Egon Rannet

Plays Egon Rannet

About Egon Rannet


Egon Rannet (Eugen/Jevgeni Brücke until 1940, 29./16. XI 1911-1. XI 1983) is mostly known as a playwright, whose works follow the principles of socialist realism.

He was born in Tallinn and was educated there. His father, who did not return to the family after being drafted during World War I, worked in the Red Army and People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD) in Soviet Union for 40 years. Brücke studied in several schools in Tallinn, including the Tallinn Kaarli Gymnasium from 1926-1928. His mother passed early, after which Brücke was forced to support himself. He worked many jobs and was even caught up in the Tallinn underworld. He was a member of the Vaps Movement (the nationalist populists in Estonia in the 1930s). In World War II, he fought on the Soviet side and took part in several battles. From 1944, he worked in the police force of the ESSR, first in criminal investigation and then in the prosecution. From 1947, he worked in Tallinn as a professional writer. From 1950, he joined the Estonian Writers’ Union and from 1961, was a Merited Writer of the ESSR. In the 1954 Looming short story competition, his story Elulõimed (‘Threads of Life’) received a prize and Õigus armastusele (‘Right to Love’) was recognized. He received the State Prize of the Soviet Estonia for the drama Kadunud poeg (‘Lost Son’, 1958). He received the literary award of the E. Vilde collective farm for the first volume of the novel Kivid ja leib (‘Stones and Bread’, 1972). He was married to Vaike Rannet (1925-1999). He died in Tallinn and is buried at Tallinn Metsakalmistu (Forest Cemetery).

He debuted in the newspaper Noorte Hääl in 1947. In 1951, his satirical collection Ameerika elulaad (‘American Way of Life’) was published. He was one of the most important writers of literary reportage: Seltsimehed Torist (‘Comrades from Tori’, 1953) focuses on the topic of horse breeding and Tugevate tee (‘Path of the Strong’, 1954) on collective farm life. In the mid-1950s, plays that are characterized by a distinct Soviet attitude, socialist realism and conceptualism took center stage in his writings. The plays mostly focused on topical problems and were built upon a clear political or ethical conflict. The drama Südamevalu (‘Heartache’, published in Looming and staged in 1956; as a book in 1957) depicts conflicts at a collective farm and the personal problems of the main character Kustas Loki. A more psychological approach is taken in the drama Kadunud poeg (‘The Lost Son’, 1958), which focuses on a spy named Mart Tuisk, who has just returned home. The drama portrays the ideological opposition of the West and the Soviet Union. The satirical “Kriminaaltango” ja Väga korralikud inimesed (‘”Criminal tango” and Very Decent People’, 1968) deals with youth crime, the cause of which is the negative influence of the West.

In 1972, the first volume of his novel sequence Kivid ja leib (‘Stones and Bread’), which depicts country life, was published. The second volume remained incomplete until it was finished by his wife Vaike Rannet. The voluminous third and fourth book were written by her entirely. The saga became popular among readers.

A. N. (Translated by A. S.)


Books in Estonian

Kivid ja leib, 1. köide. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1972, 708 lk. [2. trükk: 1976.]
Egon Rannet, Vaike Rannet, Kivid ja leib, 2. köide. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1985, 654 lk.
Egon Rannet, Vaike Rannet, Kivid ja leib, 3. köide.  Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1992, 797 lk.
Egon Rannet, Vaike Rannet, Kivid ja leib, 4. köide.  Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1996, 870 lk.

Short stories
Ameerika elulaad. Lühijutte, epigramme, följetone. Tallinn: Eesti Riiklik Kirjastus 1951, 108 lk.
Seltsimehed Torist. Olukirjeldus. Tallinn: Eesti Riiklik Kirjastus, 1953, 119 lk.
Tugevate tee. 1. raamat: Olustikupilte ühe perekonna elust. Tallinn: Eesti Riiklik Kirjastus, 1954, 370 lk. [2. trükk: 1958.]

Kuri karjas. Tallinn: Ajalehtede Kirjastus, 1949, 16 lk.
Leerikleit. Tallinn: Ajalehtede Kirjastus, 1949, 16 lk.
USA. Tallinn: Ajalehtede-Ajakirjade Kirjastus, 1950, 20 lk.
Südamevalu. Tallinn: Eesti Riiklik Kirjastus, 1957, 95 lk. [Järgmised trükid: 1961, 1971.]
Kadunud poeg. Tallinn: ENSV Ajalehtede-Ajakirjade Kirjastus, 1958, 42 lk. [Järgmised trükid: 1959, 1961, 1971.]
Salakütid. Tallinn: Eesti Riiklik Kirjastus, 1960, 84 lk. [Järgmised trükid: 1961, 1971.]
Näidendid. Tallinn: Eesti Riiklik Kirjastus, 1961, 288 lk. [Sisu: ‘Südamevalu’, ‘Kadunud poeg’, ‘Salakütid’, ‘Vihmas ja päikeses: filmistsenaarium’.]
Haned. Tallinn: Eesti Riiklik Kirjastus, 1964, 84 lk. [2. trükk: 1971.]
Karikas ja madu. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1966, 76 lk. [2. trükk: 1971.]
Veripunane roos. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1967, 86 lk.
“Kriminaaltango” ja väga korralikud inimesed. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1968, 72 lk.
Näidendid. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1971, 503 lk.

Kilde Taani-reisilt. Tallinn: Eesti Riiklik Kirjastus, 1960, 79 lk.