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Wednesday, April 06, 2005


Tove Jansson was a Finnish author/illustrator who had an enormous influence on my own work.
She's not that well known outside Europe, but is most famous for her Moomintroll books.
She's an absolutely wonderful illustator - almost all black and white pen and ink.
She illustrated the Finnish edition of Tolkien's "The Hobbit".
A very kind soul has scanned the images from that book (and others) here.
I believe that the Tolkien found inspiration in Finish folklore for his Middle Earth material, so it's really very interesting to see what a native of the country has produced.
The imagery is quite different to any other interpretations of the book I've seen.
The traditional Scandinavian trolls and goblins and whatnot are wonderful.
Her version of Gollum, in particular, is radically different any other version I know of.
Seek out the books - you can find them at Amazon.
They are great companion books to Milne's Winne the Pooh stories, and equally as insightful.
The illustration I've included has nothing to do with the wonderful work of Tove Jansson whatsoever, but I like to include a picture with my posts. Posted by Hello


abuliac said...

Tove's version of Gollum (especially in the picture of Gollum and Bilbo, where he is in the water) reminds me very much of some represetnations of the Slavic mythological creature called "Vodyanoi". These spirits are thought to live in rivers, ponds, and swamps, and they are notorious for disliking humans.

Elliot said...

Well the myths and legends of that part of the world certainly do blend into to each other, and your image of the Vodyanoi sure bears a striking similarity.
How nice to see these connections being introduced from afar.
My own heritage is Russian actually.
Dad was adopted but he does know his grandparents were Russian, and my mothers side of the family escaped from the town of Brest in 1900 or so.

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