You can’t imagine life without friends | Books

You can’t imagine life without friends | Books
You can’t imagine life without friends | Books
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People like planets, satellites or comets and relationships in close or distant orbits, depending on the force of attraction. This is how Nuno Artur Silva has long thought about what attracts or separates us from others. That’s why he imagined this Universal Friendship Theorysubtitle of How Do Our Friends Stay Our Friends?

“I always thought of relationships between people, in particular friendships, as a matter of distance, of finding the right distance for each person. The world of friends would thus be a system of gravitations, some closer, others further away. Some like moons, others like comets. To each friend their distance and gravity”, the author, founder and director of the creative agency Produções Fictícias tells PÚBLICO.

The materialization of this idea resulted in a work for children: “I thought it could give rise to an illustrated book for children, as if it were a Universal Theory of Friendship, similar to Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation or Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity explained the children.”


“Each of us is our own sun in our solar system of friendships (…) Our friends revolve around us. Each one in their own personal orbit, with their own particular gravity”
João Fazenda

What happened was that adults were very “attracted” to him. “Of course, a book for children is a book for all ages. As I usually say, this is a book for children of all ages”, says Nuno Artur Silva and adds: “Even knowing this, I have been surprised by the number of people who have told me that the book is not just for childrenwhich is a book for adults too.”

The narrative leads us to think about the ways of finding friends at different moments in our lives and the evolution of discovering others and ourselves. In a happy mix of philosophy and science.

“There are many places where we can observe and meet people: in schools, at work, in streets and squares, alleys and corners, in parks and gardens, on public transport, at parties or even on websites — chats and networks (but this isn’t really getting to know each other, it’s just contacting; getting to know each other has to be right next to each other)”, is described in a shot with several colorful silhouettes in moments of joyful coexistence.

“With age, friendships gain perspective”

Nuno Artur Silva, who has already had several projects together with João Fazenda — the first when the illustrator “was 17 years old”: In the Service of His Majestya selection of texts for Herman José 1992/1996 —, he is very satisfied with the final product.


“The way to know is to observe all this (and much more) through the telescopes of literature, through the probes of the arts, through songs, through dances, through drawings, through films — through storytelling… or simply through conversations, through laughter. or by seeing it pass”
João Fazenda

“Working with João was extremely easy. I gave him the text, he liked it, we had about three conversations about the division of the text and the space for illustrations. Afterwards, João did his work and I was absolutely sure that it would be excellent. I never had any doubts about that. When he showed what he had done, the book was even better than I could have imagined,” he recalls.

The former Secretary of State for Cinema, Audiovisual and Media (2019/2022) really enjoys “making books for children with illustrators”. And he feels lucky: “I have been very lucky with my partners: João Fazenda, Pierre Pratt (with whom I did The Great Zygomaticusmy most personal book) or Cristina Sampaio (who drew Benjamim for the book/album Good morning, Benjaminfor almost 30 years now) or my most common drawing partner, António Jorge Gonçalves, with whom I have done many, many works.”

To finish, we asked him how his friendships are going. “With age, friendships gain perspective. We value friends more, those who are close or those who, being far away, never stop shining.” A beautiful answer.

More Letra Pequena articles and Letra Pequena blog

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: imagine life friends Books

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