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Updated 06/17/2008

The following comments are from the cover notes of Sirje Kiin's 2003 book, Kõik sõltub kultuurist (Everything Depends on Culture):

 

Writer Maimu Berg:

Sirje Kiin is phenomenon, which refutes all jokes about blonds.

 

President of Estonian Republic, Toomas Hendrik Ilves:

Sirje Kiin represents a phenomenon, very rare in our culture: national intellectual. She is a person who has been not only worrying about our nation and our culture, but also has had the boldness to stand for it despite repressions since the Letter of 40 Intellectuals (1980).

 

Politician, Minister Toivo Jürgenson:

I got to know Sirje Kiin better when she started, in 1999, to work for Pro Patria Union faction in the Estonian Parliament – and this was very good news. I knew previously of her (well-known) reputation as a dissident, national intellectual, and as an author of the Letter of 40 Intellectuals --  as a person who was not afraid to tell her students about issues, such behaviors being termed “anti-soviet.” For me these kind of brave people were legendary. On this brave and smart person you can always rely.  Now I have had the honor to work with her for several years. I admire her sharp mind and energy, with which she fights for Estonian national culture and ideals in our somewhat cynical world of politics.

 

Writer Kalev Kesküla:

Daughter of Pro Patria. Adviser of Pro Patria. New age of market economy has favored exactly Sirje’s type of multi-functional active writers.

 

Writer Hasso Krull:

The attitude of Sirje Kiin is, as a critic’s must be, emphatically opposed to the effect of contexts: in the midst of oppression she speaks about pauses, the “danger of poetry,” and the “rising bird.” But in the midst of utter confusion she speaks about morality and the necessity of frames. Because this second attitude is connected with today’s issues, it resounds with us.

By nature Kiin is an ideological critic. For her, literature is not independent or exceptional until it emerges from the minor-impact realm. For Kiin, literature is a form of social resistance (past period) or mind-strengthener and promoter of ethics (present period).

 

Professor of Literature Rein Veidemann:

No doubt the colorful life of Sirje Kiin deserves a novel. From the fact that she was born exactly ten years after the Molotov- Ribbentrop Pact we can read some symbolic purpose. By soul she belongs to those Estonian women for whom writing has been an act of both national political import and self-achievement. Not only in writing, but also life itself, she has been such a dedicated fighter  that her friends might call Sirje as “a mother of her nation”.