Sunday, November 13, 2011

Books on my nightstand this week

1. Pekka Suhonen (1938-2011), a refined man of letters and a critic of architecture and design, died on Friday. Pekka Tarkka's remarkable obituary in today's Helsingin Sanomat alerted me to read Suhonen's first three books, Kootut runot [Collected Poems] (1965), his debut book with a hilariously misleading title, Tytöt lähtevät maailmalle [Girls Get Out to See the World] (1966), a collection of short stories, and Palava omaisuus [Burning Property] (1968), with more poems. There are also film connections, especially in the short story "Garbo at Stiller's Grave".
2. Jorge Luis Borges: Kuvitteellisten olentojen kirja (El libro de los seres imaginarios) (Book of Imaginary Beings), 1957 / 1969, translated into Finnish by Sari Selander, 2009. Adventures of language and imagination in a uniquely humoristic pseudo-encyclopedia, Sari Selander succeeding in an almost impossible translation mission.
3. Aulis Tynkkynen: Muistoja elämästä ja ihmisistä Pahatson lapsuuden kodista 1930- ja 1940-luvulta [Recollections of Life and People in our Childhood Home in Pahatso in the 1930s and the 1940s], 2007. My wife's mother Aino died last month (born in 1917 before Finnish independence but just after the Czar had resigned from power, during the Russian Provisional Government), and these are the recollections of Aino's brother of their childhood and their fighting youth in Punkaharju in Southern Savo. These self-published memoirs are an invaluable record of a traditional way of life that has vanished with modernization.
4. Donald E. Strong: Maailmantaide: Kreikan ja Rooman taide (Landmarks of the World's Art: The Classical World), 1965, in Finnish in 1967. Continuing with a favourite childhood book series, the selection of artworks and the layout of their reproductions consistently in excellent taste. In classical Greece one starts to discover faces and expressions that are recognizable as contemporary with nothing archaic in them. The realism of the discus thrower is still unsurpassed.
5. MMM: Mitä Missä Milloin 2012 [What Where When 2012], 2011. The publishing house Otava's annual yearbook of what has happened in the world, in the society, and in culture. I always spend several hours studying it from cover to cover, my favourite section being "new words of the year". Editors: Tiina Aalto (editor-in-chief), Päivi Syrjänen.
6. Lauri Piispa: Sentimentaalinen marssi [A Sentimental March], 2005. A master's thesis with profound insight into the historical meanings in Marlen Khutsiev's movie Zastava Ilyicha.
7. La Cinémathèque de la Ville de Luxembourg programme booklet, Novembre 2011, edited by Claude Bertemes. Another film archive programme booklet worth reading in its own right, this one especially for the Regards sur le cinéma israélien notes. Other features include: Tous les genres du cinéma; Filmreakter Double Feature (Twin Tales of Terror and Madness); Voir Naples et sourire; Citizen Lumet; Cinema Paradiso for children.
8. Paul Klimpel (ed.): Bewegte Bilder - starres Recht? [Moving Images - Rigid Rights?], 2011. New openings in matters or rights regarding film heritage. Even I contributed an article on the topic of the exceptions to the droit d'auteur (as we say in Europe) / fair use (as they say in the US).

1 comment:

The Enlightened Actor said...

Dear Antti,

As I don't know if you speak swedish I will write you in English. My name is Ottiliana Rolandsson, from northern Sweden living in Los Angeles. During earning my Ph.D. in theatre studies at the University of California I wrote a one-woman show I Was Greta Garbo in which I play the title character. A finnish performer in Buenos Aires, Pertti Mustonen, who currently is translating the play into spanish as well as finnish mentioned the short story, Garbo vid Stillers grav. I am very interested to read this story. Do you know if there is a translation of it in either swedish or english?
Thank you!
Ottiliana Rolandsson