Archive for June, 1992

Beneath the surface

Issue 2/1992 | Archives online, Authors

Kari Aronpuro (born 1940) is not a traditional poet. Rather, he is a loader and unloader of meaning – a deconstructionist who continually encodes and decodes the meanings communicated by language. ‘I do not speak language/ language speaks me,’ he wrote in 1981.

Moving freely outside the mainstream of literature, Aronpuro writes poems whose meaning flows exuberantly from one sentence to the next and constantly plays tricks with the reader’s expectations. Unmoved by the dialogue between soul and nature so very familiar in Finnish poetry, he examines, instead, the interaction between consciousness and meaning. More…

This is a map

Issue 2/1992 | Archives online, Fiction, poetry

from Tasanko 967 (‘Plain 967’, Kirjayhtymä, 1991). Introduction by Jukka Petäjä

	and he woke
			 to the babble of a hungry baby
 		and his palate, his mouth
				was dry 
	and waking he recalled images of
		bodies battered
			in the violent overthrow
				of Vilnius TV Station 
			and he dozed off
				into the sound of suckling


More Tumpkin tales

Issue 2/1992 | Archives online, Children's books, Fiction, poetry

Poems from Tiitiäisen pippurimylly (‘The Tumpkin’s pepper mill’, Otava, 1991). Kirsi Kunnas’s classic children’s books, Tiitiäisen satupuu (‘The Tumpkin’s story tree’) and Tiitiäisen tarinoita (‘The Tumpkin’s tales’), appeared in 1956 and 1957

Mr Saxophone and Miss Clarinet

Mr Saxophone
	went moony 
	beginning to fret
about Miss Clarinet: 
	Moan moan moan 
	darling little crow!
	I love you so!
moaned Mr Saxophone.
Miss Clarinet 
was very upset:
	I won't be owned!
	And I'm no little crow! 
	I sob like a dove,
	and even about love
	I sing alone!

	Oh moan moan moan 
groaned Mr Saxophone.


Out of the box

Issue 2/1992 | Archives online, Authors

Finns like to categorise everything, including writers and books. One author writes ‘realist prose’; another, ‘historical women’s fiction’; Finnish also has a special term, viihderomaani, meaning, literally, ‘entertainment’ or ‘pastime’ novel, a genre that includes, for example, the work of Barbara Cartland, Jeffrey Archer or Sidney Sheldon (and is recognised as an Anglo-Saxon speciality).

A writer who has been categorised in the ‘entertainment’ section of literature may find it surprisingly difficult to fight his or her way out.

It looks as if Leena Lander (born 1955) has succeeded. Tummien perhosten koti (‘Home of the dark butterflies’, Kirjayhtymä, 1991), her seventh novel – her first appeared ten years ago – was a finalist for this year’s Finlandia prize, and is now in its fifth printing. The book has also received the Kalevi Jäntti prize for young writers. More…


Issue 2/1992 | Archives online, Fiction, Prose

Extracts from the novel Tummien perhosten koti (‘Home of the dark butterflies’, Kirjayhtymä, 1991). Introduction by Soila Lehtonen

The girl is on the rock every evening.

By the side of the sheltered bay, she knits or reads a book. Sometimes she simply lies, motionless, under a large towel, her closed face towards the sun as it sinks into the sea.

She has undone her thick plait. Sometimes her hair lies against the reddish boulder like a fan. As if it had been placed there deliberately.

She does not notice the boy, who can move soundlessly. More…