Parland, Henry 1908–1930

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Parland, Henry 1908–1930

PERSONAL: Born July 29, 1908, in Vyborg, Russia; immigrated to Finland, 1912; died of scarlet fever, November 10, 1930, in Kaunas, Lithuania; son of Oswald (an engineer) and Ida Parland. Education: Studied law at University of Helsinki, 1927.

CAREER: Writer and poet. Worked as a secretary at Swedish consulate in Kaunas, Lithuania, 1929–30.


Idealrealisation (poetry), [Sweden], 1928.

Hamlet sade det vackrare: samlade dikter, edited by father, Oscar Parland, Gargantua (Göteborg, Sweden), 1963.

Samlad prosa, Wahlstörm & Widstrand (Stockholm, Sweden), 1966.

Sönder (novel fragment; title means "Apart"), Författarförlaget (Malmö, Sweden), 1966.

Den stora dagenefter (title means "The Great Hangover"), Wahlstörm & Widstrand (Stockholm, Sweden), 1966.

Säginteannat (title means "So Much for That"), Söderström (Helsingfors, Sweden), 1970.

Also contributor to periodicals, including Quosego.

SIDELIGHTS: Although Henry Parland lived only to age twenty-two and had just one published book to his credit upon his death in 1930, he remains known as a voice of modern Scandinavian prose. The eldest of three brothers who were all writers, Parland was born in Vyborg, Russia, to parents with a distant English heritage. Although the family moved to Finland in 1912 to escape the Russian Revolution, the young Parland spoke German at home and wrote in Swedish.

Parland studied law at the University of Helsinki in 1927; a year later he made his literary debut in the magazine Quosego as the youngest member of the modernist literary group. As a Kirjasto online biographer described it, Parland "was in the beginning more interested in fiction," but a meeting with poet Gunnar Björling encouraged the young writer to explore verse as a literary form. The result of Björling's influence was Idealrealisation, a first collection of poems that the Kirjasto contributor cited as "a youthfully cynical visit to the jazz age."

In 1929 Parland moved to Lithuania, where a relative got him a job at the Swedish consulate. He began work on his first novel, Sönder, but was felled by scarlet fever in November of 1930. Parland's work was not forgotten, however; in 1932 some of his previously unpublished work, including excerpts from Sönder, was released.



Ord och Bild, Volume 73, issue 6, 1964, Peter Curman, "Lite svalkande likgiltichet," pp. 479-484; Volume 75, issue 4, 1966, Henry Parland, "Vad gör det för skillnad," pp. 331-335.

Scandinavian Studies, summer, 2000, George C. Schoolfield, "Krapula: Henry Parland och roman-projektet Sönder," p. 238.


Kirjasto Online, (January 30, 2001), biography of Henry Parland.