Ott Kool

Short stories


Ott Kool (real name Otto Kool; 12 November 1930 – 28 August 2000) was a radio journalist and playwright.

Kool was born in Virumaa County and attended Malla primary school and Kohtla-Järve industrial school and evening secondary school.  Initially, he worked in industry, in the 1960s became a journalist, working at first for the magazine Noorus, afterwards as a correspondent of the Estonian Radio. He was a member of the Estonian Association of Journalists and the Estonian Writers’ Union. Kool was awarded the title of Merited Journalist of the Estonian SSR (1988), the big nature conservation badge of the Estonian SSR and the Karl Ernst von Baer Medal (1988). He is buried in Kunda cemetery.

Kool wrote mainly on the themes of North Estonian agriculture and environment, attaching importance to nature conservation. From the late 1950s, he began to publish literary reportage and short prose in the press, which have been issued in the collections Adraseadmise aegu (‘’Time to Put One’s Hand to the Plough’, 1962) and Tähed allikas (‘Stars at Headspring’, 1967). The latter received the literary prize of the Eduard Vilde collective farm (1968).

With the play Lilled professorile (‘Flowers for the Professor’, staged at Rakvere theatre in 1971, published in the collection Valik näidendeid – ‘Selected Plays’ – in 1973) playwriting takes the central place in Kool’s creation. Here, too, the essential place belongs to the problems of rural life and collective farms, e.g., in the dilogy Maarja maal (‘Maarja in the Country’, staged at Pärnu theatre in 1975) and Kes paljajalu käib (‘Who’s Walking Barefoot’, staged at Pärnu theatre in 1981). Musta kassi öösel ei näe (‘You Can’t See a Black Cat at Night’, staged at Pärnu theatre 1984, published in print in the collection Eesti näidendeid 1980–1984 – ‘Estonian Plays 1980–1984’ – in 1987) gained great popularity among the audience. It is a variation on the conflict between rural and urban attitudes to life as known from A. H. Tammsaare’s books.  In the play Reporterid (‘Reporters’, staged at Pärnu theatre in 1987), Kool depicted journalists’ work.

A. K. (Translated by I. A.)

Books in Estonian

Short prose
Adraseadmise aegu: olukirjeldused ja jutustused. Tallinn: Eesti Riiklik Kirjastus, 1962, 252 lk
Tähed allikas. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1967, 272 lk