Estonian readers, like Tammsaare and Luts were, are in sight. I couldn’t select the best Estonian writer of the 20th century, so I am equally unabled to name the original work(s) which has/have determined any important side of my life. I am only sure that Estonian literature, and Estonian culture as a whole, has meant me not only toil and labour.
Estonian Book Year Signe Kivi 4
The Chairman of the Central Committee of The Estonian Book Year addresses Estonian librarians on the occasion of The Estonian Book Year.
Estonians – Lovers of Books Rein Veidemann 5
Rein Veidemann’s Column replaces our traditional First Column this year.
In his text, Rein Veidemann interprets the idea of Estonians being the nation of book-lovers from two aspects – a book has determined the Estonians’ development into a civilized nation; and the Estonians are a nation on the basis of the written word, and wrote about in books.
Meaning of a Book Mare Lott 6
The bibliographer Mare Lott has written an article Meaning of a Book. The invention of typography has played an important part in the development of Western civilization. However, in the East, where this invention was made much earlier, it has no influence on the society. Very rapid spread of typography and its developing into European common property was a pre-requisite to disseminate new ideas and thoughts more rapidly. With the emerging of typography the word became the main instrument to forward information, the connextion with figura-tive forms of communication, used before, ceased to function.
New technologies and media have increased the share of figurative images in information exchange. In this connection the fate of printed word and a book have arisen. The author’s standpoint is that in the near future printed word is indispensable and long as printed word survives, a book will survive too. But a book, having changed its form many times in the past will not survive its present form. Print and text will adapt to new requirements and information carriers.
Archival Library of Estonian Literary Museum as a Place of Self-Realisation Krista Aru 9
In her article The Archival Library of Estonian Literary Museum as a Place of Self-Realisation director of the Museum Krista Aru affirms that the Archival Library with its prede-cessors, history and destiny gives an example how the need for a national library grew from a group or personal interest into an undertaking supported and acknowledged by the people. Oskar Kallas, the founder of the Archival Library, settled the principles of acquisition and management of collections. O. Kallas was forming a national library, taking into account the highest aim – its meaning and importance in national culture and state’s welfare. The principle of a national library – to collect systema-tically and maintain all the printed word, written in Estonia, abount Estonia or Estonians – was the basis of the activities of the Library also after the death of O. Kallas, before WW II when the library was leaded by Richard Antik. The personell tried to follow these principles also during the Soviet occupation, and keeps to them today.
Traditions, the endurance and clarity of principles and the ability to treat librarianship as a science art are the bases to bring the Archival Library into the next millennium.
A Library of the Estonian National Archives Mait Talts 12
Mait Talts introduces one of the three libraries belonging to the Estonian National Archives. It was founded in 1944 as a department of scientific reference literature in the National Archives. The essential part of this library includes publications and periodicals from 1918 till 1944 (during the Republic of Estonia and German occupation). There is much grey and scienti-fic literature, textbooks, memoirs, old reference literature, biblio-graphical literature, lots of rare pamphlets and booklets, many of them have been subjects of secrecy. At the present time archival literature is acquired in the first place, then the publi-cations dealing with Estonian history and reference literature.
Boardertown Narva in the Travel Articles of the 18th Century Sirje Lusmägi 13
Sirje Lusmägi from the Rare Book Department at the National Library of Estonia in her article Bordertown Narva in the Travel Articles of the 18th Century introduces the descriptions of Narva that was coorporated into the Russian Empire after the Great Northern War. For the men of letters of the 18th century Narva was interesting as the place of the battles that had decided the fate of Europe, and a well-known commercial town. Travellers passed through Narva on their way from Western Europe to Saint Petersburg and vice versa. Having been introdu-ced with the treatment of Narva during the 18th century, one can follow the changes – powerty and depression after the Great Northern War had been replaced by relative stability and prosperity at the end of the century without wars. Hannover’s diplomat Fr. Chr. Weber describes the Russia during Peter I reforms in his book Das veränderte Russland (part I in 1721, part II in 1739). He represented the disruption that the citizens, who had been deported by the tsar, had met when they returned home. Three British travellers – Jonas Hanway, Nathanael Wraxall and William Coxe had dedicated to Narva passages of different length. In addition to their personal impression, the facts of the history and economical situation, especially of trade, were presented. In 1780 Katharina II stayed in Narva on her journey to Byelorussia. An unknown author in his booklet Das erfreute und illuminirte Narva… (Sankt Petersbourg, 1780) discribed the brilliant reception that the citizens had organized for her.
Johann Fischer – the Publisher of Books in Estonian Liivi Aarma 17 In her article Johann Fischer, the Publisher of Books in the Estonian Language Liivi Aarma, professor of Book Research Chair at Tallinn Pedagogical University, introduces the publishing experiences a century ago.
