I owe the reading of Daniel Pennac’s School Diary to Luciana: THANK YOU Lucy, I’m really grateful to you!
A diary edited by Feltrinelli, which I absolutely loved and which, in my opinion, should also be read at school.
Daniel Pennac, or Pennacchioni, is a teacher in Paris since 1970, better to use his exact words:
We learn that for a quarter of a century the author has practiced as a teacher and that he has chosen this apartment overlooking the courtyards of two schools a bit like a railway worker retiring above a marshalling yard.
In fact, I’ll tell you more: listen to whoever reads these words
I open a dutiful parenthesis on Sport’s Bar even if surely you also know Luisona and all the other characters, right?
But let’s go back to reading and to the emblematic phrase of Daniel Pennac’s mother: “Do you think he will get away with it sooner or later?”
Were you doing well in school? Were you among the deserving students and with the high average?
He definitely not, yet he first became a teacher and then a writer!
Daniel Pennac tells us that what he wrote is the “pure truth” and for this reason I found his message even more important.
What better example to give confidence to all those who are faced with uphill paths, who are out of the ordinary “patterns,” who are experiencing momentary failures?
I was thrilled with both the hope this book instills and the way it portrays true teaching.
I find that another sentence of his that deserves a standing ovation is this:
I always thought that school was first and foremost done by teachers. After all, who saved me from school if not three or four teachers?
Instead of collecting and publishing the pearls of the dunce students that arouse hilarity in so many classrooms, we should write an anthology of good teachers. Literature does not lack similar testimonies: Voltaire who pays homage to the Jesuits Tournemine and Porée, Rimbaud who submits his poems to Professor Izimbard, Camus who writes filial letters to Mr Martin, his beloved teacher, Julien Green who fondly remembers the image vivid of Professor Lesellier, his history teacher, Simone Weil praising his teacher Alain, who will never forget Jules Lagneau who introduced him to philosophy, J.B. Pontalis celebrating Sartre, who “stood out” so much among the other professors …
If, in addition to these famous teachers, the anthology offered the portrait of the unforgettable teacher that almost all of us met at some point in our scholastic path, perhaps we would draw some light on the skills necessary for the practice of this strange profession.
Do you still keep any of yours?
The talk with Eleonora then continued also on the teachers, in particular on those we remember with greater esteem.
And what do you remember of your teachers?
Were any of them particularly enlightening or extremely ironic?
Daniel Pennac’s irony comes to life above all through the stylized men he draws that I obviously like very much.
Apparently I’m not the only one, so much so that I discovered an unofficial site dedicated to Daniel Pennac, and look at what image the author has chosen!
Coincidence?! I do not think so …