Hasso Krull is a remarkable phenomenon in the Estonian sphere of culture. His activity is so multi-faceted, and the content of each facet so important, that if any one of the expressions of his gifts were to be removed, his name would still be known.

First of all, Hasso Krull is one of the most outstanding intellectuals of the nineteen-nineties. Born in 1964 in Tallinn, he graduated from the Tallinn Pedagogical Institute in the Estonian philology. For his master´s degree (1998) Krull wrote a dissertation on translating Jacques Lacan´s psychoanalytic theory. A popular teacher and shaper of social thought, Krull has succeeded in familiarising the Estonian reader above all with recent and contemporary European thinkers such as Jacques Derrida, Georges Bataille, Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze and Pierre Bourdieu. Of course, Krull’s scope goes beyond post-structuralism and psychoanalysis; his writing on history, politics, art, films and philosophy are no less interesting, some of them collected in Millimallikas (Medusa, 2000) and Paljusus ja ainulisus (Plurality and Singularity, 2009).
Part of Krull’s creative energy goes into an internet periodical Ninniku which focuses on poetry in translation and was founded by Krull and the poet Kalju Kruusa in 2001. He has been a prolific translator of writers and poets as well: Paul Valéry, Allen Ginsberg, Sylvia Plath, Pablo Neruda, Michael Ondaatje, Sujata Bhatti and Tapani Kinnunen are only a few examples. Besides, Hasso Krull is a charismatic lecturer in the University of Tallinn, and has won the teaching award for it.
But Hasso Krull is first and foremost a poet. His poetry always attracts attention, even if this attention does not always find itself on sure ground. So far Krull’s poetry has been marked by two axes. Having made a debut as Max Harnoon in 1986, the first and earlier axis refers to a conscious groundlessness where any given line of a poem can alter the poem’s message, meaning, style, direction, voice and target. This was expressed most strikingly in his collection Luuletused 1987–1991 (Poems 1987–1991), published in 1993. Even the poem’s space can be altered, as can be seen in the hypertextual poem Trepp (Stairs, 1996), the first of its kind.
The second axis refers to a conscious intertextuality; the fact that any text can be linked to any other text, picture, sound or thought. The clearest example of this is the collection Jazz (1999) where the title of every poem is also the name of a legendary jazz musician. The collection Kaalud (Scales, 1997) was created together with the photographer Toomas Kalve whose photographs are like ‘illustrations’ to each of Krull’s poems, and vice versa.
In Krull’s collection Kornukoopia (Cornucopia, 2001) a new axis appeared – poetry without axes. Poetry that says what it wants to simply and directly. Poetry that has no hidden secrets, allusions, references or metaphors. Paradoxically, in Krull’s case the end result is particularly impressive. His works have through numerous translations begun to draw international attention.
Krull has lately been interested in mythology, and has followed the footprints of the trickster in Estonian folklore, someone to play tricks breaking the rules of the gods or nature while creating the world. In 2004 the epic Meeter ja Demeeter (Metre and Demeter) appeared, based on folklore of many different nations, and so creates an entirely new mythological world. This significant work won the Baltic Assembly Prize for Literature in 2005.
More personal again, the poetry collection Neli korda neli (Four Times Four, 2009) was granted the poetry award of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia. This is intimate and warm and very regular: four times four making up a mythical pattern.


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