Tip: To gather records for later use, such as citation listing, click an item's Add to My Collection + icon. Click My Collection at any time to see your accumulated records. My Collection lasts for the duration of your browser session.
Buckland CA. Tove Jansson and the Humble Sublime. 2007.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/5952
Tove Jansson and the Humble Sublime
In the Moomin series, Tove Jansson treads a fine line between the comic and the profound. She writes with an exquisite lightness of touch, yet at the same time probes the deep truths of human existence. In their fancifulness, their quirky excursions in left-field narrative, these novels represent the epitome of what constitutes children's fantasy literature, but they also function as wisdom literature and philosophical speculations for the discerning adult. The power and distinctiveness of Jansson's writing is partly achieved through paradox at a number of levels, none more telling than that of her evocations of the literary sublime. Her unique contribution is that, whereas in adult literature the sublime is grand and mighty and represents a kind of apotheosis of adult abstract thought, Jansson achieves it through the humility of children. She uses the sharp and truthful lens of childhood consciousness first to disarm her readers and then to dazzle them with passages of great beauty, describing both microcosm and macrocosm in the natural world, and intense and ethereal states of being. One does not expect to fmd traditional expressions of the sublime beyond Romantic literature, yet here it is achieved superbly in a children's genre.