Rintala, Paavo 1930-1999

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RINTALA, Paavo 1930-1999

(Paavo Olavi Rintala)

PERSONAL: Born September 20, 1930, in Viborg (some sources say Viipuri Karelia), Finland; died of complications from Parkinson's disease, August 8, 1999, in Kirkkonummi, Finland; son of Otto Aadiel (an agricultural worker) and Aino (a nurse; maiden name, Nikula) Rintala; married Raili Pihkala; children: four. Education: Oulu Lyceum, 1951; attended University of Helskini.

CAREER: Writer and novelist. Member, Leningrad Symphony, 1941–42. Military service: Served in Finnish army.

AWARDS, HONORS: Finland Literary prizes, 1955, 1962, 1965, 1972, and 1973; Lenin Hundred-Year Medal.


Kuolleiden evankeliumi (novel), [Helsinki, Finland], 1954.

Rikas ja köyhä: romaani Helsingistä ja Oulusta vv. 1951–1952 (novel), two volumes, Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1955–56.

Lakko, Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1956.

Pojat: kuvia vv. 1941–44 (novel), Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1958.

Pikkuvirkamiehen kuolema: romaani 1940–1950 luvuilta, Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1959.

Jumala on kauneus (novel), Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1959.

Kekkosen aika, Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1960.

Mummoni ja mannerheim (novel; title means "My Grandma and Mannerheim"), Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1960.

Mummoni ja Marsalkka (novel), Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1961.

Mummon ja Marskin Tarinat (novel), Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1962.

Kunnianosoitus Johann Sebastian Bachille näytelmänä, Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1963.

Sissiluutnantti: proosaa rinta-ja kurkkuäänille, Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1963 translated by Maurice Michael as The Long-Distance Patrol, Allen & Unwin (London, England), 1967.

Palvelijat hevosten selässa: proosaa, Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1964.

Keskusteluja lasten kanssa, Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1965.

Sukeltaja, Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1965.

(With Matti Saanio) Musta talvi, valkea kesä (title means "Black Winter, White Summer"), Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1966.

Soltilaiden äänet: kannaksen läpimurtotaisteluista 1944, Weilin & Göös (Helsinki, Finland), 1966.

Sodan ja rauhan äänet, Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1967.

Leningradin kohtalosinfonia: saksalaisten ja suomalaisten vuosina 1941–1943, Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1968.

Napapiirin äänet: Salla-Kiestinnki 1941, Weilin & Göös (Helsinki, Finland), 1969.

Paasikiven aika (novel), Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1969.

Vietnamin kurjet (nonfiction), Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1970.

Valitut teokset (includes Pikkuvirkamieheh kuolema, Jumala on kauneus, and Palvelijat hevosten selässä), Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1970.

Viapori 1906: romaani kapinasta, Weilin & Göös (Helsinki, Finland), 1971.

Paavalin matkat, Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1971.

Uu ja poikanen, Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1972.

Kesäkuu 44, Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1974.

Romeo ja Julia häränvuonna (novel), Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1974.

Se toinen Lili Marlen, Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1975.

Nahkapeitturien linjalla (novel), Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1976.

Dostojevskin galleriat, Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1981.

Jättiläinen, Pohjoinen (Oulu, Finland), 1981.

Valehtilijan muistelmat, Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1982.

Velkani Karjalalle: teema ja muunnelmia, Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1982.

Puolan malja, Pohjoinen (Oulu, Finland), 1982.

Maatyömies ja kuu: kertomus, Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1983.

Eläinten rauhanliike, Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1984.

Porvari Punaisella torilla: kertomus, Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1984.

Vänrikin muistot, Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1985.

Carossa ja Anna, Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1986.

St. Petersburgin salakuljetus, eli, Kaupunki mielenkuvana, Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1987.

Pitkä matka Veronaan ja muita näytelmiä, Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1990.

Minä, Grünewald (novel), Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1990.

Sarmatian Orfeus, Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1991.

Aika ja uni: kauneuden attribuutit I (novel; title means "The Age of Dreams"; also see below), Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1993.

