Leena Krohn: Valeikkuna [False window]
Helsinki: Teos, 2009. 155 p.
€ 21, hardback
The themes of the fiction of Leena Krohn (born 1947) have always included the distinction between life and art, the influence of the media and technology, and the dialogue between truth, illusion and falsehood. In Valeikkuna, her 28th book, the protagonist is a former student of philosophy who has installed a flotation tank in his home, where he spends most of his time, receiving customers to whom he gives advice. The philosopher ‘s teenage daughter lives in the mostly virtual but safe ‘Fake Fake Land’; their home town is ruled by the Dividers League, who use violence to establish their control. The impossibility of defining reality runs as a prominent theme throughout the novel. As is often the case in her novels, Krohn concentrates on the philosophical attitudes of her characters rather than on psychological depth; Valeikkuna is a wise and critical novel, although not perhaps among her best work. Krohn’s books have been translated into 15 languages; her novel Pereat Mundus (1998) is to be issued in English later this year by the San Francisco publisher Omnidawn.
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