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CONFERENCIA MAGISTRAL 3:

LA LITERATURA
COMO UNA CASA
HOSPITALARIA
/ master conference 3:
LITERATURE AS A
HOSPITABLE HOME

MARA TERESA ANDRUETTO ARGENTINA / ARGENTINA


Naci en Arroyo Cabral, en 1954. Es narradora, ensayista y promotora Andruetto was born in Arroyo Cabral in 1954. She is a storyteller,
de la lectura. Ganadora del Premio Hans Christian Andersen en 2012, essayist and a promoter of reading. She was the winner of the Hans
Mara Teresa Andruetto es una de las narradoras ms importantes de Christian Andersen Award in 2012 and is considered one of the most
la literatura infantil y juvenil. important narrators of childrens literature.

Hija de inmigrantes italianos, motivo que detona su novela Stefano, Daughter of Italian immigrants, which sparked her novel Stefano,
Mara Teresa Andruetto es una autora prolfica que ha dedicado su vida Maria Teresa Andruetto is a prolific author who has devoted her life
a la literatura para nios y jvenes. Comenz su ascendente carrera en to childrens and youth literature. She began her rising career in 1992
1992, con su novela Tama, con la que obtuvo el Premio Municipal Luis with her novel Tama, with which she won the Municipal Luis de Tejeda
de Tejeda, premio que deton la publicacin de varias novelas como award. This prize triggered the publishing of several other novels such
Veladuras (Norma, 2005), La Mujer en Cuestin (DeBolsillo 2009), o as Veladuras (Norma, 2005), La Mujer en Cuestin (The Woman in
libros de cuentos como Todo Movimiento es Cacera (Alcin, 2002) o Question) (DeBolsillo, 2009), or compilations of short stories such
los libros de poemas Palabras al rescoldo (Argos, 1993), Beatriz (Argos, asTodo Movimiento es Cacera (All Movement is a Hunt) (Alcyone,
2005), Pavese/Kodak (Ediciones del dock, 2008), Sueo Americano 2002). She also has published books of poems such as Palabras
(Caballo negro editora, 2009) y Tendedero (CILC, 2009); la obra de al rescoldo (Words to the Embers) (Argos, 1993), Beatriz (Argos,
teatro Enero (Ferreyra editor, 2005) y numerosos libros para nios y 2005), Pavese/ Kodak (Dock Editions, 2008), SueoAmericano
jvenes, entre otros El anillo encantado (Sudamericana, 1993), Huellas (American Dream) (Caballo Negro Editions, 2009) and Tendedero
en la arena (Sudamericana, 1998), La mujer vampiro (Sudamericana, (The Clothes Line) (CICL, 2009); the play Enero (January) (Ferreyra
2000), El rbol de lilas (Comunicarte, 2006) y El incendio (El Eclipse, Editions, 2005) and numerous childrens books including, El anillo
2008). Reuni su experiencia en talleres de escritura en dos libros encantado (The Enchanted Ring)(Sudamericana, 1993), Huellas en
realizados en colaboracin, La escritura en el taller (Anaya, 2008) y El la arena (Footprints in the Sand) (Sudamericana, 1998), La mujer
taller de escritura en la escuela (Comunicarte, 2010) y sus reflexiones vampiro (The Vampire Woman) (Sudamericana, 2000), El rbol
en Hacia una literatura sin adjetivos (Comunicarte, 2009). de lilas (The Lilac Tree) (Comunicarte, 2006) and El incendio (The

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Ha sido finalista del Premio Rmulo Gallegos por su novela Lengua Fire) (The Eclipse, 2008). She culminated her experience in writing
Madre (2001) y ganadora del Premio Iberoamericano SM de Literatura workshops and published two books produced in collaboration, La
Infantil y juvenil (2010), El Premio Novela del Fondo Nacional de las escritura en el taller (Writing in the Workshop)(Anaya, 2008) and El
Artes, el White Ravens de la Internacional Jugendbibliothek, Lista de taller de escritura en la escuela (The Writing Workshop in School)
Honor de IBBY, entre muchos ms. (Comunicarte, 2010) and her reflections in Hacia una literatura sin
adjetivos (Towards a Literature without Adjectives) (Comunicarte,
Andruetto destaca como escritora por su gran sensibilidad y 2009).
preocupacin para que se preserve la experiencia literaria como un
ejercicio de libertad del que nadie debe estar excluido. Por ello, ha estado She was a finalist of the Rmulo Gallegos Prize for her novel Lengua
ligada a la lectura en todas sus vertientes: desde hace ms de treinta Madre (Mother Tongue) (2001) and winner of the SM Childrens
aos ha luchado por el derecho a la lectura en los nios, trabajando en and Youth Latin American Literature Award (2010), the National
la formacin de profesores en promocin lectora y escritura creativa, Endowment for the Arts Novel Prize, the White Ravens of the Jugen-
estructurando planes de lectura municipales y nacionales como dbibliothek International, the IBBY Honors List, among many others.
el PROPALE (Programa para la Lectura/Universidad Nacional de As a writer, Andruetto stands out for her great awareness and concern
Crdoba), as como docente. A la par, fue una de las fundadoras de to preserve the literary experience as an exercise of freedom that no
CEDILIJ (Centro de Difusin e Investigacin de Literatura Infantil y one should be excluded from. Therefore, she has been linked to
Juvenil en Crdoba). reading in all its forms: for over thirty years she has fought for the
right for childrens literacy, training teachers in promoting reading
and creative writing, helping to structure local and national literacy
plans such as PROPALE (Reading Program/ University of Crdoba)
as well as teacher capacitating. At the same time, she was one of
the founders of CEDILIJ (Dissemination and Research Center of
Childrens Literature in Cordoba).

