Sculptor's Daughter: A Childhood Memoir
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Tove Jansson’s memoirs of her early years, filled with joy, exuberance, and the satisfaction of being—with an abundance of photographic illustrations.
The excitement of being alive and savoring the good things that are life pervades all the writing of Tove Jansson. The beloved nine volumes of her Moomintroll chronicles for younger readers, her two adult novels, The Summer Book and Sun City; and her internationally known paintings and drawings reveal this delight in existence. In her memoirs of her very early years she shares the pleasures of growing up with a happy, freedom-loving family and with nature in Finland. It is a childhood memory that speaks to people everywhere.
smaller and smaller. I wasn’t allowed to go with them in the boat any longer. They pretended that it was too small. It was a stout flat-bottomed boat and I could well have sat in the bows. Jeremiah knew it but he was afraid of her. I waited until I saw them set off and then come back to the bays. Then I would hide in the shelter of a rock and watch them and wherever they came ashore I was there to meet them and tie up their boat. I knew that nothing was fun any longer and couldn’t be, but I
gong and hung it on a nail beside the curtain. Then I carried out all the lanterns and lamps and candlesticks and put them round the stage. Fanny followed everything I did very closely. It was dripping everywhere but it wasn’t actually raining. The clouds were so heavy that it was almost dusk. When everything was ready I dressed up as Princess Florinna. I put on Mummy’s bright pink petticoat and the cat’s Sunday bow and tied a green scarf round my tummy. When I got back Fanny had picked lots of
up one of the canaries and each time Daddy was just as sad. But when he thought about it afterwards he realised that it was a good thing after all because there were far too many canaries anyway. Things even themselves out in nature. Anyway, they did their business all over Mummy’s drawings, and – even worse – in her hair! I know that Daddy adores Mummy’s beautiful hair just as much as James Oliver Curwood adored Jeanette’s hair in Alaska. He put his nose in it in front of the fire and sang
the advantage of being pretty and having naturally curly hair. They go round in a holier-than-thou competitiveness, trying to get God’s attention. ‘We raised our voices in the wilderness and were continually disobedient because God so likes to forgive sinners.’ When Karin, the other grandchild, gets ahead in the game, the child decides to do the worst, most blasphemous and pagan thing she can think of. ‘It was then that I made the golden calf.’ She makes her first sculpture, then she waits for
misinterpretations, the age-old entrenched beliefs, traditions and authorities, the inevitable failures and competitions and the games you have to play – in the course of the childhood, the course of the book. The rights and wrongs, not just of art but of existence, are its real subject. ‘What is right and what is wrong is a very sensitive matter,’ as she says elsewhere in a collection whose title foregrounds the child’s gender but whose stories never once refer to it, a collection in which