Sunday, 16 September 2018

Tammsaare's 'I Loved a German' (Ma armastasin sakslast) now available in English

If you enjoy the works of Tammsaare and are in need of English translations then you will be thrilled to learn that Ma armastasin sakslast (I loved a German) was recently translated into English. Over the years, many of Tammsaare's novels have been translated into various languages but it has taken 83 years since Ma armastasin sakslast's original publication in Estonian to reach an English audience.

A. H. Tammsaare’s 'I Loved a German' is a gripping love story in which the classic love triangle takes a very untraditional form. The plot is centered around a young Estonian university student who falls in love with Erika, a young Baltic German woman. The Baltic Germans had lost their former aristocratic position in society since Estonia declared its independence. The young German earns her keep as a tutor for an Estonian family, and is not economically well-off. The young man, Oskar, starts courting the girl frivolously, but then falls head-over-heels in love with her.

Before long, the prejudice that an Estonian and a Baltic German are of socially unequal standings starts to haunt the couple. When Oskar goes to ask Erika’s grandfather – a former manor lord – for the girl’s hand, the meeting leaves a deep impression on his soul. All of a sudden, Oskar finds himself wondering if perhaps he doesn’t love the woman in Erika, but rather her grandfather; meaning, her noble descent. Perhaps the 'slave’s blood' of farmhands who had been in the service of Baltic Germans for centuries is manifested in his love, instead?

Anton Hansen Tammsaare is one of Estonia's most beloved authors. His novel Truth and Justice is considered Estonia's best novel of all time. I loved a German can be purchased online at the Wordery: I Loved a German