The Many Faces of Turku : An Essayistic Study of Urban Travel
Itkonen, Matti (2020). The Many Faces of Turku : An Essayistic Study of Urban Travel. European Journal of Language and Literature, 6 (2), 89-99. DOI: 10.26417/ejls.v6i2.p89-99
Published inEuropean Journal of Language and Literature
© Author, 2020
What does it mean to take a photographic, imaginary, or fictional journey to some destination? How does indirect observation of the object differ from direct observation? What are they like, the immediate and the mediated Turku? Which of them is more real or more authentic? Turku is Finland’s most poetic city. It is also the most European of our cities. As the flâneur saunters along the banks of the River Aura, he traverses several centuries. The murmur of yesteryear is to be heard in the old buildings and in the foliage of the time-honoured trees. Here is the cradle, the first home of Finnish civilization. The philosopher-poet is able to see into the essence of a city: he has the patience to linger and listen to the humming resonance of the ages. The tourist cannot do that. What is needed is a traveller who makes sufficiently profound and discerning observations. It is in his existential looking glass that the many faces of Turku are reflected.