Contemporary theories of identity do not deal identity as stable, certain and ordered phenomenon, but identity is dynamic, dialogical, and also ephemeral and heterogeneous phenomenon. The experience of exile after the II WW gave to Estonians such kind of identity (the new Estonian cultural centres became Stockholm and Lund in Sweden and Toronto in Canada).
Käbi Laretei, Estonian-Swedish pianist and writer, has told that she is an exile human being: “I’ve Swedish passport, and Swedish life in Swedish standard, but my grandparents and my parents died in foreign countries. That fact has made me strange both here and there. I’m an exile person. Swedish people did not interest about my background. They interested about my as I am. But who I am? I was a combination of international cosmopolitan – pianist, and finally, I was an Estonian girl.”
K. Laretei’s husband Ingmar Bergman has similar experience, only he has voluntary exile which began in 1976 from Paris and continued till 1983 when Bergman visited several countries and places in Germanywhere he worked with several theatres. He writes in “Laterna magica” that he longs for Sweden public, and Sweden life style.
These two examples show the life style in modern world where national identity changes weaker, but individual identity dominates. The paper examines how individual and national identities are represented in Estonian and Swedish literature (Käbi Laretei’s, Tõnu Õnnepalu’s, Ene Mihkelson’s and Ingmar Bergman’s novels and Estonian exile poetry).
Submit an update or correction to this abstract.