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CONFERENCIA MAGISTRAL 3: MASTER CONFERENCE 3:


LA LITERATURA COMO UNA CASA LITERATURE AS A
HOSPITALARIA HOSPITABLE HOME
Que todos signifique todos, pero qu May everyone really mean everyone, but, what
es todos? is everyone?
Por debajo de su obra Underpinnings of his work

Caa la nieve, y la noche se vena encima. Era Snow was falling, and evening was coming. It was
el da de Nochebuena. En medio del fro y de la the day of Christmas Eve. Amid the cold and the
oscuridad, una pobre nia pas por la calle con darkness, a poor little girl walked along the street
la cabeza y los pies desnuditos. Tena zapatos with her head and feet uncovered. She had shoes
cuando sali de su casa; pero no le haban on when she left her house; but they had not been
servido por mucho tiempo. Eran unas zapatillas of much use for very long. They were enormous
enormes que su madre ya haba usado, tan slippers that her mother had worn. So big they were
grandes, que la nia las perdi al atravesar that the little girl lost them when she crossed the
la calle... La nia caminaba, pues, con los street. The little girl walked with her tiny bare feet
piececitos desnudos que estaban rojos y azules red and blue from the cold. She carried a few dozen
del fro; llevaba en el delantal, que era muy viejo, boxes of matches in her old apron and had one box
algunas docenas de cajas de fsforos y tena en in her hand as a sample. It was a bad day; there
la mano una de ellas como muestra. Era un mal were no buyers, and the little girl had not made
da: ningn comprador se haba presentado, y one cent.and so the story of The Little Match
la nia no haba ganado ni un centavo... aqu el Girl begins.
comienzo de La pequea vendedora de fsforos.
I read Andersens name for the first time on the
Le por primera vez el nombre de Andersen en cover of a book crowded with illustrations splashed
la tapa de un libro troquelado con ilustraciones with glitter., one of those adaptations of poor
salpicadas de brillantina, una de aquellas quality in which the depth, complexity, subtlety and
adaptaciones de muy baja calidad en las que la richness of the Danish writer had been lost (due
hondura, complejidad y sutileza del escritor dans to a succession of simplifications). But with that
haban perdido (por un camino de sucesivas sim- and everything else, there are The Ugly Duckling,
plificaciones), su riqueza. Pero as y todo, ah The Little Match Girl, The Red Shoes, stories that
estaban el patito feo, la vendedora de fsforos, it may seem that we do not need to read because
la nia prisionera de sus zapatillas rojas, cuentos they have been read to us by those who came
que pareciera que ni necesitamos leer porque los before us. Characters in absolute loneliness,
han ledo por nosotros quienes nos precedieron. abandoned wanting to enter into the festivities of
Personajes en absoluta soledad, abandonados the world even though the world does not exactly
que quieren entrar a la fiesta del mundo aunque offer a celebration. Those adaptations were so
el mundo no ofrezca precisamente una fiesta. simplified that they became offensive, but they did
De tan simplificadas eran ofensivas aquellas not stop my steady interest as a child and that of
adaptaciones, pero no impidieron que mi inters de numerous girls and boys of my age, in an essential
nia quedara fijado, como el de tantos otros chicos aspect of the work of our writer. Perhaps the only
y chicas de mi poca, en un aspecto esencial de la aspect of Andersens works that survived all of
obra de nuestro escritor, tal vez el nico aspecto the amputations and adaptations to which they
que logr sobrevivir a todas las amputaciones y were subjected is exclusion. By exclusion I make
adaptaciones a las que se vio sometida. Me refiero reference to the expulsion that his characters suffer
a la exclusin, a la expulsin que padecen sus and their tremendous necessity for inclusion that

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personajes y a la tremenda necesidad de inclusin they feel within.


que los habita.
May Everyone really Mean Everyone! is the motto
Todos significa todos dice el lema de este of this conference, and this is what we seem to
congreso y eso parecen pedirnos (con humillacin, be asked (with humiliation, begging, or screaming)
ruego o grito) la muchacha del mar, el soldadito de by The Little Mermaid, The Steadfast Tin Soldier
plomo, el patito feo, entre otros cuentos del mayor and The Ugly Duckling among others authored by
escritor dans de todos los tiempos, adaptados y the most notable Danish writer of all time, stories
recortados hasta la casi desaparicin en aquellas adapted and cut apart until almost disappearing
ediciones argentinas de finales de los aos 50 completely in Argentinean editions published at
y primeros aos 60. Fuerte identificacin la de the end of the 50s and the beginning of the 60s.
tantos de nosotros con los excluidos de Andersen, So many of us identified strongly with Andersens
singulares viviendo entre extraos, diferentes en excluded characters, living alone in a world of
un mundo de iguales. Quin soy. Dnde estn equals. Who am I? Where are mine? Characters
los mos. Personajes que, como en el poema who, as in the poem by Salvatore Quasimodo are
de Salvatore Quasimodo, estn solos sobre el alone on the heart of the earth, swans in a village of
corazn de la tierra, cisnes en un pueblo de patos, ducks, mythical creatures in a human world, poorest
seres mticos en un mundo humano, pobres de of the poor in a cold and unfriendly country Like
toda pobreza en un pas helado y mezquino... Como extraterrestrial beings among earthlings, its men,
extraterrestres entre terrestres, sus hombres, women, children and animals are jerked from their
mujeres, animales y nios son arrancados de su places and thrown to the elements, expelled from
sitio, arrojados a la intemperie, expulsados de hypothetical paradises of concrete privileges.
hipotticos parasos, de concretos privilegios.
The Northamerican poet and essay writer Adrienne
A qu lugares nos llevan nuestros privilegios, Rich asks: To what places do our privileges take us
a que lugares no nos dejan ir?, se pregunta la to? To what places do they not allow us to go? We
poeta y ensayista norteamericana Adrianne Rich. pay a very high price to lessen our contact with the
Pagamos un precio muy alto para disminuir nuestro pains of others; we believe so often that it is better
contacto con el dolor de los dems; creemos tantas not to think, to not know. We create an illusion of
veces que es mejor no pensar, no saber. Ilusin de insensitivity, of self anesthesia that we imagine can
insensibilidad, de auto anestesia que imaginamos protect us, and above all protect our children. If
podra protegernos y, sobre todo, podra proteger literature allows us to enter into the hearts of others,
a nuestros hijos. Si la literatura nos permite entrar it can help us avoid living anesthetized. Anesthesia
en el corazn del otro, entonces evitarla nos va a in reading is obtained by way of a series of fixed
vayudar a vivir anestesiados. La anestesia en la formulas, stereotypes that prevent penetrating
lectura se obtiene por un camino de frmulas fijas, the surface of the textbooks and of life. This way,
estereotipos que impiden penetrar la superficie de indifference can accompany us even though we
los textos y de la vida. As, la indiferencia puede may read. Stories narrated in friendly language and
acompaarnos an leyendo. Historias narradas en harmless in the antipodes of literature, with strength
un lenguaje amable e inocuo en las antpodas de to rest in the possibility to disturb us and take us to
lo literario, cuya potencia reside en la posibilidad unexpected areas of ourselves.
de inquietarnos, de conducirnos hacia zonas
inesperadas de nosotros mismos. When a writer sits down to write he/she may
momentarily forget the concrete conditions of life,
Cuando un escritor se sienta a escribir puede que but it is precisely these conditions that have for a
olvide por un momento las condiciones concretas multitude of reasons led the author to write as he/
de su vida, pero son justamente esas condiciones she does. When writing is authentic, it is nurtured
las que por mltiples caminos lo han llevado a by the experience and vital conscientiousness of

