Rus Articles Journal

Tove Jansson: not only a mummy - trolls? In Mumi`s shadow - a dale of

of Tove Jansson, at all versatility of the talent, always dreamed to realize itself first of all as the painter, other occupations were for it minor. However the glory which literally “fell“ upon it after success of the first books about a mummy - trolls made this dream hardly feasible, inventing of new plots and work on illustrations took almost all its free time.

according to the writer and art critic Tuula Karyalaynen - the author of the book which appeared this year “Tove Jansson. Work and love“, - “she bitterly regretted that as to the artist, it it was necessary to remain forever in Mumi`s shadow - a dale“.

Tove thought up Mumi - a dale even during World War II. It was the beautiful imagined country where it was possible to be transferred and to forget for a while about reality, having plunged into the world of good and love, a cosiness and pleasure of a home. However the first a mummy - the troll was drawn much earlier, in 1930, sixteen years were Tove then. As the author`s niece - Sofia tells - this picture for the first time appeared on a toilet wall on the island where the family spent summer. “There was very rough correspondence, for example, with brothers they reflected on philosophical problems. And here in one of days somehow the brother left a story, some inscription about Cantet there. Tove Jansson could not think up something in reply to it and drew some being. Then she told that it was the ugliest being what only she could think up. It was also the first Mumi - the troll“.

Lines of close people of Tove were embodied in images of a mummy - heroes: the mummy - the father and a mummy - mother is, of course, parents. Mother - careful, always ready to arrival of guests at which in the storeroom something tasty which rushes about between creativity and housework is laid up. The father - from time to time depressed from quiet and balanced life in the valley which seats the family in the boat and moves to a rocky island with a beacon far to the sea. The friend and Tove beloved - the journalist Athos Virtanen - became a prototype of one of the most famous and nice characters of Mumi - a dale - Snusmumrika. The green hat of Snusmumrik was similar to that that Virtanen carried. They were even affianced to Tove, but the wedding did not take place. Tove Jansson did not establish a family, it had no children. She lived the last forty five years of the life with the girlfriend - the artist and Tuulikki Piyetil`s sculptor who became a prototype contemplate and philosophizing Tuu - Tikki from the story “Magic Winter“.

Popularity of books about mummies - trolls is explained, undoubtedly, by their psychological accuracy and that talent with which the writer balances between the world of children and the world of adults. “Perhaps, I write more for myself, it is possible to return back something from this free, full adventures and safe summer of the childhood. But, maybe, sometimes I write also for such child who feels ignored and timid“, - said in one of Tove Jansson`s interview.

Mumi - trolls were fallen in love to readers not only Finland, but also other countries, their began to publish million circulations. It was necessary to think out modern histories. And then the English Associated Press agency suggested it to draw comics about mummies - trolls and concluded the seven-year contract with the author. The first comic book appeared on pages of the London newspaper The Evening News in September 20, 1954. At first Tove Jansson personally drew each strip of the comic book, and she put in it heart and soul, but then she began to be tired, it did not have enough time for anything another. Then she submitted this case to the brother Lars who was its “the right hand“ also before: translated comics into English, helped to compose scenarios. Lars of Jansson drew more than fifteen years mummies - comics and made from this profitable business. Also they together with Tove did performances, wrote theatrical scenarios and lyrics.

Tove Jansson stopped writing about a mummy - trolls in 1970 - in a year of death of her mother. She continued to write, only for adults now, and her “the adult prose“ represents dramatic and deep narrations about human relationship. Besides already mentioned “The summer book“ (1972) and “Daughters of the sculptor“ (1978), it is collections of stories “Able to Listen“ (1971), “Travel with light baggage“ (1987), “Fair play“ (1989), “Klara`s Letters“ (1991), “Gray silk“ (1971 - 1991), and others.

These stories and stories, and also the novel “City of the Sun“ (1974) were very important for Tove Jansson. Children`s memoirs, traveling notes and thin psychological sketches figured prominently in them. Now by means of other means of expression, Tove tried to open always the subjects concerning her - attachments and freedoms, estrangement and loss, travel and return, accident and an exit from it.

And still Tove Jansson`s dream was to take place as the artist, the painter. All other occupations, including illustration of personal and others` books (its illustrations to “Alice in Wonderland“ and “Hobbit“ became most known), were for it minor.

The first personal exhibition of Tove Jansson took place in 1943. Despite positive responses, its works as oil were criticized for lack of completeness, and composition - for redundancy of details and meanings. The trip to France and Italy in 1948 helped the artist to set clearer creative tasks, she ceased to overload the canvases and made composition of more accurate. It was shown by the next personal exhibition - in 1955.

1960 - e became the active period of development of art career of Tove. In ten years she held five personal exhibitions. The important place in works of the artist is taken by landscapes, interior scenes and still lifes. The sea and islands were the most favourite its images. Portraits, first of all, the self-portraits emphasizing subjects of internal freedom and independence, important for it, are of special interest.

Tove Jansson skillfully owned technology of monumental painting and created in 1940-50 - x years a large number of wall lists and frescos for public institutions across all Finland. It executed the first such order in 1945 for the canteen of plant of Stryomberg in Helsinki. The same sort, but she made more remarkable works for the city hall of Helsinki, children`s hospital “Avrora“, Seurakhuone hotel in Hamin. In church in Teuva it executed an altar list on a parable about “clever and silly girls“ (1954). The latest work was made oil in public places in 1984 for kindergarten in the city of Pori.

Since 1944 and until the end of life Tove occupied the house from an extensive light workshop in Helsinki. Today on the house the small memorial board (2005) with the sculptural portrait of Tove Jansson executed by her father Victor is placed. She died in 2001, at the age of 87 years. In day of a funeral in Finland the national mourning was declared. The president of the country, handling condolences to relatives of the writer, told that “Tove Jansson`s creativity - the biggest contribution of Finland to a world treasury of culture after Kalevala and Sibelius“.

The variety of creativity of Tove Jansson is reflected by the exhibition opened in the art museum Ateneum in the Helsinki center. The anniversary exposition which will last up to September 7 of this year covers all stages of a career of Tove: surrealistic pictures 1930 - x years, modernist works of 1950 - x, abstractions of 1960 - x and 1970 - x, wall lists and frescos, anti-war caricatures and, of course, a mummy - trolls - in texts, illustrations and three-dimensional installations.

The exhibition is part of the program of anniversary year of Tove Jansson. Klovkhar can refer already mentioned excursions on the island to important points of this program (till August 18, 2014), issue of the new biography of Tove Jansson “Work and love“ Tuula Karyalaynen (Russian translation of the book is planned by nuclear heating plant publishing house by October of this year). In Finland stamps with Tove image against island landscapes to Klovkhar, and also anniversary coins of two euros with her portrait were released by limited circulation.

The actions devoted to Tove Jansson take place also in Moscow. The mummy exhibition - comics takes place from July 29 to August 31 in Library of foreign literature. In the same place the children`s program is organized: display of the animated film “Mumi Is the Troll and a Red Comet“ (provided by Embassy of Finland in Moscow), a competition of the children`s comic book “As I Spent Summer to Mumi - a Share“ (up to August 23). The seminar devoted to Tove Jansson`s creativity will take place in October of this year in shop of foreign literature of Bukbridzh.