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||Juho Aukusti Hollo (1885-1967)|
Educator, translator, Ph.D., professor at the University of Helsinki from 1930 to 1954. J.A. Hollo was one of the most prolific and versatile translators in Finland - he was able to translate from almost any language and from any genre of literature. As an essayist Hollo's style was lively, he moved easily from one subject to another. As an translator of some 170 books, he taught a whole nation to read the very best of world literature.
"Ihmiset toimivat eri elämänaloilla, eri elämänmuodoissa, ja jokaisella niistä tarjoutuu tilaisuutta nerouden osoittamiseen. Toistaiseksi suoritettujen tutkimusten tai kuvausten yksi puute on se, että on rajoituttu tarkastelemaan lähinnä vain tiedemiesten ja taiteilijain, erityisesti runoilijain ja kirjailijain neroutta. Kretschmerillä on lisäksi sankari ja valtias (Bismarck), profeetta (Rousseau - eikö löytynyt sopivampaa profeettaa?) sekä yleisnero, elämäntaiteilija (Goethe). Edes jossain määrin täydelliseen kuvaussarjaan täytyisi sisältyä myös taloudellinen, sosiaalinen ja uskonnollinen nerous." (from the magazine Suomalainen Suomi, 1951)
J.A. Hollo was born in Laihia, the son of Elias Hollo, a
manufacturer, and Susanna (Widmark) Hollo. Hollo read widely in
his childhood and participated in theatrical activities. At the age of
13 Hollo went to school in Vaasa and showed early his interest in
languages. While still at school, he translated Knut Hamsun's Under Høststjærnen.
Hollo received his M.A. in 1907, and then worked between the years 1908 and 1919 as a teacher in Kristiinankaupunki, Helsinki, and Vaasa. His friends included the writers Juhani Siljo and Volter Kilpi, who contribited to the magazine Valvoja. In his youth Hollo had planned to write a dissertation on Aleksis Kivi, but eventually abandoned this idea and only published two essays in 1911-12. Hollo's first translation was a collection of speeches of William James. The first volume came out in 1913 under the title Sielutiede and kasvatus and the second in 1916.
In the 1910s and 1920s Hollo studied pedagogy in Finland and
in Germany, France, and other European countries, receiving his Ph.D in
1919. His dissertation dealt with imagination and its training. A
disciple of Waldemar Ruin, he emphasized the importance of intuition as
a complementary approach to the psychological research and rejected
strict adherence to exact methods. With Hollo's translation of Henri Bergson's L'énergie spirituelle, which
appeared in 1923 under the title Henkinen
tarmo, the Finnish reading public was introduced to the
though of the influential French philosopher, who argued that intuition
is the discoverer of bright ideas, and diverges from the intellect
which is the method of science and mathematics.
Hollo was appointed docent at the University of Helsinki in 1920, but the next five years he spent in Leipzig and Vienna, where he was employed at a private library. In his diary Hollo mentions such central names from the European culture history as Franz Werfel, Stefan George, and Arthur Schnitzler, but Karl Kraus was the person whom he valued highest of all. However, Hollo never translated any of Kraus's essays or plays into Finnish.
After returning to Finland Hollo worked over two decades as professor of pedagogy and didactics at the university Helsinki. In 1950 he was appointed chancellor of Yhteiskunnallinen korkeakoulu (Institute of the Social Sciences), retiting in 1954. In the 1930s he served as a member of the state's literature board.
Among literature critics and essayists Hollo was one of the few writers whose studies of such poets as Eino Leino and Otto Manninen have had more than short-lived value. Hollo combined down-to-earth attitude with deep psychological and philosphical insights. His approach was closely related to the method of close reading. An open-minded searcher, whose approach to literature and philosophy was flexible, Hollo did not believe that there is only one truth.
In his article Eino Leino (1914-16), reprinted in the 24-volume reader Suomen sana, Hollo sees that Leino's second book of Whit songs (Helkavirsiä), based on the Kalevala and folk poetry, represents a new, mystical period in the author's career, and have connections to Leino's translation of Dante's Divina Commedia. In Virittäjä (1950) Hollo analyzes Manninen's double role as a translator of world literature and a poet. He considers serious translation work demands the same enthusiastic, tireless devotion as writing poems. Hollo also studies Manninen's poem 'Musa lapidarian', which is according to Viljo Tarkiainen the most difficult among his works. Hollo interprets the poem as an allegory of a play between a poet and a certain style of writing, exemplified in the vague chararter of Vellamo, the female spirit of sea.
