Search results for "markku paasonen"

Sensitivity session

30 June 1978 | Archives online, Fiction, Prose

An extract from the novel Ja pesäpuu itki (‘And the nesting-tree wept’). Introduction by Pekka Tarkka

Taito Suutarinen knew quite a bit about Freud. Where Mannerheim’s statue now stands, Taito felt that there ought instead to be an equestrian statue of Sigmund Freud. It would be like truth revealed.

Freud, urging on his trusty stallion Libido, would be clad from head to foot in sexual symbols – hat, trousers, shoes: one hand thrust deep into his pocket, the other grasping a walking-stick. The stick would point eloquently in the direction of the railway tracks, where the red trains slid into the arching womb of the station.

Taito had also attended a couple of seven-day sensitivity training courses, where people expressed their feelings openly, directly and spontaneously. By the end of the first course Taito was so direct and spontaneous that he couldn’t get on with anybody. By the end of the second he was so open that everyone was embarrassed. Every member of the group had cried at least once, except the group leader. Never before had Taito witnessed such power. He could not wait to found a group of his own. Taito’s group met in a basement room, where they reclined on mattresses to assist the liberation process. Everyone was free to have problems, quite openly. You were not regarded as ill: on the contrary, if you realized your problem you were more healthy than a person who still thought he mattered. Moreover, as Taito, fixing you with his piercing gaze, was always careful to emphasize, every problem was ultimately a sexual problem. Taito would spontaneously scratch his crotch as he spoke, making it clear that he himself had virtually no problems left. More…

Simple things

30 June 1998 | Archives online, Authors, Reviews

Among the poetry published in Finland in 1997, Jyrki Kiiskinen identifies four voices that continue to reverberate long after their books are put down. Markku Paasonen is one of the four poets he discusses

‘I did not choose the cause, the cause chose me,’ wrote Pentti Saarikoski in the Sixties, when he thought he had found his life’s purpose in communism. Thirty years later, Markku Paasonen in his first collection Aurinkopunos (‘Sunweave’) writes: ‘I did not choose; the sea but the sea chose.’ More…

Sightseeing in wonderland

30 September 2001 | Authors

Markku Paasonen

Photo: C-G Hagström

The new collection of prose poems by Markku Paasonen (born 1967), Voittokulku (‘Triumphal march’, Tammi), is a charming collection of imagistic textures born out of intellectual and emotional impetuosity. His prize-winning earlier collections of poetry, Aurinkopunos and Verkko (‘Sunbraid’, 1997, and ‘The net’, 1999, WSOY), were well-received. Writing about the first collection in Books from Finland 2/1998, fellow poet and former editor of Books from Finland Jyrki Kiiskinen said it reminded him of the late Octavio Paz’s exuberant tropical poetry: ‘But our man does live in Helsinki, where it may snow in May.’ More…

Ecstasy and silence

30 June 2000 | Archives online, Authors, Essays, Reviews

Peter Mickwitz surveys new Finnish poetry in Finnish and Swedish

Considering all the talk about poetry’s ‘critical situation’ and its ‘marginal­ization,’ it is surprising to see how much poetry is being published in Finland, both in Finnish and Swedish. No less surprising is the fact that so much of it is excellent. Thus, it is not a difficult but a gratifying task to pick four poetry books published in 1999 for brief comment.

Ralf Andtbacka (born 1963), connois­seur and translator of Anglophone po­etry –  but first and foremost a Finland­-Swedish poet – published his third collection of poems, Cafe Sjöjungfrun (,The Mermaid Cafe’, Söderströms, 1999), which was nominated for the Runeberg Prize in the fall of 1999. The first poem in the book, ‘Cesur’ (‘Caesura’), takes place in ‘the first evening of autumn / even though it is still July’ which reminds this reader, somewhat unexpectedly, of Swedish poet Gunnar Ekelöf’s poem ‘Eufori’ (‘Euphoria’), in which the poet’s alter ego sits in his garden at dusk and feels an intense connection to all there is. Andtbacka’s poem is less intense, more distanced, but the presence of things is as strong as in Ekelöf. While Ekelöf writes ‘as if this were the last evening before a long long journey,’ Andtbacka’s anticipation is of another kind, it describes a poetics: ‘a vacuum that waits to be filled / by something as inescapable / as our quiet conversation, here / and now, small demarcations / and corrections, openings / and dead ends, pauses.’ More…

Markku Kuisma & al.: Hulluja päiviä, huikeita vuosia. Stockmann 1862–2012 [Crazy days, amazing years. Stockmann 1862–2012]