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escribir de esa manera. La escritura, cuando es the person who writes it. Only in this way will the
verdadera, se alimenta de la experiencia y de la writing grow in itself and in the perception that
conciencia vital de quien escribe; slo de ese unites it to others, so that others become visible, and
modo puede hacer crecer en ella misma y en leave what they used to be behind (Rich). Neither
quien lee, la percepcin que la une a los otros beautiful words, careful phrases, nor the effort to
para que los otros se vuelvan visibles, dejen transmit the richness of subjectivity and who writes
de ser lo que se ha dejado atrs (Rich). No it knows, or should know that oppressive language
alcanzan las bonitas palabras ni la frase cuidada can have its own deceptive music.
ni la trama a punto para trasmitir la riqueza de
una subjetividad y quien escribe sabe o debiera The writer understands (or the reader will understand
saber que el lenguaje opresor puede incluso tener sooner or later) that what seem to be irrefutable
su engaosa msica. Quien escribe comprende truths are social constructions, advantageous for
(y lo comprender tarde o temprano su lector) some and damaging to others, and that these
que lo que parecen verdades irrebatibles son constructions may be the subjects of discussion.
construcciones sociales, ventajosas para unos y Every Little girl and boy, every adolescent needs a
perjudiciales para otros y que esas construccio- community that recognizes him/her, and needs to
nes se pueden poner en discusin. Todo nio o feel that the experience that he/she may get from
nia, todo joven, necesita de una comunidad que reading (that of a human being in a different context,
lo reconozca, necesita sentir que esa experiencia in other conditions of life) can be his/hers, the
a la que puede acceder en la lectura (la de un ser experiences and conditions for which he/she may
humano en otro contexto, en otras condiciones have been rewarded or punished. Readers (adults
de vida) hubiera podido ser la suya, experiencia y or children) resort to fiction to expand the limits
condiciones por las que podran haberlo premiado of our existence, because we need to experience
o castigado. Los lectores (adultos o nios) vamos other lives and other worlds. Works of fiction are
a la ficcin para expandir los lmites de nuestra a building of worlds installed in another time and
existencia, porque necesitamos acceder space, in the time and space in which we live. The
construction of artificial worlds which we read
a otras vidas y a otros mundos, ya que las ficciones about, or listen to interrupts our lives and forces
son construccin de mundos, instalacin de otro us to perceive other lives. One feels as if one can
tiempo y de otro espacio en este tiempo y este almost touch the infinite possibilities that exist in
espacio en que vivimos. Construccin de mundos, any human situation by writing and reading fiction.
artificios cuya lectura o escucha interrumpen One is placed before the challenge to escape the
nuestras vidas y nos obligan a percibir otras asphyxia of stereotypes, to perforate everyday life
vidas. Al escribir y al leer ficciones, se vuelven in order to allow the complexity of life to enter into
palpables las infinitas posibilidades que existen en these invented beings. When this is achieved,
cualquier situacin humana y se nos pone ante el we have a book that is set apart, an animal that is
desafo de escapar a la asfixia de los estereotipos, complete to say it like the poet Rodolfo Godino, a
de perforar el lugar comn para dejar entrar en book, finally true as is life itself.
esos seres inventados la complejidad de la vida.
Cuando eso se logra, estamos ante un libro que In a world population estimated to be 7 billion
nos descoloca, un animal completo para decirlo persons, according to World Bank statistics, 1.3
con el poeta Rodolfo Godino, un libro, en fin, billion are living below the poverty line, which is
verdadero como la vida. to say we live in a world where almost 2 out of 10
persons dont have the basic necessities covered.
En una poblacin mundial estimada en 7000 In an unjust world what costs of art are paid for
millones de personas, segn datos del Banco when it is separated from the misery and wealth of
mundial, 1.300 millones estn por debajo del the society of which it forms a part?
umbral de la pobreza, es decir casi dos personas The stories that I write are always an extension of

