Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Stephen Fry don't read this.

Scandinavian film, literature and legends often seem to have a melancholic air about them that reflects something in the nature of the land or the people. From the doom that hangs over the Norse myths to the Little Mermaid to the films of Ingmar Bergman. For me however few things illustrate this melancholia as well as Tove Jansson's Moomin books.

I've just started reading Moominvalley in November, coincidentally BBC 4 have just started advertising "The Secret life of the manic depressive" with Stephen Fry. This is not a book for a manic depressive and I heartily recommend Stephen Fry doesn't read it. If the book was a painting it would be all in shades of blue and grey, it's an early Autumn day when you know the world is about to get colder and darker, if it were a song it would be the plaintive sound of Edith Piaf, it's the lone cry of a solitary dog in the night.

I read the first three chapters sat on a crowded bus and can rarely recall feeling so alone.

Yet for all it's sadness it has a beauty to the prose that is compelling, all the characters so far are longing for something more.

I'll update this when I've read more.


paulhd said...

You've hit the nail on the head about Jansson's style. Summer Book is worth a look, if you haven't already.

Peter Bangs said...

Summer Book is on my must read list but the Moomins came up again while I was looking for something to read for Molly's bedtime story. She was enjoying Mrs Pepperpot and Littlenose The Hunter to much to wat to try something new though so I ended up reading it myself.