The Birdcage Archives

Tuesday 2 June 2015

Farwell: Books from Finland

Hello Gentle Reader

The internet has connected the entire world. It has moved beyond the constraints of both physical borders, as well as language boundaries. Numerous nations of smaller or lesser known, languages have websites and institutions that are set up to promote the translations of their languages writers – both classical and contemporary into other languages – primarily English. “Books from Finland,” has been one such format, which has encouraged, a deeper look at Finland’s literature, and its unique literary characteristics, born of such a difficult language to learn, and translate from. Since nineteen-sixty seven, “Books from Finland,” has been introducing Finland’s literature, to the English language via its print publications and eventual its virtual publications. However, for almost half a century, “Books from Finland,” has introduced newer writers, and more Finnish literature to English readers. However, as of July 1st: “Books from Finland,” will cease any future publications, as it will focus on digitalizing archival material. The reasons for the ceasing in publication are economic:

“The reasons for ceasing publication of Books from Finland are also economic. Government aid to the Finnish literature information centre FILI, which has functioned as the journal’s home, has been cut by ten per cent.”

The state of literary affairs, as of late are quiet economical in general. The Folio Prize is looking for a new sponsor, for its award. The Impac Literary Dublin Award has also recently exhausted the trust money, which has supported the award, is also seeking a sponsor – as the award is running on public funded money. It is a shame however to hear that “Books from Finland,” will cease its publications. “Books from Finland,” has made numerous wonderful writers, known to me as a reader, completely new to Finnish literature. It was thanks to “Books from Finland,” that I have had the pleasure of reading examples, fragments and snippets of such great writers like:

Petri Tamminen, whose samples from his books “The Land of the Hider,” became an enjoyable read (though I have not read the entire book) became almost a handbook on how to hide away from a anxious filled world.

Kaarina Valoaalto, who has yet to be published into English and known at all within any English speaking group, has impressed me with her prose poem works, which are not foreboding or difficult, but warm and welcoming.

Helvi Juvonen a poet, whose poetry is elliptical and yet filled with a fairy tale like imagery, that is populated with animals, goblins and other such anarchic creatures, that are born from childhood.

It was at “Books from Finland,” that I was able to enjoy the works of Leena Krohn as well as the prose of Bo Careplan. For forty-eight years, “Books from Finland,” has introduced an array of wonderful, talented, and creative Finnish writers to English readers. As we speak I plan on reading a short story by Eeva Tikka from her collection of short stories titled: “A Slow Passion.”

Farwell Books From Finland; but I certainly enjoyed reading your new posts, and discovering new Finnish writers, that the publication had introduced. Now I look forward to going through the archive further, and reading writers, that I missed before, and re-discovering writers, already read, and enjoying them once again.

Thank-you For Reading Gentle Reader
Take Care
And As Always Stay Well Read
*And Remember: Downloading Books Illegally is Thievery and Wrong.*

M. Mary

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