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Oh, the things that happen to you if you can t hibernate properly Reread with my big kids in Scandinavian mid winter A delight to revisit after a decade All was silent, nothing stirred, and slender stars were shining everywhere and twinkling in the ice It was terribly coldMoomins go into a state of deep hibernation from November to April, until the ice melts and spring sunshine warms their fur it has always been so, or was, until a particular winter when something utterly perplexing happens to Moomintroll he wakes from his state of torpor and cannot not get back to sleep As his family slumber in their beds, oblivious to his predicament, he emerges into a world where the clocks have stopped, there is nothing to eat and the land is covered with snow Although we never learn the reason for his wakefulness, it seems plain that in some fundamental way this behaviour goes against nature He was, in his own words, the first Moomin to have lived through an entire year , and he feels desperately isolated.Despite first appearances, the young troll gradually realises he is far from alone Indeed, the valley is teeming with creatures unknown to the sleeping inhabitants, in some instances because they emerge only to make a midwinter bonfire then depart with the arrival of spring To Moomintroll s delight, one old friend does make an appearance the indomitable Little My a great favourite with Moominites Physically diminutive but immense in personality, she is unafraid of anything, says exactly what she thinks and often annoys others The snow holds no fear for her, and she uses kitchen knives as skates and Moominmamma s tea tray as a sledge, reaffirming her reputation for recklessness.Moomintroll also meets new acquaintances, such as the Hemulen Skier who, unlike most hemulens, doesn t wear a dress and doesn t follow rules or collect things He s a big, cheerful outdoorsy type who announces his arrival by blowing a bugle When he isn t plunging into freezing cold water or whizzing down precipitous slopes on skis, he s annoying everyone by disturbing their afternoon nap, chivvying them to get out in the fresh air.Tuulikki Pietil known affectionately as Tuuti , Jansson s life partner, is immortalised in Moominland Midwinter as the calm and wise Too Ticky, a character who teaches Moomintroll how to survive in this new environment In her striped sweater and bobble hat, she is presented as a practical, independent individual who lives in the Moomins bathhouse with eight invisible shrews.Other memorable characters include the melancholy Sorry oo, a wan little dog whose greatest wish is to run wild with the wolves, and the Ancestor or dweller behind the stove , a small, hairy creature with a large snout He too is a troll, a antecedent of the Moomin family but with a great many generations separating them He should perhaps be described as a mooministic primogenitor.The creature I find most fascinating is the mysterious Groke, a solitary, expressionless being who appears unexpectedly and brings with her an unnatural chill She leaves the ground frozen beneath her feet and those who encounter her are forever reminded of the bleakest winters Sometimes death Many others, whom I m tempted to call climate refugees, arrive from the north seeking food and shelter Since the Lady of the Cold passed through their valley, they have suffered starvation Their plight leads Moomintroll to exclaim What troubles people have He opens both his home and Moominmamma s jam store to these troubled incomers.Far less jolly than its predecessors, Moominland Midwinter is a haunting yet joyful tale of a frightened, angry, isolated young troll who learns to respect and care for creatures unlike himself While this book is far introspective than its predecessors, it fully retains the charm of the previous novels while exploring serious subjects such as dealing with death, facing one s fears and embracing change It is also, I suspect, Jansson s oblique nod to Darwinism.Re reading this book for the first time in several decades, I was thrilled to find it remains my favourite book of the series Tove Jansson s distinctive illustrations still captivate this adult reader and her simple stories never fail to evoke a range of complex emotions You can read of my reviews and other literary features at Book Jotter. The human world is a huge mess that somehow survives the day I don t know how it happens, and I m not sure that all our un concerted efforts to help it survive don t just further complicate things and make that daily survival less and less possible My attitude in these matters is generally that of a cynical Taoist a profound faith in things as they are functioning perfectly in enormous rhythms of time wedded to an understanding that most humans only make things worse If pressed my explanation would be that collectively we see a new day every day due to an inherent survival mechanism of such incredible complexity that even our brightest brains can t understand it If pressed I would also add that this survival mechanism is beyond the reach of our brains, which itself is part of that very survival mechanism, as our brains would invariably muck it up irreparably if given access Brains muck up enough already, and what they can t muck up they often try to ruin for everyone Even our very own brains try to muck up our very own lives For instance, some brains are wont to tell their soul body vessels that in the face of such muckity mucked up global complexity to seek solace or refuge or even wisdom in the simple is irresponsible that complexity must be confronted with complexity that it is our duty as primates on the intellectual pinnacle