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Alastalo, Archipelago of Kustavi, Finland

Alastalo

Location
Alastalo, Ströömi, FIN-23360 Kustavi, 70 km north of Turku

Content
Alastalo is the stage for Volter Kilpi's novel Alastalon salissa (In the hall of Alastalo). Situated in the archipelago this literary site plays the main role in the oeuvre of the brilliant experimental novelist and librarian Volter Kilpi (1874–1939), namely the archipelago of Kustavi in South-western Finland. His master-piece Alastalon salissa (In the hall of Alastalo) with its radical use of the Finnish languages and many neologisms (Kilpi used the language as a forge, where the “iron of expression melts down”) was published in 1933 on 920 dense pages. The novel with its stream of consciousness places the narrative technique of Proust or Joyce into the brains of Finnish fishing peasants, who gather during one day around the year 1860, in order to discuss and decide on the building of a sailing barque.

The house where the peasants discuss about their plans is preserved, situated on a small island inside a beautiful landscape of islets along the “Ströömi”, a water canal leading from the municipality of Kustavi to the open sea. Nearby is a spectacular wooden summer villa, Sarvilinna, designed in 1922 by the famous Finnish architect Lars Sonck.