"In my experience of writing – and of life – the frenzy of dreams and that of form always go together." Iosi Havilio
Posts tagged "Finland"
“Don’t kill me, I beg you. This is my tree.”

“Don’t kill me, I beg you. This is my tree.”

He woke up and , before the last vestiges of the nightmare faded, made up his mind. He’d take him out to the forest and finish the matter off. Fifteen years ago, before he’d shot him, he’d heard him say, “Don’t kill me, I beg you. This is my tree.” Those words had stayed with...
Taking an interest in the meerschaum tram

Taking an interest in the meerschaum tram

Once, when Moomintroll was quite small, his father got a cold at the very hottest time of summer. Moominpappa refused to drink warm milk with onion juice and sugar, and he refused to go to bed. He sat in the garden hammock blowing his nose and saying his cigars had a horrible taste, and the...
The whiskered stranger

The whiskered stranger

I met the cat in a bar. And he wasn’t just any cat, the kind of cat that likes toy mice or climbing trees or feather dusters, not at all, but entirely different from any cat I’d ever met. I noticed the cat across the dance floor, somewhere between two bar counters and behind a...
Premontions

Premontions

When I was young, a remarkable woman lived in the village where I grew up. Her name was Frida Andersson. Frida lived alone in a cottage by herself but she had a daughter and a grandchild in the city. Sometimes in summer they would come to visit, but as Frida grew more and more peculiar,...
Waves of joy and doubt

Waves of joy and doubt

During the Second World War Astrid Lindgren, creator of Pippi Longstocking, was an aspiring writer living in Stockholm with her family, working in a top secret job at the Swedish Mail Censorship Office. Horrified and fascinated as world events unfolded, she kept a meticulous diary full of newspaper clippings (and occasional snippets from the letters...
A mirage of horrors

A mirage of horrors

“Our language lacks words to express this offence, the demolition of a man.” Primo Levi The question of how one writes, thinks or speaks about the holocaust and the ideologies and sociohistorical conditions that spawned it, is perhaps as vital now as it was in the direct aftermath of a period when the word ‘hell’...
Keeping the Moomins above water

Keeping the Moomins above water

As Moomins on the Riviera arrives in UK cinemas, I catch up with Sophia Jansson, niece of Moomins creator Tove Jansson and head of the Moomin Characters company, to discuss the genesis of the film and her aunt’s wider legacy. The hand-drawn film is made by Hanna Hemilä’s Handle Productions in Helsinki and director Xavier...
Philip Teir: Question everything

Philip Teir: Question everything

Philip Teir’s debut novel The Winter War chips away at Scandinavia’s much-trumpeted model society by examining individual lives in a well-to-do but barely functional Finnish-Swedish Helsinki family as they scrabble for meaning and identity. Max Paul is a retired lecturer on the point of turning 60, who is working on a biography of pioneering sociobiologist...
Crime and puzzlement

Crime and puzzlement

The reader was at first surprised, then shocked, as the criminal Raskolnikov was abruptly slain in the middle of the street, right before her eyes. Sonya, the hooker with the heart of gold, shot him through the heart. It happened midway through an essay on the Dostoevsky classic. The reader’s name was Ella Amanda Milana....
The rain

The rain

Three motorboats rushed across the water, their bows abreast. The sun shone and the boats they met waved and assumed they were having a race. In the middle boat, the broadest of the three, an old woman lay on a litter. The litter was made of an old red deckchair stretched out full length and...