The Universe of the Mind of a Poet: Juhan Liiv’s Philosophy and Poetics

  • Jüri Talvet


Nations whose cultural tradition due to historical reasons is not large, especially smaller nations, cannot display centuries-old academic traditions which philosophy as a field of knowledge and research would presuppose. Luckily philosophy is not merely a faculty of knowledge but represents the field of perception to which poets have contributed since the oldest times – in parallel with philosophical practice in ancient Greece and long before philosophy became established as a university discipline in Western Europe. It would be too much to expect from poets a rational systematization in developing their thoughts. However, it does not mean at all that their thought would have been incapable of penetrating into life’s darker zones, with which enlightened knowledge has often instinctively kept its distance.


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