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de cada diez. O sea que vivimos en un mundo en el me, they come from my life. At times more disguised
que dos de cada diez personas no tienen cubiertas than others. The life of every writer exists in his
sus necesidades bsicas, en un mundo as de works, says author Agustn Fernndez Paz who
injusto. Qu costos paga el arte cuando se separa is present here today. To those of us who write,
de la sociedad de la que forma parte, la sociedad the word obligation causes us resentment, a word
cuyas miserias y riquezas lo alimentan? Las that in literature has been stigmatized, but what
historias que escribo son siempre una extensin does it mean to be obligated in literature? When is
de m mismo, salen de mi vida. Unas veces ms writing an obligation? Every work is an adventure of
enmascarada que otras, la vida de cualquier dialogue with the world, in search of a non-dogmatic
escritor late por debajo de sus obras, dice el personal truth. In the dysfunctional, the short-sigh-
escritor Agustn Fernndez Paz, aqu presente. tedness and scarcity a writer has something to tell
A quienes escribimos, nos produce resquemor la us about a society, a time period, geography or a
palabra compromiso, una palabra que, en lo que culture. Griselda Gambaro states that art has no
respecta a la literatura, ha sido estigmatizada, pero sense if it is not directed at a society that is nurtured
qu quiere decir comprometerse en literatura? by its own language. This reminds us that the work
Cundo una escritura es comprometida? Toda is not only completed with words and with doubts
obra es la aventura de una conciencia dialogando just as the Works of Andersen are not done with
con el mundo, en busca de una verdad personal, just words. Nurtured by the complexity of ugliness
no dogmtica. En la disfuncionalidad, la opacidad of, infant poverty, the alcoholism of his mother, the
y el enrarecimiento, un escritor tiene algo que multitude of scarcities in his life, and the tremendous
decirnos sobre una sociedad, un tiempo, una desire that he had to be recognized, Andersen
geografa, una cultura. El arte no tiene sentido was fed by the sum of virtues and unfortunate life
si no considera que se dirige a una sociedad experiences that lived within him, just as every man
de la que su discurso se alimenta, dice Griselda and woman on earth. Andersens stories reflect
Gambaro, lo que nos recuerda que la obra no a very high degree of exclusion. After almost a
se hace slo con palabras y sin dudas no solo century and a half after his death we continue to
con palabras est hecha la obra de Andersen. read the fictional writings of a man whose name
Alimentados por su complejo de fealdad, por la has brought honor to this major prize and honor
pobreza de infancia, el alcoholismo de su madre, to us. Andersen dedicated the story of The Match
las mltiples carencias y la tremenda necesidad Girl to his mother and the extreme poverty that she
que tuvo de ser reconocido, alimentados digo- lived with. In the story, about The Match Girl who
por esa suma de virtudes y mezquindades que lo during the last night of the year in a city covered
habitaron como a cada hombre o mujer sobre la with snow, lights each one of her matches that she
tierra, sus cuentos reflejan un punctum muy alto has been unable to sell one by one, just as it is not
de exclusin, en ficciones que a casi siglo y medio good for anything anyway, is nurtured in alcoholism
de su muerte no dejamos de leer, las ficciones del she found herself falling down in order to handle
escritor cuyo nombre honra este premio mayor the cold. Sometimes I feel like if I could just remove
y nos honra. Andersen dedic a su madre, a la the characters from underneath the ice that reality
extrema pobreza de su madre, el cuento sobre la has enveloped them in, that maybe I will find that
pequea vendedora de fsforos que en la ltima I am actually uncovering myself, says the Israeli
noche del ao, en la ciudad cubierta de nieve, writer David Grossman in his book Write In the
enciende de uno en uno los fsforos que no ha Darkness. Today we know that Andersen was a
logrado vender, as como No sirve para nada, se great writer because looking at oneself, observing
alimenta en el alcoholismo en que la vio desba- what is more your own, you may see beyond your
rrancarse para sortear el fro. A veces me siento conditions and discover something that you have
como si sacara a los personajes de debajo del not yet expressed, or your expression has not yet
hielo con que la realidad los ha envuelto, pero found its aesthetic shape.
quizs ms que otra cosa es a m mismo a quien

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estoy desenterrando, dice el escritor israel David Going Beyond Dreams


