Ott Raun

Ott Raun

Ott Raun (born 19 July 1940) is a prose writer, poet and journalist.

Raun was born in Tallinn as the son of a journalist. In 1959, he completed Tallinn Secondary School no. 22 and, thereafter, Tallinn Technical School of Fishery. He was a worker at a fishery plant but continued his studies at Tallinn Pedagogical Institute from which he graduated as a teacher of Estonian language and literature. After graduation, he worked as a journalist for the newspaper Nõukogude Õpetaja; from 1975 he was head of the essays and articles department of the journal Looming.  From 1998, Raun has been chief editor of the historical journal Tuna. He is a member of the Estonian Writers’ Union from 1992.

Raun made his debut with poems in the magazine Noorus in 1963. His first poetry collection Hobusel on täna sünnipäev (‘The Horse has Birthday Today’) appeared in 1973. Critics expressed opposing opinions on the collection. Writer Jaan Kaplinski praised the debutant who did not care about “traditional depth” but tried to discover “poetry in ordinary people’s everyday life in their habitual surroundings.” After that, there was a longer pause in Raun’s creation until the novel Kõrvaltegelased (‘Subsidiary Characters’) appeared in 1990.

Raun has published six poetry collections, three novels – Kõrvaltegelased, Kuningas, kes tahtis olla narr (‘The King Who Wanted to Be a Jester’, 1995), Test (‘Test’, 2000), the collection of articles Vaikne eestlane (‘Quiet Estonian’, 1998), the fairy tale book Kass nimega Inimene (‘The Cat Named Human’, 2015) and the books of memoirs Vaimu vend (‘Brother of Spirit’, 2015), Tuba number kaheksa (‘Room Number Eight’, 2016) and Tunaeile (‘The Day Before Yesterday’). In critics’ opinion, Raun’s best poetry collection has been Silmlill (‘Eye Flower’, 1996). The novel Kuningas, kes tahtis olla narr describes the first-person character’s searches for himself during a dreamlike train journey from Barcelona to Tallinn. One of the characteristic features of Ott Raun’s creation is playfulness.

In 2003 Ott Raun was awarded the Order of the White Star, Class 4.

L. P. (Translated by I. A.)


Books in Estonian

Hobusel on täna sünnipäev. Luuletusi 1964-1972. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1973, 72 lk.
Kummelilõhn kirikus. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1991, 78 lk.
Silmlill. Tallinn: Huma, 1996, 77 lk.
Kaheks saa. Luulet 2001-2002. Tallinn: Eesti Keele Sihtasutus, 2002, 84 lk.
Alraun. Luulet 2004-2005. Tallinn: Verb, 2005, 93 lk.
Iseenese väljanäitus. Luulet 1965-2005. Tallinn: Verb, 2010, 183 lk.

Kõrvaltegelased. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1990, 238 lk.
Kuningas, kes tahtis olla narr. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1995, 167 lk.
Test. Tallinn: SE & JS, 2000, 207 lk.

Kass nimega Inimene. Tallinn: Joonmeedia, 2015, 73 lk.

Essays and articles
Vaikne eestlane. Tallinn: Virgela, 1998, 191 lk.

Vaimu vend. Meenutusi. Esimene veerandsada. Tartu: Ilmamaa, 2015, 384 lk.
Tuba number kaheksa. Meenutusi järgmisest kahekümnest aastast (1965-1985). Tartu: Ilmamaa, 2016, 395 lk.
Tunaeile. Meenutusi kaheksakümnendatest tunaeilseni. Tartu: Ilmamaa, 2019, 476 lk.