Arne Merilai

Arne Merilai. Photo by Kalle Paalits
Literary studies

Arne Merilai (b. 27. IV 1961) is a poet, novelist and a professor and chair of Estonian literature (2011) at the University of Tartu.

His primary area of research is national literature in the context of world literature informed by a comparative poetics and unified field literary theory. He has developed an innovative approach called pragmapoetics, a philosophy of poetic language usage. His book Eesti ballaad 1900–1940 (‘Estonian Ballad, 1900–1940′) was published in 1991, and Eesti pagulaskirjandus 1944–1992: Luule (‘Estonian Literature in Exile 1944–1992: Poetry’, with Õnne Kepp) in 1994. Eesti ballaad: Antoloogia: XVII–XX sajand (‘Estonian Ballad: Anthology: 17th–20th Century’), Poeetika: Gümnaasiumiõpik (‘Poetics: Textbook for High School’, with Anneli Saro and Epp Annus), and Pragmapoeetika: Kahe konteksti teooria (‘Pragmapoetics: the Theory of Two Contexts’) were released in 2003. Besides editing the joint research volumes, he has published two books of his own selected articles, Vokimeister: Kriitilisi konstruktsioone 1990–2011 (‘The Spinning Wheel Maker: Critical Constructs 1990–2011′, 2011), and Õnne tähendus: Kriitilisi emotsioone 1990–2010 (‘The Meaning of Happiness: Critical Emotions 1990–2010′, 2011). With about 260 publications to his credit, Arne Merilai ranks among the most prolific scholars in Estonia.

A member of the Estonian Writers’ Union, Arne Merilai has penned two collections of poetry, Merlini aare (‘Merlin’s Treasure’, 1998) and Tolmutort (‘Dust Bunny’, 2001), a play (2006), and a novel Türann Oidipus (‘Oedipus the Tyrant’, 2009).

Interlitteraria, vol 19, no 2, 2014, p 446.

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Books in Estonian

Merlini aare: luulemärss 1994-1998. Tartu: Ilmamaa, 1998, 111 lk.
Tolmutort. Tallinn: Tuum, 2001, 87 lk.

Türann Oidipus. Tallinn: Verb, 2009, 421 lk.

Eesti ballaad 1900-1940. Tartu: Tartu Ülikool, 1991, 141 lk.
Pragmapoeetika: kahe konteksti teooria. Tartu: Tartu Ülikooli Kirjastus, 2003, 238 lk.
Vokimeister: kriitilisi konstruktsioone 1990-2011. Tartu: Tartu Ülikooli Kirjastus, 2011, 615 lk.
Õnne tähendus: kriitilisi emotsioone 1990-2010. Tartu: Tartu Ülikooli Kirjastus, 2011, 349 lk.

Tõstan titsi taade: tõlgendavaid kehtestusi 2012–2022. Tartu: Tartu Ülikooli Kirjastus, 2022, 423 lk.