| translator = W. J. Alexander Worster | image = Thesongofthebloodredflower 1921.jpg | caption = A hardcover of the 1921 English version | author = Johannes Linnankoski | illustrator = | cover_artist = | country = Finland | language = Finnish | series = | genre = romance | publisher = WSOY (Finnish)
Moffat, Yard & Co (English) | release_date = 1905 | english_release_date = 1921 | media_type = Print (Hardback) | pages = 240 (Finnish)
256 (English) | isbn = | oclc = 599685 | preceded_by = | followed_by = ''The Song of the Blood-Red Flower'' ( fi|Laulu tulipunaisesta kukasta) is a romance novel by Finnish writer Johannes Linnankoski, published in 1905; and is considered the author's most famous and personal work. A novel loosely based on the legend of Don Juan, telling the story of a young maid charming log driver. It was awarded the State Prize for Literature in 1906, and was also awarded by Finnish Literature Society. English version was first published in 1921 by Moffat, Yard & Co in New York, with W. J. Alexander Worster as a translator.The song of the blood-red flower – WorldCat
/ref> There are only five film adaptations of the story (three Swedish and two Finnish); the earliest is the Swedish silent film ' from 1919, directed by Mauritz Stiller, and the latest is the 1971 Finnish film adaptation directed by Mikko Niskanen, which is also only color film ever filmed. A huge number of stage plays have also been made based on the novel, such as H. Välisalmi's play by the Estonian Drama Theatre in 1938, and three Finnish plays at the Pyynikki Summer Theatre, Tampere in 1960, 1981 and 2005.

Plot summary

Olof Koskela is a tramp and a logger who has the power to charm a woman after another. He is the son of a farmer who, after arguing with his father, leaves his home and settles down with a group of log drivers. As he travels along the stream of logs on the River Kohiseva, Olof always captivates the most beautiful girl in every village. Olof does not call his charming girls real names, but inventes descriptive nicknames: Clematis, Gazelle, Daisy and Rowan. However, he always forgets his love when moving to a new place. Olof exudes emotion at every moment: “Only while we are young, only while the flood of youth runs free and bright in our veins can we be happy. And they are the greatest who dare to demand their share of life in full, to plunge unafraid into the waters, letting the waves break on their temples and life's salt flood wash their cheeks.” Faced with the proud and difficult-to-reach Kyllikki of the Moisio House, Olof can't leave her. He asks Moisio's host for permission to marry Kyllikki, but the request is denied. Olof continues his journey and hits a few more women, but he repeatedly misses Kyllikki. The longing gets too painful and Olof returns to Kyllikki. This time they get married. Olof does not want to start cultivating the inheritance of his family, but decides to start over as a land filler. They build their own house and clear fields. In due course, Kyllikki will also become pregnant. However, Olof does not think he has a more light-hearted life and is in great pains as he knows that Kyllikki is still suffering from his old adventures. Olof begins to examine himself until, at the end of the book, he agrees with his past. Once young tramp has grown into a responsible and aware member of society.


* Olof Koskela: The novel's protagonist. Olof is the younger son of a farmer with a fiery heart and temperament. This flower-to-flower-jumping hero seems to love only the feeling of falling in love, not its potential object. * Daisy: The light-haired, pink-cheeked maid Olof entice at her for a ski trip. Olof laments to Daisy how he, very passionate character, has finally cooled down. * Hawthorn: A beautiful girl who falls in love with Olof very fervently. Hawthorn would even want to sacrifice his life and die happily for Olof. * Gazelle: A small and slim girl with hot eyes, blonde long hair and red stockings. As he runs around playing with Olof, he gets the Gazelle designation; "Gazelle's feet, gazelle's eyes," flashes in Olof's mind. * Clematis: Olof describes the virgin as graceful and gentle, but at the same time, she is "affectionate and connected like a thread in the window tongue, and deep and bottomless like life itself." * Pansy: Olof describes Pansy for the night: "Stunning and fascinating as night, mysterious and sealed as autumn night, only illuminated by bright flashes of light." She has silky black hair. * Rowan: A calm and quiet girl with a brown straight. Olof's autumn girl who gets her nickname by showing Olof that autumn is beautiful. Olof describes the maiden as a red-berry rowan, which shines on the hillside as the birches turn yellow. * Forest Fairy: Her real name is Annikki and one of the stories about three women Olof calls her real name. * Maya Koskela: Olof's deceased sister. Olof imagines Maya talking to him and complaining about playing with girls' hearts. Sister is to Olof like a conscience trying to get him to do good. * Kyllikki Moisio: Daughter of the Moisio's host. A representative of sacrificial love who has the capacity for suffering and just waits in the background. Kyllikki is the only girl Olof wants to marry. Kyllikki is mysterious and proud and does not surrender to Olof very easily.


