Search
|
ee
PDF

Addressing “you” in the works of Tõnu Õnnepalu, Ülo Mattheus and Jaan Kaplinski

Keywords: explicit addressee, the “you” character, autobiographical narrative, Jaan Kaplinski, Ülo Mattheus, Tõnu Õnnepalu

 

The article looks at how the storyteller’s self-expression is directed to the second-person addressee, using the example of three autobiographical works: these are Paradiis (Paradise, 2009) by Tõnu Õnnepalu, where the story of a fixed place and time is told to a young friend, Isale (To Father, 2003) by Jaan Kaplinski, seeking a dialogue with a father long dead and never met, and India armastus (The Love of India, 2006) by Ülo Mattheus, which consists of letters sent to the storyteller’s beloved during the several months spent in religious asylum. The comparison of the three texts seeks to clarify the role of the (second-person) addressee in each book, the compositional and stylistic meaning of the “you”, the possible influence of the storyteller’s thinking of the addressee on his self-presentation, and the voice and views of the “you” possibly elicited by the rhetorical address.

In each book the storyteller relates differently to the “you”. Õnnepalu’s narrator keeps recurring to his memory of the addressee, yet there is no sign of active communication except some cryptic phrases. Mattheus’s narrator, however, addresses the “you” for the purpose of active communication, while the response keeps guiding the thematic course and tonality of the work and the relationship supports the self-analysis of the narrating “I”. In Kaplinski’s case the whole story has been written to create, based on documentary material, an idea of the explicit addressee, whose quiet voice belongs to an imaginary father figure. Thus, unlike Õnnepalu and Mattheus, Kaplinski depicts the pivotal communication process not as direct contact but rather as something imaginary. Now, each of the above three ways of address supports a different kind of storytelling. Õnnepalu addresses his “you” mainly from the position of a narrating “I”, while Kaplinski mediates a historical “I” based on family and development history, and Mattheus’s “I” could be classified as an ideological one, engaged in explaining the ideological foundations of his attitudes. Either way, all three texts use the second-person addressee not only for structuring the narrative but also for developing a dialogue: the imaginary “you” serves to amplify a self-based narrative into a self-critical reflection.

 

Brita Melts (b. 1984), PhD, journal Keel ja Kirjandus (Roosikrantsi 6, 10119 Tallinn), editor, brita.melts@ut.ee

 

References

Burdorf, Dieter 2017. The I and the others. Articulations of personality and communication structures in the lyric. – Journal of Literary Theory, kd 11, nr 1, lk 22–31.

Culler, Jonathan 2015. Theory of the Lyric. Cambridge–London: Harvard University Press.

Haug, Toomas 2010. Maailm ja maq. – T. Haug, Klassikute lahkumine. 25 kirjatööd. Tallinn: Eesti Keele Sihtasutus, lk 236–244.

Hellerma, Kärt 2004. Kaplinski, klaassepa poeg. – Keel ja Kirjandus, nr 5, lk 387–391.

Kaplinski, Jaan 2003. Isale. Tallinn: Varrak.

Kasemaa, Andrus 2012. Kustutamatud õhtud. Tallinn: Tuum.

Kurvet-Käosaar, Leena 2016. Euroopa-ihalusest taasiseseisvusperioodi autobiograafiates. – Methis. Studia humaniora Estonica, nr 17–18, lk 163–179.

Kurvet-Käosaar, Leena 2017. Enese ilmnemine/ilmutamine Viivi Luige romaanis „Varjuteater”. – Adressaadi dünaamika ja kirjanduse pingeväljad. Koost, toim L. Kurvet-Käosaar, Marin Laak. (Studia litteraria Estonica 18.) Tartu: Tartu Ülikooli Kirjastus, lk 36–55.

Lejeune, Philippe 2010. Autobiograafiline leping. – Methis.Studia humaniora Estonica, nr 5–6, lk 196–223.

Lestberg, Ly 2004. Jaan Kaplinski isa otsimas. – Eesti Päevaleht. Arkaadia 16. I, lk 13.

Lindsalu, Elo 2006. [Raamatututvustus.] – Eesti Ekspress: Areen 2. VIII.

Martens, Lorna 2016. Framing an accusation in dialogue: Kafka’s Letter to His Father and Sarraute’s Childhood. – The European Journal of Life Writing, kd V, lk 61–76.

Mattheus, Ülo 2006. India armastus. Fragmendid kirjadest. Tallinn: Eesti Keele Sihtasutus.

Melts, Brita 2014. Paradiis – Tõnu Õnnepalu kirjanduslik omailm. – Keel ja Kirjandus, nr 7, lk 509–524.

Neier, Agnes 2014. Foto funktsioon fiktsioonis. Magistritöö. Tartu: Tartu Ülikool. https://dspace.ut.ee/handle/10062/42417 (27. VIII 2019).

Pawelec, Dariusz 2017. „Possible communications” and the „possible addressee” in lyrical poetry. – Studia Philologica Universitatis Velikotarnovensis, kd 36, nr 1, lk 313–323.

Pilv, Aare 2004. Kaplinski – iseenese poeg. – Postimees 30. I, lk 19.

Raamatututvustus 2006. – Sirp 12. V, lk 19.

Salumets, Thomas 2016. Kujuneda sunnita. Mõtestades Jaan Kaplinskit. Tlk Kersti Unt. Tallinn: Varrak.

Schmid, Wolf 2013. Narratee. – the living handbook of narratology 22. I / 3. X. http://www.lhn.uni-hamburg.de/article/narratee# (3. III 2018).

Smith, Sidonie, Watson, Julia 2010. Reading Autobiography. A Guide for Interpreting Life Narratives. Second edition. Minneapolis–London: University of Minnesota Press.

Talivee, Elle-Mari, Tüür, Kadri 2012. Paradiis maa peal. Tõnu Õnnepalu „Paradiisist”. – Looming, nr 9, lk 1295–1305.

Tamm, Marek 2004. Kuidas kirjutada oma elulugu? – Vikerkaar, nr 3, lk 104–108.

Velsker, Mart 2010. Üksainus Paradiis. – Vikerkaar, nr 4–5, lk 172–176.

Õnnepalu, Tõnu 2009a. Kevad ja suvi ja. Tallinn: Varrak.

Õnnepalu, Tõnu 2009b. Paradiis. Tallinn: Varrak.

Õnnepalu 2010 = Tõnu Õnnepalu kirjutas oma paradiisi raamatusse. Intervjueeris Riho Laurisaar. – Eesti Päevaleht. Laupäev: Kultuur 9. I, lk 1–3.