Archive for December, 1987
An extract from the novel Tammerkosken sillalla (‘On Tammerkoski bridge’, 1982). Introduction by Panu Rajala
I had thought there were a lot of books in the libraries in Oulu. But both those libraries were totally overshadowed when, having climbed up to the top of the Messukylä Workers’ House, I began to cast my eyes along the bookshelves in the attic. A tallish and refined-looking librarian responded when I exclaimed aloud.
‘Just under seven thousand volumes altogether. Some of them are out on loan. We’d like to have a lot more books, but getting the money to buy them is like getting water from a stone.’
‘But you’ve already got an incredible amount compared to what we have in the rural library at home… In Taivalkoski during the war all we had was two cupboardsful.’
‘You didn’t have a lot of choice there,’ agreed the librarian. More…
Poems and aphorisms from four collections. Introduction by Erkka Lehtola
Let the healing epidemics out! There must be some.
The many-headed monster, the market ideology, it can simultaneously read, count and even write at least 666 works. And without the sign of the beast no one can buy or sell.
Those who can read know you only realise you’ve forgotten how
when you can do it again.
What a handsome winter we have here! If it weren’t so dark, we’d see it. We could orientate ourselves on the stars with the beam from a pocket torch. Somewhere in mid-sky, I’d say, they come flying along on long lights.
As a child I said I’ll do what I want. Now I want what I do.
Who’s in the middle when the two sides of your face are side by side, as they are, in the mirror.
The trees that hide the sun are bright inside.
A frosty night when you feel the stars on your skin and discuss what you’re wearing.
Somebody’s walking over there, with an umbrella over his head, taking the rain for a walk.
I’m so delighted to find so much that’s useless.
What a relief there’s no longer enough time to get acquainted.
From Tuoreessa muistissa kevät (‘Springtime fresh in the memory’), 1987 More…
Maskuja (‘Mickeys’, WSOY, 1987). Introduction by Erkka Lehtola
When I was on a trip with my friend and there was a wide enough bed in the southern night for the two of us to sleep easily side by side, it was a big shock when, even so, I sprang up suddenly at midnight, and my friend did too, and there was a thud as our heads banged together and we saw stars, and in the morning no one could understand why we were so stupefied.
Micky ran to the barber’s. ‘Are you free? Could you do something with my hair?’ He took his cap off. ‘Look, all the hairs are loose at the other end.’
Once, out of sheer absent-mindedness, he was officiously helping someone onto a tram from behind; he grabbed their bottom, got a furious look, and spluttered,’ Sorry, but I thought it was your bag.’ More…
A short story from the collection Torni (‘The tower’, 1987). Introduction by Erkka Lehtola
The dog came through the door first, a big, long-haired brute. He hadn’t said anything about it on the phone, but from the look on his face you could tell it was his and that he meant to take it with him into the forest.
He shuffled across the yard with his rubber boots on and a rucksack on his back. In one hand he held a camera tripod.
I rolled down the window.
‘Wait a minute,’ he said.
He walked behind the cars standing in the parking lot, over to his own car and opened the trunk. The dog twisted around his legs whining softly. He took something out and slammed the trunk shut. More…