Rafael Koskimies
Humanist of the day

Rafael Koskimies

Rafael Koskimies was a versatile and hard-working literary scholar and critic. His research interests drew him to both theoretical positions and the cultural history of literature. As a critic he aimed to write in a lively style, to be fair and moderate. He enjoyed a long career, which extended from undergraduate days until his death.

Rafael Koskimies

Kaarlo Rafael Koskimies (until 1926 Forsman)
Born February 9, 1898, Savonlinna. Died November 19, 1977, Helsinki.

Master of Arts, 1920, Licentiate of Philosophy, 1923 and Doctor of Philosophy, 1927, University of Helsinki

Professor of Aesthetics and Modern Literature, 1939–61, University of Helsinki
Docent, Finnish Literature, 1926–38, University of Helsinki
President, Finnish Academy of Science and Letters, 1963-4
Chairman of the Board, Otava Publishers 1943-68
Chairman of the Board, Finnish National Theatre, 1948-60
Editor-in-chief, Valvoja-Aika journal, 1932-41
Permanent Assistant, Uusi Suomi newspaper, 1921-34, 1940 and 1941
Sub-editor, Aika journal, 1917-24

Finnish Academy of Science and Letters Award, 1969
Honorary Member, Aleksis Kiven Society, 1951
Honorary Member, Finnish Society of Literary Researchers, 1957
Honorary Merit, Emil Aaltonen Foundation, 1950

Photo: SKS, Kirjallisuusarkisto
Written by Tero Juutilainen
Translated by John Calton

“The literary critic should never immerse himself exclusively in literature, nor should the aesthete immerse himself in aesthetics alone.” This is what Rafael Koskimies recalled his father having once said, and what he also strived to achieve in his work. In his criticism, he tried to avoid language that was…

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