29 March 2012 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Markku Kuisma & Anna Finnilä & Teemu Keskisarja & Minna Sarantola–Weiss
Hulluja päiviä, huikeita vuosia. Stockmann 1862–2012
[Crazy days, amazing years. Stockmann 1862–2012]
Helsinki: Siltala, 2012. 532 p., ill.
ISBN 978-952-234-086-3
€37.90, hardback
Also available in English- and Swedish-language editions:
Crazy days, amazing years. Stockmann 1862–2012
Galna dagar, svindlande tider. Stockmann 1862–2012

The largest department store in the Nordic countries, whose current building was completed in 1930 to a design by the architect Sigurd Frosterus, is celebrating its 150th birthday. The Akateeminen Kirjakauppa (Academic Bookstore), owned by Stockmann, is the biggest bookshop in the Nordic countries. The shop founded by the German-born H.F.G. Stockmann has grown into an international business, trading in 14 countries (including Russia, where it has stores in St Petersburg and Moscow). Now quoted on the Finnish stock exchange, Stockmann, owned by a conglomerate of families and foundations, has survived recessions, financial crises and wars. In the 19th century Stockmann was considered an expensive shop for gentlefolk, but as a result of growing competition it has been forced to focus strongly on a diverse concept of service. For decades one of the capital’s best-known meeting places has been ‘under the clock’, outside the main entrance of the department store. The book’s writers are historians from various fields. The generously illustrated work offers new information about the history of trade and the city.

Markku Kuisma & Teemu Keskisarja: Erehtymättömät. Tarina suuresta pankkisodasta ja liikepankeista Suomen kohtaloissa 1862–2012 [The infallible ones. The story of the great bank war and Finland’s commercial banks, 1862–2012]

13 December 2012 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Erehtymättömät. Tarina suuresta pankkisodasta ja liikepankeista Suomen kohtaloissa 1862–2012
[The infallible ones. The story of the great bank war and Finland’s commercial banks, 1862–2012]
Helsinki, WSOY, 2012. 496 p., ill.
ISBN 978-951-0-39228-7
€ 38.80, hardback

Historians Markku Kuisma and Teemu Keskisarja’s lively book tells the story of Finland’s commercial banks, from the establishment of the first one in 1862. A recurrent theme in the book is the competition between the two largest. With their relations to and allies in the business world the banks have had an important social and political influence in the country. The commercial banking institutions have had more prominence than others, and the directors have often been strong personalities. Most of the emphasis in the book is placed on the final decades of the 20th century. In the 1980s the financial markets were deregulated, and the boom of the ‘crazy years’ of the bank war was accelerated by share trading and cornering. In 1995 the recession caused by the banking crisis led to the merger of the two largest commercial banks. A few years later this new institution merged with a Swedish one, and the large new bank Nordea subsequently expanded to neighbouring countries. The age of large national commercial banks in Finland was over.
Translated by David McDuff

Markku Kuisma: Sodasta syntynyt [Born of war]

8 April 2011 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Sodasta syntynyt. Itsenäisen Suomen synty Sarajevon laukauksista Tarton rauhaan 1914–1920
[Born of war. The birth of independent Finland, from the shots fired in Sarajevo to the Treaty of Tartu, 1914–1920]
Helsinki: WSOY, 2010. 273 p.
ISBN 978-951-0-36340-9
€ 35, hardback

Professor Markku Kuisma investigates the route to Finland’s independence in the years from the outbreak of the First World War to the Treaty of Tartu in 1920. He disproves some commonly held beliefs about that era, which he maintains were adopted for reasons of political expediency – such as the idea that Finnish independence was the result of focused struggles by patriots. Kuisma claims that Finland in 1917–1918 was adrift, and the actions of the industrial barons around the time of the First World War had a greater impact on Finland’s status in the world than did the unfocused policies of the Finnish Senate. That was when the corporate structures that would shape Finland’s long-term future arose and trade agreements were set up. Bankers and business leaders were in the Senate as well, and the Finnish representatives who negotiated the Treaty of Tartu were chosen from the top ranks of Finnish commerce.
Translated by Ruth Urbom

Markku Kuisma: Saha. Tarina Suomen modernisaatiosta ja ihmisistä jotka sen tekivät [The sawmill. A story about Finnish modernisation and the people who realised it]

29 May 2012 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Saha. Tarina Suomen modernisaatiosta ja ihmisistä jotka sen tekivät
[The sawmill. A story about Finnish modernisation and the people who realised it]
Helsinki: Siltala, 2011. 235 p.
ISBN 978-952-234-069-6
€ 34.90, hardback

