Read People in the Summer Night by F.E. Sillanpää Free Online
Book Title: People in the Summer Night|
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 828 KB
City - Country: No data
The author of the book: F.E. Sillanpää
Edition: University of Wisconsin Press
Date of issue: June 1st 1966
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Loaded: 1574 times
Reader ratings: 7.2
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Despite the page number, this is all about great themes: love, hate, ignorance, death, birth. During two summer days and nights a group of people is introduced, whose stories form separate atmospheric scenes. Yrjö 'Nokia' Salonen struggles with his inner turmoil and lovelessness, young couple Helka and Arvid enjoy their time together, Santra needs tenderness while her husband Jukka wanders around drunk, Hilja and Jalmari are expecting their third child, a lonely artist ponders his role as a father and the old matriarch of Teliranta remembers her girlhood through her grandchild Helka.
The mood is lingering, like the gentle breeze of wind on a sizzling hot summer day, and the tenderness of a Finnish summer night can only be understood by those who have experienced it. Some moments are so beautiful they almost make you cry.
My favourite character of all these is absolutely Nokia, a blonde haired pretty boy who tries out the life of a... Well, I don't know how to translate this. You know, a man who balanced on the logs and guided them along the river. Anyway, Nokia makes a mistake, and in the end the anxiety and (sexual) frustration lead into a very touching scene.
One thing that goes through the whole book is an erotic charge, that apparently appalled the people of 1930s Finland (Sillanpää was a bit of a rebel I think). Maybe now this doesn't evoke the same kind of reaction in a reader, but the subtle hints by the right choices of words are for me the thing that makes this novel an even greater emotional experience.
Oh, and I'd really like to see the 1948 Valentin Vaala film. I usually (with one or two exceptions) hate old Finnish movies with their wooden actors, child-like actresses, and unintentionally amusing vibe. This, however, might be another exception. Just because of the beautiful Martti Katajisto, and because I hear the mood has been realised really well.
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Read information about the authorFrans Emil Sillanpää was born on the 16th of September, 1888, at Ylä-Satakunta in the Hämeenkyrö Parish of Finland on a desolate croft of the same name. The cottage had been built by his parents, his father Frans Henrik Henriksson, who had moved there some ten years before from Kauvatsa in the Kumo Valley, and his mother, Loviisa Vilhelmiina Iisaksdotter, whose family had lived in the Hämeenkyrö Parish from times immemorial.
Sillanpää's parents had experienced all the trials and tribulations common to generations of settlers in those parts of Finland. Frosts had killed their seeds, farm animals had perished, and the farmer's children, too, had died, until only Frans Emil, the youngest of the offspring, was left.
There was only a mobile school for the farm children, and it was purely by accident - young Sillanpää's life was to abound in accidents - that the crofter's son, who was regarded as a bright lad, came to attend a regular school where he displayed a real aptitude for learning. Some idealists decided that nothing less than a secondary school at Tampere would do and, after giving the matter some thought, old Sillanpää consented to send his son away. For five years, Sillanpää's parents pinched and scraped to keep their son in school, after which he supported himself for another three years and, in 1908, matriculated with good marks. This was a time in Finland when a promising young man could study almost indefinitely on borrowed money, and young Sillanpää was not slow to avail himself of this miscarriage of educational zeal. He plunged into learning and his studies were as chaotic as they were long drawn-out. He did, however, choose biology as his basic subject and worked hard in the laboratory, cutting up things, studying them under the microscope, and drawing what he saw until, one fine day, he woke up to find that five years had gone by; his examination day was still far off and the kind old gentlemen who had been lending him money were not prepared to do so any longer. He scraped together enough cash to return to his home, where he found his father and mother poorer than ever. He lived in their hut and shared their meals, which could hardly excite a gourmet's palate.
His student days were over, his amorous escapades a thing of the past, but at least it was easy enough for him to start from nothing. Sillanpää acquired at a nearby village shop some stationary of the type favoured by village lads for private correspondence and wrote a short story, which he sent to the editor of a large city paper without much hope of seeing it published. To use an expression popular in those days, the story must have been written with his heart's blood because, after a very short time, it appeared on the front page of the aforesaid paper and its author received a very handsome letter from the editor's secretary, as well as his fee, which was more than welcome. The story had been published under a pen name but the literary world of Helsinki soon discovered the identity of the author and the erstwhile eternal scholar found himself, to his amazement, receiving letters of extravagant praise. After several more of his stories had been published in the same paper, something very unusual happened. He was approached by a wellknown publisher who asked to be borne in mind should Sillanpää's literary output stretch to a whole book. The publisher went so far as to offer him a reasonable advance to enable him to work in peace.
Yet another wonder - one of a series - occurred at that time. At an unimportant village dance, Sillanpää met a shy seventeen-year-old girl who, insisting that she could not dance, sat far at the back of the dance hall. In spite of her resistance, Sillanpää dragged her out onto the dance floor to discover that she could dance after all, which she proceeded to do with the utmost seriousness and concentration. This was the beginning of a twenty-five-year saga, during which Sigrid Maria (for such was the name of the se
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