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

Winter’s Work

A Philosophical Moomin Tale
Kamila Dzika-Jurek
time 8 minutes

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.

The Moomin family is not there, because they are staying in a lighthouse on the uninhabited island to which they sailed in the previous novel (Moominpappa at Sea). However, their deserted home is soon full of various characters that want to soak up the atmosphere of openness and kindness generated by the Moomins. Remembering this warmth, the Hemulen, Fillyjonk, Mymble, Toft, Grandpa-Grumble arrive


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Also read:

Chasing the Cold Chasing the Cold

Chasing the Cold

A Psychoanalytic Reading of “The Snow Queen”
Renata Lis

Where is the snow? Will it fall this winter, shrouding our cities and silencing the hubbub of the streets? The winter landscape endures most persistently in childhood fairy tales. It brings with it icy beauty, the promise of eternity, but also a sense of unrest. Let’s take a closer look at the primitive images and dreams reflected in the mirrors of many generations, and the winter metaphors being challenged by the sun.

There are some dreams that leave us with a single image on waking. This image, surrounded by a strong emotional aura, accompanies us throughout the day – we keep it deep inside, safe and sound. Every now and then, we check to make sure it’s still there, that it hasn’t faded or completely disappeared. For me, Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Snow Queen, which my mother used to read to me before bed when I was young, is a dream of the same kind. Much of the plot has long since escaped me, but the image of the icy queen was etched in me forever, like a shard of the broken mirror from Andersen’s story. Because dreams and fairy tales are basically the same world – kindred sanctuaries, removed from the dominion of daytime reason, where the unconscious thrives.

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