“Tove Jansson was a universal genius”

Astrid Lindgren and Tove Jansson 1958.

Astrid Lindgren and Tove Jansson 1958.

Not so many have missed that Finish artist, author and illustrator Tove Jansson would have celebrated 100 years last Saturday, August 9th. Seven years younger than Astrid Lindgren, they both were considered to be two of the Swedish-speaking children’s literature’s biggest names.

Boel Westin, new Chairman of the ALMA jury, is internationally well known for her studies of Tove Jansson, and is fascinated by Tove Jansson’s aesthetic diversity:

– Tove Jansson was a universal genius with a sumptuous expression longing and she worked in a lot of different genres as a writer and artist, she told the ALMA blog a few weeks ago. In her works, there is both passion and emotion, politics and ideology, and through the Moomin world she has developed a philosophy and various attitudes to life. We can recognize ourselves and not the least our surroundings in the stories. They can interpret the world around us.

Tove Jansson in her studio.

Tove Jansson in her studio.

Tove Jansson died in June 2001 at age of 86, but her works is a great inspiration still today. In an interview for Swedish Television Boel Westin point out her feministic attitude:

– When I was going through her ​​letters I found out that she actually formulate feminist positions for herself during the 1940s. It’s about her role as a woman in relation to love and in relation with men.

– She wants to live independently and create art. Work was the most important thing, says Boel Westin.

The Tove Jansson 100 year’s celebration will go on during the entire 2014. More information on the anniversary web “Tove 100”, and for further reading the BBC’s Tove Jansson feature, made earlier this year and this article from the British Library.

The Moomins. ©Moomin Characters

The Moomins. ©Moomin Characters

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