Book Review | Tyko Sallinen’s wife Helmi Vartiainen remains shrouded in lies – in addition to the novel, a biography based on research work would be needed

In Venla Hiidensalo’s novel, Helmi’s adult daughters also reflect on their relationship with their mother, from which they had been forcibly separated.


Venla Hiidensalo: Griefless. Big Dipper. 253 p. The audiobook is read by Satu Paavola.

Venla Hiidensalon fourth novel Worryless is a confusing mixture of true and false. It tells Tyko and Pearl of Sallis, and their daughters Sparrow and Realize.

Reading the novel requires that the reader be familiar with Sallinen’s paintings: Mirri breastfeeding her firstborn. Or Mirri sitting in her green suit with her arms bare in 1911, when Sallinen secretly gave Helmi their firstborn for adoption in Denmark. The sparrow became Fin.

The mother never saw her daughter again, and the daughter only found out about her mother as an adult. The youngest Sallinen applied for a wool for himself in Krapula, even though the girl had been ordered to divorce his mother. He lived in a neighboring villa – Humala Jalmari Ruokokoski.

So it is a biographical novel, the madness of making art. The demon of the artist novel is Tyko and his victims are both his wife and daughter. The side section features Jali, an intermittent understanding and mediator.

The narrative is gap-opening and time-interleaving.

The name of the novel Worryless refers to the chess of the “sad”, the artist geniuses who enjoy Bronda. Paradoxically, the women of the Sallinen family, from whose point of view the novel has been told, are anything but sad. There is more grief than three shoulders can bear.

Helmi Vartiainen loses her self-confidence, her ability to paint and her children, because she happens to fall in love with a much older artist, Tyko Sallis, during her first year of study at the Art Association’s drawing school.

But it is only with the portraits of his wife that the man becomes the famous and later respected expressionist Tyko Sallinen. He painted the carnal and sensual Mirri, in the opinion of many later witnesses, more of his own golden maiden than the real Pearl of Sall.

In the novel of Hiidensalo Tyko claims that Helmi lifts the damn surface to him. The woman is haunted by her violent and deceitful. Mirri, he said, would be ready to be preserved on the island of Seili.

There are enough reasons to upset Pearl’s mind, however Troubled his ways of suffering have been told externally, though in my own form.

There are delusions and states of fear. The author also gives a few pictures to suggest that Helmi is alcoholized in grief:

“My gaze hits the bottle being cleaved under the bed. I open it with trembling hands and drink greedily. I feel my pulse level off and the pain squeezing my chest eases. ”

A novel not to be read as a biography, but still I want to know what the arguments and descriptions are based on.

Hiidensalo mentions in the afterwords of his novel four works that have inspired him, such as Tuula Karjalainen Tyko Sallinen biography (2016) as well as Inka-Maria Laitilan and Tarja Strandénin non-fiction Hairy girl (2002). It focuses on Helmi Vartiainen looking behind Mirri images.

Taju Sallinen, author Irja Sallan, A dream visitorhas been borrowed from the novel Sad people a motto that talks about children growing up in love.

In Hiidensalo’s novel, Helmi’s adult daughters also reflect on their relationship with their mother, from whom they had been forcibly separated and about whom they had been told mainly lies.

Closing the sad biographical novel, I hope that Pearl will still someday get a biography in which the lies that shroud her are stripped of it, citing research work and sources.

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