Sunday, December 21, 2008

The first Chandler in Finnish

Was Raymond Chandler available for the Finnish audience in the late 1940's when the book of my previous post was published? Yes and no. I believe the first instance when he was put out in Finnish was this rather obscure 72-page book from 1945: an abridged novelization of the film he wrote with Billy Wilder from James M. Cain's novel, The Double Indemnity (in Finnish The Woman Without Conscience, which is a fitting title). Chandler is mentioned only when the credits of the film are given, and I don't know who's responsible for the text.
Nainen ilman omaatuntoa came out in a series of similar condensed novelizations of popular films of the era. The series was published by Lehtipaino and it came out during the years 1944-1948. Some of the books in the series are quite easily found, but for some reason the Chandler-Wilder-Cain book is scarce. As you can see, my copy is not in a very good shape, but it's the only one I've been able to find.

The first real Chandler translations came out in 1950, in the pulp magazine Seikkailujen Maailma. As for the first Hammett translation, it has to be The Maltese Falcon in 1955. At least I haven't found anything earlier. (I seem to remember now that a friend of mine found an abridged version of one of Hammett's short stories, but the details escape me at the moment.) (Love Kirjat put out a good translation of Cain's novel in the early eighties, under the title Nainen ilman omatuntoa.)


Tapani Bagge said...

You can find the mention of the first "Hammet" translation here:
It's in the same year, 1950, as the first Chandler.

Juri said...

Thanks, Tapani! I knew it had something to do with you...