On 19 February, one hundred years will have passed since the birth of Jaan Kross. This jubilee year include surprises, including a new production at the Estonian Drama Theatre, exciting new reprintings of Kross` works, a broadly-based international conference and various exhibitions. The festive main event is the celebration of Kross` jubilee at the Estonia theatre.
On 16 January an exhibition entitled Discovering the World. Jaan Kross 100 was opened at the Estonian National Library. The main direction of the exhibition, which has been curated by Maarja Undusk is a thoroughgoing panoply of Kross` works, a total of 300 books published over the years in Estonian and foreign languages. In addition, the exhibition includes a selection of illustrations of Kross` works from the graphic art collection of the Estonian National Library and private collections. In the foyer gallery of the Estonian National Library one can see photographs of Kross from family archives as well as the holdings of the Estonian National Library.
On 13 February, a festive seminar will be held in Helsinki`s Oodi central library, where speakers will include Harri Tiido, Mart Velsker, Sirje Olesk, Satu Grünthal, Jaan Undusk, Jouko Vanhanen, Seppo Zetterberg and Juhani Salokannel. The occasion will also include a presentation of the translation of Taevakivi [The Stone from the Sky] (Finnish translation by Jouko Vanhanen), which is the last literary work by Jaan Kross to be translated into Finnish.
On 15 February, Jaan Undusk`s play The Great Land of Siberia will open at the Estonian Drama Theatre. This theatrical work is based on the period in Jaan Kross` life when, after his imprisonment in the Gulag, he was in mandatory resettlement in the Krasnojarsk region, following which he was allowed to return to the Estonian SSR. The play has been produced by Hendrik Toompere, with Tambet Tuisk in the role of the young Jaan Kross. The text of The Great Land of Siberia will be published in the February issue of Looming dedicated to Jaan Kross, and in March 2020 as the 33d volume of the Estonian Drama Theatre`s series, “Playbooks”.
On 17 February an exhibit entitled There was a Ship. Jaan Kross and the Sea will be opened at the Tammsaare museum of the Tallinn Literature Centre. The exhibit focuses on the somewhat unexpected, but very fruitful motif of the sea in Jaan Kross` life and works.
On 18 February a public lecture will be given in Marburg, Germany, entitled “I would rather have been born in a free Estonia…” On the 100th birthday of Jaan Kross. The lecture, given by Dorothee M. Goeze, will examine Kross` novels; excerpts will also be read from the novel The Wikman Boys (German translation by Irja Grönholm). The event is organised by the Herder Institute in Marburg, and in addition to the seminar one can peruse an exhibit of materials from the institute`s academic library and scholarly collections.
On 18-19 February an international conference entitled The Ropewalker. Jaan Kross 100 will be held, organised by the Estonian Writers` Union. Presenters will include literary scholars, historians, translators and writers as follows: Tiit Aleksejev, Jaan Undusk, Tiina Ann Kirss, Cornelius Hasselblatt, Juhani Salokannel, Irina Belobrovtseva, Eneken Laanes, Linda Kaljundi, Margit Sutrop, David Ilmar Lepasaar Beecher, Sirpa Kähkönen, Maarja Undusk and Kaur Riismaa. Students from the theatre class of the Old Town Educational College will give a reading of Ellen Niit`s and Jaan Kross` poetry, entitled O you, my nest. Translators Maima Grīnberga, Jouko Vanhanen, Turid Farbregd, Frans van Nes will speak of their relationship with Kross` works. On the morning of the first day of the conference, the Estonian Writers` Union will announce the winner of the Jaan Kross Literary Award. At the end of the conference, the results of the student video competition conducted preceding Kross` 100th jubilee will be announced.
On 19 February the Estonian Postal Service will issue a memorial stamp dedicated to Jaan Kross` 100th birthday. The first-day stamp will be in use at the Toompea postal outlet on the same day from 10.00-17.00, and a first-day envelope will also be on sale.
On 19 February at 17.00 the Estonian Students` Society will organise a memorial ceremony at Jaan Kross` grave at the Rahumäe cemetery.
On 19 February at 19.00 a festive celebration will take place at the Estonia Theatre, with the title The Discovery of Estonia. Jaan Kross 100, produced by Margus Kasterpalu. Speeches will be given by the President of the Estonian Republic and the winner of the Jaan Kross literary award. The Tallinn Chamber Orchestra will perform under the direction of Tõnu Kaljuste.
The anniversary of Kross` birth will also be marked at his former high school, the Westholm high school with exhibits, presentations, and a festive convocation evening on 12 February at 18.00. On the evening of 19 February, students in their senior year at the high school will participate in the celebration of the writer`s birthday at the Estonia Theatre.
During the Old Town Days festival, 5 June is devoted to Jaan Kross. Actors will read excerpts from Kross` memoirs; walks in the Old Town will be organised on Kross-related topics, a film evening etc.
Lectures will be given on Jaan Kross in various locations in Finland by Sirpa Kähkönen, Sirje Olesk and Hannu Marttila.
Itineraries for walks on Kross-related themes in Tallinn`s Old Town and Kalamaja will appear on the map application Literary Tallinn.