"Censorship! Right". What Shouldn't Be In Children's Books

"Censorship! Right". What Shouldn't Be In Children's Books
"Censorship! Right". What Shouldn't Be In Children's Books

Video: "Censorship! Right". What Shouldn't Be In Children's Books

Video: "Censorship! Right". What Shouldn't Be In Children's Books
Video: The one about creative writing and where that can take us as a community. 2023, September

"At meetings I tell the children that reading is not necessary at all." Why? Children's writer Olga Kolpakova talks about this.


Why do I need this?

Rada Bozhenko, AiF-Ural: Olga, it was always interesting how children's writers choose topics? Study your reader's interest? Or, on the contrary, shape it?

Olga Kolpakova: Very differently. There are authors who are interested in writing on a topical topic. Let's say that in parallel, two books about children's suicides appeared on the wave. And one of them - “I want to live” by Adelia Amraeva from Kazakhstan - received the Vladislav Krapivin literary prize. A very good book. It is immediately clear that for the author this is not just a "fashionable topic" - but for her it is very painful and experienced.

My peculiarity is that I cannot write literary texts on request. At the same time, it is easy and simple to write informative, on any topic that you give me. This is terribly interesting to me! I love to delve deeply into the topic, I definitely go to the very bottom of it - at least defend a thesis. I will take the most interesting things into the "cognition", I will write so that the children would also be interested in reading and they would also be amazed. But I can't write literary texts like that. Moreover, I cannot write until I formulate what it is about, why I need it. For example, one of my new books, "Wormwood Tree" (the first children's work about deportation), could have been written ten years ago, since the material - the memories of my grandfather and a German teacher - had been with me for a long time. But I didn't know what to do with this material. Until a certain time, until the question began to knock on the brain: “Why does God allow this to happen in life? Whose side is he on? Through what or who can he influence us? " A global, generally not childish question, but for me personally it was important to find an answer to it. And then the material lined up, I figured out how to tell the children about it.

And with the next story I write, I struggle and suffer for a long time. I know everything, except how to implement in the text what I think about. I have this way.

- Today, many accuse children of their inability to perceive the "correct" information, fiction … A lost generation, in a word.

- There can be no talk of any lost generation. Children are amazing today! Wise, vulnerable, romantic. It is very interesting for me to talk to them. And not only with those who come to meetings prepared, with whom you can delve into the topic, but also with those who do not know anything at all, have not read anything. If hooked, they line up at the library for a book.

Drag uphill

- Maybe few people are trying to hook them?

- Maybe yes. No matter how holy people the teachers are, today they have to do something completely different. My parents worked for more than 40 years in a rural school. Dad started by running five kilometers from his village to the village, where he had seven students of the first and third grades, who studied at the same time. I remember he told how they all went to the physical education lesson with the whole school (all seven people). Children sit on the sled, and the teacher and some repetitive (or just a big guy) drag them up the hill to ride from it. It seems to me that the purpose of a teacher is to drag children uphill, and a writer is like that repetitive year who can help a little in this matter. But now it is very difficult for teachers. Dad, as soon as he retired, immediately left school, saying: “I don’t want to deal with papers, I want to deal with children, but they don’t give me such an opportunity”.

Parents are also not up to it today. They have to work 12-14 hours in order for the family to somehow survive. And therefore, books remain one of the few sources that can quietly, without rushing to talk with a child on topics of interest to him. The TV does this too, but aggressively, it does not give the child the opportunity to ponder, analyze, send some kind of answer. What are the scientists talking about? When watching TV, there are no pauses to create new neural connections, as when reading. Something "chewed" is simply loaded into you. And when you read a book, you draw a picture for yourself, you are your own director, operator, and artist. Anyone. And at the same time, incredible work is going on in my head. Although at meetings I tell the children that reading is not necessary at all.

- Suddenly!

