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Antti Majander

Antti Leo Kalevi Majander
Born July 19, 1961, Helsinki.

Master of Arts (Comparative Literature), 1989, University of Helsinki

Literary Editor-in-Chief, Helsingin Sanomat newspaper, 2000-
Assistant and Reporter, Helsingin Sanomat newspaper, 1983–2000

Written by Heta Muurinen (Riitta-Ilona Hurmerinta, ed.)
Translated by John Calton

The birth of a star

It gives a literary critic great pleasure to discover a new star. And so it does: the critic gets a book from the publisher, a file attachment or a photocopy of an unpublished manuscript, by an unknown writer.

– The publisher always praises their own stable of writers, naturally, so the puff is just that, a puff, says Antti Majander.

He begins reading without any expectations. He get an idea that the text works, that the writer has an idea of what he or she is doing and is up to the task. The critic has made a discovery.

– Then you get to be first to yell out, ‘Hey I loved this, go and read it for yourself, and you will too!’ Even if it is a personal preference, I do have a newspaper of record behind me. Now and then it sets off a wave of interest.

– This is what made me start reading books in the first place and why I enjoy them. The fact that you get new experiences and insights, and these can help you cope with the miserable stuff too. It’s a genuine pleasure and at the core of what I do. If you haven’t had a reading experience like this for a few years, you just might like to take a look in the mirror.



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