Canal Grande. Hannu Raittila.Translated by Andrew Chesterman

Canal Grande. Hannu Raittila.Translated by Andrew Chesterman


Andrew Chesterman

Romaanit & novellit


476,2 KB

DRM: Vesileimaus

ISBN-13: 9789528041399

Kustantaja: Books on Demand

Julkaistu: 29.06.2023

Kieli: englanti

13,99 €

sis. alv.

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English translation of Canal Grande, a novel by the contemporary Finnish writer Hannu Raittila. The novel won the Finlandia Prize celebrating the best Finnish novel of the year when it was published in 2001.

A team of Finnish experts is sent on a UNESCO mission to save Venice from sinking. A rich social comedy unfolds as northern cool meets Mediterranean carnival: two very different manifestations of modern European culture. But beneath the satire, a more serious moral critique develops, as darker sides of human behaviour are gradually revealed...The final pages are an emotional shock, as we realize how much the Finnish experts have not realized.

The novel switches between the viewpoints of several contrasting voices, from different members of the team of experts. The main voice is that of Marrasjärvi, the team's resouceful and ever-rational hydro-engineer, a specialist in freezing, who will solve any technical problem and even save a donkey from drowning. Other team members are Saraspää, an ageing cultural hedonist who keeps a very personal diary, and Heikkilä, an academic historian who is fluent in Latin and ready to lecture on anything at any time.The last voice is that of Tuuli, the team's bilingual secretary, who lives in a different world and saves more than a donkey.

Underpinning the often farcical culture clash there run deeper themes exploring the gap between rhetoric and reality, the limits of rationality, what might make a good life, and human tragedy.
Andrew Chesterman

Andrew Chesterman

Hannu Raittila, the author of Canal Grande, is a contemporary Finnish writer whose wide-ranging work includes novels, short stories and essays, as well as newspaper columns, radio and TV drama and a film script. Raittila has won several major awards.

Andrew Chesterman, who translated the novel, is a retired professor whose special field has been translation studies. Born in the UK, he has lived in Finland for most of his adult life, working mainly at Helsinki University. He has become a fennicized Brit, and finds this status quite natural.

Full disclosure
Andrew is honoured to be godfather to one of Hannu's children. Years ago, we were summer neighbours. At one time, our families shared ownership of a horse.

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