Saturday, February 11, 2006

Parnasso and Blooks

The latest issue of Finnish literature magazine Parnasso has on its cover a photograph of the late Arto Salminen, with an obituary/feature story by Harri Haanpää, so I had to buy the mag for my archives. Haanpää's story was quite interesting and would shed some light to Salminen's correspondence with his literary editor and how his books were born. I'm sure we'll see more texts and studies on Salminen's work in the future, and I for one hope to do my best to keep this writer's name alive and in good memory.

It's funny because I've never considered myself as one fitting to the reader profile of a "high-brow" magazine like Parnasso, but to my surprise I found it interesting read from cover to cover. Now of course, in Finland Parnasso has the status of an established cultural institution, which means it is easy to put the magazine down in certain circles, but since I'm an outsider to literature circles myself (I used to study Comparative Literature at Tampere University, but because I liked books too much, I thought it was better to drop out, before the murky and dust-covered world of academia would make me hate and loathe them...), I can stay away from these little cultural wars, their backstabbing, etc., and judge it all with my little innocent (tee hee) eyes.

There was also Karri Kokko's story on poetry blogs (which you can read in Finnish here), and it's great talented writers will increasingly present their output on this electronic medium too. "Blooks" (blogs serialising books) are now on everyone's lips, and even people like The Who's (one of my all-time favourite bands) Pete Townshend (known as one of the most verbal and outspoken commentators working in the area of popular music) publish their own fictional texts on those. Perhaps "blook" is a good point of reference for my own dilettantish efforts here too...