Umberto Eco: the Three AstronautsBy Winterthorn
"ONCE UPON A TIME THERE WAS EARTH.
"And once upon a time there was Mars."
The people of Earth want to explore Mars. They send up rockets that fall back to the ground. Then they send up rockets that go out into space. Then they send up a dog in a rocket, "but the dogs couldn't talk, and the only message they sent was 'bow wow.'" So they finally send up a man.
"One fine morning three rockets took off from three different places on Earth," an American, a Russian, and a Chinese. They all want to be the first person to set foot on Mars, and none of them liked one another.
"Since all three of them were very smart, they landed on Mars at almost the same time." They get out to explore the alien landscape, but "They looked at each other distrustfully. And each kept his distance."
Then in the dead of night, afraid and alone, they each utter their word for "Mommy," which sounds almost the same in each of their languages. So they realize they're all feeling the same thing, and choose to camp together, singing songs and learning about one another.
First thing in the morning, a Martian shows up, and he's so scary looking that all three humans band together, and point their "atomic disintegrators" at him, ready to kill him. He, for his part, finds the humans to be "horrible creatures."
Then a baby bird falls from its nest, and the astronauts and the Martian all pause, and shed a tear for such a heartbreaking sight. The Martian picks up the bird and tries to shelter it, and the humans realize he's feeling the same thing they are, and they go over and shake his hands and all of them decide to return to Earth together.
"And so the visitors realized that on Earth, and on other planets, too, each one has his ways, and it's simply a matter of reaching an understanding."
WHILE THE SUBJECT IN THE THREE ASTRONAUTS feels somewhat dated, its message is not, which is why the Family Opera Initiative is currently developing an opera based on the book. A composer from each of the three countries--America, Russia, and China--is composing music, with words by American poet Nikki Giovanni. (They're looking for donations, so do click through.)
In my post on The Bomb and the General, I went into some depth raising the question, what does Eco's text say about Eco's concept of children's literature, without offering any kind of answer. It's not often that you get an answer from the artist himself, but Eugenio Carmi sat for an interview in conjunction with the opera, which provides insight into the way in which the book was created, and how he and Eco thought about children's literature.
Coming soon: Umberto Eco and Eugenio Carmi's The Gnomes of Gnu.
All images are copyrighted © and owned by their respective holders.
These articles might interest you :
Hello friends,Today I'm excited to tell you about a recent trip to Singapore, part one of a 16-day adventure in China. We traveled from NYC to Singapore,... Read moreThe 11 March 2015 by Mpartyka
News flash — two suspects have been apprehended, guys from (surprise) the restive North Caucasus region (which includes Chechnya). Did the Russian authorities... Read moreThe 07 March 2015 by Fsrcoin
CULTURE, POLITICS, SOCIETY
Hello and welcome to the first Two for Thursday Book Blitz #T4Tpresented by Month9books/Tantrum Books!Today, we will be showcasing two titles that may tickle... Read moreThe 05 March 2015 by Lauriej
It is common practice to recommend Granite for kitchen counter tops. Why? because it is natural, durable, resists heat and scratches. Read moreThe 04 March 2015 by Saharg
ARCHITECTURE, CULTURE, INTERIOR DESIGN
NemtsovBoris Nemtsov is merely the latest (and biggest) name on a growing list. He was a leading pro-democracy Russian politician for two decades; an outspoken... Read moreThe 03 March 2015 by Fsrcoin
CULTURE, POLITICS, SOCIETY
I Am Boris Nemtsov...Enough Said! Now Share this Please! Read moreThe 01 March 2015 by Benjaminkanarek
CULTURE, FASHION, LIFESTYLE
As a homeschool mom there’s a constant struggle for designating specific “school times” through out the day. She is learning that education is a life pursuit,... Read moreThe 26 February 2015 by Akklemm
MOST POPULAR FROM BOOKS
- Review: Bloom and Doom by Beverly Allen by Girllostinabook
- The Thrill of World War II - Spy Author A.L. Sowards by Selane
- A Word to New Parents: Be Sure To Write About Your Kids by Stephsscribe
- How To Suit Your Need And Price While Buying Headphones with Mic by Jaideep Khanduja
Economy John Galliano Winter Sports Rick Perry Harry Potter Russia Valentine's Day Apps X-Factor Nuclear Energy Christmas Academy Awards Samsung Lady Gaga DSK Egypt Lance Armstrong Amanda Knox Mardi Gras Turkey Barack Obama Halloween True Blood Michelle Rodriguez Mitt Romney North Korea Climate Change The Box Office Apple China
MOST RECOMMENDED IN BOOKS
- Monsanto Demands World Health Organization Retract Report That Says Roundup Is Linked to Cancer » EcoWatch by Garry Rogers
- Guest Author – Patrick Gale on Writing A Place Called Winter by Isabel Costello
- Crime and Science Radio: Forensic Science On Trial: The Honorable Donald Shelton On Forensic Science And The Courts by Dplylemd
- Why wild giraffes are suffering a ‘silent extinction’ by Garry Rogers
ON THE BOOKS FORUM
- Tasty Tuesday Guest Post: Ava Miles ... Reviewed by Lupita Adamek