Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

98 Quotes By Tove Jansson That Teach Us So Much About Life

Famous As: Finnish Penwoman and the Author of the Children’s Book Series 'Moomin'
Born On: August 9, 1914
Died On: June 27, 2001
Born In: Helsinki, Finland
Died At Age: 86
Tove Jansson was an acclaimed Finnish novelist, painter and comic strip author known for her significant contributions to Children’s literature. She was born in a family of artists in the minority Swedish-speaking population of Finland and was introduced to arts by her father. After completing her art studies she moved through various cities of Europe for the next thirteen years serving as an illustrator for book covers. She came up with her first art exhibition in 1943 which was followed by her debut children's book titled 'The Moomins and the Great Flood'. This book was a huge success and established her reputation as a children’s author. This encouraged her to convert it into a series of 15 books which was translated into almost 45 languages. It was very successful commercially as it sold millions of copies worldwide and was popularly known as the ‘Moomins’ series. Apart from this, she also proved her prominence as a painter. She conducted various successful solo art exhibitions and published a seven book comic strip series called ‘Mumin’, adapted from her Moomins series. Her significant contributions to Children’s Literature have been honored by the renowned ‘Hans Christian Andersen Medal’. Go through the quotes and sayings by this prolific writer to have a glimpse of life through her perspective. Read on the compilation of quotations and thoughts by Tove Jansson that will brighten your day.
I only want to live in peace, plant potatoes and dream!

I only want to live in peace, plant potatoes and dream!

Tove Jansson
You can't ever be really free if you admire somebody too much.

You can't ever be really free if you admire somebody too much.

Tove Jansson
It is simply this: do not tire, never lose interest, never grow indifferent—lose your invaluable curiosity and you let yourself die. It's as simple as that.

It is simply this: do not tire, never lose interest, never grow indifferent—lose your invaluable curiosity and you let yourself die. It's as simple as that.

Tove Jansson
Maybe my passion is nothing special, but at least it's mine.

Maybe my passion is nothing special, but at least it's mine.

Tove Jansson
A theatre is the most important sort of house in the world, because that's where people are shown what they could be if they wanted, and what they'd like to be if they dared to and what they really are

A theatre is the most important sort of house in the world, because that's where people are shown what they could be if they wanted, and what they'd like to be if they dared to and what they really are

Tove Jansson
All things are so very uncertain, and that's exactly what makes me feel reassured.

All things are so very uncertain, and that's exactly what makes me feel reassured.

Tove Jansson
You must go on a long journey before you can really find out how wonderful home is.

You must go on a long journey before you can really find out how wonderful home is.

Tove Jansson
Lie on the bridge and watch the water flowing past. Or run, or wade through the swamp in your red boots. Or roll yourself up and listen to the rain falling on the roof. It's very easy to enjoy yourself.

Lie on the bridge and watch the water flowing past. Or run, or wade through the swamp in your red boots. Or roll yourself up and listen to the rain falling on the roof. It's very easy to enjoy yourself.

Tove Jansson
Making a journey by night is more wonderful than anything in the world.

Making a journey by night is more wonderful than anything in the world.

Tove Jansson
It was a particularly good evening to begin a book.

It was a particularly good evening to begin a book.

Tove Jansson
I'll have to calm down a bit. Or else I'll burst with happiness

I'll have to calm down a bit. Or else I'll burst with happiness

Tove Jansson
The hemulen woke up slowly and recognised himself and wished he had been someone he didn't know.

The hemulen woke up slowly and recognised himself and wished he had been someone he didn't know.

Tove Jansson
There's no need to imagine that you're a wondrous beauty, because that's what you are.

There's no need to imagine that you're a wondrous beauty, because that's what you are.

Tove Jansson
But that's how it is when you start wanting to have things. Now, I just look at them, and when I go away I carry them in my head. Then my hands are always free, because I don't have to carry a suitcase.

But that's how it is when you start wanting to have things. Now, I just look at them, and when I go away I carry them in my head. Then my hands are always free, because I don't have to carry a suitcase.

Tove Jansson
The thing about God, she thought, is that He usually does help, but not until you've made an effort on your own.

The thing about God, she thought, is that He usually does help, but not until you've made an effort on your own.

Tove Jansson
It is still summer, but the summer is no longer alive. It has come to a standstill; nothing withers, and fall is not ready to begin. There are no stars yet, just darkness.

It is still summer, but the summer is no longer alive. It has come to a standstill; nothing withers, and fall is not ready to begin. There are no stars yet, just darkness.

Tove Jansson
Most of the people are homesick anyway, and a little lonely, and they hide themselves in their hair and are turned into flowers.

