Rodari: my tools of the trade


Published on Feb 29, 2020


Gianni Rodari, the Grammar of fantasy, Einaudi

The Grammar of fantasy is the theoretical manifesto, perhaps the most important and interesting of Gianni Rodari: a series of writings, created as a notebook of notes, then became a structured intervention, and finally flowed into a volume, now essential stage in the knowledge of this author. A manual of creative writing? A pamphlet on the art of writing stories for the boys? The Grammar of fantasy is a treasure chest that collects (and returns), many of the thoughts, ideas and reflections... so many that it is difficult to define in a few words: it is certainly not a theoretical manual, but rather the documentation timely, the ideas and the work on the field and with the children.

In the same mind of Course the idea of this writing has made its way in the labyrinths of the certainty and of the impressions, between the meetings and the readings, seeded with lightness, are able to germinate slowly, the insights that you are shown for the true extent they had, just in time.

Gianni Rodari, the Grammar of fantasy, Einaudi

The spark that gives life to the narrative is a reflection on the word and its centrality in the creative process, but from a dissertation which may appear theoretical that unfolds is a collection of very real, direct experiences, testimonies, writings, work done in class or in public occasions. The writings and stories of children, extracts and excerpts of novelists, scholars, and authors...

In the center the word and the creative act, which claims to have the ability to mutate, change, invent, manipulate the word itself. Why is the word? Because language is the basis for the development of mental processes from birth, and because the word knows how to be democratic, free of prejudice.

Write stories for Rodari is an act of freedom, carefree, his is playful approach that turns what is (scientific lectures, studies, etc.) in a, in a practice that is understandable and simple for even children (you have in mind to play the game “who as a thing”, that was the writing on the mad of paper, folding it and passing it to a teammate?!).

No restrictions, no limits to your writing, even when it is full of non-sense (limerick) or, on the contrary, filters moralistic introiettati: all stories deserve to be told, if someone wants to tell, even the ones that speak of bodily functions, or those wedges profanity!

"With the children, in their interest, we should be careful not to limit the possibilities of the absurd"

Creative freedom does not mean, however, reduce the writing and the imagination of a spontaneous reaction to the surface: to write, you should exercise thought and have tools, tools – as the cards of Propp proposed with full knowledge and made their own thanks to practice and the customization.

"Why use the "cards of Propp" and not other cards with the fantasy, or groups of images taken at the event, or a series of words from the vocabulary? it seems evident to me: any "paper of Propp" represents not only itself, but an entire cross-section of the fairy-tale world, a swarm of echoes, fantastic for children who have had some familiarity with fairy tales, their language, their themes"

From this consideration, it appears evident how the write is in close correlation with the reading: who reads will know how to write, and it is for this reason that children are writers potentially for a living! The practice of creative, in fact, has at its centre the child's capacity to transfigure the world, to innervarlo of thoughts, to make mistakes, to laugh without feeling the weight of judgment.

Gianni Rodari, the Grammar of fantasy, Einaudi

No shortage of hints, in-depth and well-documented sources and to the reading that most struck the author, the sources cited not only as data but as a reflection and study: what is the value of the folk tales in the imagination? What is the difference between the approach of the brothers Grimm and hans christian Andersen? Rodari is not sudden, but it makes the personal interpretations and studies, showing clearly his thoughts on children's literature, contemporary and classic.

Rodari encourages a disconnect from the strand, uplifting and genuinely instructive that reigned in his time (only then?!) and proposes the structure fairy-tale as the most appropriate to ears of children: stories devoid of hypocrisy and, much more true of many stories reassuring!

"The structure of the fairy tale not only follows that one of the rites of initiation, but also in some way repeated in the structure of infantile experience, which is a result of missions and duels, difficult trials and disappointments, according to some passages that are inevitable".

This consideration is made manifest as the imagination to Rodari does not derive directly from the actual experience of daily of the child, innervandola of the importance and extraordinariness.

"The imagination plays between the real and the imaginary, in a swing that I think is instructive, even essential to get to the bottom of the real, a woman's breast".

In this sense, the writing and the invention of stories become dramatization, because the child lives in the places and lives of the objects and the spaces that converge in the narrative.

A book “theoretical” which I believe is essential for learning to read and understand the books which we offer to the children, a well-written exciting and provocative to the naturalness with which Rodari is able to put the center of the story the need that children have (but that we all have) to listen to stories and imagine.

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