Archive for June, 1999
Poems from Nio dagar utan namn (‘Nine days without names’, Söderströms, 1998). Introduction by Bror Rönnholm
Quickly, at a zebra crossing
not of wonder but of something closely related: the tree
upturned by the gale with its roots to the heavens, the lit-up
church spire against the night sky, a few simple gravestones viewed at a
suitable season, a quartet from the Marriage of Figaro or just standing at a roaring
crossing and writing this, invisible to all in exhaust fumes and a faint blue
light from a hidden sun, a few times mistaken for a
loved pupil More...
A short story from Åtta kroppar (‘Eight bodies’, Söderströms, 1998). Introduction by Ann-Christine Snickars
It was a bailer, a blue one. There they were, he, she, the bailer and a stormtossed net on the stern board of a hired boat. The boat had come with the cottage and the cottage with ‘Autumn archipelago package. Now nature is aglow.’
And it was aglow.
Masses of foliage and apples, damson and shiny russula spread out around them in all their glory. It happened everywhere, that glowing. Wherever one turned one’s gaze there was something ready to be picked or ready to fall, ready in general. Those first days they had, at least to each other, she to him, feigned enthusiasm about all this ripe richness, but that time was over.
Their time of fire and flames was over. More…
A short story from Leiri (‘Camp’, Otava 1972). Interview by Maija Alftan
In the dark and wet the tram seemed like a stale-smelling and badly-lit waiting room at a country station, its Post Office Savings Bank advertisement set out of reach of vandalising underage hands. The conductress was two-thirds out of sight behind her desk: a small person. I glanced at the time stamped on my ticket. My only timepiece.
It was the time of day when you can see your own face in the window and through to the outside as well. I stood in the doorway, hanging onto the bar. As the tram turned into the narrow canyon of Aleksanterinkatu, the street seemed like some kind of cellar. Fantastic, how the world darkens at the end of the year. And then, when it’s at its darkest, everything goes totally white. The low-slung cars seemed to be slinking round the tram’s feet. More…
From Novellit (‘The Short stories’, Otava 1985). Interview by Maija Alftan
The short story is a matter of expectancy and reception. So it has to offer surprises. It has to reward the waiting.
The surprises are caused by the known and the familiar. Often some mishap is needed; the most crucial can be some social fix. The story’s limited space provides three states, brought about by a change in the environment: the past, the future and the passing moment. They create a special, unique phase of life for one of the characters. A return to the past leads to the new – not to the previous, situation – and this isn’t in anyone’s control. Short stories often contain arbitrariness. More…