Oggi sono rientrata dalle ferie: è bello riprendere a lavorare con calma, con l’ufficio ancora un po’ silenzioso e il telefono che squilla pochissimo.
Tornando a casa ho visto un tweet della libreria Strand che mi ha fatto scoprire un intervento di Neil Gaiman sull’importanza della lettura: eccolo sul sito del Guardian (edit: l’ho trovato anche tradotto in italiano qui – forse non è una traduzione impeccabile, ma per chi non legge in inglese può essere un punto di partenza).
Copio uno dei miei passaggi preferiti:
«Fiction has two uses. Firstly, it’s a gateway drug to reading. The drive to know what happens next, to want to turn the page, the need to keep going, even if it’s hard, because someone’s in trouble and you have to know how it’s all going to end … that’s a very real drive. And it forces you to learn new words, to think new thoughts, to keep going. To discover that reading per se is pleasurable. Once you learn that, you’re on the road to reading everything. And reading is key. There were noises made briefly, a few years ago, about the idea that we were living in a post-literate world, in which the ability to make sense out of written words was somehow redundant, but those days are gone: words are more important than they ever were: we navigate the world with words, and as the world slips onto the web, we need to follow, to communicate and to comprehend what we are reading. People who cannot understand each other cannot exchange ideas, cannot communicate, and translation programs only go so far.
And the second thing fiction does is to build empathy. When you watch TV or see a film, you are looking at things happening to other people. Prose fiction is something you build up from 26 letters and a handful of punctuation marks, and you, and you alone, using your imagination, create a world and people it and look out through other eyes. You get to feel things, visit places and worlds you would never otherwise know. You learn that everyone else out there is a me, as well. You’re being someone else, and when you return to your own world, you’re going to be slightly changed.
Empathy is a tool for building people into groups, for allowing us to function as more than self-obsessed individuals.
You’re also finding out something as you read vitally important for making your way in the world. And it’s this:
The world doesn’t have to be like this. Things can be different».
E poi, importantissimo:
«Do not discourage children from reading because you feel they are reading the wrong thing. Fiction you do not like is a route to other books you may prefer. And not everyone has the same taste as you.
Well-meaning adults can easily destroy a child’s love of reading: stop them reading what they enjoy, or give them worthy-but-dull books that you like, the 21st-century equivalents of Victorian “improving” literature. You’ll wind up with a generation convinced that reading is uncool and worse, unpleasant».
È un testo bellissimo che stamperei e attaccherei ovunque per tenerlo a portata di mano e rileggerlo ogni tanto: è il modo migliore per iniziare un altro “anno scolastico” di lavoro editoriale. :)
[E il gruppo di lettura? Ci siamo quasi. Presto novità.]