In 1953 Hollo estimated that he had translated in 40 years about 170 books, but in some other sources the figure is over 300. He translated classics of Western literature, novels, philosophical and educational studies. The quality of his production was high, although some translations were just minor works. Swedish, English, and German were the closest languages for him but he was familiar with Russian, French, Norwegian, and Danish. Moreover, Hollo's diaries reveal knowlewdge of Japan, Greek, and Latin. His favorite writers were Dostoevsky, Goethe and Amiel. On his retirement Hollo became interested in the work of the Swiss physician and author Paul Tournier.
Hollo's own writings include academic studies, essays and critics. Among the central pedagogical publications are Mielikuvitus ja sen kasvattaminen I-II (1918-19), Kasvatuksen maailma (1927) and Itsekasvatus ja elämisen taito (1932), in which he emphasizes the importance of self-education and presents shortly his theory of beauty, which has its roots in Plato's philosophy. Today these works are nearly forgotten. In the 1940s and 1950s Hollo published relatively little on his own academic field, aside translating works by Maria Montessori, Richard Müller-Freienfels, Dale Carnegie, Heinrich Hanselmann, H. A. Overstreet. He held determinedly aloof from academic struggles, and only kept a small circle of close friends, who included Otto Manninen, professor Yrjö Airila and later the critic Tuomas Anhava.
Hollo regarded pedagogy as a discipline closely related to philosophy and not merely as a part of psychology. He saw that beauty itself has an independent existence as an concealed property of an object. He separates the concept of beauty and the aesthetic experience, stressing the cognitive aspect of the experience. Aesthetic emotions, person's abilities to choose between ugly and beautiful, can be developed. First step is to educate perception and senses - "we have eyes, but we don't see, we have ears, but we don't hear." The second necessary condition is to cultivate emotions and imagination. In this reading is the most valuable means.
Hollo was married twice, first to Aili Armida Pihlström, and
divorce to the singer Iris Antonina Anna Walden, his Russian
language teacher, whom he had met during his stay in Vienna and
Leipzig. Their son Anselm Hollo (b. 1934) became a writer and
translator; he moved to England in 1958. Since 1967 Anselm Hollo
lived in the United States, and translated into English and Germany
such Finnish writers as Pentti Saarikoski,
Veijo Meri, and Paavo Haavikko. J.A.Hollo died
in Helsinki on January 22, 1967. His diary, Sielun vaellus, came
out in 1985. Lukemisesta, a collection of essays,
appeared in 1992. Anselm Hollo died on January 29, 2013, at the
age of 78. His translation of Saarikoski's Trilogy (The Dance Floor on the
Mountain, Invitation to the Dance, The Dark One's Dances) received the
2004 Harold Morton Landon Translation Award.
For further reading: Henri Bergson i Finland: reception, rekontextualisering, politisering by Stefan Nygård (2011); Suomennoskirjallisuuden historia I, ed. by H.K. Riikonen et al. (2007); 'Hollo, Juho August' by Kai Laitinen, in Suomen kansallisbiografia 4, ed. by Matti Klinge, et al. (2004); Kirjojen virrassa by Kai Laitinen (1999, pp. 300-315); Opetuksen tutkimuksen suuntaviivoja, ed. by Pertti Kansanen & Jukka Husu (1999); Kansallisgalleria, Vol. 4, ed. by Allan Tiitta, et al. (1996); 'Juho A. Hollon neljä elämää' by Juha Suoranta, in niin & näin, 2 (1996); J. A. Hollon tiedekäsityksestä ja kasvatuksen teorian metodista = On J. A. Hollo's idea of science and his method of the theory of education by Asko Karjalainen (1986); Sielun vaellus by J.A. Hollo (1985); Juhlakirja professori J. A. Hollon 70-vuotispäiväksi 17. 1. 1955 by Suomen kasvatusopillinen yhdistys (1955)