Posted by: admin in: Litterature
Do you remember when you first decided to become a writer?
I have written poems since I was young, but at first I wanted to be a musician. Then I studied medicine and became a doctor. When I graduated as a surgeon, I decided to make something of my writing.
Was it an easy choice to make?
The decision was not difficult, but it took much effort to get the first book published.
What writers did have a major influence in your work / life?
Old Japanese and Chinese poets, Hafiz, T. S. Eliot, Finnish modernists like Haavikko, Manner and Rekola, and Jaan Kaplinski from Estonia; in prose Dostojevski, Kafka, Beckett, Faulkner, Hemingway, even Henry Miller and Jack Kerouac (to remind that you should be somewhat mad also), the Finnish writers Kivi, Linna, Hyry, Meri.
What are the positive and negative aspects of being a writer in Finland?
Positive: There is not such hurry and pressure, we have beautiful nature – and a very original language.
Negative: Finland is a small country with only one big center, Helsinki. You have to work very hard to be known if you live outside it. And of course, if you are not known, nobody knows your books either. There is only one trend and truth at a time.
What are the themes that you like to explore in your books?
Biology and consciousness; the memory and symbolic thinking (which I think is much older and broader phenomenon than language), how we became and become human beings, cycles and phases of life and generations.
How could you define your style?
IÂ´m not fond of categorizations, I donÂ´t want to think if it is modern or post-modern. My way of perception and thinking is visual and probably you can see it in my texts. In my poems I also try to convay some elements of music that I love so much, not by rhymes but with rhytm and colours. There is much nature in my texts like in many Finnish books. IÂ´m a country boy, grew up there and returned after living many years semi-urban (most of the towns in Finland are small) life which I find very dull.
Have you ever considered the possibility to totally change your style?
Every time I begin to write something new! But there is something deeper in us that does not let change so quickly.
How do you write? Do you try to follow some strict rules or do you only write “when it comes”?
When I write poems I write when the idea comes – and not in my daily work. When writing prose you have to be strict, have rules and produce some amount of text every day. Anyway, I think it is most important that you carry your writing project around in your head.
When you’re working on a book, what is the stage / moment that you prefer?
When I can leave the starting point, the small and selfish ideas and begin to catch something deeper, broader, more complex and dynamic.
What books or authors have you read recently?
The Nobel prize winner Imre Kertesz.
If there is one…what is your favorite book? For what reasons?
Impossible to name one, there are so many great books.
How do you consider Internet as an author?
It is very helpful when you have to find information.
Do you think that Internet could somehow change the traditional publication process?
Not yet. I think at this stage Internet can only introduce some tricks. The forms of the electric text are today far from the readability and handyness of an ordinary book. The proponents of net publication should also leave aside some false ideas about human mind. ItÂ´s most important function is synthesizing, not gathering or puzzling.
What are your actual and future projects?
I work to finish a collection of short stories. I have an idea for a novel – and I hope new poems will also come to surface soon.