Under and Tuglas Literature Centre of Estonian Academy of Sciences cordially invites you to join the seminar on the Estonian fin de siècle writer Jaan Oks (1884–1918) as part of the project The Emergence of a Civilised Nation: Decadence and Transition 1905–1940 funded by the Estonian Research Council. Jaan Oks was a radical moderniser of Estonian culture whose innovative work – in its embodied descriptions of (male) sexuality and unique, highly unusual use of language – was admired by several members of the grouping Young Estonia (1905–1915) and Siuru (1917–1919). Oks’ aesthetics is a complex mixture of various threads of naturalism, decadence, and modernism. The second seminar on Jaan Oks takes place virtually on the 22nd of April at 3 p.m.

The first presenter, Ian Gwin is a master’s student at Washington University. His paper concentrates on the „diabolic symbolism“ in Jaan Oks’ oeuvre, mainly in his stories Keelatud puu (The Forbidden Tree), Suu (Mouth), and Hingemägede ääres (At the Mountain of Souls). Those stories were written approximately between 1907–1910.

The second talk is given by Kristjan Haljak – a PhD student from Tallinn University – and it focuses on transgressive sexuality and its role in subject formation in Oks’ texts. Haljak’s readings are bolstered by the psychoanalytic theories by Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan.