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24 August 2016 @ 05:45 pm
an introvert's guide to fiction  
Oh gosh, I like this line: "Schulz knew that shyness has no narrative arc: the shy just have to carry on being shy."

And I love this bit about the Moomins: "But the Moomins themselves are more successful role models for the shy. They like to wander in the forest alone, enjoying its silence and stillness, or to burrow into warm, private spaces. But they sulk and skulk only fleetingly. Mostly they retreat so as to think deeply and make something – a painting, a poem or a boat carved out of bark – as a way of whittling meaning out of a frightening world. Jansson’s lesson is not that shy people should come out of their shells; it is that they should embrace that shyness and put it to artful use."


[One of my favorite childhood books was Comet in Moominland - my mother brought it home in a mixed bag from a library book sale, so it was a while before I realized that there was a series of books involving Moomins! Consequently, Comet is the only one I know well, even though I've read many of the others; for a long time it was the only one I owned, and so the only one I could easily reread. Then, too, something about the…wry doom? pragmatic anxiety? cheerful foreboding? of the book spoke to me as a somewhat anxious child who, for a while (after a science video shown in class with a less than clear timeline), was afraid that the sun was about to turn into a red giant every time it set, and life on earth was therefore over. Seeing the Moomins fear the comet but then survive it was important to me.]

[I also had this great Peanuts anthology that I used to reread all the time; I liked things that were wry and gentle and a little bit melancholy, apparently. At least a part of me did.]