Friday, February 12, 2016
Review: Leena Krohn: Collected Fiction
There is something about that which makes us shiver that sharpens the senses, flints focus. It also tends to turns reflection inward. Is that why Scandinavians all seems so...evolved?
Leena Krohn: Collected Fiction (Cheeky Frawg Books, 2015) is a perfect introduction to the gorgeous writing of a Finnish writer I cannot believe took me this long to discover.
With a foreword by Jeff Vandermeer, the collection is a hefty treasure, with more than 800 pages of dreamlike, haunting language that will stay with you long after you've done-and-dusted the final page.
It's difficult to pick favourites, but in a pinch, I will single out the novella Datura, or a Figment Seen by Everyone as a personal favourite. Slipping in and out of reality (or reality as we like to clarify it), the novella plays tricks with the reader at a level that eventually construes an entirely untrustworthy narrative (yay!). BUT - Krohn's beautifully subdued writing renders this instability somehow stable, contributing to the overall surreal effect of a story that cuts bone marrow close - if we're willing to honestly read what is on the page.
Pereat Mundus will also fry your metaphysical brain, but in a way you will be forever grateful for.
Birds talk. There are giant insects. The nature of intelligence and reality is skilfully probed and prodded - sometimes with a little help from nature. And what is Nature?
If any of the above rings your bell, I highly recommend reading Leena Krohn: Collected Fiction. Read it. Then read it again. Then put it aside, but close by, because you're going to want to read it again.
Magpie Bonus: Gorgeous cover.