Matti Aikio: Son of the Hebrew
Titel: Son of the Hebrew
Oorspronkelijke titel: Hebræerens søn, 1911
Vertaald uit het Noors door: John Weinstock
Uitgever: Agarita Press, 2015
Flaptekst / Beschrijving
n this new translation, Son of the Hebrew (1915), both these structural principles appear in exemplary form: the main character is the Jew David Hesmon who has grown up in the Sámi area. And he wants to be a sculptor. Here Aikio gambled everything on getting out his message about the relationship between minorities and the larger society. You see, he experienced that his contemporaries didn’t completely comprehend what he was really writing about: ethnicity was like the elephant in the room that no one noticed. For today’s readers this is sensational: everywhere in Aikio’s books where ethnic controversy nears, it is always the Sámi who come out on top. This is especially so in his last book, The Village at the Riverbend (1929), which is actually a rewriting of his first book in Norway, In Reindeer Hide (1906). And as far as the other structural principle in Aikio’s literary universe is concerned: the heroes are always outsiders within their own culture, such as Jussa in In Reindeer Hide who becomes a Norwegian pastor in a Finnish/Sámi parish, and here: David as a Jew in a Norwegian/Finnish/Sámi village who becomes doubly stigmatized because he wants to be an artist. Thereby the most important ethnic point is emphasized: the one who wants to mediate between cultures in contact, becomes an outsider within both groups of people.