When Linnankoski began writing his success novel in the summer of 1904 at Vuohensaari in Salo, he had no actual written plan for plot. However, he had been thinking about the subject for many years before writing, so the final writing was quick and easy. Writing was not nearly as cumbersome as writing the his first successful play, ''Eternal Struggle'' (''Ikuinen taistelu'') from 1903. In ''The Song of the Blood-Red Flower'', Linnankoski made extensive use of his own experiences. He had lived a youth full of passion and controversy, but had been married for a few years with Ester Drugg (1872–1943)Johannes Linnankoski (1869-1913) - pseudonym for Johannes Vihtori Peltonen
/ref> as he wrote the book. When trying to write, he wanted to be as truthful as possible in his narrative. The role models and the people and events that ended up in the book were close to each other, but there was no direct reproduction, but Linnankoski edited and selected them for his own use. Linnankoski greatly influenced the events of the book from his youthful landscape in Vakkola, Askola, where he was born; the Kohiseva River, mentioned in the book, may have been thought to have been inspired by the Porvoo River across the Vakkola village.


From the outset, the basic themes of Linnankoski's literary work have been implicated in his production, including ''The Song of the Blood-Red Flower'': love, the struggle between good and evil in man himself and growth as a human, and the resulting moral problems of guilt, punishment, and atonement of the past.Johannes Linnankoski – Vihtori Peltonen
(in Finnish)
For Linnankoski, the Bible was the basic work that, at an ethical level, shaped his worldview. He saw earthly life as a unique event for which man himself and alone is responsible. Linnankoski had three ideas that he cherished and implemented in his own life and in his literary production: educating the people, strengthening the Finnish national identity, and the humanity hidden in every person.


After the release, ''The Song of the Blood-Red Flower'' received good reviews and excellent sales success. The book was published in the spring, but the second edition was ordered in early autumn. The publisher suggested to Linnankoski that he remove the redundant chapter from the new edition and put forward various suggestions for improvement. However, Linnankoski remained in the original text and no changes were made. ''The Song of the Blood-Red Flower'' is one of the best-selling works of Finnish fiction and, alongside the ''Kalevala'' by Elias Lönnrot and ''Seitsemän veljestä'' by Aleksis Kivi, the most internationally known product of Finnish literature; it also has been translated into 19 languages, Czech, Slovak, and Latvian included. It made Johannes Linnankoski an instant literary fame among the people, and his reputation extended beyond the borders of the country. In France, for example, over 50 editions have so far been translated. Despite its great popularity, the romantic scenes in the book, with all their passion, also aroused controversy at the time, some claiming that the scenes appear to be almost obscene.



* ''The Flame of Life'', AKA ''The Song of the Scarlet Flower'' (''Sången om den eldröda blomman'', 1919), directed by Mauritz Stiller * ''Man's Way with Women'' (''Sången om den eldröda blomman'', 1934), directed by Per-Axel Branner * ''The Song of the Scarlet Flower'' (''Laulu tulipunaisesta kukasta'', 1938), directed by Teuvo Tulio * ''The Song of the Scarlet Flower'' (''Sången om den eldröda blomman'', 1956), directed by Gustaf MolanderThe Song of the Scarlet Flower (1956)
/ref> * ''The Song of the Blood-Red Flower'' (''Laulu tulipunaisesta kukasta'', 1971), directed by Mikko Niskanen

See also

*Finnish literature in 20th century *Romance novel


Further reading

*Koskimies, Rafael. ''Suomen kirjallisuus IV: Minna Canthista Eino Leinoon''. Otava 1965, p. 611. *Mäittälä, Leevi. ''Elämän tulipunakukka''. WSOY 1979, p. 207.

External links

''The Song of the Blood-Red Flower''
at FictionDB
''The Song of the Blood-Red Flower''
at Forgotten Books {{DEFAULTSORT:Song of the Blood-Red Flower, The Category:1905 novels Category:Novels set in the 1890s Category:Novels set in Finland Category:Finnish romance novels Category:Translations into English Category:Young adult books Category:Timber rafting in fiction Category:Obscenity controversies in literature Category:Works published under a pseudonym Category:Finnish novels adapted into films Category:Novels adapted into plays