Archive for December, 1990
Extracts from Lastenkirja (‘Children’s book’, WSOY, 1990, illustrated by the Estonian animator and graphic artist Priit Pärn)
CHILDREN’S BOOK IS BORN
Children are wafting around the world: they come spilling out of the chimneys and clattering out of the pipes. They worm around cramped places in the nether regions, rise up through stiff roots into the treetops and muss up the clouds. Children just happen anywhere and bring the Adults along with them. More…
A father kidnaps his 10-year-old daughter and flees to the western extremity of Europe, to Ireland, to begin a new life under new names. In the following extract, the girl is in a state of shock after witnessing an event organised by a religious sect in which animals are driven over a cliff to their death. The year 2000 approaches, and with it clarification of the relationship between father and daughter. An extract from Olli Jalonen’s novel Isäksi ja tyttäreksi (‘Becoming father and daughter’). Introduction by Erkka Lehtola
He begins leading his daughter back the way they came, along the hillside and the lip of the precipice.
The blare of the Legion’s display carries far, till finally the voices are scrambled in the bluster of the wind. The electricity crackles in the loudspeakers, and the thundersheets rumble out to the audience. ‘Be silent!’ come the roars from the plat form: ‘And look at each other! Each is fearfully following his way, each is a venue of good and evil, each is inscribed with God’s name!’ More…
An extract from the novel Jäniksen vuosi (‘The year of the hare’). Introduction by Mirja Bolgár
About mid-June Vatanen’s travels had taken him as far as the road to Nurmes. It was raining. He was cold.
He’d just hopped out of the coach from Kuopio, now on its way to Nurmes; so here he was, stuck on a rainy highway, getting soaked because of a snap decision. The village of Nilsiä was miles off.
The hare’s back leg had mended. Almost full-grown it was, now, that hare: good job it still fitted into the basket.
But, anyway, round the comer was a house: a bungalow with attic space – not a bad-looking set-up. Might as well call, Vatanen decided, and see if there’s a night’s lodging going. A woman in a raincoat was scratching away at the garden, her hands black with soil. And old woman – and a picture of his wife flashed though his mind: there was something of his wife about her. More…
Poems from Laki (‘The law’, 1990)
No one’s stupid – there are
people deprived of the wise,
and those with self-respect
knocked flat. No one’s
hardened – there are people with
No one’s blind – there are
people cataracted by custom. Be different:
heal wounds and look up – wake
your dear one in mid-sleep, hug her.
(We’re all perfect.) More…