Travel ticket to the world of Harald Olausen
Eero K.V. Suorsa
"Harald creates something new, literature from one way of living and writing. Maybe literature should be just that, so why talk about anti-literature? The answer is obvious: literature as it should be is anti-literature, which in turn means that literature as it is is ruined literature. Now is Harald and his new method as a document of the decay of our own time and the eternal struggle of the creative culture against the world. "
- Professor Timo Airaksinen Harald Olausen's Finished Stories in the preface to the II-Queern Short Story Collection "(Cultural Club 2019).
"Sometimes Teemu wondered if Jussi understood by harassing and forcing people that he had at the same time accidentally revealed a psychological formula for right-wing nihilism practiced by the upper strata of society as a kind of arrogant collective narcissistic forced neurosis, what is a bad attitude as an experience of worthlessness and metaphor This was a matter of arrogance when the right-wing preferred himself to others in the common line in comparison to his own excellence and importance over the masses, and did not care what was happening to others. This is exactly what Jussi was like in his speeches and actions. coercion belonged to him in the same category as right-wing militism, which meant to him complete indifference and the arrogance it brought with it: how could he have cared when he had no value according to the old adage: you know the whole price but not the value of anything. Therefore, nothing but himself and his selfish needs meant nothing to Jussi, so it was simply easy for him to remain indifferent and focus only on the most important thing: himself."
The best reader in the following will get you to read the praise and incense, which in this case is very, very legitimate. Let me start by telling you how I ended up with the book now in hand. Queer writer and gonzo journalist Harald Olausen leaves no one cold. This is how I dare to say, even though I say at the outset that I am never an impartial critic and a proponent of neutral value judgments when I write criticisms, and especially not in this case.
This is usually stated when there is relentless criticism of the work in question. But this time, best reader, the situation is quite the opposite: the undersigned has always liked Olause-n's books, ever since I set out to get to know his miraculous literary macro verses after reading his book The Prince of Egypt and Other Gay Short Stories (2012) for the first time.
I remember how I found this masterpiece in a bookstore in Turku that has now closed years ago, and after reading the back cover I thought, "This promises good". I browsed through the first few more pages, and made the purchase decision quite quickly. There was no need for further consideration, because my persuade said that he had something completely unique in his hands, one that you would not find in a Finnish bookstore or that you would not come across in any provincial newspaper.
The work also did where few succeed: the soft-covered brick had, moreover, succeeded in being a brilliantly punctual intellectual-aesthetic critique of homoculture without this critique giving rise to the impression glued on. By way of comparison, both William Faulkner has tried the same form of social criticism in his descriptions of "the Deep South" as Mario Vargas Llosa in describing social inequality in Latin America. I also write open the hidden clue in the previous sentence: Olausen manages to be included in his critique of society, whereas Faulkner and Vargas Llosa did not succeed despite good attempts.
After reading the Prince of Egypt, a number of questions swirled in my mind: Why had I not heard of Olausen before? Where does this man come from with stories full of such fine sophisticated details (in the case of Olausen's works you cannot avoid references to the characters in the history of philosophy and their teachings) as well as brute vitality (nor can you avoid the well-described and ragged sex in Olausen's works).
From that keeping the I followed Olausen writings of great interest. As a professional journalist, Olausen knows many different types of text after a long and extensive career as a journalist and in texting. He is a hugely prolific and high-quality author: this year, in addition to this book, he has already written "a Norwegian book", a report on the Querelle scandal with a Jokes (Journalist Cultural Fund) grant, and together with me and Professor Timo Airaksinen, Digivallila.com - a hundred first story book. In addition, he photographs and has made black and white photo books about Turku and Mikkeli this year.
Olausen writes such extensive and high-quality, often very original and intellectually challenging critiques (is a member of the Finnish Critics' Association - SARV), news and articles. Although his repertoire is very extensive, there is a certain "presumptuousness" in each of his texts, and when he learns to recognize this unique touch, nothing written by Olausen is left to the reader.
Over the years, I have sometimes forgotten Olausen texts, however, decided to use their back for more again and again. Every time I've come to Olausen texts is mind-nut power feeling warm, as the encounter after his old friend over the years: now, while I have that Finnish literature, as well as a noble intellectual dissident on the shore.
