This is not a Book: the Anti-Pedagogy of the Movable Book


  • Roberto Farné Università di Bologna

Parole chiave:

Imagine & word; Creativity; Animation; play


The pedagogic instrument par-excellence, in their modern history, books have been the instrument accompanying educational and, in particular, school education paths, year after year. In this context, the book is the object that responds to the definition we can find in any good dictionary: “A continuous series of printed sheets of the same size, stitched together with a cover, etc. etc.”. For at least 4 centuries, books have maintained this same structure, while adapting to all technical and cultural modernization processes. Book is a synonym of reading, thus of attention, order, patience, even when a book is chosen freely: reading has its own “ritual”, indeed its own “sacredness” if we consider that learning books is neither spontaneous nor natural, but comes through initiation.

Play is what breaks down the book structure; we talk of play not as a “game”, but rather as an attitude that looks to a certain reality from a different viewpoint, “putting it into play”, thinking how an object can be as it is, but can also be something different from what it is. This “being different” does not destroy or deny the object itself, but de-forms and trans-forms it, changing its form and, inevitably, its very identity. Thus, a book becomes “other than a book”. For this to happen, it must lose all its connotations, almost to the point of not being recognizable as a book, thus paving the way for new practices of reading and discovery, which take place in real time within the relationship between the person and the (non)book.