Popular Children’s Literature in Europe

children (1)By night, Dorian always dreamed of the noise the Mississippi River made while running. Most of all, he envied the many kids who lived by that river; so many consonants! The river that ran near his home only had five letters. He also dreamed of helping the slaves escaping from the Southern cotton fields. In other words, Dorian was not sure whether he envied Mark Twain for creating such fantastic stories, or he envied Huck, the main character of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, for having lived through so many adventures already at school age, since he was about the same age as him; he, to whom nothing exciting had ever happened, except for staying late at night reading books by flashlight.

Other writers that were popular among schoolchildren were the Italian Salgari and the French Jules Verne. However, Dorian was not very fond of their writings; too many guns, too strange gadgets. The same crime that took Sandokan a week of horseback riding through the desert, killing people with his triple edged dagger could be solved by a detective from Baker Street, by simply looking at the mud on someone’s shoes.

Yes, what Dorian loved were stories where people had to contrive ingenious plans without many resources, in order to achieve a short lived success. No gimmicks or hot air balloons to circle the world in record time; those were mechanical means to achieve pretentious objectives. When he grew up, his books would depict normal people who accidentally discover the truth, and the truth will lead them to that moment of bliss. Because actually, he thought, Tom, if you get something that does not cost you a little effort, it might not be worth getting at all. Neither would it be worth it without some humor and a bit of disinterest.

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