Friday, 28 May 2010

The Russian Hobbit

You may recall this post about Tove Jansson's illustrations for the Finnish version of The Hobbit. Well, continuing on a theme here are the illustrations from the first Russian edition (via BoingBoing).

Here's the Russian Gollum:

They're not quite as charming as Jansson's, but they still have a beautiful folkloric allure that totally alludes modern interpreters who are too deeply emeshed in the aesthetic of modern genre fantasy and insufficiently connected to folklore. I quite like the drunken Yeltsin Bilbo.

I've got an edition that came out at the same time as the Rankin bass animated TV movie, which is okay but a little literal for my tastes, really. The kids are nearly old enough for it - I'm sure Lou would like it but Isbo is maybe a little young and would likely spend the time sighing in bed as she currently does during the nightly chapter of Charlie & the Great Glass Elevator.

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