SHORT STORY: Internal Immigrant by Mihkel Mutt

Mihkel Mutt
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Mihkel Mutt (c) Jüri J. Dubov


Mihkel Mutt (b. 1953), one of the most interesting Estonian authors, unites in his work the English sense of humour and the core texts of Estonian culture. Since 2007 he's been the editor-in-chief of the cultural monthly Looming. Beginning his prose career with critical pieces, he soon turned his attentions to the short story, characterized by a kind of snobbishness, powerful sarcasm and irony. These traits are softening in his later works. His first novel, Hiired tuules (Mice in the Wind, 1982) is set in theatre circles and exposes artistic bohemianism. Progressiivsed hiired (Progressive Mice, 2001) is a savage satire on present-day journalism and the world of private art galleries. In Rahvusvaheline mees (International Man, 1994) he reflects on his own period of employment at the Estonian Foreign Ministry, focusing on diplomacy and international relations. He has written plays and travel essays and recently turned his attention to the genre of memoirs. Born two weeks before the death of Stalin, he begins by asking if anything survived from the lost Estonian Republic. In conclusion, Mutt is an intellectual novelist, portraying reality theatrically; while he highly appreciates privacy, he will even make himself the object of his texts.

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