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||Juho Aukusti Hollo (1885-1967)|
Educator, translator, Ph.D., professor at the University of Helsinki from 1930 to 1954. J.A. Hollo was one of the most prolific and versatile translators in Finland - he was able to translate from almost any language and from any genre of literature. As an essayist Hollo's style was lively, he moved easily from one subject to another. As an translator of some 170 books, he taught a whole nation to read the very best of world literature.
"Ihmiset toimivat eri elämänaloilla, eri elämänmuodoissa, ja jokaisella niistä tarjoutuu tilaisuutta nerouden osoittamiseen. Toistaiseksi suoritettujen tutkimusten tai kuvausten yksi puute on se, että on rajoituttu tarkastelemaan lähinnä vain tiedemiesten ja taiteilijain, erityisesti runoilijain ja kirjailijain neroutta. Kretschmerillä on lisäksi sankari ja valtias (Bismarck), profeetta (Rousseau - eikö löytynyt sopivampaa profeettaa?) sekä yleisnero, elämäntaiteilija (Goethe). Edes jossain määrin täydelliseen kuvaussarjaan täytyisi sisältyä myös taloudellinen, sosiaalinen ja uskonnollinen nerous." (from the magazine Suomalainen Suomi, 1951)
J.A. Hollo was born in Laihia, the son of Elias Hollo, a
manufacturer, and Susanna (Widmark) Hollo. Hollo read widely in
his childhood and participated in theatrical activities. His upbringing
was cold and stiff, "I cried a lot," he later recalled in his diary. At
the age of
13 Hollo went to school in Vaasa and showed early his interest in
languages. While still at school, he translated Knut Hamsun's Under Høststjærnen.
Hollo received his M.A. in 1907, and then worked between the years 1908 and 1919 as a teacher in Kristiinankaupunki, Helsinki, and Vaasa. His friends included the writers Juhani Siljo and Volter Kilpi, who contribited to the magazine Valvoja. In his youth Hollo had planned to write a dissertation on Aleksis Kivi, but eventually abandoned this idea and only published two essays in 1911-12. Hollo's first translation was a collection of speeches of William James. The first volume came out in 1913 under the title Sielutiede and kasvatus and the second in 1916.
In the 1910s and 1920s Hollo studied pedagogy in Finland and
in Germany, France, and other European countries, receiving his Ph.D in
1919. His dissertation dealt with imagination and its training. A
disciple of Waldemar Ruin, he emphasized the importance of intuition as
a complementary approach to the psychological research and rejected
strict adherence to exact methods. With Hollo's translation of Henri Bergson's L'énergie spirituelle (1923), which
appeared under the title Henkinen
tarmo, the Finnish reading public was introduced to the
though of the influential French philosopher, who argued that intuition
is the discoverer of bright ideas, and diverges from the intellect
which is the method of science and mathematics.
Hollo was appointed docent at the University of Helsinki in 1920, but the next five years he spent in Leipzig and Vienna, where he was employed at a private library. In his diary Hollo mentions such central names from the European culture history as Franz Werfel, Stefan George, and Arthur Schnitzler, but Karl Kraus was the person whom he valued highest of all. However, Hollo never translated any of Kraus's essays or plays into Finnish.
After returning to Finland Hollo worked over two
as professor of pedagogy and didactics at the university Helsinki.
the 1930s he served as a member of the state's literature board. Like
the bulk of the educated elite in Finland during WWII, he was
German-minded, which cannot be detected from all of his translations: they include,
for example, C.
S. Forester's Komentajakapteeni Hornblower 1-2
(1942; contains The
Happy Return, A Ship of the Line and Flying Colours), a depiction of Bririshn sea power, and Jonathan
Davis's Madridin enkelit (1943, There
Are Angels in Madrid), about the life of Francisco Goya. Salvatore Gotta (Mitään
salaamatta, 1942; original title: A bocca nuda) and Mile Budak (Omilla tulilla, 1944; original title: Ognjište) were fascist writers.