to figure out every last detail of our infinitely long queue of problems, and to come up with solutions, before we can enjoy the simplicity of our gods given natures that we need to read complicated adult books rather than so called children s books as a means of understanding our conditions Just as I don t know how we survive, I don t know why we continue to operate under the directive of seriously flawed adult logic and over educated instruction manuals when the clear eyed anarchic wisdom of childhood even old age is intuitively the better course Children and the elderly aren t in the game, and they re the wiser for it, though of course there are exceptions demonic kids and avaricious old folks.Which brings me to Mooninvalley, where I now live I feel lucky that I can read these books for the first time as an adult Sure, it would be nice to have read these as a youngster so that as they were directly affecting effecting my development they were planting themselves in my being s very marrow but to read them as an adult is potentially even affecting as there are so many mental emotional rigidities to overcome, so much intellectual scar tissue to flex out, and so many grey clouds and mucky accretions to pierce in order to see the Sun as if on the first day of creation Which is not to say that Tove Jansson aspirations are so lofty, as from what I can tell her main intentions were to entertain and delight while embodying her philosophy of natural magic, clear sighted pragmatism, anarchic creativity, and self sufficiency through the simple complex of her cast of wildly diverse characters.Life in Moominvalley is simple, though complicated enough to engender stories worth telling, and though it s a remote utopia of sorts it s essence is capable of resonating within the hearts and minds of those people still receptive to a wisdom that can be both simple and true And just as I don t really care to know how we as a species continue to survive, I don t really care to over discuss my life in Moominvalley I prefer to just live it And I should stop talking before anyone mistakes me for Garrison Keillor. When one s dead, then one s dead, said Too Ticky kindly This squirrel will become earth all in his time And still later on there ll grow trees from him, with new squirrels skipping about in them Do you think that s so sad Perhaps not, said Moomintroll Granted, I ve only just finished reading it, but this might just be my favourite book Towards the end, when Moomintroll s long and lonely ordeal is finally over, someone suggests that he should put a glass over a budding crocus to protect it overnight No, he says Let it fight it out I believe it s going to do still better if things aren t so easy These are stories to live by. Cynical comfort reading Jansson s stories won t warm the depths of mid winter, but may encourage you to accept that the frozen snowy dark is temporary and not entirely meritless if one remains open to its potential People also Most of them are irritating in some way or another, but it ll be okay They re probably also well meaning in some way. All things are so very uncertain, and that s exactly what makes me feel reassured.Had the urge to reread this because it kept popping up to my bookstagram feed, so thanks, guys It was even better than I remembered, and a perfect December read. |Download ⚖ Trollvinter ♫ Best Ebook, Trollvinter By Tove Jansson This Is Very Good And Becomes The Main Topic To Read, The Readers Are Very Takjup And Always Take Inspiration From The Contents Of The Book Trollvinter, Essay By Tove Jansson Is Now On Our Website And You Can Download It By Register What Are You Waiting For Please Read And Make A Refission For You So wintry and lovely My copy had 17 pages missing so I shall have to hunt them down and enjoy them on their own. For my full review first Moomins book that I read was Finn Family Moomintroll and I fell in love Moominvalley seemed a magical place of eternal sunshine The food was plentiful, the company enchanting and even when risky characters such as the Hobgoblin showed up, the threat never felt particularly severe Eight year old me was in rapture But it was a library book and I was not allowed to keep checking it out indefinitely and nor was I allowed a copy of my own When I discovered that there were other Moomin books, I thought I had found the perfect solution When I read Moominland Midwinter however, I felt I had made a terrible mistake Thingummy and Bob were gone Snufkin was travelling in foreign lands Most of the other characters were asleep Even the sun was gone I plodded to the end but it would be many years before I ventured back to Moominvalley Returning to the book now as an adult, would it still seem so very gloomy The very title of Finn Family Moomintroll confirms that it is about community and belonging a family In that respect, Moominland Midwinter is its polar opposite It is an incredible perhaps even unique study of depression and loneliness on the child s eye level I can also see why it was not at all what eight year old me was expecting Moomins usually hibernate between the months of November and April but then one year, Moomintroll wakes up and is unable to settle himself again.The winter which Moomintroll encounters is a disturbing one and he faces it alone As a child who longed fruitlessly every year for snow in the hope of finally testing out my sledge, the idea that it could take on a sinister side seemed strange I did not realise that this was the flip side to the long sunny days of Finn Family, that now Moominvalley had to endure months of perpetual darkness As an adult, I have a tendency to get grumpy during the winter months when it can too often