H. K. Riikonen: Nukuin vasta aamuyöstä. Olavi Paavolainen 1903–1964 [I didn’t fall asleep until morning. Olavi Paavolainen 1903–1964]

9 April 2015 | Mini reviews, Reviews

riikonenNukuin vasta aamuyöstä. Olavi Paavolainen 1903–1964
[I didn’t fall asleep until morning. Olavi Paavolainen 1903–1964]
Helsinki: Gummerus, 2014. 584 pp., ill.
ISBN 978-951-20-9714-2
€36.90 , hardback

In the 1920s and 1930s the author and journalist Olavi Paavolainen was a prominent cultural figure among young writers and artists. Published after the Second World War, his controversial war diary, Synkkä yksinpuhelu (‘Sombre monologue’, 1946), remains his best-known literary work. This book, by Professor of Literature H.K.Riikonen, focuses on Paavolainen’s literary activities and his oeuvre; it complements and deepens another biography of Paavolainen published in 2014, Tulisoihtu pimeään (‘A torch into the darkness’) by Panu Rajala. Riikonen thoroughly examines Paavolainen’s works as well as his post-war career as a director at the Finnish Broadcasting Company. At times Riikonen’s views, based on careful research, differ from Rajala’s interpretations. Riikonen also features the cultural life and eminent contemporary figures of Paavolainen’s era. At times the text, with its precise references and culture-historical details, meanders somewhat. The book includes plenty of quotes from Paavolainen’s works as well as interesting fact boxes related to the circumstances of his life.

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