Archive for September, 1990

Renaissance man

Issue 3/1990 | Archives online, Fiction, Prose

An extract from the novel Bruno (WSOY, 1990)

Since her first collection of poems, which appeared in 1975, Tiina Kaila (born 1951 [from 2004, Tiina Krohn]) has published four children’s books and three volumes of poetry. Her novel Bruno is a fictive narrative about the Italian philosopher Giordano Bruno, who was burned at the stake in 1600. It is the conflict inherent in her main character that interests Kaila: his philosophical and scientific thought is much closer to that of the present day than, for example, that of Copernicus, and it is this that led him to the stake; and yet he did never abandon his fascination for magic.

The novel follows Bruno on his journeys in Italy; France, Germany and England, where he is accompanied by the French ambassador, Michel de Castelnau. Bruno finds England a barbaric place: ‘…These people believe that it is enough that they know how to speak English, even though no one outside this little island understands a word. No civilised language is spoken here’

In the extract that follows, Bruno, approaching the chalk cliffs of Dover by sea, makes what he feels to be a great discovery: ‘Creation is as infinite as God. And life is the supremest, the vastest and the most inconceivable of all.’


I was leaning on the foredeck handrail, peering into a greenish mist. The bow was thrashing between great swells, blustering and hissing and shuddering like some huge wheezing animal: Augh – aagh – ho-haugh! Augh – aagh – ho-haugh!

Plenty of space had been reserved for our use on this new two-master cargo boat. Castelnau was transferring his whole family from France – his wife, his daughter, his servants, his library, his furniture, his past and me – to London, where, as you know, he had been appointed Ambassador of France. More…

Late summer in Tulavall

Issue 3/1990 | Archives online, Children's books, Fiction

 An extract from Mattan från Kars (‘The rug from Kars’). Introduction by Tuva Korsström

Mother Limberg and Apelman’s Anna Lina were sitting together on the steps up to Mother Limberg’s cabin in Mickelgård Street in Tulavall. They were mourning. They were grieving for the old army captain, Alexander Grunnstedt, who had fought in the Caucasus in his youth, had lived alone in the Limberg’s gable room in his old age and then had lost his way in the forest, had a heart attack and been carried off in his coffin by his daughter-in-law.

It was late summer and sunny weather.

‘She could’ve had him buried here,’ said Mother Limberg.

‘She thought it too simple here,’ said Anna Lina. More…

On a magic carpet

Issue 3/1990 | Archives online, Authors, Reviews

‘Tulavall is not large, but it is old and on the coast, just where the River Tatel runs into the sea.’ That is how the Finland-Swedish writer, Irmelin Sandman Lilius, starts her first book on the town of Tulavall, a place which has become her own universe in which she combines saga and realism with fantasy and history.

Tulavall and its inhabitants have become known and loved in ten languages. Last year, for instance the fourth edition of Bonadea, the book quoted above, was brought out in Spanish. The founder of Tulavall, King Tulle, can be read about in English, German, Danish, Finnish and, of course, Swedish. The three books about the magical Mistress Sola are to be published in Japanese.

Irmelin Sandman Lilius herself lives, just as do the girl Bonadea, King Tulle and Mistress Sola, in a small coastal town called Hangö [Hanko], where Irmelin and her husband Carl-Gustaf paint pictures and write books in a heavenly stone house by the sea. More…