Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Boom years

Continuing my tradition of highligthing obscure (but excellent) Finnish writers...

Alpo Ruuth is a master portraitist of the post-war communist Finnish urban proletariat: a community defiant, bitter, closely knit and wonderfully humane and warm. Now his best work appears rather folkloric - those people, that culture have been swept away by history, by relentless social change. Elegies of bygone times. But there are reasons for that collapse, that failure of faith: to borrow the terms of their creed, it all was based on "false consciousness" - if all those things in Nordic, deeply imperfect but improving Finland were wrong and unjust (and by and large they were), what then of the promised land, based on bloody terror and systematic suppression of all freedom and free debate? Such self-deception is bound fail; it was built on a lie.

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