Posted on February 18, 2015
Mika Toimi Waltari (b September 19, 1908, d August 26, 1979) is Finland’s most well-known author. In the 1930s Waltari worked variously as a newspaper editor and literary critic, but by 1938 had established himself as a full-time writer.
As well as novels and novellas, Waltari wrote radio plays, nonfiction books, Finnish translations and manuscripts for movies. His breakthrough novel, published in 1928 was Suuri Illusioni (Grand Illusion) a story of Bohemian life in Paris.
1945 saw the publication of Waltari’s most famous work, The Egyptian, a book which became an international bestseller and which formed the basis of a 1954 Hollywood movie of the same name.
Waltari also wrote a series of detective mystery novels whose hero is Inspector Palmu, a gruff detective of the Helsinki police department.
One of the two postage stamps on this typewriter-friendly 2008 postal cover commemorates a Finnish crime film “Komisario Palmun Erehdys“, based on Mika Waltari’s 1940 novel of the same name, and the first Inspector Palmu story to be adapted for the big screen.
The black cat on that postage stamp reminds me of a cat I know…
Baggy was an online purchase from the Saving Animals From Euthanasia (SAFE) website in November 2011…
Several months later he was hit by a car, thus exhausting the second of his nine lives.
He was rushed to the emergency vet, had one side of his face stitched up, but was otherwise unscathed.
He’s a lucky feline alright, but sadly the wildlife around these parts has not been so fortunate.
Thus far, this merciless predator has killed several birds, countless frogs, and is quite partial to the odd grasshopper or beetle. I did put a collar (with bell) on him when he was a kitten, but he always managed to pull it off (or hang himself in the process). Not wanting to break his spirit (or his neck), I took the collar off and now try to thwart his murderous instincts whenever I can.
In Mika Waltari’s 1952 novel Dark Angel, the protagonist John Angelos – a classic Waltari hero – is described in one review as:
… a lone spirit, an adventurer, a wanderer and a seeker, always looking for elusive fulfillment in new places and experiences, but finding only transitory pleasures which often leave his soul disconsolate.
Hmm… reminds me of a cat I know!