Monday, October 10, 2005

The book fair

The Turku book fair ended on Sunday. We were there with the Finnish Western Society with the new translation of Stephen Crane's The Blue Hotel (Collier's 1898) in our hands. It became soon obvious no one knows anymore who Stephen Crane is. I even spoke with many people in the book industry, editors, translators, etc. Even one scholar - he confessed he'd never heard of Crane.

Now, everyone who reads this and doesn't know who Crane was, go to Google and check him out. If you don't, bow your head in shame.

We sold the booklet for 1€ a piece. Someone said to me that it's too cheap. People think it's nothing since it costs so little. Maybe. (If you want a copy, just e-mail me.)

I gave some copies to some small publishers and said that if they are interested in publishing more of Crane's short stories, contact us and we'll provide the translations. (Or actually Anssi will.) Hannu Salmi of Faros was very interested - "always willing to publish something that doesn't sell", he said.

We also had a stack of old Ruudinsavu mags and sold quite a bunch of these. It's just amazing when someone comes to ask if we have some old Westerns, books or comics or some such, and we tell "no" and add that here's a mag that tells everything about the Westerns, books, comics, movies etc., and those very same people just shake their heads and turn away. What's with some people? Why bother to read the old stuff, but not want to know anything about it?!

I gave three performances to the audience, one with Elina about the talkkuna book. It was a bit of a scandal, since the organizers had forgotten to ask us and notify the publisher. Luckily it suited us. But then it turned out that there wasn't going to be an interviewer - the idea was that two of us would just sit their and chat. We saw one of this kind - ugh! Luckily Kanerva from our publishing house agreed to come and ask a few questions.

As I said in a comment to another comment earlier, my speech for the library folk and library publisher BTJ on a Friday afternoon may have boosted the appearance of a book project I've been thinking about and pushing publishers to take it for goddam four or five years now! I also spoke about the horror book - to a bunch of teenagers! They were forced to come there by their teachers. Teenagers can't take a joke, as you all well know, and I felt I kind of spoke down on them. It wasn't my intention - sorry!

I also heard that White Heat is now officially in use in universities. Kimmo Laine of the Oulu university said that he took the book to their examination requirements and ordered ten copies to their library. Yiihaa! This is exactly the stuff I want to hear!

I met lots of nice folk - other writers, publishers, etc. - and had a lots of fun. We designed a great series of novelizations of Visa Mäkinen's films with Sami. I'll definitely keep this in mind... Watch out, all you writers reading this!

I was exhausted when I got home on a Sunday night. I tried to work this morning, but it didn't work out. Luckily Elina had a gig in Helsinki and I got to spend the whole day with Kauto. It was very relaxing and Kauto also seemed to like it a great deal.

Enough for now! I'm heading for the film archive and Sidney Hayers's Night of the Eagle (1962). It was scripted by Richard Matheson and Charles Beaumont.

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