31 tammikuuta, 2015

Aino Kallas: Sudenmorsian

Sudenmorsian - hiidenmaalainen tarina (1928)
Aino Kallas
Otava 2007, Keskiyön kirjasto
96 sivua

GR: 4/5 tähteä

"Wolf Bride - a story from Hiiumaa" (1928) is about a woman turning into a werewolf and set just after the Thirty Years' War in Estonia that was under the Swedish rule at the time. I also think it's the first werewolf story I've ever read, so I can't compare it to the others.

It's hard for me to say what I actually think about it. It reads like an old legend and it's written in "old Finnish", which makes reading it a bit difficult. I can't say exactly how much of it is based on real legends but some of the traditions and superstitions were familiar to me and it was the time of the witch-hunts. Even today there are bonfires in some places on Easter (but witches of Easter have nothing to do with "virpominen", they even happen on different days) and in all of Finland in Midsummer, traditionally to keep away the evil spirits. Maybe Kallas based her book on local legends, she must have been quite familiar with folklore, too, of course not surprising considering who her father was.

The book had many themes, in my opinion. The need to break free from constraints of sociaty or love in its many forms, or maybe how "homo homini lupus" which came to my mind even before it was mentioned in the text. All in all, an interesting classic.

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