Looking back years now, it seems that although time has passed, I still see my entry into the world of Olausen extremely bright, as if all the time between this moment and the Prince of Egypt had fallen from my path to the past like maple leaves in autumn.
Now, the best reader, in the book in your hands, O´Gay: III in the collection of short stories, you are at the same moment as I was years ago: you are about to enter the wonderful world of Olausen, full of contradictions: nothing is impossible in Olausen's stories, but at the same time to the limitations of their own lives.
This work consists of texts in which Olausen writes about the everyday phenomena, anger, love and sadness of the homosexual world, which he is well acquainted with, but in a way that transcends everyday life. Not all writers really know this rare skill in the subtype of epic, that is, telling extremely mundane things like spending Midsummer in the countryside or waiting to meet a lover so that you feel like you are reading something extremely epic. In other words, Olausen knows how to lift everyday life above itself.
The short stories highlight the gloomy tones of gay everyday life; we face such acts of violence, humiliation, and humiliation, not forgetting the descriptions of love, infatuation, and jealousy. In Olausen's reading, these do not exclude each other, but look like a wedge of light into human life, revealing it as it is.
For example, Miss Putina beautifully depicts the love story of two young men, Misha and Pyotr, their common challenges and overcoming difficulties. As I read Miss Putin, I almost hear in my head Elton John's song Your Song, such a beautiful romantic text Olausen writes. We also find beautiful love in the short story Apostolic Love, in which, after reading his grandfather's letters to the apostle Paul, the protagonist makes peace with himself and is thus ready for love.
In his main story, The Upcoming Weekend Olausen masterfully describes longing and nostalgia, not forgetting his sharply spiky analysis of gay culture. In filming sex scenes, Olausen has his own, unfailing style. The reader, who is already familiar with Olausen's style, smiles as he reads these short stories, and the first time Olausen enters the world stops by these insightful and captivating short stories.
The characters also emerge in this short story with a very good description. Pera and Simo are in their own stubborn ways, in their old-fashioned attitudes, like massive statues just waiting to collapse. Olausen describes their hybrid so vividly that he reads and snatches to follow this hybrid so strongly that he forgets to analyze the story, and does not notice how this hybrid is approaching its fierce, inevitable end.
This short story is a story about the cruelty, happiness and madness of living as a gay man. Although Olausen does not preach, the story has its own moral teaching: learning that you don't always get everything you want in life, ever, is terribly important, and if you don't learn this, then this teaching is always in one way or another and usually tastes bitter.
In Novell, Homecoming Olausen deals with murder, and how that murder defines Novell's narrator along and across his life. Olausen describes the contradiction brilliantly: the protagonist is at the same time a devil who is pathetic and terrified by bystanders, but at the same time also a very sharp and intelligent creature who is aware of how that murder has left his mark on him. The narrator navigates a world where that event has shaped his life and being, but still does not allow this to limit himself.
Olausen has yet to find the general public, although he has written acclaimed socially critical essays Orthodox Essays, which I reviewed last year in the Free Thinkers magazine, of which I am, among other things, the editorial secretary. The book was great. After reading the book, I was feeling exhausted in a good way. It may be difficult for the reader to keep up with Olausen, but even that could not be unreaded from Olausen's book in one sitting. The preface to the Essayscollection has been prepared by the same professor emeritus of practical philosophy at the University of Helsinki, Timo Airaksinen.
In addition to rich details, Olausen also cultivates lewdness and shamelessness in his books, which is quite a risky means with its own pitfalls. However, Olausen does not fall into these pitfalls, but cultivates lewdness and shamelessness in a stylish and proportionate way. The details of the cult rallies and the rattlesnake complement each other brilliantly, which is not new in the field of art: among visual artists, so many artists the paintings accommodated both angels and devils.
Best reader, my preface is coming to an end. If, after reading this, you are still wondering if you want to enter the world of Olausen, then I urge you to be brave. You don't need much, you don't even have a cup of Lapsang souchong tea. Just a small amount of courage, and your inner voice to ask: Do you dare to step into the world of Olausen, and get on the journey of Pyotr, Misha, Simon, Peran, and other interesting guys? Do you dare to watch? I answer, suggesting the following: when you feel you have to look away, on the contrary, the best reader, then only you have to look.