Seven Commentaries on an Imperfect Land August 20, 2014 Seven Commentaries on an Imperfect Land Ruthanna Emrys Stories of Tikanu. Hero of the Five Points August 19, 2014 Hero of the Five Points Alan Gratz A League of Seven story. La Signora August 13, 2014 La Signora Bruce McAllister If love is not enough, then maybe death... Sleeper August 12, 2014 Sleeper Jo Walton It is best to embrace subjectivity.
From The Blog
August 22, 2014
Mercy Thompson Series Sweepstakes!
Sweepstakes
August 15, 2014
“Perhaps It Was Only an Echo”: The Giver
Natalie Zutter
August 15, 2014
We’re Holding Out for a (New) Hero: How Heroes and Villains are Evolving
Leah Schnelbach
August 14, 2014
Doctor Who: “Deep Breath” (Non-spoiler Review)
Chris Lough
August 13, 2014
Eight Essential Science Fiction Detective Mash-Ups
David Cranmer
Showing posts by: Margaret Maloney click to see Margaret Maloney's profile
Thu
Apr 22 2010 5:53pm

An Adventure in Moominland

Midsummer 2006. Tampere, Finland–I almost missed the Moominvalley.

It would have been easy to do; since I was going to be staying with friends, I was traveling without a guidebook, and so I didn’t know that one of the few unique attractions in Tampere was a museum devoted to Tove Jansson’s creations.

Besides, it was Midsummer! A repudiation of the long, dark days of winter, Midsummer is, as my host Jamie Ann explained, “the BIG holiday when Finns go to the countryside to get drunk,” and everything is closed. We ourselves had gone to the birch woods and swam in a lake called Helvetinkolu (“Hell Hole”) where I saw a landscape of such color-saturated loveliness that I understood why Finnish national treasure Akseli Gallen-Kallela’s paintings of the Kalevala, the Finnish saga, looked so otherworldly: he was just painting what he saw.

In my last hour in Tampere, as we meandered through the town center, Jamie Ann grabbed my arm: “The Moomin Museum is open!” (It had been closed for Midsummer, and she had thought I would miss it). She pulled me inside the Metso Library, a bulbous, modern building, and I found myself in a low-lit basement room of fantastical dioramas. Here, again, were the supersaturated colors of the Finnish landscape, but this time, instead of the ancient heroes and villains of the Kalevala, it was Moominmamma, Moominpappa, Moomintroll and Little My acting out the episodes of their own saga. Along the walls, pages from the Moomin books and comic strips showed the Moomintrolls in their natural, inky state. My favorite part of the whole trip, it seemed to me to be the essence of Finnish imagination. And to think: I had almost missed it...


Moominweek Index