“There fantasy allows you to see life differently and to find alternative solutions in difficult times “. Like this Geneva Van Deflorliterary pseudonym of a writer from Imperia, tells what the tales.
His own fable, entitled “LUP process “, recently won the Bay of Fables Trophy under the 55th edition of the prestigious Andersen Festival, which took place in Sestri Levante last June.
Geneva Van Deflor from Imperia awarded at the Andersen Festival
How was receiving the award?
“Was a very exciting moment, also because I had thehonor of being awarded by the great Alessandro Bergonzoni and to have been selected by one prestigious jury, chaired by Lidia Ravera and along with a number of professionals of the sector. All people that me I respect a lot.
The Bay of Fables Trophy, for those who love fairy tales like me, it’s something magical. This recognition gave me the right energy and encouragement to continue on this path ”.
When did you start writing fairy tales and why?
“For as long as I can remember I have always loved invent stories. I think the fantasy is essential in life. Unfortunately in the adult world There is always little space for the fantasy, I think there should be a lot more. The nice thing about writing tales is the possibility of express your imagination without limits compared to other types of short stories more likely, which have less room for maneuver. At the bottom in the daily we all live on routine, often habitual, however fairy tales allow you to escape more.
Writing fairy tales has always been mine passion but I have never launched into the professional world. For me, writing has always been something essential, but I’ve always done it in much more ‘serious’ fields, writing press releases, reviews, articles. In fact, what belongs to me the most is there creative writing but I always kept it to myself. My drawers are full of my writings, I only made them read to friends. Until I found the courage, a few years ago, to self-publish a book titled ‘Back to school: The unbearable heaviness of being Parent-of-Students’.
I wrote it first because I needed to facing a particular moment in my life, that of becoming the mother of a child who goes to school. Was a strong impact because I discovered things I did not know, from mom chats to endless lists of school supplies. Since when I have to face something that scares me I tend to play it down, I thought I’d write about it in an ironic way, hoping it could help me and also some other parent in my situation who wants to laugh about it. That was my first step as a writer ”.
At that moment the idea of the pseudonym was born. Why and where does the name come from?
“Yup. Since in the book I told anecdotes that have happened to me, a little magnified, I feared that someone might be offended and so I decided to adopt a stage name, which I have kept. Having a pseudomino is like playing a part as an actor, you can distance yourself and have more freedom.
‘Ginevra’ I chose it because it is a feminine name that I have always liked but that I have never used because I had two sons. I thought of the surname ‘Van Deflor’ referring to the fairytale mirror ‘Mirror mirror on the floor’, to indicate another me. Moreover, it gives a touch of xenophilia that reflects me, given that I have lived abroad for many years, and that we Italians always like ”.
You have lived in Paris for some time, but your origins are from Imperia, have you remained linked to Imperia?
“Yes, I was born and raised in Imperia until I was 18. After that I lived in Milan, to Florence and then, now, a Paris. My family is in Imperia, so I come back regularly every summer. As I think for many people, the place where one was born always remains a great love, but at the same time there remains that irritation for the many potentialities that are not always exploited. I love to discover the world, staying still in one place does not belong to me, but I must say that I miss the sea very much “.
What is “LUProcesso” about?
“The wolf is a fairy tale character in which he is almost always described as a villain. So I imagined that at a certain point he gets tired of this reputation and brings to trial in court the classical authors who have always painted him like this, from Aesop to Phaedrus, up to the brothers Grimm and Walt Disney. In favor of him he brings witnesses such as Little Red Riding Hood and the mothers of the kids to demonstrate that reality varies according to the perspective from which it is told. The ending of the story leaves the question of whether the defendants are innocent or guilty. It will be the judge, who is the reader, to decide.
I liked the idea of stimulating readers (the age group it is aimed at is 6-12 years) to imagine that things are not always as they are told by others, and above all to emphasize the importance of going to the source, feeling other testimonies to be able to get an idea autonomously and with full knowledge of the facts. It is a funny fairy tale, which makes you laugh, but gives the possibility, with an accompaniment that can be that of the parent or the teacher, to reflect on something important.
I am very happy with the interest that this story has aroused in some publishing houses and I hope to be able to publish it as soon as possible and continue along this path ”.
Soon a new school year begins, the first that seems to return to normal after the years of the pandemic. What do you feel like saying to young people, especially to the little ones who have not so far known school only with all the anti-contagion limitations?
“School is a very significant part of young people’s time. I hope that this return to normal can be experienced by everyone as a partyboth for pupils, both for the parents, both for teachers. It has been a long time stressful And hard for everyone and now you have a great desire to get back together, di reclaim of things that we took for granted, but that we instead discovered to be very precious.
Learning is truly one party, it’s a enrichment. The teacher has a difficult role and never adequately supported. In Italy, the pandemic and containment measures have generated problems at the school level, leaving many children behind. Now we need to make up for lost time and make sure we all come together as a community. I hope that everyone, teachers and parents, can collaborate and be flexible, help each other.
We are still in a complicated national and international context, it is important to support each other. Even in this, fairy tales can be important, even if it doesn’t seem like it. Imagination and creativity help to play down, to be more sensitive and tolerant, to come together and find alternative solutions, not to stiffen on one’s own positions “.