feel that one goes to work in darkness and then return home in the same I can better understand how a Finnish winter could really depress one s spirits.There is something really eerie too about being awake while those around you are asleep Following on from the birth of my first child, I had an extended bout of insomnia over the winter of last year He would wake up, I would feed him, he would sleep again but I would not Reading Moomintroll s bewilderment and frustration about being awake when the rest of his family are not made me remember that period Padding about in the dark, trying different corners of the house to see if I could get sleepy again and then always, always staying awake The long nights of winter seemed endless The phase was not long but it was quite enough for me.Fortunately, Moomintroll discovers an alternative community which exists during the winter months, a group of characters equipped to survive the harsh conditions Chief among these is Too Ticky, who occupies the Moomin family s bath house Based on author Tove Jansson s long term partner Tuulikki Tooti Pietil , Too Ticky is a practical philosopher Where Moomintroll rails against the harshness of the season, Too Ticky encourages him to see that there is to snow than mere bland whiteness.You believe it s cold, but if you build yourself a snowhouse it s warm You think it s white, but at times it looks pink, and another time it s blue It can be softer than anything, and then again harder than stone Nothing is certain.Tove Jansson with her partner Tuulikki Pietil If Too Ticky is indeed an accurate representation of Tuulikki Pietil , then Tove Jansson was very fortunate to have her as a partner She is one of those rare and wonderful people who accepts each new situation unflinchingly Even the coming of the deadly Lady of the Cold does not spark fear in Too Ticky She sets out to make sure everyone is organised but never panics Like Moomintroll, I was horror struck as a child by the demise of the squirrel who encounters the Lady of the Cold Somehow I seemed to miss the author note the first time around Too Ticky s deadpan pronouncement of When one s dead, one s dead was completely alien to me at the time Yet she shows Moomintroll that while in winter, he is living by different rules.There are such a lot of things that have no place in summer and autumn and spring Everything that s a little shy and a little rum Some kinds of night animals and people that don t fit in with others and that nobody really believes in They keep out of the way all year And then when everything s quiet and white and the nights are long and most people are asleep then they appear.The characters who emerge in the winter are a crew of misfits There is Sorry oo the dog who longs to run with wolves, the boisterous skiing Hemulen who everyone hopes will move on and leave them alone and Salome the little Creep who hopes to be noticed, the mysterious Ancestor who Moomintroll can barely recognise as kin few of the characters appear truly contented The idea of being suddenly adrift from one s family alarmed me as a child I was like Moomintroll, I did not like Moominvalley in the winter Yet when I reread it, I felt that I had missed the most important point things get better.Even when the book is at its darkest, things improve Sorry oo realises that he cannot be a wolf heartbreaking passage there and he is saved before he can be devoured by the pack The sun returns, a little at first and then gradually and Moominmamma wakes up She wakes and she takes care of Moomintroll, sets the house to rights and remarks how nice it is to be up a little early to have some extra time to herself The jam stores which Moomintroll had worried over so much turn out to be not so important Spring is here There is another squirrel hopping about who looks just like the one who perished under the gaze of the Lady of the Cold.But when Moomintroll finds Snork Maiden and the two of them spot an early crocus, she suggests putting a glass over it to protect it from the cold Moomintroll responds No, don t do that Let it fight it out I believe it s going to do still better if things aren t so easy Not only do things get better, but you are stronger as a person from what has gone before In early books, particularly The Moomins and the Great Flood, Moomintroll was a mere child and had little agency With Midwinter, we see him take on responsibility and face down challenges, adding far greater depth to his character.Unfortunately, I think I was just too young for Moominland Midwinter when I first read it I saw only the bleakness and had lost interest before the new growth The lesson of how we grow as people through trial and toil is a hefty one for a child to take on board but it is such an important one I can think of few writers who could have put this across so beautifully as Jansson manages to do here Her version of winter does not focus on the fun of sledging or skiing or snowball fights but on the slog to survive it and yet she does not stir from the world she has created The glorious thing about the Moomins is that they are a kind of adult fairy tale that you can enjoy at any stage of life I hope very much to share this story one day with my own child, that he too might learn that things may well get tough, but he can rise to the challenge. There s a fab essay by Maria Popova on this book on Brain Pickings today, encompassing the paradox of active surrender Highly recommended Found my childhood copy of this while cleaning out an old box last night, and to my delight I enjoyed it just as much as a grown up My favourite of all the moomin books, because of the haunting quietness On my must read list for all children.