in his own write
Arvamus 24 Dec 2012 Justin PetroneEWR
    Trüki   E-post   FB     
I'm half way through João Lopes Marques' Estonia: Paradise Without Palm Trees. Or maybe I am a third of the way through. Or 55 percent. The Portuguese-born writer has assembled for me a collection of his work, a collection that does not proceed chronologically in terms of when the pieces were written, so I have taken the liberty of starting the book at the end and working backward to the beginning, with some guilty pleasure reading about wife carrying contests and provincial girls along the way.

João is one of Estonia's resident expatriate writers. There are many of us -- how many I do not know. Vello Vikerkaar certainly counts as an expat writer. And Abdul Turay's got a new book out this week called Väike Valge Riik ("The Little White Country") about Estonian political culture. I'll get that one for Christmas maybe and read it too. I jest that it's market research for the next Minu Eesti book. But based on what I have read from Vello, João, and Abdul, I can see that we are all very different writers, and that our similarlity begins and ends with the fact that we are foreigners living in and writing about Estonia.

Vello is the recluse. Nobody knows who he really is or if that's even his real name. Plus he's got a bit of a mean streak."Life isn't fair," seems to be a recurring theme. Yet he's affable too, he can turn the charm on and off. If he were one of the actors who have played James Bond, he'd easily be Sean Connery.

João is Portuguese, but beyond that, he is a European. I can sense it in his well thought out dissections of everyday life in the capital city. There is a measured cadence to his manner of writing, and yet there is also coolness to it too, a euro reservation that frustrates me at times. I want João to get angry, maybe rob a bank. But he doesn't. He's just too cool. If he were a Bond actor, he'd probably be Timothy Dalton, sliding down a hill in a cello case.

Abdul is British, which means he can say pretty much anything and, as long as he's got his spectacles on, people will revere it as the words of an Oxford professor. Plus he's got gravitas. It's like he got off the plane at Tallinn one day, and the next he's on primetime TV talking about economic policy. Some balls. So he has a way of carrying himself, but he's no empty suit. If he was, he would have been devoured by tabloid wolves long ago. Because of this bold brashness, I'd have to call him Daniel Craig, whether he likes it or not.

And me? I am unintentionally funny. My wife calls me "Mr. Bean" because I can't walk across a room without knocking a lamp over. I worked hard on a novel last year called Montreal Demons. It has its humorous parts too, but it is also has some darker themes of sex and religion. It's gotten positive reviews, and some who have read the English version say it's better than the Estonian one. one reader even said it was like Gonzo with some Raymond Chandler and a hint of Hemingway, which made me feel really good.

Yet people in Estonia don't want Hemingway from Giustino. They want comedy. They want oozing floods of meat jelly and exploding blood sausages. It's like I'm Peter Sellers in Casino Royale. Even if I tried to play the role straight, people would still think I was joking.

Sometimes I wonder if every European country has its local purveyors of English-language literature. I would think it fine and good if they do. And I think it is fine and good that Estonia has Vello, João, Abdul, and even that clown who wrote My Estonia to kick around. Why, it's like having Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton, Daniel Craig, and Peter Sellers in the same movie.

(Itching for Eestimaa, December 18, 2012)
    Trüki   E-post   FB     
23 Jan 2018 19:46
Eesti Rahvuskaaslaste programm
23 Jan 2018 18:03
Selgus 2019. aasta laulu- ja tantsupeo juhtmõte XXVII üldlaulupidu ja XX tantsupidu toimuvad 2019. aasta 5.-7. juulini PM
23 Jan 2018 17:54
Eesti Põhiseaduskomisjoni enamus hülgas vabadussõjalaste au taastamise idee seadusesse raiumise UU
23 Jan 2018 11:30
Kuigi Californias on kanep legaalne, võivad suitsetavad turistid eluaegse Ameerikasse sisenemise keelu saada PM
23 Jan 2018 09:58
Washingtonis avatakse Eesti jaoks väga oluline näitus Vaatamata USA valitusasutuste tööseisakule toimub kõik plaanipäraselt
23 Jan 2018 05:00
In Putin, Russians Thought They Were Getting a Stierlitz But They May Have Gotten a Hitler Instead, Eidman Says (2)
23 Jan 2018 04:57
Militarily, Baltic Region is Stable; But in Terms of Information War, It’s Not, Latvian Expert Says
22 Jan 2018 21:53
Noorte kõnekonkursil “Kirjuta Eestile” osalemiseks on jäänud nädal
22 Jan 2018 10:35
Juhiseid sõja puhuks hakkab jagama ka Eesti ERR
22 Jan 2018 08:34
Public consultation Tue Jan 23 @ 6:30 re: Whistler's and Salvation Army sites
21 Jan 2018 18:42
Estonia’s centennial year 2018 Estonian Life
21 Jan 2018 17:17
“Räägime asjast” 21.01.2018 by Raadiosaade "Räägime asjast"
21 Jan 2018 16:54
KATRIN LUSTI BLOGI | Kas president peaks tagasi astuma?
21 Jan 2018 16:44
Rain Lõhmus: inimestel on hästi vale kontseptsioon, et raha kasvab DELFI
21 Jan 2018 16:32
Kutse Eesti Keskuse infosessioonidele Eesti Elu (15)
21 Jan 2018 16:27
Juhtkiri 3 2018 Tiigrit taltsutades Eesti Elu
21 Jan 2018 12:11
Kaju: Eesti on väga lähedal valitsuskriisile ERR
21 Jan 2018 12:05
Mis maksab see eesti naine? Eesti Elu (1)
Jan 31 2018 - Toronto Eesti Maja
Eesti Keskuse projekti koosolek
Feb 21 2018 - Toronto Eesti Maja
Eesti Keskuse projekti koosolek

Vaata veel ...

Lisa uus sündmus