- But many of our great-grandfathers and great-grandmothers did not know how to read. But they WERE TALKING. And if you have next to you such a teacher who knows how to talk, you have the opportunity to listen to music, dance, draw - do not read, for God's sake! You will take whatever you need from another source. And when the need arises, start reading. Reading is a great work, and not everyone is capable of it. Today they like to say that the Soviet Union was the most reading country. Nothing of the kind, it seems to me, this is a myth. I look at my classmates - someone - yes, like me, I read books avidly. And someone has realized in something else and is happy no less than I am.

The sieve inside us

- Let us recall the recent story about the notorious 16 books that the children's ombudsman Anna Kuznetsova "would not recommend reading even for adults." This list includes "Cock's Horse" by our marvelous Svetlana Lavrova and poor "Helok-dristunok" from Afanasyev's collection. Do you think such "black lists", censorship in children's literature should exist?

- You cannot discuss what you have not read - it is so unprofessional! I have already said in several interviews: I am for censorship. But these words are usually followed by a full stop, and they are not deciphered. In fact, if someone thinks of some state censorship committee as a source of sifting, then this is impossible in the modern world. I'm talking about something else. First, about the internal censorship of writers. A good, talented writer approaches his text responsibly. He can write about anything, but he puts the label "18+". Secondly, I am in favor of editorial censorship in publishing houses. We have few professionals at all levels, and praise be to those publishing houses where there is a good editor who is able to evaluate and weed out poor-quality text (it's not just acute topics that it's too early for children to dive into), poor-quality language through a fine sieve.

Besides, I am for parental censorship. There is no need to shift the responsibility to the publishers and the children themselves. If you do not want your child to jump off the roof under the influence of a book, start taking drugs or do some other nasty thing, read this book yourself, and then make a decision whether to buy it or not. But the fact that books should raise these questions is not discussed. Perhaps, they, on the contrary, will save someone, someone will show the way out. The choice must remain. But parents have the right to sift books through their own censorship.

We cannot exclude the indisputable fact that books can greatly influence a person. I often tell children, for example, about Vitaly Sundakov, who became a famous traveler after reading Jules Verne and adventure books. There are many examples when the book "dug up" a person. We also have a "sieve" inside ourselves, which consists of what we were taught, how we were brought up, from our individual perception. Literature, language is such a complex tool that scientists still do not know for certain how it works. At the same time, it is obvious that with literature we "educate" our brain so that it is difficult to manipulate it, so that it thinks, analyzes and makes decisions.

- I propose to dream up. If the formation of the school curriculum for literature depended on you, what changes would you make?

- There is a wonderful block in the school curriculum - additional reading, within which the teacher has the right to individually recommend some books to the child. I would strengthen this block with contemporary Russian literature. And, perhaps, I would have revised the age range. I'm not sure that everyone without exception should, for example, read "War and Peace", complicated things by Dostoevsky or poetry that a child up to a certain age may not understand. Or not at all. Let all this be in high school, and in the humanities.

- "Contemporary Russian literature" - is it fundamentally?

- Of course, it's great that today we can read different books, including foreign ones. But we still have an attitude - if a book is written abroad, then it …

- A priori better?

- Yes it is. And this is especially noticeable on difficult topics: child suicide, problems of dad and mom, sexual relations. We are happy to promote translated literature, but we do not treat or even ignore what is written by our authors. Although this is not always worse, but more often it is better.

And it’s a pity, of course, that interest in children's literature (including the media) wakes up either after some scandals, or before Children's Book Week. Although here, as a journalist, everything is clear, and I have no complaints about the press. Sponsored thematic programs, programs, special issues - there would be a different picture. Just like many people dream of having a state children's publishing house. Not because it will be engaged in selection and censorship, but because at least premium books need to be published in such circulations that they will be included in all libraries. Or that they have a reasonable price. You don't really need to work here, because the jury of those awards in the field of children's literature, which we have, has already worked. Already weeded out an incredible amount of children's texts and put its "quality mark". It is a pity that the state does not have money for such projects.