Fair Play by Tove Jansson This is a beautiful book about two real-life women and the space between them. The author is the famous Finnish writer and artist whose childrens book character Moomintroll inspired TV shows, cartoon strips and theme parks in Finland and Japan. There is an occasional spat of jealousy when one artist starts spending too much time with a young female intern and a crisis when one has the opportunity to move to Paris for a year to work on an art project. In the whole short book, only a few other characters are introduced, all briefly an art intern, a visiting, elderly male artist and one womans brother.
In rather ancient past I had read Tove Jansson's Moomins stories and for a long period of time I managed to stay unaware of the fact that she would write for an adult audience either. I've loved her The Summer Book and still can't decide who was more beguiled: the adult woman I'm or perhaps the inner child in me - I still believe it stays somewhere with me though for a most time it must be hiding. It's highly autobiographical, I believe, and Mari and Joana shaped on Tove herself and her lifelong partner. And falling in love and that takes a lot of time.
As always Jansson's writing is deceptively simple, and a pleasure to read.
It was like being in his pocket. I loved the structure of this book: just 4 or 5 pages apiece of stories about Jonna and Mari, two 70-ish women, a little bit like Olive Kitteridge without the changing POVs. An old couple.
Un libro che cela dietro episodi di vita ordinaria , unamicizia , un amore fondamentale che molto spesso diamo per scontato .
This is a direct comment on the structure of the book, and its individual chapters, itself. Still, though, there is so much love and wisdom, and even practical lessons in how to live a vibrantly engaged life, in the book that I still heartily recommend it to anyone; and I will surely be reading it multiple more times myself when I feel the need for the messages encoded within.
Little stories about their lives, togetherness, separation.
Soprattutto, su una vita condivisa quasi in 3, due donne e il loro lavoro. Jonna e Mari condividono un villino su unisola e un edificio dove ci sono i loro studi. La loro diversità, che a volte sfocia in piccole gelosie e discussioni o incomprensioni, non diventa mai un problema, però. È un andare a togliere tutto il superfluo, che del resto non viene mai esplicitato nemmeno nei discorsi di Mari e Jonna. Allinizio non capivo molto il nodo del romanzo, cosa volesse veicolare lautrice. Poi, mano mano che le pagine mi prendevano, non ho più saputo fermarmi. (Mari riceve una lettera da una fan, Linnea, che ha una vita tristissima. Attraversando la soffitta , si fermò come al solito a guardare il porto e rivolse un pensiero distratto a Linnea, che non sapeva niente dellamore.
There is no silence like sitting in a fog at sea and listening, writes Tove Jansson in her newly-translated story collection Fair Play. Stuck waiting out a dense, chilling fog in a row boat somewhere between the coast of a small Finnish island and Estonia, Janssons aging companions, Jonna and Mari, fall into an old argument about their mothersone had an annoying predilection for painstakingly buttered crispbread; the other was an incorrigible cheat at poker. Suddenly the sea was open and blue and they found themselves a long way out toward Estonia, Jansson writes. This episode is not only emblematic of Jonna and Maris time-tested relationship, it also reveals Jansson at her paradoxical best. As Ali Smith puts it in her excellent introduction to Fair Play, Jansson writes in a language so tightly edited that its clarity makes for mysterious transparency. Fair Play is the most recent of Janssons adult novels that New York Review Books has brought into English translation, following last years True Deceiver and 2008s The Summer Book. (True Deceiver was set in a snow-bound mountain village; The Summer Book on a small island in the Finnish gulf.) And as with the previous NYRB titles, Fair Play also draws on autobiographical inspiration: in this case, Janssons lifelong relationship with her partner, a Finnish artist and scholar named Tuulikki Pietilä, with whom she lived for the better part of 40 years. Each chapter in Fair Play serves as a snapshot, a brief window into the relationship between the frank and opinionated Jonna and the reserved and introspective Mari.
Besides the Moomin novels and short stories, Tove Jansson also wrote and illustrated four original and highly popular picture books.