Grossman, en su libro Escribir en la oscuridad.
Hoy sabemos que Andersen es un gran escritor Even though for at least ten years I had worked in
porque mirndose a s mismo, observando lo and with childrens books, I first heard the name
ms propiamente suyo, logr ver ms all de su of Jella Lepman in 1993 by way of Evelin Hhne,
condicin hasta descubrir algo que en su tiempo the Director of Scholarships at the Internationale
todava no haba sido expresado o cuya expresin Jugenbibliotek of Munich. Lepman founded the In-
no haba encontrado an su forma esttica. ternationale Jugenbibliotekof Munich in 1949 and
was its Director until 1957. Without the works of
Por encima de los sueos this writer, journalist, and Jewish political activist
Aunque haca por lo menos diez aos que who also founded IBBY in 1953, and received the
trabajaba en y con libros para nios, escuch por first Andersen Award in 1954 the field of childrens
primera vez el nombre de Jella Lepman en 1993, literature would be something totally different from
de boca de Evelin Hhne, mi directora de beca what we know. Mostly, we owe to her the fact that
en la Internationale Jugendbibliotek de Munich. today we consider books to be so necessary in the
Sin el trabajo de Lepman escritora, periodista y lives of children, and maybe we should challenge
activista poltica judo alemana que fund en 1949 the thought that the privilege of accessing written
la Internationale Jugend Bibliothek de Munich y literature from a young age should be reserved for
la dirigi hasta 1957, que fund el IBBY en 1953 some children from only some of the sectors of
y recibi el primer premio Andersen en 1954, el society. Books are necessary; especially necessary
campo de la literatura destinada a nios y jvenes is access to art and literature as an inalienable right
sera algo completamente distinto de lo que extended to everyone in an effort and a conviction -
conocemos. En buena parte se le debe a ella que in line with Antonio Cndido - to include them in the
hoy consideremos a los libros tan necesarios en same catalog of valuables that we ask for ourselves.
la vida de los nios y quizs tambin le debamos The right of delivery to a fabled universe sustained
el desafo de pensar que el privilegio de acceder by an indispensable nutrient for our sprit, because
desde temprano a la literatura escrita no debiera it is not possible to have spiritual balance without
estar reservado slo a algunos nios de algunos harmony, perhaps there can be no social balance
sectores en la escala social. Necesarios los libros, without literature. Reading and writing enrich our
especialmente necesario el acceso al arte y la subjectivity because it places us in a position to
literatura como derecho inalienable, extendido a view ourselves, it provokes us to question, it helps
todos nuestros semejantes, en el esfuerzo y la us to think and to feel, it puts ourselves in question,
conviccin en lnea con Antonio Cndido-, de it permits us to allow ourselves other experiences
incluirlos en el mismo catlogo de bienes que and try to understand other subjectivities. The
reivindicamos para nosotros mismos. Derecho exploration of personal aesthetic truth is what art
de entrega a un universo fabulado cuyo alimento offers to us, for that reason literature is not a place
es indispensable para nuestro psiquismo, porque of certainties, but a territory of doubt and nothing
as como no es posible tener equilibrio psquico sin has more anarchy and revulsion than the possibility
la ensoacin, tal vez no haya equilibrio social sin of us doubting to confront ourselves in order to
la literatura. La lectura y la escritura enriquecen place our certainties in question.
nuestra subjetividad porque nos ponen frente a
nosotros mismos, nos incitan a preguntas, nos Comprehension of other persons and other peoples
ayudan a pensar y a sentir, nos ponen en cuestin, was Lepmans purpose in writing A Bridge of
nos permiten acceder a otras experiencias, intentar Childrens Books, the bridge of books and children
comprender otras subjetividades. La exploracin that reflects her experience. A pioneer of reading
de una verdad esttica personal es lo que nos programs, much of our work is sustained by the
ofrece el arte, por eso la literatura no es el lugar institutions that she founded and promoted until her
de las certezas, sino el territorio de la duda y nada death. Right now we are in a place that was derived

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hay ms libertario y revulsivo que la posibilidad de from what in her day dreamed of, and it is here and
dudar, de enfrentarnos a nosotros mismos para now that I want to remember her convictions, the
poner a nuestras certezas en cuestin. place that literature occupies in the lives of persons
and communities. She knew that reading to another
Comprensin de otras personas y otros pueblos individual helped that person to understand, and to
es lo que intent Lepman con A bridge of believe that thinking of a person is similar to saving
Childrens books, el puente de libros y de nios that person, as Rodolfo Juarroz stated in one of
que refleja su experiencia. Pionera en programas his vertical poems. Politically active, and conscious
de lectura, mucho de nuestro trabajo se nutre de of her privileges and her differences, and of the
las instituciones que ella fund e impuls, hasta su obligation to emigrate to many different places with
muerte. Estamos ahora mismo en un lugar que se numerous persons due to the intolerance of others
deriva de lo que ella en su da so y entonces es Lepman never ceased in her purpose to take books
aqu donde me gustara recordar sus convicciones, to German children from various parts of the world
el lugar que ocupa la literatura en la vida de las so that they may enter in to contact with them. The
personas y los pueblos, ya que ella supo pronto hope was that they would be better prepared for
que leer al otro ayuda a comprenderlo, tal vez peace, living together, and mutual understanding.
incluso que pensar en un hombre se parece She understood that that when a person read about
a salvarlo, como dijo en uno de sus poemas the experiences of others a better understanding
verticales Rodolfo Juarroz. Polticamente activa, would be developed and the chances for peace
consciente de sus privilegios y de sus diferencias, instead of war were increased. She believed that
y de la obligacin de emigrar de muchos pueblos if the other became more human it would be more
y personas a raz de la intolerancia de otros, difficult to eliminate him/her. By placing one in
Lepman no cesa en su propsito de llevar a los the position of another in literature both writers
nios alemanes libros de diversos lugares del and readers can discover the similarities that exist
mundo de modo que, al entrar en contacto con between others and us.
ellos, estn mejor preparados para la paz, la
convivencia y la comprensin. Ella entendi que But Im not going to talk about writing about others;
quien lee la experiencia de un otro podra tal vez however, more precisely I want to talk about writing
comprenderlo y que en caso de comprenderlo, no from another by attempting to enter into their point
podr hacerle la guerra; que si ese otro se nos of view, in their perception of the world from the
vuelve ms humano, no podremos tan fcilmente heart. To write from one different from our own
desaparecerlo; que colocados por intermediacin (and looking profoundly, all others are distinct
de la literatura en el lugar de un otro, escritores y and unique) is in the first place where we dare
lectores podemos descubrir las semejanzas que to think like him, to be in his shoes for a moment.
existen entre ese otro y nosotros mismos. The direction proposed by literature is a route of
knowledge of the other and the harvest that we
Pero no hablara de escribir sobre otros, sino ms obtain en the Reading consists of getting away from
precisamente de escribir desde otro, intentando indifference because at the end of a book the writer
entrar en su punto de vista, en su percepcin del and the reader remain in doubt with a complexity of
mundo, en su corazn. Escribir desde un otro reasons, interests, virtues and defects of one who is
distinto de nosotros (y mirado en profundidad, different from oneself, they understand that it is not
todo otro es distinto y es nico) es en primer so easy to not understand their existence.
lugar atrevernos a pensar como l, a estar por un
momento en su pellejo. El camino que propone la Joseph Brodsky said I write to be understood;
literatura es un camino de conocimiento de ese we write not only in an effort to understand, but
otro y la cosecha que obtenemos en la lectura also hoping to be understood in areas in which
consiste en salir de la indiferencia porque al final we are not yet domesticated, and then I want to
de un libro quien escribe y quien lee quedan en stop myself in the difficulty to understand and

