Merete Mazzarella
Humanist of the day

Merete Mazzarella

Merete Mazzarella, a literary all-rounder, has a delight in just about everything. The Professor Emerita of Nordic Literature wonders if she might have become an anthropologist rather than a literary scholar. Mazzarella has lectured on Finnish literature written in Swedish on two continents. In the final analysis, she considers herself an essayist more than an academic.

Merete Mazzarella

Signe Merete Mazzarella
Born February 4, 1945, Helsinki.

Master of Arts (English Philology), 1968, Doctor of Philosophy (Swedish Literature), 1981, University of Helsinki.

Acting Professor of Nordic Literature, 1995-8, Professor, University of Helsinki, 1998-2008
Lektor, Finnish Literature written in Swedish, University of Helsinki, 1973-95
Author, Literary Critic and Columnist

Literary and Research Interests:
Gender issues, autobiography, essay writing, medical humanities

Awards and Honours:
Längmanska fondens finlandssvenska pris (Längmanska Foundation Finland-Swedes Prize), 2015
Ehrnroothska säätiön kunniapalkinto (Ehrnrooth Foundation Special Award), 2010
State Prize for Public Information, 2008
Honorary Doctor (Medical Faculty), University of Uppsala, 2007
Tegnér Prize, 2007
De nios Prize 2005
Lundequistiska bokhandel prize 2004
State Prize for Art, 2002
Fredrika Runeberg prize, 1995
Folktingets förtjänstmedalj (Swedish parliament’s service medal), 1994
Swedish Literature Society Prize, 1986, 1990

Nominee for Nordic Council’s literature prize (2008), Finlandia prize, non-fiction category (2001), Finlandia Prize (2009), Runeberg Prize for Literature (2014)

Photo: Schildts & Söderströms / Lorna Bartram
Written by Merete Mazzarella (Tomas Sjöblom, ed.)
Translated by John Calton

As a literary scholar, I have been old-fashioned in that I have always thought that literature has to do with life, ‘reality’. Just as Från Fredrika Runeberg till Märta Tikkanen (1985) deals with changes in the role of women over the course of a century, Det trånga rummet (1989) is about the development of men’s role.

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