Kuum: Lugu noorest armastusest

Hot (Novels, Estonian)
Published by Eesti Raamat, 1990, pp. 336

Critics have claimed that this novel is radically unconcerned about any chance of translation. Hot "is the first, and so far the only novel of Jaan Undusk, who has become one of our most prominent literary scholars. The book's subtitle is "The Story of a Young Love". Instead of a linear love story, the novel offers passionate and baroque visions, chances of archetypal love. Separate chapters present a string of stories about events or situations. The love in the novel is a state, the air is full of passion, but most of what goes on happens in the imagination. Imagination is more intense and real than reality. The hotness of the novel can be taken as an area where the conscious feverishly, hotly, seeks itself and clarity. The plot lines proceed in a sort of series in which one can distinguish the theme of Ruuben, his doppelganger, uncles Leemuel and Mati, the Redhead of his dreams and over-ripe femininity (Helen). The description of a young boy's erotic love is prevalent. The novel is linguistically abundant, flesh becomes word, satisfaction is achieved through word. It contains plenty of allusions (to the Bible, Tuglas, Visnapuu etc.). There are several possibilities of interpretation; the novel has been spoken of as a landmark, but it has not received a more detailed analysis. This novel stands alone and sovereign in Estonian literature.

Text by Janika Kronberg and Rutt Hinrikus

First published in the Estonian Literary Magazine no. 2

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