Most of the people are homesick anyway, and a little lonely, and they hide themselves in their hair and are turned into flowers.

Tove Jansson
It looks rather ordinary,

It looks rather ordinary," said the Snork. "Unless you consider that a top hat is always somewhat extraordinary, of course.

Tove Jansson
Someone who eats pancakes and jam can't be so awfully dangerous. You can talk to him.

Someone who eats pancakes and jam can't be so awfully dangerous. You can talk to him.

Tove Jansson
Smell is important. It reminds a person of all the things he's been through; it is a sheath of memories and security.

Smell is important. It reminds a person of all the things he's been through; it is a sheath of memories and security.

Tove Jansson
Quite, quite,' she thought with a little sigh. 'It's always like this in their adventures. To save and be saved. I wish somebody would write a story sometime about the people who warm up the heroes afterward.

Quite, quite,' she thought with a little sigh. 'It's always like this in their adventures. To save and be saved. I wish somebody would write a story sometime about the people who warm up the heroes afterward.

Tove Jansson
Everything's much too big here,' thought Moominmamma. 'Or perhaps I'm too small.

Everything's much too big here,' thought Moominmamma. 'Or perhaps I'm too small.

Tove Jansson
I need to write down my observations. Even the tiniest ones; they're the most important.

I need to write down my observations. Even the tiniest ones; they're the most important.

Tove Jansson
It's funny about paths and rivers,

It's funny about paths and rivers," he mused. "You see them go by, and suddenly you feel upset and want to be somewhere else--wherever the path or the river is going, perhaps.

Tove Jansson
...now and then a giggling trail of mermaids appeared in our wake. We fed them oatmeal.

...now and then a giggling trail of mermaids appeared in our wake. We fed them oatmeal.

Tove Jansson
One must use the night.

One must use the night.

Tove Jansson
He was the owner of the moonlight on the ground, he fell in love with the most beautiful of the trees, he made wreaths of leaves and strung them around his neck.

He was the owner of the moonlight on the ground, he fell in love with the most beautiful of the trees, he made wreaths of leaves and strung them around his neck.

Tove Jansson
There are those who stay at home and those who go away, and it has always been so. Everyone can choose for himself, but he must choose while there is still time and never change his mind.

There are those who stay at home and those who go away, and it has always been so. Everyone can choose for himself, but he must choose while there is still time and never change his mind.

Tove Jansson
My bag was as light as my happy-go-lucky heart.

My bag was as light as my happy-go-lucky heart.

Tove Jansson
And all you can do is just read,

And all you can do is just read," she said. She raised her voice an screamed, "You just read and read and read!" Then she threw herself down on the table and wept.

Tove Jansson
Why are you in such a rush?

Why are you in such a rush?" Sophia asked, and her grandmother answered that it was a good idea to do things before you forgot that they had to be done.

Tove Jansson
He didn't remember, he didn't worry, he just was.

He didn't remember, he didn't worry, he just was.

Tove Jansson
A very long time ago, Grandmother had wanted to tell about all the things they did, but no one had bothered to ask. And now she had lost the urge.

A very long time ago, Grandmother had wanted to tell about all the things they did, but no one had bothered to ask. And now she had lost the urge.

Tove Jansson
For a while she considered being ill, but she changed her mind...

For a while she considered being ill, but she changed her mind...

Tove Jansson
Wise as she was, she realized that people can postpone their rebellious phases until they're eighty-five years old, and she decided to keep an eye on herself.

Wise as she was, she realized that people can postpone their rebellious phases until they're eighty-five years old, and she decided to keep an eye on herself.

Tove Jansson
Om man r arg s r man arg, konstaterade lilla My och skalade sin potatis med tnderna. Man ska vara arg ibland, vartenda knytt har rtt att vara ilsket.

Om man r arg s r man arg, konstaterade lilla My och skalade sin potatis med tnderna. Man ska vara arg ibland, vartenda knytt har rtt att vara ilsket.

Tove Jansson
But he thought all the strange words were beautiful, and he had never had a book of his own before.

But he thought all the strange words were beautiful, and he had never had a book of his own before.

Tove Jansson
It was simply that she was only fully alive when she devoted herself to her singular ability to draw, and when she drew she was naturally always alone.

It was simply that she was only fully alive when she devoted herself to her singular ability to draw, and when she drew she was naturally always alone.

Tove Jansson
Some people just shouldn't be disturbed in their inclinations, whether large or small. A reminder can instantly turn enthusiasm into aversion and spoil everything.

Some people just shouldn't be disturbed in their inclinations, whether large or small. A reminder can instantly turn enthusiasm into aversion and spoil everything.

Tove Jansson
They were always doing something. Quietly, without interruption, and with great concentration, they carried on with the hundred-and-one small things that made up their world.

They were always doing something. Quietly, without interruption, and with great concentration, they carried on with the hundred-and-one small things that made up their world.

Tove Jansson
The spirit of adventure sped through his soul on mighty wings.

The spirit of adventure sped through his soul on mighty wings.

Tove Jansson
Moominpappa:

Moominpappa: "Tell us all that's happening out in the world!" Snufkin: "Fuss and misery." - from "Moomin and Family Life" comic strip

Tove Jansson
One has to discover everything for oneself. And get over it all alone.

One has to discover everything for oneself. And get over it all alone.

Tove Jansson
Sometimes people never saw things clearly until it was too late and they no longer had the strength to start again. Or else they forgot their idea along the way and didn't even realize that they had forgotten

Sometimes people never saw things clearly until it was too late and they no longer had the strength to start again. Or else they forgot their idea along the way and didn't even realize that they had forgotten

Tove Jansson
I mean, anyone can let Danger out but the really clever thing is finding somewhere for it to go afterwards.

I mean, anyone can let Danger out but the really clever thing is finding somewhere for it to go afterwards.

Tove Jansson
Hvis man prver av alle krefter, til det ytterste, m det ikke vre hensikten som teller mest, teller mer enn hvordan det til slutt gikk?

Hvis man prver av alle krefter, til det ytterste, m det ikke vre hensikten som teller mest, teller mer enn hvordan det til slutt gikk?

Tove Jansson
Isn't it fun when one's friends get exactly what suits them?

Isn't it fun when one's friends get exactly what suits them?

Tove Jansson
It'd be awful if the world exploded, it's so wonderfully splendid

It'd be awful if the world exploded, it's so wonderfully splendid

Tove Jansson
I am fond of lovely old words like 'locomotive'.

I am fond of lovely old words like 'locomotive'.

Tove Jansson
Life is an isle of sorrow, you live today and die tomorrow!

Life is an isle of sorrow, you live today and die tomorrow!

Tove Jansson
He read the classics, the French and the German among others, but primarily the Russian, which enchanted him with their heavy patience.

He read the classics, the French and the German among others, but primarily the Russian, which enchanted him with their heavy patience.

Tove Jansson
Akkurat n tenker jeg p nordlys. Man vet ikke om det finnes eller bare synes. Alt er meget usikkert, og det er nettopp det som beroliger meg.

Akkurat n tenker jeg p nordlys. Man vet ikke om det finnes eller bare synes. Alt er meget usikkert, og det er nettopp det som beroliger meg.

Tove Jansson
Even potted plants got to be a responsibility, like everything else you took care of that couldn't make decisions for itself.

Even potted plants got to be a responsibility, like everything else you took care of that couldn't make decisions for itself.

Tove Jansson
Pearls' burst out the Snork Maiden excitedly. 'Could ankle rings be made out of pearls?'
'I should think they could,' said Moomintoll. 'Ankle-rings, and nose-rings and ear-rings and engagement rings...

Pearls' burst out the Snork Maiden excitedly. 'Could ankle rings be made out of pearls?' 'I should think they could,' said Moomintoll. 'Ankle-rings, and nose-rings and ear-rings and engagement rings...

Tove Jansson
Everyone must imagine his own snakes because no one else's snakes can ever be as awful.

Everyone must imagine his own snakes because no one else's snakes can ever be as awful.

Tove Jansson
You can't depend on people who just let things happen

You can't depend on people who just let things happen

Tove Jansson
Det er snlyset,

Det er snlyset," sa hun. "Alt blir pent i snlys.

Tove Jansson
She counted out five sweets and put them on a saucer. Then she went and put them on the ledge in the cliff to cheer him up.

She counted out five sweets and put them on a saucer. Then she went and put them on the ledge in the cliff to cheer him up.

Tove Jansson
It takes a long time sometimes,

It takes a long time sometimes," she said, "It can take a terrible long time before things sort themselves out.

Tove Jansson
Ni vet ju att folk blir osynliga om man skrmmer dom fr ofta...

Ni vet ju att folk blir osynliga om man skrmmer dom fr ofta...

Tove Jansson
Fly! ropade muminmamman. Polisen r hr!
Hon visste inte vad hennes mumintroll hade gjort men var alldeles sker p att hon gillade det.

Fly! ropade muminmamman. Polisen r hr! Hon visste inte vad hennes mumintroll hade gjort men var alldeles sker p att hon gillade det.

Tove Jansson
Irrational terror is so hard to deal with.

Irrational terror is so hard to deal with.

Tove Jansson
What is right and what is wrong is a very sensitive matter.

