My standard gift for foreign friends and acquaintances has been the year of Arto Paasilinna’s Hare for years, writes Annamari Sipilä in his column.
One a common type of everyday media criticism is to compare newspaper articles with a tape measure. In that measurement, a long story is just as profound and decent. The short story, on the other hand, is frivolous and flawed.
“Ah, a wonderfully long thing. I postpone reading and enjoy the time later, ”informs the profound and decent reader and places the magazine on the stack next to the bedside table. From there, it will move intact to paper collection after two years, when the cleaning of the piles of leaves can no longer be postponed. The corresponding digital reader carefully marks the writing as a continuation of its previous bookmark of the three thousand five hundredths. While there is never time to return to saved articles, adding them already gives you a sense of information management.
As a supplier I always tell these future readers that don’t talk crazy now. Get the essential information you need from cool news articles. Only a news reporter knows how much effort it takes for every word in a short story to matter. Once the day’s news has been embraced, it’s worth spending the rest of the time reading fiction. So learn a lot more.
Take, for example, Northern Ireland, where it is bubbling again because of brexit. The eyes of the casual reader are buzzing as he tries to outline from a meandering newspaper article who were now Unionists and Loyalists or Nationalists and Republicans. If, instead, he used his time wisely, he would read Anna Burnsin a great novel Milkman (Milkman, 2018).
The award-winning and acclaimed novel takes place in Northern Ireland and tells more about the unrest – and more fun – than any newspaper article can.
In Finland Laura Jänisniemen translated by Milkman has received little attention. The first couple of thousand copies are still left.
Fiction is a superior means of getting to know other countries, cultures and groups of people. Where a foreign novel serves as a window to other worlds for Finns, a Finnish translation novel is a peek into Finland for others.
My standard gift to foreign friends and acquaintances has been for years Arto Paasilinnan The year of the hare. It has been easy to share a classic translated into dozens of languages as a satirical Finnish window.
But is the work, published in 1975, no longer suitable for today’s taste? Has Finland changed too much? And what is most worrying about this during neo-moralism: Is there anything in the work that disgusts the young awake generation (and their middle-aged crying bag) and causes serious frost on Finland’s country image?
Since it is almost twenty years since my last reading, updating the reading experience is downright a civic duty. I sat on the couch The year of the hare in one hand and a red pen in the other and I went on the journey of journalist Kaarlo Vatanen and the hare.
Cynical It is still easy to identify with the stomach. The subjects of the complaint are the same as now: the media is in decline (the magazine “seemed confused about grievances, but kept quiet about all the basic mistakes in this society”), and cannot afford to live in Helsinki.
Vatanen’s 1970s vibrate with the 2020s anyway. Fifty years ago, longing for the country was fueled by structural change. Now, privileged teleworkers fleeing the pandemic are moving to the country. The image of a woman is seemingly chauvinistic (a malicious wife and a country girl), but in the end things are arranged by an independent female lawyer. The booze goes, of course, but it fits the picture. Vatanen skis a bear in the Soviet Union and is arrested. Western countries come to Finnish Lapland for military exercises.
Only a raven trapped in a can could really upset a young generation of readers. And the current scales would never beat the secretary of the Coalition Youth League in the restaurant toilet. Violations are now exchanged remotely on social media.
The hare of the year the landscape still works. The next chapter in 2041.
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