In the seventeenth century Province of Old Livonia quite a few cultural events and phenomena, unkown before, made themselves felt. An explosive growth of publications in the Estonian and Lettish languages should be mentioned first. (The Bible was published in whole in the Lettish language; Estonians got only the New Testament in the South-Estonian dialect.) Estonian literary language and new spelling rules were worked out and the training of teachers for peasant village school was launched. Some historians have attributed the last-mentioned effort to the goodwill of Swedish King Karl XI, the changes started actually when Johann Fischer was appointed the new ecclesiastical leader of the Province of Livonia. Despite all the research done on J. Fischer, we still face some unsolved issues like the financial backing of his activities, his role in the establishment of teachers training colleges and the like.
The Forselius Teachers’ Training College in Tartu celebrated its 300th anni-versary with an academic conference in 1984. In his opening speech Helmut Piirimäe, Ph. D., presented several questions about the founding of the college that had remained unanswered till today. The questions inspired a search for answers based on historical facts. Lembit Andresen, Ph. D. in pedagogics, preferred to present his opinion without any supporting facts and sources: in his last publication, for example, – the history of schools in Estonia – that came out in 1996, we read that the Teachers’ Training College was founded by Bengt Gottfried Forselius himself and alone, independently from the knighthood and church administration. The author has given no facts to prove his point.
The present paper deals with educational and welfare work of Johann Fischer, the ecclesiastical administrator of Livonia. The Teachers’ Training College was established thanks to his efforts, the M. A. and later Ph. D. from Lübeck, a representative of the early Enlightenment in Livonia. He managed to get financial support to his ideas from the Swedish Govern-ments’s revenue, to be more exact – from the so-called relief fund from the customs’ licence on the sea trade. Among other opportunities the relief fund enabled him to launch an educational and training programme for village school teachers, to publish ecclesiastical literature in the native languages of the province and textbooks for schools. He also used the money for establishing the Johann Ernst Glück Teachers’ Training College for Latvians and the above-mentioned Forselius College for Estonians. This, like the publishing of the Bible and other books is recorded by the superintendent-general’s bookkeeper Emmanuel Regel. Appraising the efforts of Fischer’s assistants and colleagues, Forselius among them, we can only approve and recognize them. Bengt Gottfried Forselius cannot be denied the honour of ingenuity and energy he applied to establishing something that had never existed before. Even when the organization of the collegues was rather primitive, the idea to provide trained teachers for village schools was supremely progressive.
Scientific Literature in Estonian Elna Hansson 22
In her article Scientific Literature in Estonian Elna Hansson, chief librarian at Tartu University Library introduces the exhibition The Youth and Maturity of Estonian Science: Estonian Written Word up to the Year 1940 (April–October 1999) was compiled and displayed as a preliminary event for the Estonian Book Year. We can see over 500 publications and photos of almost all Estonian scientists whose production was exposed. The aim of this exhibition was to show the development of research in its historical succession up to the year 1940.
In 1802 the University of Tartu was reopened and it became a breeding ground of local intellectuals. But actual scientific literature in Estonian was emerged in connextion with the inde-pendence of Estonia (1918) and the establishment of vernacular univercity. In the 19th century the Estonian book, pertaining to the entlightenment of people, was established by Baltic-German intellectuals as a first step in the developing scientific literature. At the end of the century popular science literature was formed. This was different from text books and practical handbooks. The first scientific journal of Estonian subject matter was Beiträge zur genauern Kenntniss der ehstnischen Sprache published in 1813–1832 by a graduate of the University of Tartu J. H. Rosen-plänter, pastor in Pärnu. Besides linguistic texts, Estonian texts were published – folk poetry, stock of words, etc. In the second half of the 19th century meritorious researchers emerged from among Estonians, and at the end of the century the first linguists with scientific degrees – M. Veske, K. A. Hermann, J. Hurt. The way to linguistics, folkloristics, ethnography and archeology was broken by scientific societies – the Estonian Learned Society, the Society of Estonian Writers and the Estonian Students’ Society. The development of national sciences was favoured in the national university. The other sciences (medicine, natural sciences, agriculture forestry, economy, statistics, theology, pedagogy, philisophy, literary research bibliography, book history, politics, jurisprudence, fine arts) concentrated on the investigation of local environment, nature, mineral wealth, society and cultural heritage. Side by side new trends of the world science were introduced. Many research reports were issued by the University of Tartu, in the publications of special offices and institutes.
The most important activity was to work out the Estonian scientific terminology. This serious work was carried out by the Estonian Literary Society (cultural and scientific association, founded in 1907). The first technical dictionaries were published in its monthly "Eesti Kirjandus" (Estonian Literature). The most fruitful period in the development of terminology began in 1920 under the leadership J. V. Veski. In this period 40 technical dictionaries were produced. Up to 1940 Estonian science had reached the world level and the results were published in Estonian and in foreign languages, especially medical and natural sciences. Nowadays the debates have lead to the conclusion that higher education and research in the mother tongue is the only means that saves language of a little nation from degradation.
