New from the archives

19 February 2015 | This 'n' that

Jarkko Laine

Jarkko Laine. Photo: Kai Nordberg

Our archive find this week is ‘The 101 year anniversary celebration’, a short story by Jarkko Laine.

‘Child of Marx and Coca-Cola’, ‘Nordic beatnik’, Jarkko Laine (1947-2006) published his first work, a volume of poetry entitled Muovinen Buddha (‘Plastic Buddha’) in the 1960s and was immediately hailed as the mouthpiece of his generation. He went on to make his career as a literary all-rounder – poet, writer, playwright, translator, long-time editor of the literary magazine Parnasso and chair of the Finnish Writers’ Union. His wryly ironic story, ‘The 101 year anniversary celebration’ tells the story of what every writer must dread: a guest appearance in a local library where literature from the local town, let alone further afield, is regarded with suspicion.

We’ve also unearthed a 1989 interview, by our late, genial editor-in-chief Erkka Lehtola with a grey-suited Laine who looks more like a civil servant than a 1960s radical – but still doesn’t let a day go by without writing.

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The digitisation of Books from Finland continues apace, with a total of 360 articles and book extracts made available online so far. Each week, we bring a newly digitised text to your attention.

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