Archive for June, 1985


Issue 2/1985 | Archives online, Fiction, poetry

Introduction by Bo Carpelan

	A flower beckons there, a secent beckons there, enticing my eye. 
A hope glimmers there.
	I will climb to the rock of the sky, I will sink in the wave:
a wave-trough. I am singing tone, and the day smiles in riddles.


	Like a sluice of the hurtling rivers I race in the sun:
to capture my heart; to seize hold of that light in an inkling:
sun, iridescence.
	In day and intoxication I wander. I am in that strength:
the white, the white that smiles.


	To my air you have come: a trembling, a vision! I know neither 
you nor your name. All is what it was. But you draw near: a 
daybreak, a soaring circle, your name.


The universal eye

Issue 2/1985 | Archives online, Authors

Gunnar Björling. Photo: Holger Eklund

Gunnar Björling. Photo: Holger Eklund

Gunnar Björling (1887-1960) began his poetic career at the age of 35 with the collection of verse Vilande dag (‘Resting day’, 1922), which revealed the influence of romantic idealism and clearly showed its author’s preoccupation with ethical and philosophical problems of existence. Names such as those of Pascal and Spinoza, Guyau and Tagore, Dostoyevsky and Strindberg occur throughout this collection, the basis of which was formed by Björling’s study of the work of the great Finland-Swedish moral philosopher Edvard Westermarck, from whom the poet derived his concept of relativity and his philosophy of the unbounded. The dammed-up energy that can be sensed in this first volume breaks out with full force in Krosset och löftet (‘The cross and the promise’, 1925): with this, the phase of idealistic expectation comes to an end and Björling the expressionist emerges, giving utterance to ‘unbounded life’, in all its clarity and confusion, yet still within the same framework of ‘growing boundedness’: ‘We live in the concrete, and this gives our abstractions fateful wings.’ More…

Daughter of Cain

Issue 2/1985 | Archives online, Fiction, Prose

An extract from the novel Kainin tytär (‘Daughter of Cain’, 1984). In the following extract Anna and Risku spend a single night recalling the early days of their relationship; Anna is in the country, Risku is in the city. Introduction by Soila Lehtonen


The moon hangs before the bosom of the sky, a slender crescent, but giving light all the same.

On the horizon a black, glimmering line emerges from the water. It is the skerry, a low, lone rock.

I shut off the motor. The sea laps minutely against the side of the boat. This far out there are no longer any birds.

The silence here is deeper than even that of an empty room.

The skerry is as black and glistening as the back of a pike.

Light is matter, it’s never steady.

Whatever is understood in life is understood in a sudden blue illumination, like lightning cleaving the night to expose the landscape – shadows, hollows and all. More…

Contrapuntal dialogue

Issue 2/1985 | Archives online, Authors

Pirkko Saisio

Pirkko Saisio. Photo: Laura Malmivaara

Pirkko Saisio (born 1949) is the author of five novels and a number of plays. Her first novel, Elämänmeno (‘Way of life’), appeared in 1975, when she was a young actress just graduated from the Finnish Theatre School, appearing in rep at Rovaniemi Theatre. By the time her next novel, Sisarukset (‘Sibling’), was published in 1976, Saisio had moved back to her native Helsinki and was working as a freelance writer and actress.

In addition to three stage plays, she has also adapted three of her novels for stage or television: Elämänmeno was shown on television in 1978 and Sisarukset in 1980, and the KOM Theatre staged its own highly acclaimed interpretation of her novel Betoniyö (‘Concrete night’, 1981) in 1982. Last year Saisio published a new novel, Kainin tytär (‘Daughter of Cain’), whose absence from the Finlandia Prize shortlist astonished many critics. In March her play Hävinneiden legenda (‘Legend of the lost’) was published as a book and staged at the KOM Theatre. Saisio herself appeared in the production, playing, among others, the role of Joan of Arc. In May she was awarded a Government Literature Prize for Kainin tytär. More…