The Best Book of 1935 in the Estonian Language Signe Pärt 25
The piece treats the celebration of The Estonian Book Year in 1935 and an important part of the celebration – the drawing up of the list of the best books in the Estonian language. The article introduces the compilers and the compiling principles of the list.
Interest for Reading Should be Deepened by Advertiging:
an Interview with Märt Väljataga Maire Liivamets 27
In our interview Märt Väljataga, a translator, poet, critic and the editor-in-chief of the journal "Vikerkaar" (Rainbow) concentrates on the Estonian Book Year and on Estonian literature. He proposes that in order to deepen the interest for reading in young people, we can advertise their idols who hold books in their hands. He thinks that it is better to read garbage than not to read at all. It might be a gate to a better book. The act of reading is essential in itself. At first we must bring into reader’s consciousness the understanding that reading is a pleasant amusement and the following comes afterwards. Reading literature for amusement is inevitable and we have to be reconsiled with Anglo-American mass culture because it is essentally better than German, French or Russian one. Besides, writing amusing fiction, a writer can earn some money at the same time not reducing quality, but mastering the style that seduces readers.
ESTONIAN HISTORY OF IDEAS
About Päts and His Writings’ Toomas Karjahärm 30
The historian Toomas Karjahärm in his article "About Päts and His Writings" introduces Estonian politician Konstantin Päts’s (1874–1956) collection of articles "Estonian State" Part I, published in the series "Estonian History of Ideas". Already in tsarist time he was one of the leaders of national opposition, later on the first prime minister and the first president of the Republic of Estonia. During the Soviet occupation his name was the symbol of independence for many Estonians. But Päts had a lot of opponents, too, and also today his activities are being discussed. Though Päts is considered to be a practic in politics, his mental work (not so widely known) have been at last bound into one publication.
The first part of "Estonian State" contains Päts’s articles written in 1901–1916 and published primarly in Estonian leading newspapers. Päts had been editor of "Tallinna Teataja" (The Tallinn Gazette) and "Teataja" (The Gazette). A lawyer by profession, a democrat and liberal by his view of life, Päts in his early articles distinguished social and economic problems. As editor-in-chief Päts had to take into consideration the Russian central authorities and German landlords – it meant the strict censorship. As a jour-nalist he discussed all the issues important to different social classes (intellectuals, factory workers and formers). In this book Päts’s articles have been devided chronologically and thematically into 5th parts. The compiler Toomas Karjahärm hasselected all the important subjects, dealt by Päts in this period. As Päts was considered to be the best specialist in the Baltic private law he explained and introduced the valid laws in force according to the interest of Estonians. The reform of local authorities in Baltic states lay very near Päts’s heart and many articles had been dedicated to this problem.
Päts wanted Estonians to take the power into their hands. After the revolution 1905 Päts called upon Estonians to be organized and keep mental contact with Western Europe. Besides politics Päts wrote about the development of culture, education and intellectual life. The aim of his articles was to deal with burning questions.
Books of Cult: Reggie Culture Aimar Ventsel 33
A book review of Reggae, Rasta, Revolution, Jamaica Music from Ska to Dub (USA, 1997):
ESTONIAN BOOK YEAR
Exhibitions, Conferences, Seminars, Printed Matter, Competitions
and Other Untertakings of Book Agents’ Subcommittees 34
ESTONIAN LIBRARIANS ASSOCIATION 37
Two contests have begun, too, to find out
About the Meeting of the Estonian Librarians
Association Maire Liivamets 38
An overview of the meeting of the Estonian Librarians Association The Position and the Role of Libraries in the Estonian Society. The star guests of the meeting were Mart Meri, the Chairman of the Cultural Affairs Committee of the Parliament, who presented a paper A Nation, a Book, a Sate, and Peeter Olesk, MP, who made a speech on the theme The Legislation of Research Libraries – Where Does It Lead?
The Best Compilers of Bibliographies Maare Kümnik 40
For the first year, the Estonian Academic Library and the Estonian Librarians Association have nominated the awardwinners of the best Estonian bibliography. This year, the bibliographies published in 1997-1999 entered the contest. The contest winners and prized bibliograhies are promoted in the article.
Münchhausen... ? But He Lied! Kaljo Veskimägi 43
A passage of Kaljo-Olev Veskimäe’s new book Kahte kappi on ühhetassa majas tarvis: levakappi ja ramatokappi // There is a Constant Need for Two Closets in the Household – a Case for Bread and a Bookcase that treats the history of Estonian libraries from the 13th century to the year 1990. The book should be published in 2000.