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Cat house

The image of home and human relations in Mati Unt’s 1960s–1970s oeuvre



Mati Unt’s image as a writer is closely related to existentialism, which is evidenced by his portrayal of home. Many of Unt’s characters live in temporary rooms, without really feeling at home anywhere, and their relations with other people are complicated and often violent. And yet, Unt’s existentialism is not absolute. His alienation is often conditioned by the public sphere, the (Soviet) system and its influence on human relations. Rather, the characters created by the young Unt are trying to bridge the crevice of alienation, to catch „a signal of help”, to make contact with other levels or spheres. This is why the representation of home and space by the young Unt is never just everyday, containing metaphysical, even religious subtexts as well as psychoanalytic traces. 

Surprisingly, although Unt liked introducing himself as a city person, his archetypal home is a farmhouse. However rare the farmhouse motive in Unt’s works, the toponymics in those few texts is extremely similar to the author’s childhood home.