In this article I will shed light on the nation-building project in Finland before its independence. In the center of this study are the individuals who at the most part created the material of the national culture and literature: folklore collectors and early Finnish writers. According to the correspondence analyzed here, it appears that there were numerous ordinary, daily factors that influenced their work. Most of these were material, including the economic situation. At a mundane level, the survival of the collectors and writers overlaps with the questions of twenty-first-century precarization research. In this article, I highlight and contemplate these confluences.

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