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Unt, Mati

Entry updated 19 July 2021. Tagged: Author.

(1944-2005) Estonian theatrical director and author, active from a very early age, beginning with his first novel, Hüvasti, kollane kass ["Goodbye, Yellow Cat"] (1963). Two novels from his large oeuvre translated into English are of interest as examples of texts where the techniques of what might be called post-modern Fantastika (see Postmodernism and SF) are applied to a range of material that includes sf. Öös on asju (1990; trans by Erick Dickens as Things in the Night 2006) surreally describes a frozen mediaeval and/or Near Future Tallinn paralysed by a nation-wide loss of power, an absence presented both literally and as a clear description of Estonia in the last days of Soviet rule (see Equipoise). A similar doubleness marks Doonori meelespea (1990; trans Ants Eert as Diary of a Blood Donor 2008), where a starved and pallid Estonia is configured through the structure and content (see Vampires) of Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897); by the end of the tale, something like hope begins to dawn. [JC]

Mati Unt

born Jõgevamaa, USSR [now Estonia]: 1 January 1944

died Tallinn, Estonia: 22 August 2005

works (highly selected)

  • Öös on asju (Tallinn, Estonia: Eesti Raamat, 1990) [binding unknown/]
    • Things in the Night (Champaign, Illinois: Dalkey Archive Press, 2006) [trans by Eric Dickens of the above: pb/N J Furl]
  • Doonori meelespea (Tallinn, Estonia: Kupar, 1990) [binding unknown/]
    • Diary of a Blood Donor (Champaign, Illinois: Dalkey Archive Press, 2008) [trans by Ants Eert of the above: pb/]


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