Archive for September, 1989
From the collection of short stories, Saksalainen vävy (‘The German son-in-law’) , 1988. Interview by Erkka Lehtola
Järvinen thought he must have turned up at the wrong place when he saw an iron cross on a grey concrete wall. Surely the library couldn’t be holding its celebration here?
He groped in his breast pocket for the map the librarian had sent him. No: there the landmarks were, he’d followed them, he was at the right place.
He drove on a bit and saw there were cars parked behind the building. He parked next to them and got out. All the other cars were shiny, as if they’d just been washed; his was the only dirty one, its chassis a dusty grey. Rosinante came into his head, and he started wondering what Rosinante’s colour was supposed to have been: just the sort of knowledge he could fit in somewhere. Grey, he guessed – just as General Sandels’ horse in the Runeberg poem was white. And what colour was Pegasus? Didn’t know that either – it hadn’t ever even occurred to him to wonder. Almost certainly it would be there in the mythology. More…
Rosa Liksom’s characters live in the tiny villages of empty Lapland, speaking a dialect that rings oddly in the ears of the southern Finnish majority; or they may inhabit anonymous towns, but there, too, life is full of the anguish of existence. Liksom, whose black comedy can be compared with that of the Danish writer Vita Andersen, is able to cram into her short texts complete life histories, bizarre, comic or tragic. Her first volume of short stories, Yhden yön pysäkki (‘One night stand’) appeared in 1985; the following short stories are from Tyhjän tien paratiisit (‘Paradises of the open road’, 1989)
We got hitched up the 14th of November and by the end of the month it was all over. As far as I’m concerned call it a marriage exactly two weeks too long. We hadn’t set eyes on each other till the Pampam that’s the place me and the girls go after work for a drink and I was sitting there having one with them when who comes through the door but this bloke and it hits me. That bloke’s for me. In the end I went over to his table and said up yours stud. We went over to my place to bunk down and after that I couldn’t get the sod out. The bloody shitbag got his claws into me and hung on just on the strength of that one night. He glued himself to my bed. Lay there flat out when I set off to work and shit he was still there when I came back only arse up this time. More…