Mobile Culture Studies. The Journal (Apr 2018)

Border Crossing Trauma Seen Through Hyper-Naturalist Prose and Surreal Forms of Narration

  • Tuulikki, Kurki

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 4, no. 4
pp. 39 – 56


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This article studies two novels by Karelian writer Arvi Perttu, of 2001 and 2004. These report traumatic experiences that relate to territorial and symbolic border crossings in the Finnish-Russian borderlands, a national border between Finland and Russian Karelia that has been the source and context of significantly traumatic events throughout history. The analysis focuses on narratives and metaphors in Perttu’s novels that are representative of border and mobility related traumatic experiences. It is guided by the questions what the often grotesque and surreal representations of trauma in Perttu’s works induce readers to see, how the hyper-naturalist prose in Perttu’s gloomy and dark works can lead to give it a label, and how his surreal forms of narration function as a form of trauma language.