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deuda con la complejidad de razones, intereses, the importance to continue on with this difficulty
virtudes y defectos de un otro diferente de in reading and writing. I would like to remember
s, comprenden que ya no sera tan sencillo that one important part of our reading experience
desentenderse de su existencia. Escribo para ser comes from a lack of comprehension, we dont
comprendido dijo Joseph Brodsky; escribimos understand all of that which we read and then we
no slo intentando comprender sino tambin try to understand and provoke the effort to continue
anhelando ser comprendidos en esas zonas an on with the reading of the book, this is how we
no domesticadas del nosotros, y entonces aqu readers have been traveling from one book to
quisiera detenerme, en la dificultad de comprender another since those faraway days of our childhood
y en la importancia de transitar, en la lectura y en la until today. Then, maybe it is a good book that
escritura, esa dificultad. Quisiera recordar que una places us in a difficult position. This comes with a
parte importante de nuestra experiencia lectora cost because many books edited for children and
proviene de la incomprensin, no comprendemos young people today are written in language and
del todo eso que vamos leyendo y matters that are simplified to an extreme, in line with
official standards, frozen, predictable, avoiding and
entonces eso mismo, intentar comprender, provoca preventing us from thinking. To read is to learn to
el esfuerzo de transitar la lectura de un libro; as es enter into life and language, this is the way literature
como hemos estado viajando los lectores, de un offers us its mystery because it permits us to enter
libro a otro, desde aquellos lejanos das de infancia into something different where we are included in
hasta estos das de hoy. Entonces un buen libro es that world as well as our own. We are open to new
quizs un libro que nos propone esa dificultad. Esto experiences of contact with suffering, the amazing,
viene a cuento porque muchos libros editados hoy pain, joy or evil at the same time we are offered a
para nios y jvenes estn escritos en lenguaje cure for those sentiments because as Grossman
y asuntos simplificados al extremo, en lnea con said: books are the only place where things and
lo oficial, lo congelado, lo esperable, evitando y their loss may coexist. Once words pass through
evitndonos pensar. Leer es aprender a entrar en the body and the soul of the author they belong
la vida y en la lengua, as la literatura nos ofrece to the reader. That is to say that they can offer
su misterio porque permitindonos entrar en un entrance to a world of private language, not official.
otro diverso, incluirnos en su mundo e incluirlo However, for this we must not forget that language
en el nuestro, nos abre a nuevas experiencias de is a vehicle, almost like water, a transmitter of an
contacto con el sufrimiento, el asombro, el dolor, internal current that goes from the subjectivity of the
el regocijo o la maldad a la vez que nos ofrece la author to the reader and that this language needs
curacin de esos sentimientos porque como dice sufficient transparency in order to transfer to the
Grossman los libros son el nico lugar donde world it narrates, and an indispensable turbulence
pueden coexistir las cosas y su prdida. Una so as to open multiple senses. Literature is generous
vez que las palabras pasan por el cuerpo y por with us, profoundly democratic because it allows
el alma de quien escribe pueden pertenecerle ya us to enter its universe from our own singularities;
al lector, es decir pueden ofrecer el ingreso a un it allows each one of us to find our own pathway
mundo en lenguaje privado, no oficial. Pero para between its letters.
eso, no debiramos olvidar que el lenguaje es un
vehculo, casi dira como el agua, trasmisor de A writer looking for an intelligibly and highly
una corriente interna que va desde la subjetividad condensed way to transmit the images he/she is
de quien escribe a la de quien lee y que ese trying to pursue must lay him/herself out naked to
lenguaje necesita de trasparencia suficiente his/herself and also expose unsuspected aspects of
como para conducir hacia el mundo que se narra the human condition. This leads us to think, at least
y de opacidad indispensable como para abrirse a for a moment, of another way. It places before us
mltiples sentidos. La literatura es generosa con the challenge of trying to understand a situation that
nosotros, profundamente democrtica porque nos goes beyond ourselves; it proposes that we identify

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permite ingresar a su universo desde nuestra par- ourselves with something that we may repudiate,
ticularidad, nos permite a cada uno de nosotros to force us to observe from other angles, leaving
encontrar un camino propio entre sus letras. behind the thoughts of our sacred convictions.
And if things were a different way? Only this way
Un escritor, buscando una forma inteligible y is it possible to perforate the surface of so many
altamente condensada para las imgenes que superficial versions of life and how they come to us
persigue, desnudndose a s mismo pone al by thousands of ways of penetration. How would
desnudo aspectos insospechados de la condicin our lives be if we lived as this other one?
humana. Nos lleva a pensar, al menos por un
momento, de otro modo. Nos pone ante el desafo In Real Life
de intentar comprender una situacin que va mas Each writer is a child of his/her time; no one can
all de nosotros, nos propone identificarnos incluso create on the fringes of the mainstream of the
con lo que repudiamos, para obligarnos a mirar great historical and social conflicts. No book can
desde otros ngulos, retirndonos los mullidos be a substitute for experience, but no experience
almohadones de nuestras sagradas convicciones. is enough on its own; our education has been
Y si las cosas fueran de otro modo? Slo as insufficient if we have not read the books of poets
resulta posible perforar la superficie de tantas and novelists, of writers who have investigated the
versiones superficiales de la vida como nos most delicate of subjects; man and his sentiments,
llegan a travs de miles de modos de penetracin. his personal manner of reflex ion, suffering or
Cmo sera nuestra vida si se nos diera vivir fighting against reality. Over a long period of time
como ese otro? Cervantes, Tolstoy, and Kafka continued to tell us
about humankind, things that the sociologist and
En la vida misma psychologist could not tell us, for a long time poets
Cada escritor es hijo de su tiempo; nadie told us things about language and its possibilities
puede crear al margen de las corrientes de of expression, communication and creation, things
los grandes conflictos histricos y sociales. that we could not ask of linguists. It should not be
Ningn libro puede sustituir la experiencia, forgotten that a child is not like an arrow that goes
pero ninguna experiencia se basta a s misma; in only one direction, but many arrows that simulta-
habr sido insuficiente nuestra educacin si no neously travel in many directions, a center of activity
leemos tambin libros de poetas y novelistas, and relationships, a hand that plays, a mind that
de escritores que han indagado acerca de la absorbs, an eye that judges. Children do not grow
ms delicada de las materias: el hombre, sus up in a world separate from ours, in a ghetto or
sentimientos, su personal manera de reflejar, under a crystal dome, books destined for children
sufrir o combatir la realidad. Durante mucho are not books out of time, there is not one problem
tiempo Cervantes, Tolstoi, Kafka, continuarn in the present that children are not sensitive to. The
dicindonos sobre el hombre, cosas que la books for the children of our century cannot pretend
sociologa y la psicologa no nos pueden decir, that the century does not exist and does not pass in
durante mucho tiempo los poetas nos dirn a disturbing manner, in our surroundings are some
cosas sobre la lengua y sus posibilidades de ideas that Gianni Rodari included in his essay
expresin, de comunicacin y de creacin, cosas Imagination in Childrens Literature. In 1984 just
que no podemos pedir a los lingistas. No hay as the Argentinean dictatorship was losing power
que olvidar que un nio no es una flecha que va a group of women who studied literature formed a
en una sola direccin, sino muchas flechas que center in Cordova directed at children and young
simultneamente van en muchas direcciones, un people. Within the framework of the center was
centro de actividades y relaciones, una mano the magazine called Piedra Libre (Free Stone). In
que juega, una mente que absorbe, un ojo the second issue of that magazine we were able to
que juzga. Los nios no crecen en un mundo reproduce Rodaris essay, courtesy of Perspectiva
separado del nuestro, en un ghetto o bajo una Escolar and the Rosa Sensat Teachers Association.

