К. Корхонен


Whereas the first Moomin novels were more or less straight adventure books with a traditional epic narrator, in the last Moomin books Tove Jansson often used modernist focalization technique, familiar rather from the “adult literature” of the time than from children’s books. Thanks to this technique, her narrator could reveal the inner thoughts of her characters and thus portray them with more psychological depth. Moreover, as I will show in my presentation, the use of focalization — seeing things from the viewpoint of some other — was deeply linked to the themes of identity and otherness that were central in Jansson’s fiction (both in Moomin-novels and her late “adult” oeuvre), andto philosophical questions like: Where goes the limit between freedom and indifference? Where goes the limit between empathy and over identification? Is it possible to see the world through the eyes of the abject other — the Groke? Jansson does not offer easy answers to these questions, but lets her characters to find their own way, her narrative voice reading the minds of her characters, and her characters trying to read each other’s minds.


Jansson, Moomins, Groke, Finnish literature, loneliness, homosexuality


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