Marian rakkaus: kauneuden attribuutit II: Sana ja Sydän (novel), Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1994.

Faustus: minum todellinen henkilöhistoriani, minusta sepitetyt legendat, minun runoni (novel), Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1996.

(Adaptor) Aika ja uni (opera libretto; adapted from the author's novel), Otava (Helsinki, Finland), 1993, produced in Savonlinna, Findland, 2000.

Contributor to anthology Stages of Chaos: The Drama of Post-War Finland, edited by Pirkko Koski and Steve Wilmer, Finnish Literature Society (Helsinki, Finland), 2005; also contributor of columns to Kaleva and Sozialistiskaja Indrustria (Moscow, Russia).

Author's works have been translated into Swedish, German, and English.

ADAPTATIONS: Sissiluutnantti: proosaa rinta-ja kurkkuäänille was adapted into the film Sissit; Paavalin matkat was adapted into the film Laukaus tehtaalla, 1973; Marian rakkaus was adapted into an opera by Olli Kortekangas.

SIDELIGHTS: Prolific Finnish author Paavo Rintala was the most popular novelist in his country at the time of his death in 1999. He made a name for himself in the 1950s with his two-volume novel Rikas ja köyhä: romaani Helsingistä ja Oulusta vv. 1951–1952, which focuses on Helsinki and Oulu, Finland, during postwar reconstruction. His novel Jumala on kauneus, was based on the painter Vilho Lampi. In Pojat: kuvia vv. 1941–44, the author writes about his boyhood generation and growing up during World War II. Rintala also wrote a series of documentary-type novels in the 1960s based on various interviews he conducted. These included Soltilaiden äänet: kannaksen läpimurtotaisteluista 1944, Sodan ja rauhan äänet, Leningradin kohtalosinfonia: saksalaisten ja suomalaisten vuosina 1941–1943, and Napapiirin äänet: Salla-Kiestinnki 1941. Rintala went on to write political satires in the 1980s, including Eläinten rauhanliike and Porvari Punaisella torilla: kertomus.

Many of Rintala's novels are wide in scope, broadly painted with a far-reaching historical brush, and take on epic proportion. An example of this style can be found in his novel Aika ja uni: kauneuden attribuuti I, which means "The Age of Dreams." Kathleen Osgood Dana, a reviewer in World Literature Today, dubbed the work "innovative" and noted that it "spans the entire range of Christian civilization, constituting a search for faith and identity through time, culture, and religion." Calling the novel "a meditation on twentieth-century culture," Dana noted the inclusion of such characters/figures as Christ and writers Dante, Marina Tsvetaeva, Anna Akhmatova, and Ezra Pound. "Throughout the book," Dana continued, "Rintala acknowledges the impossibility of returning to childhood haunts, since all is change, all is mutable, except memory." Aika ja uni, which the author also adapted into a libretto for opera, was the first of a trilogy that concluded with Marian rakkaus: kauneuden attribuutit II: Sana ja Sydän, and Faustus: minum todellinen henkilöhistoriani, minusta sepitetyt legendat, minun runoni. Writing on the Pegasos Web site, a contributor noted, "In the last volume Rintala identifies himself with the old Faustus, the old Europe. His basic question is, why we sell our souls to the devil in order to achieve good goals?"



Jahrbuch für Finnisch Deutsche Literaturbeziehungen, Volume 25, 1993, Dietrich Assmann, "Isenheim in Sarmatien: Grunewald und Bobrowski in Romanen von Paavo Rintala," pp. 156-160.

Opera News, November, 2000, George W. Loomis review of Aika ja uni: kauneuden attribuutit I (opera), p. 72.

Sananjalka, Volume 38, 1996, Pirkko Alhoneimi, "Orfeus toisessa maailmansodassa: Paavo Rintalan proosateos Sarmatian Orfeus," pp. 141-152.

World Literature Today, winter, 1995, Kathleen Osgood Dana, review of Aika ja uni: kauneuden attribuutit I, p. 190.