Among Finnish literature critics and essayists Hollo was one of the few writers whose studies of such poets as Eino Leino and Otto Manninen have had more than short-lived value. Hollo combined down-to-earth attitude with deep psychological and philosphical insights. His approach was closely related to the method of close reading. An open-minded searcher, whose approach to literature and philosophy was flexible, Hollo did not believe that there is only one truth.
In his article Eino Leino (1914-16), reprinted in the
24-volume reader Suomen sana, Hollo sees that Leino's second
book of Whit songs
(Helkavirsiä), based on the Kalevala and folk poetry, represents a new,
mystical period in the author's career, and have connections to Leino's
translation of Dante's Divina Commedia.
In 1949 Hollo defended Manninen's hexameter translation of Ulysses, which was criticized for being too difficult for general readers – Hollo himself was not interested in translating poetry. He translated several of Goethe's prose work and two plays, but Faust was made available in Finnish by Manninen. In the journal Virittäjä (Vol. 54, 1950) Hollo analyzed Manninen's double role as a translator of world literature and a poet. He considers serious translation work demands the same enthusiastic, tireless devotion as writing poems. Hollo also studied Manninen's poem 'Musa lapidarian,' which is according to Viljo Tarkiainen the most difficult among his works. Hollo interprets the poem as an allegory of a play between a poet and a certain style of writing, exemplified in the vague chararter of Vellamo, the female spirit of sea.
1953 Hollo estimated that he had translated in 40 years
books, but in some other sources the figure is over 300. He translated
classics of Western literature, novels, philosophical and educational
studies. The quality of his production was high, although some
translations were just minor works. Swedish, English, and German were
the closest languages for him but he was familiar with Russian, French,
Norwegian, and Danish. Moreover, Hollo's diaries reveal knowlewdge of
Japan, Greek, and Latin – he mastered 14 languages. When it came to fiction,
Hollo respected the style and rhythm of the original work, but without a stict
adherence to the text itself. Basically his aim was to make the source text clear and
understandable, not simpler, to the reading audience.
"In all history, nothing is so surprising or so difficult to account for as the sudden rise of civilization in Greece. Much of what makes civilization had already existed for thousands of years in Egypt and Mesopotamia, and had spread thence to neighbouring countries. But certain elements had been lacking until the Greeks supplied them. What they achieved in art and literature is familiar to everybody, but what they did in the purely intellectual realm is even more exeptional."
Among Hollo's favorite writers were Amiel, Dostoevsky, Goethe (he translated Goethe's Die Wahlverwandschaften in 30 days). His unabridged translation of Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels,
published by the leftist publishing house Kansanvalta in 1926, included
a long introduction ('Swift ja Gulliver') and notes. All the major
Finnish publishing houses, from the leftist Tammi to Gummerus, Otava
and WSOY, cooperated with him.
Hollo's own writings include academic studies, essays and
critics. Among the central pedagogical publications are Mielikuvitus
ja sen kasvattaminen I-II (1918-19, The imagination and its cultivation), Kasvatuksen maailma (1927, The world of education), Kasvatuksen teoria (1927, The theory of education),
and Itsekasvatus ja elämisen taito
(1932, Self-education and and the art of living), in which he emphasizes the importance of self-education and
presents shortly his theory of beauty, which has its roots in Plato's
philosophy. His basic idea was that "[e]ducation is the initiation of
cultivation." (Kasvatuksen maailma, p. 18) Today Hollo's works are mostly forgotten, but as Matti Taneli argues in Kasvatus on kasvamaan saattamista: Kasvatusfilosofinen tutkimus J.A. Hollon sivistyskasvatusajattelusta (2012), his thoughs on the Bildung as fundamental value in education have not lost their topicality.
In the 1940s and 1950s Hollo published relatively little on his own academic field, aside translating works by Maria Montessori, Richard Müller-Freienfels, Dale Carnegie, Heinrich Hanselmann, H. A. Overstreet. On his retirement Hollo became interested in the work of the Swiss physician and author Paul Tournier. Hollo held determinedly aloof from academic struggles, and only kept a small circle of close friends, who included Otto Manninen, professor Yrjö Airila, and later the critic Tuomas Anhava.
regarded pedagogy as a discipline closely related to philosophy and not
merely as a part of psychology. He saw that beauty itself has an
independent existence as an concealed property of an object. He
separates the concept of beauty and the aesthetic experience, stressing
the cognitive aspect of the experience. Aesthetic emotions, person's
abilities to choose between ugly and beautiful, can be developed. First
step is to educate perception and senses - "we
have eyes, but we don't see, we have ears, but we don't hear." The
second necessary condition is to cultivate emotions and imagination. In
this reading is the most valuable means.
