Finland 100 / Exhibition: The world is a word - the history of the Finnish aphorism

Event date
Fri 17.2 to Fri 22.12.2017
0:00 to 0:00
The National Library of Finland
Unioninkatu 36
Contact persons
Communications Officer
The National Library of Finland
PL 15 (Unioninkatu 36)
02941 22722
Accessibility information

The new exhibition at the National Library discusses the Finnish aphorism, the art of delivering an idea concisely. Finland has a rich tradition of sayings, and an exceptionally large amount of interest in aphorisms.

The exhibition focuses on aphorism literature from the 18th century to present day. Rarities include Henrik Florinus’s collection of sayings from 1702, and the first-ever collection of Finnish aphorisms (compiled by Jacob Frese) from 1726. In addition, the exhibition features dozens of other works that depict the development, diversity and expressive power of the Finnish aphorism. Finland’s best-known aphorism authors are represented, including: J. L. Runeberg, Juhani Siljo, Edith Södergran, Gunnar Björling, V. A. Koskenniemi, Erkki Melartin, Maria Jotuni, Mirkka Rekola, Paavo Haavikko, Samuli Paronen, Erno Paasilinna, Helena Anhava and Markku Envall.

The exhibition also includes samples from the manuscripts of Maria Jotuni and Samuli Paronen, among others, Paavo Haavikko’s typewriter, Mirkka Rekola’s familiar cap, aphorism calligraphy as well as Princess brand tea bags, with attached aphorisms.  

Two public events (in Finnish) will be organised in conjunction with the exhibition:

Thursday, 6 APRIL 2017, 18.00: Professor Kaisa Häkkinen will speak about aphorisms on the topic “Sananlaskuista aforismiin”, and Professor H.K. Riikonen about V.A. Koskenniemi and his aphorisms on the topic “V. A. Koskenniemi – suomalaisen aforismin klassikko”.

Tuesday, 18 APRIL 2017, 18.00: Author, Docent Katja Seutu will speak about Mirkka Rekola’s aphorisms, and journalist, translator Jaakko Anhava will discuss the works of Paavo Haavikko.

The exhibition is part of the National Library’s programme for Finland’s centenary.

Be inspired by aphorisms and take part in the competition! Read more: