Archive for June, 2007
An extract from the novel Toiset kengät (‘The other shoes’, Otava, 2007). Interview by Soila Lehtonen
‘What is Little Red Riding Hood’s basket like? And what is in it? You should conjure the basket up before you this very moment! If it will not come – that is, if the basket does not immediately give rise to images in your minds – let it be. Impressions or images should appear immediately, instinctively, without effort. So: Little Red Riding Hood’s basket. Who will start?’
Our psychology teacher, Sanni Karjanen, stood in the middle of the classroom between two rows of desks. Everyone knew she was a strict Laestadian. It was strange how much energy she devoted to the external, in other words clothes. God’s slightly unsuccessful creation, a plump figure with pockmarks, was only partially concealed by the large flower prints of her dresses, her complicatedly arranged scarves and collars. Her style was florid baroque and did not seem ideally suited to someone who had foresworn charm. Her hair was combed in the contemporary style, her thin hair backcombed into an eccentric mountain on top of her head and sprayed so that it could not be toppled even by the sinful wind that often blew from Toppila to Tuira. More…
Half of the art of writing lies in not telling the reader everything, writes Kaari Utrio, historian and writer of historical fiction
Fantasy is a curse to science but the lifeblood of literature. The combination of these two opposing factors lies at the core of my work. In the expression, ‘historical novel’, the emphasis is on the word ‘novel’. To me a novel is a story, and I am a storyteller. This is an important basic definition for the genre of literature I write. More…
Poems and aphorisms by Aaro Hellaakoski. Introduction by Pertti Lassila
How tranquilly the evening’s darkening,
dusk deepening beneath the trees.
Consult the long alleyways of the skies
for the gift of this evening
and the cause of your ease.
But the waste! the pain and stress –
those reachings into secrets of the dark –
quizzing every question mark.
Why this rummaging into whence and why?
Empty let’s be. Open and free.
Let secrets come, or let them fly
away, diffuse like cloudscapes
or whisperings through a tree.
Eyes must glow as your spirits peer
through a wakeful cranny in where you are.
Only the silent have ears to hear.
When the doorstep feels the touch of a toe
only the vigilant’s door is ajar.
Huojuvat keulat (’Swaying prows’, 1945) More…
Extracts from the novel Piru, kreivi, noita ja näyttelijä (‘The devil, the count, the witch and the actor’, Gummerus, 2007). Introduction by Anna-Leena Ekroos
‘I hereby humbly introduce the maiden Valpuri, who has graciously consented to join our troupe,’ Henrik said.
A slight girl thrust herself among us and smiled.
‘What can we do with a somebody like her in the group? A slovenly wench, as you see. She can hardly know what acting is,’ Anna-Margareta snapped angrily.
‘What is acting?’ Valpuri asked.
Henrik explained that acting was every kind of amusing trick done to make people enjoy themselves. I added that the purpose of theatre was to show how the world worked, to allow the audience to examine human lives as if in a mirror. Moreover, it taught the audience about civilised behavior, emotional life, and elegant speech. Ericus thought that the deepest essence of theatre was to give visible incarnation to thoughts and feelings. None of us understood what he meant by this, but we nodded enthusiastically. Anna-Margareta insisted that, say what you will, in the end acting was a childish game. Actors were being something they were not, just like children pretending to be little pigs or baby goats. More…