27/05/2013

The universe is the home of the stars

Javier Naranjo is a Colombian poet and professor who some years ago had the bright idea to start asking children in a school of Antioch for the meaning of words. The result is ‘Home of the stars’, a kind of curious, poetic and nonsensical dictionary that surprises with its freshness and gives pause, because reflects what the little humans of the future think on the world we adults are building for them.

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The author left untouched the definitions of children, just correcting punctuation and spelling, and ensures that, beyond its obvious childish approach, the book is also an exploration of the world of words and the relationships of the world with the language: ‘Word associations were made ​​freely by the children, starting from creative writing games that came new definitions for existing words, and even new words for realities that were important to the children.’ Inevitable give some examples:

Adult: ‘Child who has grown a lot’ (Camilo Aramburu, 8 years)

Love: ‘Love is what makes children’ (Adelaida Restrepo, 10 years)

Old man: ‘Is a man that stays sitting out all day’ (Maryluz Arbeláez, 9 years)

Kiss: ‘Two to approach’ (Camila Mejía Gonima, 7 years)

Affection: ‘Tying people’ (Valentina Nates, 9 years)

Heaven: ‘Where the day rises’ (Arnulfo Duván Arango, 8 years)

School: ‘House full of boring tables and chairs’ (Simón Peláez, 11 years)

Body: ‘It’s like a thing that goes to one’ (Andrés David Posada, 6 years)

God: ‘He is all, is bearded, has a robe and slippers. He has a crown on his head’ (Miguel Ángel Múnera, 6 years)

Hand: ‘Grabs things, helps to write, but also gets tired. You have to let it rest’ (Paula Cristina Muñoz, 7 years)

Woman: ‘A person who falls in love with someone’ (Nelson Ferney Ramírez, 7 years)

Birth: ‘It is a time we have when we are small’ (Wilson Taborda, 11 years)

Nightmare: ‘Eat a lot and go to bed’ (Weimar Roman, 7 years)

Sex: ‘A person kissing each above the other’ (Luisa Fernanda Potes, 8 years)

Sun: ‘Who dries the clothes’ (Diego Alejandro Giraldo, 8 years)

Soledad: ‘Sadness that it gives you sometimes’ (Iván Darío López, 10 years)

Time: ‘Something that passes to remember’ (Jorge Armando, 8 years)

Universe: ‘Home of the stars’ (Carlos Gómez, 12 years)