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Henry Parland

Henry Parland

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Published by: api-3796930 on Oct 17, 2008
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03/18/2014

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H enry Parland
Like m any m em bers of the central European
avant-garde between
th e
W orld
W ars, H en ry
P a rla n d
(1 9 0 8 -1 9 3 0 ) liv e d
a life
o f d is p la c e d
c o s -
m o p o lita n is m
("It doesn't m atter w here I go, I'm

a lw a y s a fo re ig n e r," h e w ro te in a letter to a frien d ). H is p o e try w as in flu en ced b y a w id e array of international m ovem ents, such as Russian Cubo-Futurism

a n d

G erm an D a d a , a n d , p e rh a p s m o s t o f a ll, p o p u la r c u ltu re (C h a p lin a n d ja z z w e re favorites). A lthough he is know n as a sem inal Sw edish M odernist, he w as born in R ussia and never once stepped on Sw edish soil. W hen he w as five, h is fa m ily m o v e d fro m

R u s s ia to F in la n d , a c o u n try s tru g g lin g to g a in its
in d e p e n d e n c e
fro m
R u ssia, A s
a result
o f
a n ti-R u s s ia n
s e n tim e n ts
in
F in la n d , H e n r y w a s b u llie d , le a d in g th e fa m ily
to e n ro ll h im
in a h ig h
school for Finland-Sw edes, a Sw edish-speaking m inority. It w as here that
he learned Sw edish and started w riting. U pon
g ra d u a tin g , h e jo in e d u p
w ith
th e F in la n d -S w e d is h
M o d e rn is ts , m o st im p o rta n tly
th e

n o to rio u s p o e t G u n n a r B jo rlin g . T o g e th e r th e y e n g a g e d in s c a n d a lo u s , d a d a -in flu - enced w riting projects. Concerned that their son w as spending so m uch tim e w ith th e o p e n ly g a y B jo rlin g a n d w o rrie d th a t h e w a s m o re in te re s t- ed m fa s h io n , d a n c in g a n d d rin k in g th a n in h is s tu d ie s , P a rla n d 's p a re n ts sent him to live w ith his uncle W ilhelm Sessem an, a philosophy professor, in K a u n a s , L ith u a n ia . In P a rla n d 's tw o y e a rs th e re , S e sse m a n in tro d u c e d h im

t o
a variety
of new
in te lle c tu a l tre n d s , m o s t im p o rta n tly

R u ssian F orm alism . H ow ever, at the age of2 2 P arland fell ill w ith scarlet fever and d ie d .

H e
p u b lis h e d
o n e
b o o k
w h ile
a liv e ,
Id e a lr e a lis a tio n e n

(T h e C learance Sale of Ideals) in 1929,w hich w as received w ith outrage. These p o e m s a re fro m

th e p o s th u m o u sH a m le ts a d e d e tv a c k r a r e (H a m le t P u t It M o re B e a u tifu lly ), p u b lis h e d in 1 9 6 2 . It le d to h is d is c o v e ry b y a n e w g e n - eration of Sw edish poets,

J o h a n n e s G o ra n sso n
H enry P a r la n d
"K issa
g irl..."
K iss a g irl and eat cream
w ith a fork.
(It's n e v e r e n o u g h .)
T r a n s la te d fr o m
th e
S w e d is h
by Johannes
G dransson
H E N R Y
P A R L A N D
" L ifei s g e ttin g c h e a p e r a n d
c h e a p e r
. . . "
L ife is g e ttin g c h e a p e r a n d c h e a p e r,
a n d la s t y e a r 's id e a ls
now only cost 10%
of th e o rig in a l p ric e .
You can paint the old w reck,
p ut in a few spare p arts
and transport
p e o p le , su itc a se s a n d b o o z e
for a decent fee.
T r a n s la te d fr o m
th e S w e d is h
h y Johannes G oransson

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