Monday, April 15 2024

Education, love, friendship, storytelling: these words belong to the
lexicon of our childhood dictionary.

But how much our favourite readings or the films that keep us glued to
the screen influence our point of view?

Have you ever wondered about that?

I began to do so after reading
Educating young people trough the classics – Love, Friendship and

, a book that illustrates a research project that investigates and
explores the educational potential that stories have in the development
of young people’s character.

In the Western world we are in the midst of an educational emergency and the publishing project
starts from the conviction of its promoters that one of the ways to get
out of this crisis is to use narrative intelligence,
according to which reading helps to better understand oneself and

The initiative started with a few simple questions:

– which films and TV series do young people like the most?

– which books do they read the most?

– are there differences related to origin or culture?

– how much does this affect their social and emotional relationships?

In the first part of the book, these answers are given in detail and
are extensively illustrated. The analysis of the research was carried
out on a sample of 3,694 young people aged between 18 and 29 from nine countries: Argentina, Colombia, France, Germany,
Italy, Mexico, Spain, the United States and the United Kingdom.

The young people had to complete questionnaires that contained
different questions on the tastes and ways of using multimedia and
literary content.

Among the most interesting data, it emerged for example that 72% of young people watch TV series many hours a week,
or that cult series such as “Money Heist”, films such as “Titanic” and
sagas such as “The Lord of the Rings” are appreciated by the reference
sample in the same way in different parts of the world.

Although differences have been found between men and women, Catholic
and non-Catholic, they are marginal and the research has shown that young Westerners share similar preferences: about the
stories they read, the films they love to watch, the way they access
content and their idea of love and friendship.

The project, however,

does not just investigate and describe, but makes proposals

: six great classics adapted for the big screen that convey well what
love and friendship are, and are presented to us in a new and profound

This is the part that most of all I preferred, for it surprises,
fascinates and teaches.

The Painted Veil
Much Ado about Nothing
The Divine Comedy
, Pride and
Anna Karenina,

Crime and Punishment
The Lord of the Rings

: these are the books that go beyond time and always speak directly to
the heart.

And so in the last chapters we are immersed in a re-reading of these “timeless” stories through the
observations and analyses of authors such as Alessandro D’Avenia,
Natalia Sanmartín Fenollera, Armando Fumagalli, Travis Curtright,
Antonio Malo and Andrea Monda, who open our eyes to aspects that we had
not previously considered, making us rediscover a taste for great
stories that are able to profoundly influence our perception of love
and friendship.

Take for example
The Lord of the Rings

, the most read book in the world after the Bible, written over 60
years ago. Would you ever have said it has a strong Catholic
connotation? Andrea Monda shows us that it does!

With Alessandro D’Avenia we discover how much
The Odyssey
The Divine Comedy
The Brothers Karamazov

have in common. These three great classics of literature do nothing but
follow the same thread: tell us how every man finds his destiny.

Literature expands our horizons and our universe, stimulating images,
stories and thoughts; and the classics, most of all,
have a leading role in this construction of one’s self.

They are stories that survive time, that overcome it and open the
way for newcomers

: “

they never fade away because they capture what is always human in man’s


Let yourself be carried away by these observations and you will
understand, having reached the last page, that this is not a book to
read but to discover. You can buy it for only 3.99 euros at this


Enjoy reading it!


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