Author: Kari Hotakainen

Des res

30 June 2003 | Fiction, Prose

Extracts from the novel Juoksuhaudantie (‘The Trench Road’, WSOY, 2002)

Matti Virtanen

I belonged to that small group of men who were the first in this country to dedicate themselves to the home front and to women’s emancipation. I feel I can say this without boasting and without causing any bickering between the sexes.

A home veteran looks after all the housework and understands women. Throughout our marriage I have done everything that our fathers did not. I did the laundry, cooked the food, cleaned the flat, I gave her time to herself and protected the family from society. For hours on end I listened to her work problems, her emotional ups and downs and her hopes for more varied displays of affection. I implemented comprehensive strategies to free her from the cooker. I was always ready with provisions when she got home exhausted after a day at work. More…

A view to a kill

Issue 4/1997 | Archives online, Fiction, Prose

Extracts from the novel Klassikko (‘The classic’, WSOY, 1997). Pete drives an old Toyota Corolla without a thought for the small animals that meet their death under its wheels – or anything else, for that matter. Hotakainen describes the inner life of this environmental hazard with accuracy and precision

Pete sat in his Toyota Corolla destroying the environment. He was not aware of this, but the lifestyle he represented endangered all living things. The car’s exhaust fumes spread into the surroundings, its aged engine sweated oil onto the pavement, and malodorous opinions withered the willowherbs by the roadside. Granted that Pete was an environmental hazard, one must nevertheless ask oneself: how many people does one like him provide with employment? He leaves behind him a trail of despondent girlfriends who require the services of human relations workers, popular songwriters, and social service officials; during his lifetime, he spends tens of thousands of marks in automotive shops and service stations, on spare parts and small cups of coffee; he benefits the food industry by being a carefree purchaser of TV dinners and soft drinks. Pete is the perfect consumer, an apolitical idiot who votes with his wallet, the favorite of every government, even though no one seems interested in putting him to work, least of all himself. Every government, regardless of political power struggles, encourages its people to consume. Pete needs no encouragement, he consumes unconsciously, and one might ask: is there anything that he does consciously, the Greens and left-wingers would like him to? Does Pete make smart long-range decisions? Hardly.


Between covers

Issue 4/1990 | Archives online, Children's books, Fiction

Extracts from Lastenkirja (‘Children’s book’, WSOY, 1990, illustrated by the Estonian animator and graphic artist Priit Pärn)


Children are wafting around the world: they come spilling out of the chimneys and clattering out of the pipes. They worm around cramped places in the nether regions, rise up through stiff roots into the treetops and muss up the clouds. Children just happen anywhere and bring the Adults along with them. More…