In his new book Professor Markku Kuisma, a specialist in economic history, approaches the modernisation of Finland in the 19th century from the perspective of the sawmill industry. In the mid 19th century, Finland’s forest reserves were, in relation to its population, among the greatest in Europe. The rise of the sawmill industry was made possible by Britain’s removal of taxation on industrial imports, the development of Finland’s railways and other means of transport, the removal of Finnish restrictions on the timber industry, the spread of steam saws and changes in society. The foundations of the breakthrough of the sawmill industry were laid in the 1860s, but it began to flourish gradually. Between the two world wars Finland became Europe’s biggest exporter of timber, and for a long time the country derived most of its export income from timber products. Kuisma also draws interesting portraits of the men who made the change possible both in government administration and economic life and laid the basis for industrial dynasties. Saha is a concise but illuminating and engrossing introduction to an important phase in the development of Finnish economic life.
Translated by Hildi Hawkins

On Markku Lahtela

30 September 1979 | Archives online, Authors

Markku Lahtela is one of the more colourful personages on the Finnish literary scene. He studied at the universities of Moscow and Munich, served on the editorial staff of an encyclopedia, published his first book in 1964, and proclaimed that his favourite writer was Anatole France. The powerful radical currents of the 1960s took him out into the streets as a demonstrator: he wrote scripts for a theatre group that went in for staging ‘happenings’, took part in politics as the enfant terrible of the Centre Party, publicly burnt his military passbook, translated Herbert Marcuse, and became an enthusiast for the anti-authoritarian educational experiments of A. S. Neill and his followers. Out of these restless years came two long, highly personal and very uneven novels, Se (‘It’, 1966) and Yksinäinen mies (‘The solitary man’, 1976), in which Lahtela is primarily concerned with a young man’s difficult family relationships, and seeks to demonstrate his fundamental honesty by recourse to automatic writing. Early in the 1970s he published three short collections of philosophical observations and stories. These, the fruit of wide but indiscriminate reading, amounted to little more than the compilations of an amateur, the basic idea being to demonstrate, by means of biological and psycho-analytical arguments, the primacy of the mother-child relationship among the factors affecting a human being’s development. More…

Markku Karpio: Myrskyvaroitus [Storm warning]

24 February 2009 | Mini reviews

[Storm warning]
Helsinki: Otava, 2008. 237 p.
ISBN 978-951-1-23000-7
€ 12, hardback

The main character’s quest for identity is a permanent theme of books for children in early adolescence. 11-year-old Emil, who lives with his mother in the outer Finnish archipelago, drifts into an emotional storm at an important moment in the construction of his identity. A storm warning on the radio means Emil’s African father will not be able to reunite with his son. The novel depicts the identity problems encountered by children of parents from different cultural backgrounds and their need for understanding from a wider perspective. A sub-plot concerns Emil and his new friends, and the strengthening of trust and tolerance between them. Markku Karpio (born 1961) portrays young boy’s tentative explorations sensitively.

Markku Jokisipilä & Janne Könönen: Kolmannen valtakunnan vieraat. Suomi Hitlerin Saksan vaikutuspiirissä 1933–1944 [Guests from the Third Reich. Finland in the sphere of influence of Hitler’s Germany 1933–1944]

20 February 2014 | Mini reviews, Reviews

kolmasvaltakuntaKolmannen valtakunnan vieraat. Suomi Hitlerin Saksan vaikutuspiirissä 1933–1944
[Guests from the Third Reich. Finland in the sphere of influence of Hitler’s Germany 1933–1944]
Helsinki: Otava, 2013. 602 pp., ill .
ISBN 978-951-1-26881-9
€37, hardback

Germany had long been a great power with close historical ties to Finland, and when Hitler took over in 1933 the bond was still largely intact. Some Finnish cultural and scientific figures admired the new Germany and accepted its ideology, whereas the views of many Finland’s soldiers were influenced by the help received from Germany during the Civil War of 1918 and by the threat from the neighbouring Soviet Union. During the Winter War of 1939–40, when the Soviet Union attacked Finland and Germany was formally a Soviet ally, relations cooled. After the Winter War politicians sought support from Germany for reasons of Realpolitik, in preparation for another conflict. When the Germans invaded the Soviet Union during the Continuation War of 1941–1944, they sent military supplies to Finland and troops to the country’s north. Cultural relations with the Baltic superpower flourished. Hitler’s attendance in 1942 at the birthday party of Marshal Mannerheim (well known to be an Anglophile) was a spectacular display of Finnish-German friendship. However, no persecution of Jews took place in Finland. When it became obvious that Germany would be defeated, even the Nazis’ enthusiastic friends distanced themselves from them, and in the Lapland War of 1944–45 the German soldiers were driven out of Finland. The book provides a vivid and comprehensive reminder of a time when many Finns put their trust in Hitler’s Germany and were flattered to receive its attention.

