Dante Alighieri and Donald Duck | Day 71 of my 2023 Journal
Ravenna showed up on our travel itinerary because of a Donald Duck story. It is funny how things are connected.
I was raised with the notion of fine culture: Some books are better than others, and cartoons are just empty entertainment.
Reading is a biggie for all parents and a subject for discussion, especially among unschoolers. How do they learn to read if you don’t teach them?
In short, I ask you to take my word for it: They do. There is no stopping them. It is like walking.
Much more importantly, we must remember to value the children's reading choices, not tell what is good literature and what is unworthy. This is a common misunderstanding.
I come from a family of academics and a family of heavy readers. Literature everywhere. People speak and read in several languages, not just two, but three, four, five, some up to ten languages. I take great - as in huge - pleasure in reading, AND I have a daughter who is a published writer.
My father taught me to read when I was four, and I grew confident during summer break in our family vacation home by the coast, reading Donald Duck with my sister. The rule is this: If you want to read it, if you take pleasure in reading it, then it is worth it.
My children have all read the thick Donald Duck books we call “Jumbobøger” in Danish; I do not know the term in English. We own hundreds of them, and I have learned how amazing they are. I see their true value in the gallery of personalities, the themes they cover, and the knowledge they dive into. And mostly in the hours, my children invest in them.
Today, we find ourselves in Ravenna because of a story. Driving here, we realized Ravenna was where Dante Alighieri lived his life. We visited the museum about his life and work and the tomb.
If anything is considered high literature, it is Dante. I have not read the 100 verses; I think maybe I made it to number 25 before I put the book down, waited a few years, and started over.
Maybe now is the time to make it all the way?
Maybe Donald Duck showed us the way to Dante Alligheri?
That would be poetic. If anything.
Love and light
Thank you for reading
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