Saarikoski and Finnish musician Reino Helismaa
Yliopistonkatu 4, 00100 Helsinki, Finland
Saarikoski attended the University of Helsinki from 1954 to 1957.
Uusi Suomi - newspaper
Saarikoski attended the University of Helsinki, where he studied classical philology from 1954 to 1957.
Saarikoski began his career at the daily newspaper Uusi Suomi in Helsinki, Finland, serving as a columnist under the pseudonym “Nena” (transliterated into English as “Nenae”), for two years from 1958. In 1961 he took a position of an editor-in-chief at the newspaper Uusi Kirjallisuuslehti. Saarikoski then held the same post at Aikalainen magazine (title means “The Contemporary”), from 1964 till 1967. In his columns, he parodied the official political jargon of his times in a very effective manner. He was also a contributor to other periodicals, including the Scandinavian Review.
In 1966 he made an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the Finnish parliament. Saarikoski took an increasingly detached stance from Finnish life and politics in his later years. Allegedly disenchanted with politics and the Helsinki literary scene, Saarikoski moved to Sweden and lived there until shortly before his death in 1983.
Saarikoski was the author of four novels. He translated a lot of works into Finnish, such as Catcher in the Rye by Salinger and Poetics by Aristotle, as well as Herzog by Saul Bellow and the work of Allen Ginsberg, Arthur Miller and Philip Roth.
Although he was not an official member of the organization, Saarikoski was a supporter of the Communist Party. He remained interested in politics throughout much of his literary career.
Saarikoski was a member of the Writers’ Union of Finland, the Paasikivi Society and the Writers’ Union of Sweden.
Quotes from others about the person
“Political themes are intrinsic to his work, and he is as much of a gadfly to the left as an outspoken critic of the Right.”
Saarikoski was married four times. Tuula Unkari was his first wife, but the couple separated. He married Marjukka Mela in 1964, but that marriage ended in a divorce, as well. On September 15, 1967, Saarikoski married Tuula Setaelae, the couple also divorced. Mia Berner became his last wife. Saarikoski had four children - Helena Maaria, Juri Pekka, Jaakko Aleksi and Hertta.