The philosophy behind Maringa’s play ‘Neverland – the city of books’

Parents who were willing to take their children to the Barracão Theater between the 30/04th and 04/05th of the last week, certainly, like me, were surprised. the piece from maringa Neverland – the city of booksmasterfully directed by Willian Farias, although classified as childish, had a strong potential to please adults as well, in addition, in my view, it has a philosophical background to reflect on the reality and the technology. That’s what I’m going to do next.

It is not real the impression that the name ‘neverland‘ that appears in the title is a direct reference to ‘Never Land’ from the classic book Peter Pan (later popularized by the films of disney and many other productions) or even that it is a reference to the name of Michael Jackson’s mansion in California. THE ‘neverland‘ here is rather a dystopian and humorous critique of the literary decay of a world that reads little.

My intention in going to Teatro Barracão to see this play was just to escape the expensive programs and, therefore, amuse my children. I had no premeditated intention of writing this simple chronicle, but I left there so full of life that here I am exercising what I considered to be the two greatest teachings stimulated by the play itself, they are: α) to reflect on the hope of a better future – and it should be said that the Greeks considered hope the virtue of hard times (and I believe that the fact that we live in difficult times no one will disagree); β) the practice of writing it’s the literary stimulusbecause the play, in a good-natured way, tries to make children more interested in books.

But, I ask myself: has the reader realized that the moral intentions of the play Neverland – the city of books were they quite complex? Now, getting our children, who live in a world full of games, YouTube channels and TikTok dances, to be interested in books is, to say the least, a very difficult pretension. Is it because books are boring or because new technologies are much more attractive? Certainly a little of both.

The problem with books is that sometimes they don’t make sense for a world as immediate as ours has become – and there’s nothing wrong with that – however, it’s not easy to reconcile the modern spirit with the slowness of the understanding of letters. , the meanings of phrases, sentences and narrations, so that, finally, they can perceive themselves and find some pleasure in the fantasy of creating and telling stories. It is much easier not to like books when everything in the world is more attractive, and the very concept of a book, that is, an agglomeration of pages, words and letters, is no longer attractive in itself. On the other hand, the problem with games and entertainment channels is that they are sometimes meaningless and don’t teach anything good (not that this doesn’t happen with many books since there are a lot of bad books written by bad people), however, the simple fact that modern entertainment tends to be short-sighted already assumes that it is often thoughtless and of a very low intellectual load (which also doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have good content out there).

Another important fact is that many children’s stories, such as the aforementioned Peter Pan, have long since become film interpretations, and so, that’s why children say to us: “why am I going to read the book if there is a movie?”. Furthermore, there will always be youtubers summing it all up in short 10 or 15 minute videos. Hence a new question arises: why would a child be interested in the hard way to read a complete book, which could take weeks or months to finish, when he can just watch a quick video and understand everything in a few minutes?

What people generally don’t understand about books is that the order of events doesn’t matter in them – in other words, there are no spoilers in literature, as they exist in cinema – what happens is that in literature, what matters is the how the authors present the sequence of events. This is not only true in the genre of fantasy and novels, but also in more difficult texts such as philosophical and even eminently scientific ones.

Therefore, writing is a matter of style and reading is a way of understanding the writer’s style. So reading is borrowing the writer’s thoughts and momentarily taking his or her ideas as your own, and that’s what kids will never find in YouTube or TikTok videos. Books are also always the testimony of the author’s historical context, that is, of his location, his intentions and even his ideological interests, etc. That’s what books are ultimately about. They are a way of materializing ideas making them eternal – however, if these ideas are not read, then they die along with their creators.

In my opinion, the message from Neverland – the city of books when it makes children think about the why studiesmaking them understand in an abstract way that every time a book is despised, a page of the history of literature ceases to exist and, along with it, its content, which can be a nice character, like a princess, a queen, a king, a fairy, or even better, a ‘godmother fado‘ or one ‘sir paper head (as are the representations of two of the characters in the play), but nevertheless – and this is the main message – this is always unwanted, since any of these characters, ceasing to exist, also carry with them an opportunity for art, for knowledge and the care of a fantastic new world.

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