Location and Dislocation in Pentti Haanpää’s Novel 'Korpisotaa': Notes on the Landscape of War



Pentti Haanpää, Korpisotaa, Finnish war novel, keyness, semantic tagging, geographic space, landscape, locations


Pentti Haanpää (1905-1955) was one of the most important Finnish authors in the first half of the twentieth century. His short stories and novels frequently describe life in the north-western part of Finnish countryside, but his collected works also include many other themes. Among his works, for example, are three novels and two short story collections that describe either military life or war. His first war novel Korpisotaa (Haanpää 1940) describes the Finnish Winter War of 1939-40. The novel is generally considered as the first realistic war novel published in Finland (Karonen 1985, 1999), and its reception was generally favourable (Koivisto 1998: 272). In this study we focus on an analysis of geographic space and (dis)locations in Korpisotaa. We analyse usage of locations, geographic space words and names of locations in the novel. We have available a digital version of the novel and make systematic searches and analyses out of the novel’s text. We use corpus software AntConc (Anthony 2019) and a semantic tagger for Finnish to be able to locate expressions of location and geographic space systematically in the novel. Our methodological starting point is keyness analysis. We extract the most distinguishing semantic classes of words out of Korpisotaa in comparison to a reference corpus that consists of five other works of the author. The methods we use in the study are familiar from linguistic corpus studies, which have also been used to some extent in literary studies. Using a semantic tagger systematizes the findings of geographic space words in the novel and comparison texts, and enables us to perform keyness counts for semantic word groups instead of single words. Our work contributes especially to the use of digital methods in literature analysis and the creation of literary study corpora. The availability of a digital version of the text helps detailed analysis very much, as will be shown in our analysis of Korpisotaa.


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