Thursday, 6 May 2010

Tove Janson's Hobbit

Take a look at these fantastic illustrations for the Swedish and Finnish editions of the Hobbit (I got the link from i09). I love this one of Gollum:


  1. Rather nice, but I thought Gollum should be more Bilbo's size. I did like the Moomins as a youngster though so very evocative for me.

  2. One of the things I like about them is they're unconnected from Tolkien's larger ideas: Jansson's gotten this impression of Gollum from the text somehow, rather than having it informed by stuff about Smeagol and ring etc.

    It's been a while since I read it (it's on the kid's agenda, perhaps when we've finished that enduring children's classic "Captain Underpants and the Attack of the Talking Toilets") so I can't remember if this illustration contradicts the text. One of the things I find dreary about Tolkien is the way he knots his mythology up so tight, leaving no room for the reader. I think these illustrations open up a new imaginative space in the text away from the celty-welty/Dungeony Dragony look we've all gotten a bit bored with.

    I think that this really highlights the alien-ness of Gollum and the wee kiddy Bilbo in a night gown is more like the plucky, child-like adventurer I always imagine rather than Ian Holm.


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