Human-animal relationships, silliness, and queer homemaking in Sven Nordqvist’s Pettson and Findus

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Abstract

This article argues that the picture book series Pettson and Findus by Sven Nordqvist can be a valuable resource when looking at ethics of matter and thinking through relationships with the more-than-human. Pettson and Findus is a series of picture books written and illustrated by Sven Nordqvist. The books depict the relationship between old man Pettson and his cat Findus, who live in an old farmhouse in the south of Sweden together with chickens, invisible “muckles” and a variety of other creatures and people. The books centre on relatively mundane activities, made into small adventures by the various different creatures. This article analyses the Pettson and Findus series through Donna Haraway’s analysis of human animal relationships in When Species Meet (2008) and calls for the making of oddkin in Staying with the Trouble (2016). This article, using Will McKeithen’s analysis in Queer Ecologies of the Home and Monica Flegel’s Pets and domesticity in Victorian culture, argues that Pettson and Findus live in a queer kind of household, and participate in queer home making. Using Jack Halberstam’s analysis in The Queer Art of Failure (2011) this article centres Pettson as a figure that is both queer and silly, and through this queer silliness creates certain openings for queer community with the more-than-human, and the making of oddkin.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-69
Number of pages15
JournalMATTER: Journal of New Materialist Research
Volume8
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • matter
  • animal ethics
  • queer
  • Children's literature

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