Book Review | In his poems, Jukka Koskelainen brings together the early Romantics of Germany and present-day Eastern Helsinki in a personal way.

Jukka Koskelainen’s seventh collection of poems Winter Journey to Jena is on one level a confession of love for Germanic cultural heritage, literature and philosophy.


Jukka Koskelainen: Winter trip to Jena. Aviador. 77 s.

All roads took to Jena, at the turn of the 18th and 18th centuries. The university city of Thuringia, present-day central Germany, brought together the founders of early romance and idealistic philosophy. The steep slopes, forest ponds and monastery ruins of the surrounding areas were favorable ground for a movement seeking connections to the Middle Ages, folklore, mysticism and nature.

Jukka Koskelainen (b. 1961) the seventh collection is, on one level, a confession of love for Germanic cultural heritage, literature, and philosophy.

There is Johann Wolfgang von Goethen and Friedrich Schillerin landscapes, Grimmin the tales of the brethren, the Hegelian movements of the world spirit, and Friedrich Nietzschen “manic berserky,” an archaic rebellion against the mass soul of the modern world.

In the 2020s, we will keep pace with other cultural circles.

Hegelian after synthesis and antithesis has come the time of “sun thesis”. Breaking Badin plot twists are a much more burning topic than Friedrich Schlegelin influence on Nietzsche’s debut work The birth of tragedy.

However, Koskelainen is not enthusiastic about the pathetic-nostalgic hymns of complaint, or begins to resent the spiritlessness of modern youth and the dominance of popular culture.

Included in the poems are my own middle-aged interim accounts, a reminiscence of childhood and youth series and proge band patterns. Long, casually eloquent poems call for the coexistence of worlds.

Koskelainen generously admits the “dustiness” of his hobbies. But the dust of another is the magic dust of another.

It feels like as if the 19th century and the German cultural district were for Koskela a Södergran “country that does not exist”: an internal, individual reality that allows them to better cope with the everyday life of the 2010-20-century piece of culture.

Instead of a philosophical upper cloud and theoretical skies, the picture includes the chores of the cottage and cycling on the shores of Eastern Helsinki.

“Before reading a celebrated thinker / you have to move enough gravel / and mulch in wheelbarrows from the road to the beach, / cut the hay next to the barn, / or whatever is not prone / even in support of praise.”

There is indeed a need to be wary of supportive sects that misinterpret their fathers. The Nazis selectively and distorted Nietzsche’s ideas. In the spirit of Hegel’s most famous student, we continue to go to Cuba and Venezuela.

“Man is a religious being / in the snares of Marx, the coca, the cola or / the invisible strings.”

Era staged and unloaded. The “magic projector” of the subconscious conjures up worlds.

The collection refers to the German decadence of Weimar and the isms of experimental art, as well as to Berlin in the 1970s.

Koskelainen deals with Berlin David Bowien also in his collection of rock essays Words under the black star (2018).

The milestones are also Soviet Estonia and the 1980s Frida Kahlon and Octavio Pazin Mexico.

The time-traveling poems ‘I’ are led forward by the mystical Salome. Is this about Biblical or Richard Straussin about the character of the opera? Or from more personal memories of the student booths of occupied Tallinn and the love behind the Gulf of Finland? Perhaps a little of everything, by the logic of sleep and the subconscious.

Collection in the eastern Helsinki section at the end, there is no room for any kind of fog. In his nature poems, Koskelainen implements the “poetics of the Stone Age” and the “aesthetics of the chamber”, thus digging out layers of history and nature.

Included are a waste hill landscaped into the Vuosaari fells, a Viking landing site in Vartiokylänlahti, tsarist defense structures and a bedrock shaped by the ice age. The collection culminates To the proposal for the Eastern Helsinki Provincial Song.

The afternoon newspapers mainly notice the brawls of Tallinnanaukio and Vuosaari. Finnish rap and hip hop and populist politicians are reproducing the wild catalog of Eastern Helsinki.

Koskelainen brings out the stunning natural values, urban forests and maritime nature of the East. Similar suburban archeology is also mentioned in Koskelainen’s previous collection of poems Round the East (2016).

Other kennels in Eastern Helsinki come to mind. Saila Susiluoto Metropolis (2018) Prehistoric strata can be found in post-industrial-dystopic urban landscapes. Tomi Kontion in suburban poems, small, mundane details lead to metaphysical and cosmic insights.

In everything In his critique of ideology and religion, Koskelainen turns out to be the heir to the Romantics. He searches for “eternity” in the midst of radio masts and power lines, enchanted by exhaust-colored sunsets and light-polluting starry skies.

Just like Schlegel, Novalis and Ludwig Tieck. They found their views and treasures in the hillside forests around Jena.



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