Comparing Learning Opportunities in the Field of Literary Heritage
The Under and Tuglas Literature Centre belongs to the NGO Association of Estonian Writersʼ Museums, which in 2011–2013 coordinated the international project ʻComparing Learning Opportunities in the Field of Literary Heritageʼ. The project was given 20 000 euros support by the European lifelong learning program subprogram for adult learning. Participants included writersʼ museums and literature centres from Estonia, Greece, Luxembourg, Finland, and Hungary. The outcomes of the programm were a book, webpage, and virtual exhibit of European literary characters.
The virtual exhibit is based on the idea that literary characters offer the broader public very direct and personal access to literature, and that they function in culture as mythological characters. Odysseus, Don Quixote, King Lear, Faust, and Anna Karenina are recognisable even to those who have not read the corresponding literary works. The goal of the exhibit is to offer a broader public the opportunity to learn about the legendary characters of Europeʼs smaller national literatures.
The exhibit is built up on three levels: character-writer-context. Thus the interested viewer can learn more about the author who created the character, and local literary life and society at the time the literary character was born. The exhibit represents popular characters from Estonian, Greek, Luxembourgian, Finnish, and Hungarian; Estonia is represented in the exhibit by the national epic Kalevipoeg, a beloved children fiction character Lotte (from the works of Andrus Kivirähk), Tiina (a heroine from August Kitzbergʼs play Libahunt – ʻWerewolfʼ), a naughty schoolboy Joosep Toots (from a very popular youth book by Oskar Luts), and Andres and Pearu from the roman-fleuve Truth and Justice (Tõde ja õigus) by A. H. Tammsaare.