23 June 2011 | This 'n' that
After having read Juhani Aho’s sensual novella Yksin (‘Alone’, 1890), set in Paris, composer Jean Sibelius threatened to challenge its author to a duel.
The yearned-for loved one in the novella resembled Sibelius’s fiancée Aino Järnefelt, for whom author and journalist Aho had nursed an unrequited passion. (No duel ensued after all.)
This year marks the 150th year since Aho’s birth. An early modernist, Aho (1861–1921) was a versatile writer whose narrative skills have made him a classic. We shall feature extracts from Yksin – in Herbert Lomas’s translation, first published in Books from Finland in 2006 – along with a reappraisal of Aho’s work in the early years of the 20th century by Professor Jyrki Nummi.
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