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Kersti Bergroth

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Kersti Bergroth

Photo: Sunklo

Introduction: Kersti Bergroth

Kersti Bergroth (1886-1975) started her long and distinguished literary career as a member of the dagdrivare, a group of young Swedish-speaking upper class writers who, in taking their cue from Oscar Wilde, promoted markedly materialistic, pleasure-seeking urban values and life's meaninglessness, and considered themselves as something of society's outsiders.

"We were cynical and ironic, and our ideal was to be without ideals", Bergroth would later write about her early career.

In the early 1920s, Bergroth began to write primarily in Finnish, and her interests shifted away from the dagdrivare ideals. The realities associated with small artist groups began to interest her, as did the country that she lived in. Much of her later work would in fact take Finland herself as its subject, concentrating on its rural Eastern areas where Bergroth had grown up. Today, Bergroth is perhaps best known in Finland for the plays that she wrote using the Eastern dialect of Karelian Finnish.

In addition to plays, Bergroth wrote novels, screenplays, memoirs and essays. Many of the latter were about Rome, where she relocated in the 1950s. Under the nom de plum Mary Marck, Bergroth also penned novels for a young female audience.