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campana de cristal, los libros destinados a los This was the first time Rodaris thoughts had been
nios no son libros fuera del tiempo, no hay ni published in Argentina, thoughts that today are
un solo problema del presente al que los nios rooted in the works of creative literature done in my
no sean sensibles. Los libros para los nios country. The importance of the development of the
de nuestro siglo no pueden aparentar que el imagination and work in favor of inclusion, are some
siglo no existe y que no transcurre, tumultuoso, of the roads that Rodari chose beginning with his
a nuestro entorno, son algunas de las ideas experiences with refugee children. His rich writing,
que Gianni Rodari incluy en su ensayo La new among children of today, does not cease to be
imaginacin en la literatura infantil. Fue en el ao read as demonstrated by the recent reprinting of his
1984, apenas terminada la dictadura en Argentina books, but it is his place as a teacher that I would
cuando con un colectivo de mujeres provenientes like to bring here, just as we wanted to bring him to
de estudios de letras formamos en Crdoba un our Argentinean teachers during those years when
centro de literatura destinada a nios y jvenes I was just getting started. The author of Telephone
y, en el marco de dicho centro, la revista Piedra Tales, Mr. Cat In Business, The Dwarfs of Mantua,
Libre. En el segundo nmero de aquella revista and The Adventures of Tonino The Invisible began
pudimos reproducir, por gentileza de Perspectiva his work as a teacher and tutor in a Jewish household
Escolar y la Associaci de Mestres Rosa Sensat, with a family that had escaped Germany and lived
aquel ensayo, dando de ese modo a conocer por in Sesto Calende. He had contact early on with
primera vez su pensamiento en Argentina, un unfulfilled needs, pain, and exclusion. Beginning
pensamiento al da de hoy muy arraigado en el with these experiences he recorded his thoughts
trabajo sobre escritura creativa que se hace en mi in his Notebook of Fantasy and they were the
pas. La importancia del desarrollo del imaginario foundation for what thirty years later would become
y el trabajo en pos de la inclusin, son algunos The Grammar of Fantasy/An Introduction To the Art
de los caminos que Rodari transit a partir de su of Inventing Stories. The essay explored the rules
experiencia con chicos refugiados. Su fecunda of invention and made them available to parents,
escritura, nueva entre los nios de hoy, no cesa librarians and teachers. Even though romanticism
de leerse, como lo demuestran las reediciones is surrounded by mystery.the creative process is
recientes de sus libros, pero es en su lugar de inherent in human nature, and is within the reach
maestro que quisiera traerlo aqu, como quisimos of everyone said he who trusted in the liberating
llevarlo a los maestros argentinos, en aquellos power of words.
aos de mi iniciacin. El autor de Fbulas por
telfono, Los negocios del seor gato, Los Son of a worker and a craftsman baker, orphaned
enanos de Mantua y Las aventuras de Antoito by his father at a very young age, teacher of German
el invisible, que comenz su trabajo docente como children that fled the Nazis, the life of Rodari was his
tutor en casa de una familia juda que haba huido work as a pedagogue, noting the phrase of Agustn
de Alemania y viva en Sesto Calende, estuvo en Fernndez Paz who spoke about each teacher on
contacto temprano con la necesidad, el dolor, la earth who is conscious of his/her responsibilities.
exclusin. Las reflexiones que a partir de esas Finally, is this; the awareness of life, that which
experiencias anot en su Quaderno della fantasa, unifies the writer and the teacher who received the
fueron la base de lo que treinta aos ms tarde Andersen Award and said fantasy serves to explore
sera la Gramtica de la fantasa/ Introduccin reality and to explore language.to see what
al arte de inventar historias, el ensayo en el que happens when words are put against one another.
explor las leyes de la invencin, para ponerlas a By way of this route our writer imagined children
disposicin de padres, bibliotecarios y maestros. who could explore words to open up the world,
Aunque el romanticismo lo haya rodeado de read it, narrate it and modify it, provoking discomfort
misterio..., el proceso creativo es inherente a la when realizing what is personal and different, to
naturaleza humana, y est al alcance de todos, resist domestication by accepting what makes no
dijo quien confiaba en el poder de liberacin que sense, and conscious that underneath this lack of

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puede alcanzar la palabra. sense unexpected new senses appear.

