all about trolls

Illustration by Rudolf Koivu, “The troll and the shepherdess” in “Matka Satumaahan” (A Trip to the Land of Fairytales) by Raul Roine, Otava, Helsinki 1954

Sometimes I wonder if some readers think I’m silly when I write about my interest in folk legends, myths and fairy tales. I enjoy these for some light-hearted posts to intermingle with all this serious art stuff and to please my inner child, right?

Well, this item in Helsingin Sanomat International makes me feel a lot more intelligent:

Finland has received what appears to be the first doctoral dissertation on traditional forest trolls. Master of Philosophy Camilla Asplund Ingemark, 30, has researched the subject for six years. She will defend her doctoral dissertation, which is classified as a work on folklore, at the Åbo Akademi University in Turku on Friday. The study describes the world of trolls according to the beliefs in the folklore of Swedish-speaking Finns.

This doctoral dissertation is a part of a broader magic and troll boom in literature and the visual arts. The adventures of trolls were also recounted in the novel Ennen päivänlaskua ei voi (‘Before sundown you cannot’) by Johanna Sinisalo. Her trolls are a species that is a cross of cats and monkeys. Sinisalo was awarded the Finlandia Prize for her work in 2000.

The troll has been seen as a humorous phenomenon or a symbol of fears.
But Tove Jansson’s ultra-sympathetic Moomintroll is a different story altogether.

Facts about Trolls & Witches
Moominworld and author Tove Jansson* (link has since expired)
Not Before Sundown (Troll) by Johanna Sinisalo
And who can forget The Lord of the Rings phenomena!

February 4, 2005 in Books, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, Folk Legends & Myths by Marja-Leena