The Meat-Grinder and Other Stories

Author: Runar Schildt
Translators: Anna-Lisa Murrell, Martin Murrell
ISBN-13: 9781870041560
Pages: 256
Published: 2004
Series: B No. 34

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Runar Schildt (1888–1925) is one of Finland-Swedish literature’s major figures, and one of Finland’s finest short-story writers. This anthology brings together stories from the different stages of Schildt’s career for the first time in English. The early period, when Schildt was regarded as an observer of decadence in Helsinki, is represented by ‘Kairos’, ‘The Achilles Heel’ and ‘A New Life’. ‘A Sparrow among Cranes, from 1915, tells of a boy’s humiliation at a school dance. ‘The Weaker One’ (1918), regarded by many to be Schildt’s master-piece, is a precisely drawn, melancholic tale of adultery and deception. Schildt’s experience of the Finnish Civil War informs his later stories: the enigmatic tale of Aapo, a stable boy who takes the opportunity for revenge during the war; ‘The Meat Grinder’, a tragic story of gun-running; ‘The Karamzinian Horse’ tells of linguistic isolation in Helsinki. The final story in this volume, ‘The Enchanted Forest’ (1920), returns to the theme of betrayal in love, with the tale of a disillusioned and alienated author.

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Runar Schildt


Anna-Lisa Murrell, Martin Murrell

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