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Fair Play by Tove Jansson

Two reviews, one from my first reading in Feb 2014 and the second from Aug 2016. I really enjoy re-reading my favourite books and seeing how they shift over time. How you find new things in theme depending where you ‘at’. There’s no better way to explore the author/reader relationship than to re-read a text and see what new things you find. Proving that no text sits still, but to steal a phrase from Heraclitus no person ever steps in the same river twice.

February 2014

This is definitely my favourite Tove Jansson, another deceptively simple tale told in short crystal clear chapters where nothing and everything happens. I think I liked it so much because it’s about being an artist, how you create, how you keep yourself interested and curious about the world as you grow older. It’s about space too, and how loving someone means that you give them space to think and create; to express themselves. At the core though, it’s about how being a couple is learning to be a whole and a half at the same time.

August 2016

The first time I read this book (see above!) I was interested in the relationship between the two women in relation to their work and their creativity, but on this second reading I was struck by the love between the two of them, the closeness and security they have in each other in feeling loved without hesitation and trust. The practicalities of this love, how it manifests in the care they take with each other, the interest they show in each other’s work and the respectfulness of space between them. This really is a remarkable book, rather than describe people, Jansson tells us what they do, what they say. She shows us how they live and how they love.

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