[lit-ideas] Re: Unknown Warrior

  • From: Teemu Pyyluoma <teme17@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2004 00:50:02 -0800 (PST)

The phrase has its litery uses. The one I know best is
of course, The Unknown Soldier by Väinö Linna.
Published in 1953, it was the first and to this day
most read account of WWII from Finnish perspective.
What Linna did was at the same time cut through the
war time proganda image of The Finnish Soldier and the
wall of silence that followed the war, writing by most
accounts a realistic story of a rather diverse group
of men fighting for reasons that were less than clear.
For example, after the soldiers cross the old borders
into Soviet Union, having thus reclaimed ground lost
on the Winter War, one of the character remarks that
from this point onward it is a raid. The soldier is
unknown in the sense that he has motives far more
nuanced than official propaganda, that he has doubts
and yet is not a simple minded pacifist, that men in
an unit have widely different social backgrounds yet
connect... Linna ironicly turns the unit of
collective, anynomous service into living, thinking

Helsinki, Finland

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