Tiit Aleksejev and Martin Algus

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Venue: Estonian Writers’ Union (see on map)
Event format:
  • Conversation with writer
Original language: Estonian
Translated to: English
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Martin Algus

Martin Algus (1973) is an Estonian actor, playwright, theatre producer and screenwriter. He has worked as an actor in theatre as well as television; in 1997-2005 he worked at the Ugala theatre as an actor and dramaturgist, but he has also acted in films and popular television series, such as Ühikarotid (Dorm rats) and Mendid (Cops). The latter was actually conceived by Algus. He has also written screenplays for many other popular television series. In 2007, the play Janu (Thirst) that deals with alcoholism shared first prize at the Estonian Theatre Agency drama competition, and the work that was awarded second prize, the youth play Ise oled! (Takes One to Know One!) was also written by Algus. In 2009, he repeated his success at the competition when first prize was awarded to his Postmodernsed leibkonnad (Postmodern Households), which deals with the problems and opportunities of the modern family. Algus is also a remarkable translator who has translated dozens of plays from English and Russian, mostly new drama. His translation work has brought him the Kurtna Translation Prize of the Estonian Theatre Union. Our festival hosts Algus as a prose writer – his debut Midagi tõelist (Something Real), which also has a drama version, is inspired by a real-life blackmailing case. In March, the novel won the Eduard Vilde Literary Award and the Prose Prize of the Estonian Cultural Endowment. Martin Algus talks to writer Tiit Aleksejev.

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Tiit Aleksejev

Tiit Aleksejev (© Dmitri Kotjuh)

Tiit Aleksejev (1968) is an Estonian prose writer and playwright. It is hardly surprising that Aleksejev, who trained as a historian, takes his subject matter from the past when writing fiction. However, his historical range is extremely wide. He is among those Estonian authors who have written about Estonian recent history – his best known play Legionaries (Leegionärid) takes a look at the most complicated moments of the 1940s. Yet his gaze reaches even further – the short story “Translator” (“Tõlkija”), which was recently awarded the Friedebert Tuglas Short Story Award, describes the final moments of pastor and Bible translator Adrian Virginius (1663-1706) in Tartu that had been occupied by Russian forces during the Great Northern War, while his Kings (Kuningad) takes inspiration from the St George’s Night Uprising of mid-14th century. Aleksejev’s best known and largest work goes even further back in time – the First Crusade. He describes the events of the crusade in three books; The Pilgrimage (Palveränd, 2008), Stronghold (Kindel linn, 2011) and Hortus Conclusus (Müürideta aed, 2019). In 2010, Aleksejev won the European Union Prize for Literature for his novels and plays. In 2016, Aleksejev was elected Chairman of the Estonian Writers’ Union. Tiit Aleksejev talks to writer Martin Algus.

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