When I posted about Small Press Month, we talked about finding something different out there in the book stacks. If you’re trying to break out of the ordinary, here’s your escape: Pentti Saarikoski’s The Edge of Europe – A Kinetic Image. Saarikoski has been gone for sometime, but this unusual work of his has just been translated into English by Anselm Hollo and published by Action Books. It feels like a stream-of-consciousness journal, and perhaps that’s just what it was. Each two to three-page entry contains wild, free-flowing prose that make you feel like you’ve got a mind-reading machine set to Saarikoski’s number.
Originally published in Finnish in 1982, The Edge of Europe was written by this most famous of Finland’s poets. In fact, Saarikoski was so popular from the late 50’s to the early 70’s that he was often called “The Blond Beatle of the North.” He was a radical, often controversial figure who maintains a following to this day.
Interestingly, The Edge of Europe was written while Saarikoski was also working on his three volumes of poetry called Trilogy, his final poetic work. Both were written as he moved throughout Europe, staying in one place until he started to feel at home, then moving on. The Edge of Europe takes the reader through Norway, Brittany, Dublin, and Stavanger, an island off the west coast of Sweden. So if you’re trying to travel the world in your readings, this book will take you to some interesting corners.
I love to encourage people to step out of their usual reading patterns and reach for something different. I’m happy to tell you that this time, I have not one, but TWO copies of The Edge of Europe for a giveaway. So leave your comment here telling me what intrigues you about the book (something more than “sounds good” is kindly requested, just to keep things interesting). As always, subscribers to carp(e) libris reviews are automatically entered to win this and all giveaways here, so make sure to sign up. The winners will be randomly selected on April 1st, 2008, 12noon EST. I promise – no April Fool’s jokes! Just two lucky winners.