All That Green Stuff Behind Glass
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Illustration by Basia M. (based on a drawing by John Tenniel)
Experiences

All That Green Stuff Behind Glass

On Nature, Cities, and Ourselves
Kamila Dzika-Jurek
Reading
time 8 minutes

Perhaps what we call nature today isn’t nature after all. Let’s take a look at the intricate relationships between the city, the woods, and ourselves.

“What can all that green stuff be?” asked Lewis Carroll’s Alice, as she dreamed the familiar dream, observing the world from the distance of her suddenly elongating neck. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was published during the Second Industrial Revolution, when the sense of departure from nature was yet to come, like a waking dream. In living through an era when glass and plastic separate humans not only from greenery, but also from other people, what can a person of the fourth revolution dream of today?

“‘Come, my head’s free at last!’ said Alice in a tone of delight, which changed into alarm in another moment, when she found that her shoulders were nowhere to be found: all she could see when she looked down, was an immense length of neck, which seemed to rise like a stalk out of a sea of green leaves that lay far below her.” In her dream, Carroll’s heroine experiences such wonders and fears over and over again. At times, she’s too small to climb a table, and too large to walk through the door and free herself from the inside of a house. “Oh, how I wish I

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Winter’s Work
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Moomin World – a theme park in Finland
Fiction

Winter’s Work

A Philosophical Moomin Tale
Kamila Dzika-Jurek

If anyone still doubts that stories about Moomins can be read as philosophical texts – important for children, but perhaps more important for adults – they should read the final book in the series. Moominvalley in November is a beautiful treatise about the struggle between light and darkness that is taking place in nature and within us right now.

Some devoted Tove Jansson readers might not enjoy this book, because the Moomins are actually absent from the story. The author erased them almost completely – not only from the narrative, but also from the original Swedish title, Sent i november. This is actually the only title in the series that does not contain these warmer words: Mumintrollet, Muminpappan; nor does it refer directly to any living creature. The title sounds alien, more serious than the titles of other parts of the series. And this is exactly what the book is like.

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