Do you want an house in Kadriorg?
Illustrations by Heino Sampu to book by Eno Raud “Peep ja sõnad” (Peep and words), 1967
First, Peep is a widespread Estonian name. Some Estonian boys have grown up even among English speakers with such first name.
Second, this is a good example of why the question “Name a life-changing book!” is such a tricky one. As it seems to assume the book named would be something that changes the course of an adult or at least a teenager.
Well, “Peep and sõnad” is a book that I never liked very much, but that changed my life. In fact, I am lucky not to live in an adventure tale, or it might have been end of my life.
As this book taught me to consider every word/ saying I did not know as metaphorical first. And so, I would have most likely have perished, when pondering over the metaphorical meaning of “A dragon approaching!” or “Beware of the Daleks!”
Võta jalad selga! - Take your legs on your back = start moving
Lehmad kaoutasid pea - cows lost their heads … this one works same way in English
Jänes põues - rabbit in your bosom (or - rabbit in your trousers) = to be afraid
Triibulised püksid - to get striped pants=to get a beating
Peep ajab vanaemale kärbseid pähe - Peep drives flies into granny’s head = to try to make someone to believe/do something; to tell fibs
Vanaisa veetakse ninapidi - grandfather gets pulled by his nose = gets cheated/duped
Vesi ahjus - water in oven/stove = to be in trouble
Cover art by Asta Vender to an Estonian translation of “Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain, 1970
There are many other reasons why I like and remember “Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain, but probably the weirdest one is that this was the book that taught me the lesson of not judging a book by the cover.
As a child I kept going thorough the bookshelves at home repeatedly, as I was always hungry for something to read. My parents had 2 copies of this book, but I always passed it by for long time, as I was sure it would be boring.
And why was I so sure? Because I kept seeing two hungry artists in a cafe in Paris or Berlin after World War I. The black man looked more unhappy - it made sense, as a) men find hunger harder than women (and he was bigger, too! More flesh to feed) and b) the “woman” (I blame the hat!) was smoking and smoking makes hunger easier to bear. My father had told me that he had smoked to bear hunger after the WW II and the stopped at age 13 (year 1949-1950), as things got easier with food and he did not need the help of cigarettes any more. Also - back at these times men were often expected to pay for woman, too, so the man was likely to be more worried with the situation.
What baffles me is that, while I did read many of such books later on, I had not actually gotten thorough any of examples of the said genre. How had I come up with such mistaken explanation of the cover art then?
Please tell me stories of your mistakes while judging books by their covers?
Photographer Lassi Rautiainen recently captured the profound partnership between a she-wolf and a brown bear in the wilds of northern Finland. For days, he witnessed the strange pair meet every evening to share food after a hard day of hunting. No one knows when or how this relationship was formed, “but it is certain that by now each of them needs the other.” - Source
This picture reminds me of “Nomads of the North” by James Oliver Curwood
. I loved that book as a child - must go to the library and look it up one of these days.
With Lenin and without.
The postcard showing statue of Lenin in Tallinn (photo by J.Külmet) is not dated, but it has to be taken after 1963, when the building in front of the statue - The Library of Estonian Academy of Sciences - was finished.
The photo below shows how the same place looks in 2014.