Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mika Waltari

As you've probably guessed, I've been busy. With the usual various assortements I try to get daily done*, I've been working on a book about Mika Waltari who's the most famous Finnish writer outside Finland (maybe in here, too).

As you probably can guess by now, my book will be about his lesser-known works. Which means it's largely about his early career and his pulp magazine and other fictionmaggish contributions. I'll be writing a series of articles about those here in Pulpetti for the next few weeks and I'll be starting with his horror story collection, Kuolleen silmät / The Dead Man's Eyes, as by Kristian Korppi, from 1926. It's a much-sought collector's item which I couldn't possibly afford myself, but luckily the university library has a copy.

So, stay tuned! (Maybe tomorrow or on Friday.) If you want to prep yourself, try to locate a copy of The Dedalus Book of Finnish Fantasy, ed. by Johanna Sinisalo. It includes a translation of Waltari's sword and sorcerish novellette "Island of the Setting Sun" from the Korppi collection. Sinisalo's book came out in 2005. I'm pretty sure people like Bill Crider and James Reasoner would like Waltari's story.

* Which means: translating two books, one into Finnish, one into English, and typing and editing a collection of Finnish Western stories that will be out in November, and rewriting my crime novel manuscript. I'll get back to all these in due time. Forgot to mention that I revised and sold a manuscript that I'd already thought had went to limbo: FinnLectura will publish a history of cinema I wrote, targeting the book for teenagers and preteens (apparently I failed, since they are aiming the book at adult students!).


Bill Crider said...

The only one I've read (long ago) is The Egyptian. It must have sold very well here, as I used to see used paperbacks all the time.

Juri said...

I may do a post about what books by Waltari have been translated into English. It seems that his most eminent historical novels have been available. It would be nice to have a scan of the paperbacks, but from your comment, Bill, I gather you don't have the book yourself, do you?

Bill Crider said...

No, that one seems to have slipped away from me.