Archive for September, 1987

Paris 2

Issue 3/1987 | Archives online, Fiction, Prose

An extract from the novel Paholaispoika (‘The devil boy’, 1987). Introduction by Austin Flint

You must sit down, sayes Love, and taste my meat:
So I did sit and eat.
(George Herbert)

The city was the sum of the whole century, the capital of the eighteen hundreds, of no particular country. Like millions of others, I passed time reading the newspapers and keeping up with what was happening in Europe. Acorns would get crushed. There were many omens of how everything would turn out.

There were still a few remnants of the World’s Fair over by the Palais Royal. Not very many. The latest and most shocking incident was that the Lipschitz sculpture, ‘Prometheus Strangling the Vulture’, had been chopped to bits. Then it was put into storage, in some secret place. Crumbling rough grey stone that gave no idea of its shape. Rumour had it that the statue had offended official policy, and all sorts of things were certainly in the air. There was no longer any sign of the sculpture near the Palais Royal. More…

Encounters with the real

Issue 3/1987 | Archives online, Authors

Kirsti Simonsuuri. Photo: Pertti Nisonen / Tammi

Kirsti Simonsuuri. Photo: Pertti Nisonen / Tammi

When one mentions Kirsti Simonsuuri to literary people in Finland, one is likely to get the response, ‘Ah, yes, very interesting, of course, but you know she’s not really a Finnish writer. Her themes are more international, more intellectual, more European.’

Looking at her career, one can see why she has acquired such a reputation. While she took her MA degree in English and Classical Studies from the University of Helsinki in 1971, since then she has spent most of her productive literary years outside Finland, studying for the PhD which she received from the University of Cambridge, England in 1977 and doing additional research in Paris, London, Strasbourg, and Bonn. More recently, in addition to teaching at the Universities of Oulu and Turku in Finland, she has held positions as Visiting Scholar at Harvard University, at the University of California, Los Angeles, and at Columbia University in New York, where she has taught a course on Finnish literature in the European context. More…