Presentation of Finnish writer Mika Waltari, an author that dabbles in everything and a central figure of Finnish literature.
Mika Waltari (1908-1979) studied philosophy and literature, first in Finland and then in Paris. His first novel, published in 1927, The Grand Illusion was immediately a great success. This work dealt with the disillusionment of European youth after the First World War.
Very prolific (he was a literary critic, wrote scripts for comics, novels for youth and police novels), he continued to write, very deeply influenced by the Second World War. This experience cemented his move towards historical novels. The Egyptian, appearing in 1945, would be his biggest success, in Finland and abroad. The action takes place in Akhenaten's Egypt, and also in Thebes, the hanging Gardens of Babylon, with the Hittites and all the way to Crete, to paint the portrait of antiquarian Mediterranean societies. This novel still remains a reference, thanks to its correctness and historical value.
Following Johannes the Pilgrim (1951), which deals with the passage from the middle-ages to the Renaissance and its sequel The Lovers of Byzance. Waltari also published more intimate novels like, Jamais de lendemain (1942) a reflection on violence and lies, or Boucle d'Or (1948), and the journey to hell or woman who prostituted herself. Numerous cinematographic adaptations have allowed this author's work to be better known, notably The Egyptian by Michael Curtiz (1954).