Translated by David McDuff

Markku Koski: ‘Hohto on mennyt herrana olemisesta’ [‘The glory has gone from being a VIP’]

7 May 2010 | Mini reviews, Reviews

‘Hohto on mennyt herrana olemisesta’ – Televisio ja poliitikko
[‘The glory has gone from being a VIP’ – the television and the politician]
Tampere: Vastapaino, 2010. 254 p.
ISBN 978-951-768-249-7
€ 29, paperback

This book, based on the author’s doctoral thesis in Media and Communication Studies at the University of Tampere, presented in February 2010, takes as its starting point Walter Benjamin’s well-known essay, ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’. Koski applies Benjamin’s ideas on cinema and film stars to contemporary television and politics. Koski maintains that while the public have become alienated from politics, politicians have also become alienated from themselves and have become reiterative entities whose essential content is repetition. After television and other new media have called into question traditional forms of politics, a significant challenge for politicians has been to prevent viewers from getting bored. Koski discusses relationship between politics and comedy, the ‘cynical’ viewer, the popular public image of Marshal Mannerheim (an iconic figure in Finnish history and politics) and the popularity of Sauli Niinistö, the frontrunner in the upcoming (2012) Finnish presidential election. Dr Koski also considers historical and contemporary image politicians in various other countries.

Inside and out

14 February 2011 | Reviews

Markku Pääskynen. Photo: Ville Palonen

It is typical of Markku Pääskynen’s fiction for horrible things to happen both in people’s internal worlds and what goes by the name of the objective reality around them, and you can’t always be sure which one they’re happening in – or they’re happening in both.

From his debut novel, Etanat (‘Snails’, 2002, Tammi), onwards Markku Pääskynen (born 1973) has created a highly original body of work. His special strengths are his linguistic and narrative virtuosity, which allow him to make surprising events and narrative solutions come off in a controlled manner.

Pääskynen’s third novel, Tämän maailman tärkeimmät asiat (‘The most important things of this world’, 2005, featured in Books from Finland 1/2006), was a description of a single day that focused on the relationship between an adult son and his mother. Pääskynen’s sixth book, Enkelten kirja (‘Book of Angels’, 2010), is constructed out of sensory perceptions, thoughts, feelings and memories. The reader has to stay on his toes in piecing together the course of events, gradually revealed from behind these elements, and to find the story behind the plot. More…

A day in the life of a son

31 March 2006 | Archives online, Authors, Reviews

Jarmo Papinniemi on Markku Pääskynen’s new novel

In Markku Pääskynen‘s third novel, the two greatest modernists’ ways of portraying the human mind come together: James Joyce’s plunging, leaping, unstudied free-associations are combined with Marcel Proust’s calm, broadly arching, cultured yet intimate deliberation.

Considered one of the most original creators of new Finnish prose, Markku Pääskynen (born 1973) began his career with two ambitiously constructed novels that experimented with the properties of literary narrative. Etanat (‘The snails’, 2002) starts off in Gothenburg, Sweden, with a streetcar accident, and the role of coincidence in the story is carried to the extreme. Ellington (2004) is a portrait of a serial killer in which the truth keeps changing until the reader is so thoroughly confounded that in the end it’s clear that there is no ‘real’ truth underneath the various versions of the story. More…

Itämeren tulevaisuus [The future of the Baltic Sea]

17 February 2011 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Itämeren tulevaisuus
[The future of the Baltic Sea]
Contributors: Saara Bäck, Markku Ollikainen, Erik Bonsdorff, Annukka Eriksson, Eeva-Liisa Hallanaro, Sakari Kuikka, Markku Viitasalo, Mari Walls
Helsinki: Gaudeamus, 2010. 350 p., ill.
ISBN 978-952-459-132-6
€ 39, paperback

This publication covers the key environmental issues affecting the Baltic Sea and provides new perspectives on those issues. The Baltic, with its relatively small, shallow dimensions and low salinity, is one of only a few seas in the world that is home to both freshwater and saltwater fish species and inland and marine birds. The Kvarken Archipelago in the Gulf of Bothnia was granted UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2006. There are some 85 million people living within range of the environmentally sensitive, heavily trafficked Baltic Sea in nine countries around its coastline and its drainage basin. Serious environmental alarm bells began to ring in the 1960s with the realisation that the white-tailed eagle was on the brink of extinction. The socio-political history of the Baltic has had an effect on its protection, since the border between two competing economic systems – communism and capitalism – ran right through it. The articles in this book make it clear that science has identified ways to protect the Baltic Sea, but these research findings are not being put into practice in official decision-making.
Translated by Ruth Urbom