Small format stories
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07 March1973
Gianni Rodari
Franco Cigarini
Original sound

"I have faith in the fantasy's ability to express all content. I do not believe that fantasy is an escape, as it has been repeatedly defined, but a tool of the mind, capable of expressing the whole personality or of coming into play with other tools of the personality and forming a richer personality. It is not an evasion, it is not an escape' (Gianni Rodari, Grammar of Fantasy). On 7 March 1972 Rodari was in Reggio Emilia invited by the pedagogist Loris Malaguzzi for the 'Meetings with the Fantastic', which - as the writer would recall - 'gave me the opportunity to reason at length and systematically, with the constant control of discussion and experimentation, not only about the function of imagination and the techniques to stimulate it, but about how to communicate those techniques to everyone, for example to make them an instrument for the linguistic education of children.' The story 'The Mouse King' that we see and hear here bears witness to just such an example, and in particular a moment of the meeting between Rodari and the children of the Diana preschool, filmed by Franco Cigarini. From the experience of the meetings in Reggio Emilia would be born a year later the book 'Grammar of Fantasy'.