Olga Holownia

‘They don’t really look like Moomins, do they?’:Tove Jansson’s Visual Translation of the Classics

 Tove Jansson is above all known as the creator of the Moomin world which includes novels, short stories, picture-books and comic strips. In the second half of the 1950s, the Moomins were at the peak of their fame. Unexpectedly, in 1958 she took on a commission. She agreed to illustrate the Swedish translation of Lewis Carroll’s 1876 nonsense poem The Hunting of the Snark: An Agony in 8 Fits (Snarkjakten, 1959). In 1966 readers would see her take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 1865 (Alice i Underlandet), while in between the nonsense classics Jansson, encouraged by Astrid Lindgren, illustrated J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit: or There and Back Again, 1937 (Bilbo – en hobbits äventyr, 1962). The illustrations in these books and their choice, represent a curious juxtaposition of Jansson’s own interests and idiosyncratic style with a very English tradition. In my paper I will look at selected aspects of Jansson’s visual translations within the context of her own works and with references to the original illustrations in order to investigate the strategies she uses to reinvent the classics and at the same time her own artistic repertoire. All three books marked an important step in Jansson’s move towards writing for adults.

Lílian Moreira and João Queiroz

Alice in Translation Land ­ What to bring to the surface in Lewis Carroll’s work

Lewis Carroll’s Alice books, namely Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland and Trough the Looking Glass And What Alice Found There are certainly one of the most intersemiotically transposed and translated literary classics over the last 150 years. A number of illustration, plays, ballets, songs, movies, TV shows and others was made by renowned and lesser known artists.

Two notable examples seem to have escaped more usual analysis, a 1988 surrealist film with a blend of stop motion animation by multiple prize winner Czech director Jan Švankmajer, called Neco z Alenky, and The Muppet Show, a famous TV series aired from 1976 to 1981 featuring puppets and a human guest, created by Jim Henson, in which an episode from the fifth season starred Brooke Shields playing Alice in 1980.

Why does this work inspire so many translations? What are the choices translators make when recreating Carroll? We intend to compare these transpositions of Alice’s stories, capturing seemingly distinct characteristics, but both of fundamental importance to the source: (i) The oneiric ambience in which the story is set and the permissiveness that it creates, allowing, for example, nonsense, amorality and lack of objective (ii) Linguistic games (such as paronomasia).