J. Pekka Mäkelä: Nedut
Today, your past won’t stay in the past.
Published September, 2007
paperback, 288 pages
”Nedut is J. Pekka Mäkelä's third and the best novel... a story that feels big while being told intimately, music at its heart.”
– Jussi Ahlroth, Helsingin Sanomat
”J. Pekka Mäkelä has written his finest novel, a seamless and coherent work where every single piece fits. There’s nothing unnecessary, no unneeded frills or pointless scenes, not a single idle word. Nedut is a SF story that doubles as a love story, a growth story and a topical novel opening up to several directions: high quality literature inside the mixed and uneven genre of Science Fiction."
– Harri Erkki, Portti
These days, former rock legend Jolle Peltola tries hard not to lose his low paying day job, even if he does not like it one bit. He sees no alternative. Even shitty jobs are hard to come by, with all the Central European refugees moving in Finland.
The Neanderthal people were thought to be perished over 20,000 years ago. Well, they weren’t. Now they're back and they want back their old stomping grounds, and African latecomers called Homo sapiens are banished. No use fighting back – the older, real Europeans seem to have acquired enough firepower from... whom? Other spacefaring people? No one seems to know.
Jolle Peltola doesn’t even care – he has problems of his own. But soon he realises he has to care about his life, his music and his friends. He has to face the Neanderthals, the past and the future in a way he couldn’t even have imagined.
An excerpt from Nedut
Rough translation by the author. Originally published in Usva International 2007.
Copyright © 2006, 2007 by J. Pekka Mäkelä. All rights reserved.
I have climbed the Yggdrasill, the Tree of the World, for twenty thousand years.
I have seen the glaciers spreading from the north and forcing even the hardy steppes people to move south, to the European peninsulas and to the northern Africa. I have seen the last forest people on Earth dying hungry, sick, cold and lonely. I have seen, how the glaciers retreat back to the north and the steppes people return to the Europe. I have seen, how a whim of climate turns the Sahara desert to a leafy savannah and creates a paradise to the area south from Mesopotamia. I have seen how another whim of climate turns the Sahara back to desert and drowns the Mesopotamian paradise under the sea, whose name is still disputed after thousands of years.
I have seen how people are driven away from their paradise and forced to work for their living. They become farmers and stockbreeders, traders and priests, nobles and casteless, doctors and unemployed, ventilation mechanics and researchers, CEOs and gofers, artists and artisans, and they never forget the paradise they lost. They never forget the time they were not divided into so many small confines they can never leave.
I have seen how people try to understand their new, strange and frightening world by dividing it into smaller pieces.
I have seen how a little man named Laotse slashes the world into two and breeds two monsters, who maul everything they get into their clutches.
I have seen how a little man named Plato slashes the world into two and breeds two monsters, which maul everything they get into their clutches.
I have seen how a little man named Aristotle slashes the world into two and breeds two monsters, who maul everything they get into their clutches.
I have seen how a little man named Thomas Aquinas takes the monsters Aristotle bred and gives them new names. They maul everything they get into their clutches.
I have seen how a little man named Descartes slashes the world into two and breeds two monsters, who maul everything they get into their clutches.
I have seen so many little men and little women slashing the world into a good part and a bad part. They are monsters, which maul everything they get into their clutches.
I have seen so many little men and little women slashing the world to smaller and smaller pieces trying to learn more and more about smaller and smaller. I have seen so many men and women believing that nothing exists but the tiny piece they know so much more about than anybody else. I have seen how they deny the sole existence of the tiny pieces that other men and women love. I have seen them hate the others who insist there is only one particular tiny piece and nobody should believe in any other tiny pieces. I have seen them in blind rage, killing those who refuse believe in their own tiny piece and worship it as the only tiny piece in the world. They plug their ears, eyes, nose and feelings from everything else. They fill their ears with music they don’t listen, they fill their eyes with words they don’t read and pictures they don’t see. They turn everything holy to everyday things to destroy the holiness. They are afraid of holy.
They fear the shadows on the cave walls.
They fear what creates the shadows on the cave walls.
They fear what is outside the cave.
They fear what is on the other side of the cave wall.