Author picture

Virve Sammalkorpi

Author of Children of the Cave

16 Works 72 Members 2 Reviews

Works by Virve Sammalkorpi

Children of the Cave (2016) 24 copies
Paula ja Klaus (2000) 8 copies
Metsän keskellä maja (2003) 6 copies
Sinkkuleikki (1999) 5 copies
Yhtä matkaa (2004) 5 copies
Pinnan alla (2001) 4 copies
Suuri sitaattikirja (2001) 3 copies
Suuri horoskooppikirja (1998) 3 copies
Suuri värssykirja (1997) 2 copies
Joka kodin niksikirja (1995) 2 copies
Suur horoskoobiraamat (2000) 2 copies
Vitsikirja (1997) 1 copy
Kahvila dominokujalla (2006) 1 copy

Tagged

Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Sammalkorpi, Virve
Birthdate
1969
Gender
female
Nationality
Finland
Places of residence
Helsinki
Maaninka
Sipoo
Education
Helsingin yliopisto (filosofian maisteri)
Occupations
copywriter

Members

Reviews

Into a Heart of Darkness in Karelia
Review of the English translation of "Paflagonian perilliset – Iax Agolaskyn päiväkirjan säästyneet sivut" (Heirs of Paphlagonia - The Surviving Pages of Iax Agolasky's Diary)

The joseph Conrad reference of my title is not totally correct. An Island of Dr. Moreau reference wouldn't be correct either. But those were the two works that I kept thinking back to throughout this fantasy fiction which related more to natural mutations than mythical beings.

Children of the Cave is presented as a "found footage" reconstruction of the diary of Iax Agolasky, a Russian student in Paris who becomes the assistant to a Professor Moltique for an expedition to Northwestern Russia near the border of Finland (i.e. Karelia) in the early 19th century. They go there to seek evidence of a reported tribe of mythical creatures for which Moltique has a theory that relates to an ancestry in the Anatolian region of Paphlagonia.

The story was inspired by a project Les Enfants des Ombres (Children of the Shadows) of photographer Pekka Nikrus which had a somewhat similar (though not identical) fictional construct. One of the Nikrus photographs is also on the cover of the original Finnish edition, and perhaps more of them are included there as well. None of the photographs are used in this English translation from Peirene Press, although Nikrus is mentioned in the fiction's epilogue along with historical portrait photographer Gaspard-Félix Tournachon aka Nadar which provide it some "true-life" references.

I was especially drawn to this novel due to the synopsis teaser which seemed to promise more of a tie-in to "Greek legends, fables and fairy tales." That promise isn't really fulfilled though and we're more set into a world where a group of explorers are gradually being driven insane (esp. the Professor) or greedy (in the case of some of the expedition workers) while on the hunt for naturally-genetically mutated humans. The setup premise was intriguing but I just didn't feel totally satisfied by the explanation and result. My expectations were too distorted and inflated perhaps by the promotional material, which admittedly was a great hook.

The translation by Emily and Fleur Jeremiah read very well.
… (more)
1 vote
Flagged
alanteder | 1 other review | Feb 18, 2019 |

Lists

You May Also Like

Associated Authors

Emily Jeremiah Translator
Fleur Jeremiah Translator

Statistics

Works
16
Members
72
Popularity
#243,043
Rating
½ 3.5
Reviews
2
ISBNs
21
Languages
2

Charts & Graphs