The Heretic Essays, by Kari Hukkila
“An Algerian Friend” now published in Hyperion Volume VII, Issue 1, Jan. 2013.
From the Burning Bridge Agency 2011 rights guide:
The starting point of Kari Hukkila’s The Heretic Essays is the turn of the eighties when Hukkila gets to know a group of Algerian youngsters hanging around in front of Notre Dame. The essays deal with a friendship which does not depend on similarity, and a Europe which defines the positions and attitudes between the West and Islam as a confrontation. Through modern Yemen and Algeria, Hukkila journeys to the Spain of the Middle Ages. He returns to modern Paris and his friend Hafed and reflects on Dostoyevsky’s Grand Inquisitor, Carl Schmitt, Romany beggars, the Picaresque novel, Spinoza’s converso background and ends up on Omaha Beach. Together, the subjects form a rich and splendid whole which shows that heretics have always been needed. By its wide-ranging scholarship and open thinking The Heretic Essays bring new aspects of thought to the debate around xenophobia, foreignness and the confrontation between cultures. Hukkila’s writing style is gently ironic and thoughtful, tender when speaking of friends but uncompromising and direct when faced with stupidity and cruelty.
“Kari Hukkila’s first literary work, the collection called The Heretic Essays is an extremely interesting and singularly irritating book. I have argued many days against Hukkila, on Hukkila’s behalf and with a vague understanding for Hukkila. The Heretic Essays consists of some ten essays. Their theme is one and the same and it couldn’t be of more current importance: immigration, what happens to people on the journey from one culture to another. Unlike most other participants in the current debate Hukkila also knows something of the subject. (…) The Heretic Essays brings quality, depth and nuances to the immigration debate.”
-Matti Mäkelä, Helsingin Sanomat