What is right and what is wrong is a very sensitive matter.

Tove Jansson
You're an idiot,

You're an idiot," Snufkin said. "Or still worse, you're a story spoiler.

Tove Jansson
Mats har ingen hemmeligheter. Det er derfor han er s hemmelighetsfull. Ingen m forstyrre ham, han m f vre uforstyrret i en forenklet og ren verden.

Mats har ingen hemmeligheter. Det er derfor han er s hemmelighetsfull. Ingen m forstyrre ham, han m f vre uforstyrret i en forenklet og ren verden.

Tove Jansson
No one can depict desolation who hasn't inhabited desolation and observed it very closely. Things condemned have a terrible beauty.

No one can depict desolation who hasn't inhabited desolation and observed it very closely. Things condemned have a terrible beauty.

Tove Jansson
And that night he couldn't sleep, but lay looking out at the light June night which was full of lonely whisperings and rustlings and the pattering of feet. The air was sweet with the smell of flowers.

And that night he couldn't sleep, but lay looking out at the light June night which was full of lonely whisperings and rustlings and the pattering of feet. The air was sweet with the smell of flowers.

Tove Jansson
He did not confuse what he longed for with his gratitude for what he had. Extreme desires have their own sanctuary.

He did not confuse what he longed for with his gratitude for what he had. Extreme desires have their own sanctuary.

Tove Jansson
Before she left, she said,

Before she left, she said, "Just remember one thing: Going along with something doesn't mean you give in to it.[...]

Tove Jansson
There was so much to talk about that nothing was said. It was warm sitting there on the steps. Everything seemed to be so right.

There was so much to talk about that nothing was said. It was warm sitting there on the steps. Everything seemed to be so right.

Tove Jansson
My dear child,

My dear child," said Grandmother impatiently, "every human being has to make his own mistakes." She was very tired, and wanted to get home.

Tove Jansson
Englemos,

Englemos," sa sniff nonchalant. "Bare barnslig tv." I hvert fall for alle som har sett i en stjernekikkert.

Tove Jansson
I'm afraid we shall waste an awful lot of time.

I'm afraid we shall waste an awful lot of time." "Don't worry," answered Snufkin, "we shall have wonderful dreams, and when we wake up it'll be spring.

Tove Jansson
Tell them it's a secret. Tell them they don't need to know.

Tell them it's a secret. Tell them they don't need to know.

Tove Jansson
No well-bred person goes ashore on someone else's island when there's no one home. But if they put up a sign, then you do it anyway, because it's a slap in the face

No well-bred person goes ashore on someone else's island when there's no one home. But if they put up a sign, then you do it anyway, because it's a slap in the face

Tove Jansson
Luultavasti myrskyj onkin vain siksi, ett niiden jlkeen saataisiin auringonnousu.

Luultavasti myrskyj onkin vain siksi, ett niiden jlkeen saataisiin auringonnousu.

Tove Jansson
Why do you smile all the time?

Why do you smile all the time?" he said. "Because I am looking at you," she said

Tove Jansson
You can’t ever be really free if you admire somebody too much, I know.

You can’t ever be really free if you admire somebody too much, I know.

Tove Jansson
Stol p meg, frken Aemelin, folk som man kan lure, liker man litt mindre.

Stol p meg, frken Aemelin, folk som man kan lure, liker man litt mindre.

Tove Jansson
Ja, det forstr jeg. En gr helst bare ut nr en m. Eller nr en har lyst. Det er vel best  vente, og kjenne etter.

Ja, det forstr jeg. En gr helst bare ut nr en m. Eller nr en har lyst. Det er vel best vente, og kjenne etter.

Tove Jansson
Of course, Moomintrolls don't wear clothes, except sometimes in bed.

Of course, Moomintrolls don't wear clothes, except sometimes in bed.

Tove Jansson
There one is safe. In a museum or in a lap or in a tree. Perhaps under the bedclothes. But the best thing of all is to sit high up in a tree, that is if one isn't still inside one's Mummy's tummy.

There one is safe. In a museum or in a lap or in a tree. Perhaps under the bedclothes. But the best thing of all is to sit high up in a tree, that is if one isn't still inside one's Mummy's tummy.

Tove Jansson
Sniff looked at them and noticed that they were much smaller than he was, so he felt kinder and said, condescendingly.

Sniff looked at them and noticed that they were much smaller than he was, so he felt kinder and said, condescendingly. "Hullo. Nice to see you.

Tove Jansson
How easy it is to love.

How easy it is to love.

Tove Jansson
Does your sister read our books?” Anna wanted to know.
“No. She reads literature.

Does your sister read our books?” Anna wanted to know. “No. She reads literature.

Tove Jansson