Leena Krohn: Things I Never Learned

Dark visions of the future and deep reflection from the master of words.

Author: Leena Krohn
Finnish original: Mitä en koskaan oppinut
Publisher: Teos, 2021
Genre: literary fiction
Number of pages:  224 pp.
Reading material: Finnish original

Leena Krohn begins her compilation of essays by acknowledging four sentences that influenced her own life. The sentences grow into thoughts that permeate the entire collection, in which Krohn explores art, death and consciousness, as well as the concept of cultural ownership and the suppression of freedom of speech.

Krohn also writes about her own development in becoming a writer, her school years in the 1960s, visions of childhood that came true, the distress signals of the environment and nature:

“I woke up to an understanding that human civilization develops in irreconcilable conflict with the environment and preconditions for life of other species. The price for its material riches is the impoverishment of nature.”

Krohn is a visionary who does not shy away from directness or hopelessness when describing the human actions. But there is opportunity in literature:

“Writing is a fight against a one-dimensional image of human nature. It is a feeble attempt at measuring human complexity, a pathetic attempt at explaining the inexplicable.”

Also available:
Perdition (2018)
A Letter to Buddha (2016)
Mistake (2015)
Hotel Sapiens (2013)
Children of the Sun (2011)
False Window (2009)
My Home is Riioraa (2008)
The Bee Pavilion (2006)
Datura (2001)
Mathematical Creatures, or Shared Dreams (1992)
Umbra (1990)
Gold of Ophir (1988)
Tainaron (2006 | 1985)
Doña Quixote and Other Citizens (1983)
The Pelican’s New Clothes – A Story from the City (1976)
The Green Revolution (1970 | 2020)

About the author:
Leena Krohn