Hijo de una obrera y un artesano panadero, May Everyone Really Mean Everyone is the motto
hurfano de padre desde muy nio, maestro de of this conference which purpose is to reflect on the
nios alemanes que huan del nazismo, la vida de place of reading, in the construction of an inclusive
Rodari est debajo de su trabajo como pedagogo, culture, the creation of diversity, differences and
extendiendo aquella frase de Agustn Fernndez models, strategies and practices of inclusion
Paz que mencionaba al comienzo, a cada maestro as well as the mechanisms of exclusion in the
sobre la tierra consciente de su hacer. Finalmente promotion of reading. For these reasons I chose
es eso, la vida a conciencia, lo que unifica al to share this review of three literary figures for
escritor y al docente que, al recibir el Premio children that came to me at various moments of
Andersen, dijo que La fantasa sirve para explorar my life and from their distinct locations have caused
la realidad y para explorar el lenguaje..., para ver me to examine my thinking with respect to centers
qu resulta cuando se oponen las palabras entre of attraction/rejection, inclusion and exclusion. But,
s. Por ese camino, nuestro escritor imagin nios what does everyone mean as it refers to literature,
que pudieran explorar la palabra para abrirse al when literature always implies a single glance at a
mundo, leerlo, narrarlo y modificarlo; incit al matter that is unique. I believe that it is right there
desacomodo, a percibir lo personal y lo diferente, that an intense look at what is original is where
a luchar contra la domesticacin aceptando el the metaphor everyone; may go beyond that
sinsentido, consciente de que bajo ese sinsentido which we are willing to see. The social debate, the
apareceran sentidos nuevos, inesperados. poor, those who discriminate or are discriminated
against, those who have no memory, family and
Que todos signifique todos es el lema de este social violence, wars and dictatorships, along with
congreso que busca reflexionar en torno al lugar so many other matters are themes of literature, a
de la lectura en la construccin de una cultura condition in which there has been an intense and
incluyente, la creacin desde la diversidad y la unique look at a circumstance, a new subjectivity,
diferencia y los modelos, estrategias y prcticas because literature in order to be useful (to use a
de inclusin as como los mecanismos de word that goes against its essence) should remain
exclusin en la promocin de la lectura, por lo useless, its disfunctionality preserved as a treasure.
que he pensado en compartir este repaso por tres Since its inception, from the beginning of time she
figuras de la literatura para nios que llegaron a looked at human uniqueness, at the fight to be
m en distintos momentos de vida y que desde sus human among what is, and what it wants or could
distintos lugares me han hecho girar en torno a be. She looks for truth that does not begin or end
centros de atraccin/rechazo, inclusin/exclusin. in words. To achieve this truth not only of words,
Pero qu significa todos en lo que a la literatura resist the official of a language and of society. Fight
se refiere, cuando la literatura implica siempre against the homogenization of speeches, we are
una mirada singular sobre un asunto tambin invited to be persons who think and feel as an
singular? Pues creo que es justamente ah, en la individual. In closing, that which Rodari taught us
intensa mirada a lo singular donde puede nacer la one day, we practice the habit of make believe to
metfora de un todo que vaya ms all de lo que travel to the heart of humankind.
estamos dispuestos a ver. El debate social, los
pobres, los que discriminan o son discriminados,
los que no tienen memoria, la violencia familiar y
social, las guerras y dictaduras de todas partes y
tantos otros asuntos son temas de la literatura,
a condicin de que haya en su tratamiento una
intensa mirada singular sobre una circunstancia
y una subjetividad tambin singulares, porque la

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literatura para ser til (para usar una palabra que


va contra su esencia) debe conservarse intil,
debe preservar como un tesoro su disfunciona-
lidad. Desde que existe, desde el comienzo de
los tiempos ella mira en lo humano singular, en la
lucha de un ser humano entre lo que es y lo que
quiere o puede ser. Ella busca una verdad que ni
empieza ni termina en las palabras. Para lograr
que esa verdad no sea slo de palabras, lucha
contra lo oficial de una lengua y de una sociedad.
Lucha contra la homogenizacin de los discursos,
nos invita a ser personas que piensan y sienten de
una manera propia. En fin, aquello que Rodari un
da nos ense: entrenarnos en el vicio de fabular
para viajar hacia el corazn del hombre.

Andricain, Sergio y Antonio Orlando Rodriguez. Fernndez Paz, Agustn: La realidad y la fantasa son un continuo
http://www.cuatrogatos.org/show.php?item= 621

Cndido, Antonio. El derecho a la literatura. http://es.scribd.com/doc/79984103/El-Derecho-a- La-Literatura

Grossman, David. Escribir en la oscuridad. De Bolsillo, 2011.

Lepman, Jella. A Bridge of Childrens Books: The Inspiring Autobiography of a Remarkable Woman (Die Kinderbuchbrcke, 1964).
Dublin: The OBrien Press, 2002; 168 pp.; traduccin al ingls de Edith McCormick. ISBN: 0-86278-783-1.

Pavese, Cesare. Il mestiere di vivere. Giulio Einaudi editore, Torino, 1952.

Piglia, Ricardo. Luz, critica, accin. RADAR, 16.9.12

Quasimodo, Salvatore. Y enseguida anochece y otros poemas. Hyspamerica ediciones argentina, Buenos Aires, 1983

Rich, Adrianne. Sangre, pan y poesa. Prosa escogida 1979-1985 Icaria- Antrazyt

Rodari, Gianni. Revista Piedra Libre del CEDILIJ (Ao 1, No 2; Crdoba, Argentina, septiembre de 1987). Perspectiva Escolar
Associaci de Mestres Rosa Sensat. Barcelona, Espaa Web: http://www.rosasensat.org

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