Kärt Hellerma “The Blue Mass”

This book, both in English and in Estonian, contains one of the most remarkable texts of Kärt Hellerma’s creative path. The short story “The Blue Mass” is the first English translation of the author’s work. It was first published in 2008 within a short story collection also named “The Blue Mass”.

The author made her literary debut in 1997 with the novel “Alchemy”. In addition to novels, she has published collections of short stories and poems, children’s books, travel logs and collections of articles.

“Blue Mass” is a poetic text that could just as well have been created in the form of poetry. It is certainly not an ordinary love story between two people.

With extraordinary emotionality the author tackles big, universal themes – faith, love, exclusion and connection – within a story of forbidden love and repressed feelings.

The book has an extremely immediate and intimate effect – it is about the inner world of a woman in love, with a view inclined to metaphysics. As a reader, you feel that this is probably semi-autobiographical as the author expresses the feelings with such heartfelt passion the emotions must be from a deep personal experience.

The religious aspect adds depth to the whole story allowing the reader to experience the journey of spiritual enlightenment, with its ups and downs.

The story does not follow a carefully mapped out path, instead it flows freely, like life itself, and allows the words to create their own luminous reflection of her inner world.

You could say that it is a personal love letter that is shared with the reader.

If you want to have a glimpse of what is happening inside a spiritual, romantic and deeply loving woman, then this book is definitely worth reading for both men and women. It is an inspiration.

The translator has done a wonderful job with this complex and poetic text. Even though the translator is a man, the book does not lose an iota of its deep femininity in translation.

Tallinn: EKSA, 2022

Check from e-catalogue ESTER.

Ursula Aavasalu

Department of Literature in Foreign Languages

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