Hollo was married twice, first to Aili Armida Pihlström, and
divorce to the singer and translator Iris Antonina Anna Walden, whose
father was the famous chemist Paul Walden (1863-1957). Iris had been Hollo's
language teacher during his stay in Vienna and
The Hollos lived in a large apartment on
Mariankatu in the
center of Helsinki. At home the children, Anselm and Erkki, spoke
German with their mother and
Finnish with their father. In 1950 Hollo was appointed chancellor of
korkeakoulu (Institute of the Social Sciences), retiring four year
later. He continued to translate prolifically until his death. J.A.Hollo died
in Helsinki on January 22, 1967. His diary, Sielun vaellus, edited by his daugter Irina, came
out in 1985. Lukemisesta, a collection of essays,
appeared in 1992. Hollo used a Remingtron
typewriter and preferred White Horse whisky to all others.
Anselm Hollo, who learned English at the age of ten, made an impressive career as a writer and translator. He moved to England in 1958, but since 1967 he lived in the United States, where he taught at the Naropa Institute. Anselm Hollo's friends included many of the leading Beat poets (Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and others). His Finnish translation of Ginsberg's most famous poem, Howl, was published by Tajo in 1963. Anselm Hollo died on January 29, 2013, at the age of 78, in Colorado, USA. The translation of Pentti Saarikoski's Trilogy (The Dance Floor on the Mountain, Invitation to the Dance, The Dark One's Dances) received the 2004 Harold Morton Landon Translation Award. - Biographical sources: Beatnik planeettamatkalla: Anselm Hollon elämä ja runot by Kai Ekholm (2023); 'Anselm Hollo,' in Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series, Gale Research Co., Vol. 19 (1994)
For further reading: 'J. A. Hollon sivistyskasvatusajattelu on yhä ajankohtaista' by Matti Taneli, in Suomen kasvatuksen ja koulutuksen historian seuran vuosikirja (2022); 'Klassikosta lukuromaaniksi: käännösstrategioiden vertailu Dickensin David Copperfield -suomennoksissa' by Katja Vuokko, in Avain - Kirjallisuudentutkimuksen Aikakauslehti, Nro 4 (2014); ''Bildung' and Music Education: A Finnish Perspective' by Marja Heimonen, in Philosophy of Music Education Review, 22 no. 2 (Fall 2014); Kasvatus on kasvamaan saattamista: Kasvatusfilosofinen tutkimus J.A. Hollon sivistyskasvatusajattelusta by Matti Taneli (2012); Henri Bergson i Finland: reception, rekontextualisering, politisering by Stefan Nygård (2011); Suomennoskirjallisuuden historia I, edited by H.K. Riikonen, et al. (2007); 'Hollo, Juho August' by Kai Laitinen, in Suomen kansallisbiografia 4, edited by Matti Klinge, et al. (2004); Kirjojen virrassa by Kai Laitinen (1999, pp. 300-315); Opetuksen tutkimuksen suuntaviivoja, edited by Pertti Kansanen & Jukka Husu (1999); Kansallisgalleria, Vol. 4, edited by Allan Tiitta, et al. (1996); 'Translations, Paratextual Mediation, and Ideological Closure' by Urpo Kovala, in Target: International Journal of Ttranslation Studies, Vol. 8, Nº 1 (1996); 'Juho A. Hollon neljä elämää' by Juha Suoranta, in niin & näin, 2 (1996); J. A. Hollon tiedekäsityksestä ja kasvatuksen teorian metodista = On J. A. Hollo's idea of science and his method of the theory of education by Asko Karjalainen (1986); Sielun vaellus by J.A. Hollo (1985); Juhlakirja professori J. A. Hollon 70-vuotispäiväksi 17. 1. 1955 by Suomen kasvatusopillinen yhdistys (1955)