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Sad, Strange Brilliance
June 12, 2014 5:11 AM   Subscribe


 
This is lovely, thanks.
posted by Sebmojo at 5:36 AM on June 12 [1 favorite]


Oooooo!
*happily dives into links*
posted by Too-Ticky at 5:40 AM on June 12


Those who have anxiously anticipated Bad Things Happening may resonate with Tove Janoon's Moomin universe story, "The Fillyjonk Who Believed in Disasters."
Slowly her imagination started to picture a gale of its own, very much blacker and wilder than the one that was shaking her house. The breakers grew to great white dragons, a roaring tornado sucked up the sea like a black pillar on the horizon, a gleaming pillar that came rushing towards her, nearer and nearer…
Those storms of her own were the worst ones. And deep down in her heart the fillyjonk was just a little proud of her disasters that belonged to no one else.
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:40 AM on June 12 [4 favorites]


The Moomins that I remember (38 yrs old, UK) was the stop motion version, a dark and terrifying thing of my childhood; episode 1
posted by fatfrank at 5:47 AM on June 12 [1 favorite]


If you like the moomins and you have not read Tove Jansson's adult fiction, you are really missing out. It's very very good. Several reprints have been issued in the past few years by New York Review of Books Classics.
posted by JohnLewis at 5:56 AM on June 12 [2 favorites]


The Summer Book is a fine book.
posted by pracowity at 6:00 AM on June 12 [2 favorites]


Lovely article which introduced me to the word paracosm! "A detailed world created inside one's mind!" Paracosm! This defines my whole life, how did I not know this word!
posted by Erasmouse at 6:49 AM on June 12 [2 favorites]


That was a great essay, thanks chavenet.

I've no idea how I discovered the Moomin books as a kid, but they were some of my favorites.

Good thing I was already planning a trip to the library today . . . . .
posted by soundguy99 at 7:45 AM on June 12


The Summer Book is a fine book.
posted by pracowity at 2:00 PM on June 12


I read this recently and it's utterly beautiful. Sculptor's Daughter (an autobiography about her childhood, but written as if she's still seven years old) is bloody brilliant as well. There's one story in it, about her and another boy from the neighbourhood going out on a boat and getting lost in the fog, which is just mesmerising, and one of the most evocative things I've ever read.
posted by dng at 7:51 AM on June 12 [1 favorite]


I recently re-read Finn Family Moomintroll for the first time since childhood. In general it held up well, but I was surprised at my reaction to Snufkin. 6-year-old me found Snufkin to be fascinating and mysterious, but adult me thought him a mooching asshole.

I'm sure I was projecting a number of useless people I've known onto him but I was surprised at how much he pissed me off this time around. It killed my interest in re-reading the rest of the series.
posted by Blue Meanie at 8:26 AM on June 12 [2 favorites]


Snufkin's lovely. Everyone in the Moomins is lovely, even the poor old groke.
posted by dng at 8:35 AM on June 12 [2 favorites]


Groke (Buka) is my computer wallpaper.
posted by pracowity at 8:48 AM on June 12


Thanks for this link. I'd heard of Janssen and Moomins in passing for years, but never understood what people were referring to. Yet another gap in my childhood reading: none of my suburban Massachusetts libraries carried them.

Now I have new books to order for my nephews! And a new author to investigate on my own.
posted by suelac at 9:55 AM on June 12


Oooooo!
*happily dives into links*
posted by Too-Ticky at 5:40 AM on June 12 [+] [!]


Eponysterical.

And I know we have Snufkin, Snork Maiden, and a Hattifattener on Metafilter, too!
posted by vickyverky at 11:25 AM on June 12 [2 favorites]


These are so wonderful that I'd urge everyone with a three+ year old get them and read them at bedtime. They are an odd treasure, secret and delightful.
posted by Catblack at 11:35 AM on June 12


I was introduced to the Moomins by a friend when I was in my late 20's, so I don't have any childhood memories of them. But that didn't keep me from enjoying the sweet, quiet strangeness of them all.

Wasn't it Snufkin who always said "Keep your pecker up!" (At least that's how it was written in my copies.)
posted by Archer25 at 12:01 PM on June 12


I found them on the shelves of the library in my neighborhood, and devoured them all because they were Scandinavian (Finns aren't Norwegians, but it was close). Their gentle melancholy tinge covers my memories of summer evenings walking home from a day at the community centre, smelling of chlorine from the pool, new books stuffed in my tote bag along with the damp towel, reading all the way.
posted by jrochest at 12:52 PM on June 12 [3 favorites]


Sculptor's Daughter (an autobiography about her childhood, but written as if she's still seven years old) is bloody brilliant as well.

Sculptor's Daughter is back in print?? Sculptor's Daughter is back in print!!
posted by lollymccatburglar at 1:43 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]


Thanks, really enjoyed this.
posted by threeants at 3:58 PM on June 12


> If you like the moomins and you have not read Tove Jansson's adult fiction
The moomin books are adult fiction! A Finland-Swede told me so. And since Tove Jansson was a Finland-Swede too, it must be true (by way of ethnic privilege of interpretation).
posted by AxelT at 11:00 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]


Yay! I found my way to Tove Jansson's writings just this year. Just wonderful stuff.
posted by dywypi at 1:34 PM on June 13


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