July 5, 2018
This article investigates the emotional undercurrents of Tove Jansson’s Moominvalley in November . I argue that one of the main characters of Jansson’s book is the autumn forest that surrounds the abandoned Moomin house. The decomposing forest is not just an emblem of the inner lives of the guests that gather in the house but is an active character itself: an ambiguous life form that creeps in the house and must be expelled from its living core. I further demonstrate that the emotion of disgust has a crucial role in Jansson’s narrative, and that an adequate analysis of the intentional content of disgust allows us to see what is at issue in the relations between the characters. In my reading, the main insight of Tove Jansson’s last Moomin book is not about loss or sorrow but is about the human capacity to begin anew by composing novel wholes from scraps.