Each country has its well-known and loved literary characters whose essence is deeply connected to the identity of a nation or region. This exhibition is about those characters, introducing the fictional world, authors and cultural surrounding of smaller European states. Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary and Luxembourg are represented with their literary characters. Learn about the project


Konsta Pylkkänen


The thinker of Havukka-Aho, Konsta Pylkkänen appears for the first time in the novel Hirri (1950). Pylkkönen is a thinker, who has a constant need to ponder the world's problems. He is intrigued by all possible occurences and matters from inch worms to atoms and space. Konsta Pylkkänen, the black-moustached hinterland philosopher is practising tippling, pipe smoking and blue thoughts. He has a close relationship with nature, with which he lives in harmony.

In his fantasies Konsta develops different natural phenomenon and occurrences and expounds his thoughts and knowledge. His knowledge has its origins in the nature, where he works as logger, hunts and roams otherwise. In addition he has nine books locked in a suitcase. The most important books are the school geography, natural history and atlas.

Konsta is suspected to be the son of an artist who used to stay in the parish. Konsta himself was away from the parish for a long time and there circled many tales about his life episodes. Pylkkänen himself improved these, by telling that he had completed a master's degree after which he was at sea.

Pylkkänen's life changes when he becomes an assistant for university researchers and is allowed to shoot birds during the summer for research purposes. The Masters are very pleased with their assistant. The food that Konsta prepares is also good. Pylkkänen knows the forests and gave valuable advice. The researchers admire Konsta's unusual features, his clothes which smell of resin and his big pipe. Particularly they like Konsta's dialect expressions, his meditations and husky voice. After the Masters have gone, many thoughts remained unfinished, and others had not even been thought yet.


Veikko Huovinen

Veikko Huovinen


Veikko Huovinen who graduated with a M.A. in forestry, financed his studies by writing short stories and soon after his graduation set himself as full-time author. In his first novel, he introduced a backwoods philosopher Konsta Pylkkänen. Veikko Huovinen has recorded unforgettable stories of forests and forest people. The atmosphere in Huovinen's works is mostly optimistic, and their humour is joyful and catching.

In many of his works Huovinen criticizes with strong caricature the social and political occurrences. Later Huovinen moved into a more entertaining direction. Huovinen has developed a peculiar and reticent character, which describes an author's position in Finland. In his novel Lampaansyöjät (The Sheep Eaters) Veikko Huovinen describes two mates' breakaway from their ordinary life for awhile by trekking in the northern Finland. Free from the societal obligations the men take a stand into phenomenon of the modern age.

During the whole of his literary career, Huovinen has been a lone wolf, who has not accommodated into the roles, into which one has tried to fit him. In his later production he mostly presents thoughts in a variety of subjects from an onlooker's point of view.

In the work Puukansan tarinoita (stories of the wood people) from 1984, he describes his complete outlook on the Finnish forest nature and the traditions of forest exploitation and history. Huovinen tries to reconcile the protection of nature and industrial forestry.

The scale of different degrees of humour and the dialect of Kainuu give Huovinen's down-to-earth expression and social criticism great depth. He wrote over thirty books and these have been translated into several languages.

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