Try to be happy


Published on Apr 24, 2019


1/6Silvia Vecchini - Sualzo, 21 days at the end of the world, The castoro2/6Silvia Vecchini - Sualzo, 21 days at the end of the world, The castoro3/6Silvia Vecchini - Sualzo, 21 days at the end of the world, The castoro4/6Silvia Vecchini - Sualzo, 21 days at the end of the world, The castoro5/6Silvia Vecchini - Sualzo, 21 days at the end of the world, The beaver

Adolescence is a period full of tragedies, and I say this with respectful truth. For this I will disturb the simplistic happy ending that often many of the narrators adults attach themselves to stories very complicated, painful and tenderly scenose of young adolescents.

The stories of teenagers, narrated by the adult sailing in the sea of drama, and then often quit or with a happy ending that restores a situation considered to be balanced or in the middle of the tide of pain, without any hope or look to the future.

It is as if the adult is no longer able to stand next to the unease, rebellion and fatigue of young people: there are no words able to accompany them and then you would prefer to bask in the lamentation or rhetoric, adolescent or even refrain from speaking. Silvia Vecchini and Sualzo, instead, show an attitude that is interesting, respectful, hopeful, and finally an adult.

21 days at the end of the mondoha all the traditional ingredients of the adolescent drama: a friendship shattered, a dead mother, a father who is gone, a life in the suburbs, the desire to fall in love, the fear of not being accepted...

The research and construction of their own identity, that represent the heart of the young adolescents, are the center and heart of the narrative. The two protagonists, Lisa and Ale are forced to deal with a personal story real, and then also made up of so many ugliness and pain.

The comic tells the entire story through the words and thoughts of Lisa, in the captions to find room for his thoughts. It's summer, missing 21 days in August and in the quiet days idle in the camp where he worked, and his mother, appears Ale, a friend disappeared for some years; the Friend of Lisa.

The mysteries and the not-called cross in the dialogues: the point of view is not omniscient, of course, but is focused on Lisa. We live in his dramas, his thoughts, his fear, his life. There is karate, a reference point and a real discipline, which accompanies Lisa and gives meaning and rigour of his days, but then there is all the rest: the friend is almost deaf to the margins of the company, the afternoons, the silent (and how much silence in this comic!) working at the campsite bar, the chirping of cicadas and the old man a little crazy waiting for the end of the world, the terror of the dogs, and the fries that become the lunch spiluccato on the couch in dim light. And then there are the unexpected: Ale ripiombato in that abandoned house, the deer in the pine forest, the memories that resurface, the project of the raft.

The boys discover that they are strong ("I care for myself") and then very faint and then again the strong and weak together. The euphoria and joy blend into a grey lumpy mixed in with the terror, anger, fear, frustration and silence. The narrative focused never puts the hat explanatory to the events, not judge them, not re-reads them, directs them, so complacent and superior: we are at the mercy of the tides existential of our protagonist, through a seamless and well-orchestrated narrative. Lisa, however, is not a character helpless, karate, him she taught, and the move is always positive: Lisa, question, part, observes, and asks again, reflecting, trying to understand. The three weeks of summer are full of events large and small that help children to grow, because it revealed to them many truths of the heart and of life that maybe the baby could not understand. Lisa and Ale are growing, because they want to do it. You will discover that friendship is a resource if it is based on truth and not on appearances ("sometimes the things not said explode like fireworks"), and that learning to live with your fears you can do it better together, because the other is a resource, you will discover that even adults can be partners, because they share the same labours, and that forgiveness – of self and of others – is an exercise you need to grow.

The two authors are able to address and propose themes for hard, tough, and victorious confrontation of the chest and giving them a voice without fear ("so I understood, that after death there was this cruel thing that could happen. That was happening to me for the second time. And that is that people could simply walk away without looking for you ever more"), without complacency or indulgence. At the same time, however, does not claim to give an answer to the deep questions and existential-of the boys (because my mother committed suicide? Because my father is gone? You do you love me?), but this is not a yellow-bellied abdication or a lack of words, and the same happy ending (which there is) does not have the function of the peace maker final: the restlessness remains, but there is a horizon, given by a certain hope.

"Raised forever and try to be happy."

A beautiful graphic novel, real, realistic, but more real. An eventful history and a mysterious awareness of himself.

From the age of 10.

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