Moomin inspired?

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Moomin inspired?

Postby elgohim » Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:32 pm

Rereading The light fantastic (3rd time) it suddenly struck me that there are huge likenesses between the main plot (the approaching red star and the end of the world) in TLF and Tove Janssons wonderful Comet in Moominland. Also in the end of the story when a bashful Luggage decides to follow Rincewind "because it seemed the best thing to do" (quote from memory) it very much reminds me of a scene in Moominland midwinter, where the little doggy comes to the same kind of decison in a very similar situation.

Being a great fan of both Moominland (the books of which I have read since early childhood, and I am now an old man) and Discworld, I found this coincidence both amusing and possible. This hypothetical inspiration seems to me also plausible, since TLF is an early DW novel, where the whole concept was not yet fully formed.

I am definitely NOT saying that our beloved TP have plagiarized Moomin, but it is well known that even the best of authors (such as TP) sometimes – consciously or unconsciously – take up themes from other works. May it be that this is such a case?

Since it most likely will be very hard to get an answer to this question from The Man himself, I put it to the forum crowd, and also to his agents/publishers, if any of them are following this forum.
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Postby Sjoerd3000 » Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:07 pm

Hi elgohim welcome to the site :D I'm sorry but I don't know Moominland so I can't help you there
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Postby Who's Wee Dug » Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:33 pm

Hi elgohim,was it the 1946 edition you read then if you say you are an old man now. :?:
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Postby Tonyblack » Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:29 pm

Welcome to the site elgohim!

I know of the Moomins, but not that story. Terry's books are full of allusions to other things and especially those first two stories (the Dragonriders of Pern for example), so you may be right. :D
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Postby elgohim » Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:28 pm

What would be interesting to know is if Mr Pratchett has read the Moomin books, which of course is very likely.

It is strange that I did not notice the likeness before, since I almost know the Moominbooks by heart, but I would put that down to the narrative force of the Discworld itself, that might have obscured my observation.

For those of you who have not met the Moomins there is a nice little corner of reality to explore. It is certainly not as grand or detailed as the DW, rather homely one could say, more like Shire in ambience, but is has a certain charm and whimsiness that is most enchanting. (One of the characters in the original Moomin comics - beware of all japanese and other versions - is an old friend of Moominpappa, called Wimsy. He usually sleeps under the dinner table when visiting the Moomins.)

But watch out! I do not know anything about the Moomin publishing history abroad, but it is necessary to check from which edition they are translated. I am sorry to say that the author herself, Tove Jansson, has made several revisions of the Moomin books, none of which are to the better. Thus the earlier the edition from which it is translated, the more of the original uniqueness is preserved.

I actually stumbled upon this English translation of Comet in Moominland about a year ago, and yes, it is made from the -46 edition. To my delight it contained material that was not in the Swedish -51 edition (they were written in Swedish) which I read as a child. This also proves my point about the revisions.
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Postby Dotsie » Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:36 am

I convinced that Terry has read everything (maybe even Dan Brown :P ), so I wouldn't be surprised at all.

Terry has also made reference in his novels to the fact that there are only a certain number of stories to go around, and their narrative is unstoppable. This might include Moominland!
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Postby Frasier000 » Sat Oct 31, 2009 3:49 am

thanks for sharing!
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Postby Lady Vetinari » Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:40 am

Dotsie wrote:I convinced that Terry has read everything (maybe even Dan Brown :P ), so I wouldn't be surprised at all.

Terry has also made reference in his novels to the fact that there are only a certain number of stories to go around, and their narrative is unstoppable. This might include Moominland!


I would add ... Maybe even Mein Kampf!!!! (He had to get inspiration for Vetinari somewhere ... though I would prefer Vetinari than Hitler as a ruler any day!)
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Postby Tonyblack » Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:15 pm

Actually, Vetinari seems to be a combination of various characters as well as Terry's own imagination. It seems to me there is a lot of Niccolò Machiavelli in him. The name 'Vetinari' seems to be a pun on Medici as in:

Medic = Medici
Vet = Vetinari :lol:
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Sun Nov 01, 2009 6:10 pm

Oooo! :shock: I never made that connection before - of course! And he is v. machievellian :twisted:
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Re: Moomin inspired?

Postby MissTeatime » Tue Nov 03, 2009 12:27 pm

elgohim wrote: Also in the end of the story when a bashful Luggage decides to follow Rincewind "because it seemed the best thing to do" (quote from memory) it very much reminds me of a scene in Moominland midwinter, where the little doggy comes to the same kind of decison in a very similar situation.


I believe it was a kitten? :P But now that you mentioned it, I do see a connection. I think it was probably unconcious, though - if there was meant to be a reference to Comet in Moominland, it would probably have been more obvious...

And... You read Moomin in Swedish? *intrigued* We have something in common, then. :)
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