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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The author of the book about ourmaninside Gopher: “my poor fellow the stigma of “addict”

On days of literary circles were shaken by news of the hero cycle of children’s books about the adventures of Homa and Gopher was accused of promoting drug use. The scandal has raised a young mother, and her heart revolted that in the tale “Like a Gopher stupefied” is mentioned hemp and explains how the animal used it, but friends saved him from addiction. Raised to the ears of the deputies, the Federal drug control service, the press, the Prosecutor’s office. And the court saw in the fairy tale propaganda of drugs. Circulation of sale in Brjansk seized — three books. Director for the promotion of drugs — a fine of 40 000 rubles. After excited Bryansk and Lipetsk. Here, too, sent a story to the examination on the complaint of concerned parents.

The author of the acclaimed book — known children’s writer albert Ivanov, and about Homa and Gopher from a lot of cartoons, just this cycle works 320. And what about his other famous tale “Wings, legs and tails”! “MK” was visited by the author and learned his point of view on what is happening.

photo: From personal archive

— Read the headlines? My poor guy on the Gopher stamp — addict — lamented albert Anatolevich. — On the entire Internet! The first book about Khoma and Gopher came out in 1975, and in 2016 the Gopher suddenly overnight became the enemy of the children. And it’s not true. He only started to get involved with dope, and he was saved in time friends. What is it? Freedom To Gopher!

— Think injured the honor and dignity of a Gopher?

— Yes. Claims unfair. You know what’s curious? For the first time this story was published in books in 2007. And no complaints there. Why now, nine years later, appeared? However, a rhetorical question.

— Albert Anatolievich, tell us, where in the children’s tale come from hemp? As you have any idea?

— The parents of me once in a meeting and asked to warn, to make fun of possible Hobbies of their children in all kinds of dope: glue in packages, spice and so on. The tale “How the Gopher stupefied” — response to their request. Judge for yourself, how about this topic can be silent: and then on the TV show elementary school students that breathe glue in batches. The children of our friends on the phone comes SMS-mailing with the text “order every pot!”. But even if parents and not addressed, I would still have written on this subject. We can not bury our head in the sand on pressing problems.

— I agree that the drug should speak to how children learn about them yourself.

— Here and read about my Gopher. In the story, only four pages, and at first it talks about how he became interested in hemp. But friends are immediately trying to dissuade him. It is a tale not so much about how he became interested, how friends from this addiction it later on weaned. It is written that animals are avoiding places where the Datura grows. Told about the bat, which after cannabis crashed on the lantern.

— From the Committee on drug control write: “in the book “High rock Khoma and Gopher contains information about hemp as a narcotic means and about how the use of cannabis as a drug is the inhalation of the odors of hemp through the nose and by Smoking”.

Did you try to smell the cannabis? From the fact that you smell it, you will be nothing. Yeah, Gopher it smelled and was terminials, but it is a fairy tale, not reality. That Russia made from hemp? Marine ropes, sail sheets, because they do not absorb moisture, they are the most durable. And about Smoking here nothing at all, my animals don’t smoke hemp, they are afraid of smoke, just like fire!

— But the Prosecutor concludes that the book “contains various information about the consequences coming after its use, including the positive”. Gopher is actually telling friends that he “lifted the mood” and see “merry and live paintings, and in dreams and reality”.

— So after the deceit of drugs — that in the beginning, they are fascinating. Children must know the dangerous consequences. If this phenomenon is not to say, how to deal with it?

— But do not you come to the idea that such a dangerous topic in children’s literature can cause misinterpretation?

— When a story I wrote, I did not think that this can complain about. Here the struggle against evil is, the struggle AGAINST drugs, not FOR them. Me another point made me think. It says about what friends are supposed to be haunted. Where they get these robes? Filmed in the village with a rope and a pillowcase made out of it And I thought, and suddenly say “theft teaches”? Thought about it and said: maybe this pillowcase with the wind on the meadow? And they have found it. You see, I have to get out, even in fairy tales.

— What about freedom of speech?

— I can write about anything. All the buds now while the publisher receives, which it publishes. Before the revolution, what we have censorship? Subsequent. That is beyond the owner, the censor reads it and puts the stamp “approved by the censor” or prohibit. Under the Soviet regime — a preliminary censorship. Every book I read in a special section, put a stamp if no comments, and then to print it. And now like?.. The tale “How the Gopher stupefied” came out 9 years ago! No nothing wrong with not noticed. What is nine? Whoever was in first grade, now finishes school. You’ll quickly determine what to mention and what not.

Because if not, he will immediately experience a lot of questions?

— Of course! I go ask them. What to do with Sherlock Holmes, the beloved detective of detectives? In books it often says that the famous detective took out a syringe and “something” itself worked hard, and even visited epicurien. Did not find it “mom”, which would be outraged by the fact that they read it to children! Let’s remember what ended up the famous “Three little pigs” — Yes, they are wolf cooked alive in a VAT of boiling water! In “red riding hood” the wolf even ripped open the belly. How to treat this? So it is with Raskolnikov in Dostoevsky what to do? The man with the axe is? Is. The old lady and her sister killed? Killed. It turns out, the manual on murder, or what? According to this principle can thrillers be banned.

But here such an occasion. “We, like, found the propaganda of cannabis, we will fight”. I have, incidentally, a fairy tale about Smoking. I myself smoked from a very young age, in 3rd grade started, and I was so whipped that after this twenty years did not smoke. You never know what I struggle with. I will say one thing: a story to tell, this is something new. In my opinion, this was not in Russia. Turns out, nothing harmful at all impossible to say. And to write — and even more so.

— And most importantly, the question arises “who are the judges?” Who will judge what is and what is not? In the absence of official censorship. As far as I know, a serious examination determined that the claimed violations in the tale of the Gopher there.

— Indeed, after the heat was an examination of authoritative Guild of specialists-linguists, which recognized that the promotion of a drug in a fairy tale there is. Their conclusion is just that the tale “Like a Gopher stupefied” — anti-drug focus. The Commission of experts also considers that the content of tales is no reason to assume that the Gopher smoked cannabis. Carp mainly to the very word “hemp”. As he said to me: “Nothing you wrote that word, it would be better was just a weed. Moreover, the opponents changed the pluses to minus. The tale is about how weaned, and on trial for allegedly taught.

— Is there any official recommendation from the relevant institutions as to cover the literature in these topics?

— There! And the publisher studied them! On the FDCS website, like, says that as informative materials for developing in children a negative attitude towards drugs needs to use cartoons, children’s literature, even a special computer game. And this must be done before you encounter a potential hazard. Now my tale is forbidden, so children elsewhere learn about drugs. Paradox.

— At the trial the publisher was led to these arguments?

— According to the representative of the publisher, there did not listen and did not ask anything, they were interested in the answers to only three questions. Is there any mention of a drug substance? Is. Is there in animals some vision? Is. If he smelled? Yes. And immediately made a decision.


— Albert Anatolyevich, you have more than three hundred stories about Khoma and Gopher, do none of them never got under disgrace? There were times and stricter.

— Surprisingly, no, even in Soviet times. In the book “the adventures of Homa”, released in 1975, is a fairy tale “As Homa cell found”. And in this cage… gained freedom. Spacious cage: two steps left, two right, with a door. And famous: what he wants to do, and nothing to do with him is impossible. Gets into everything. Steel predators to get him a cage to sell. And he said, “will never break up, she is dearer to me than life!” So, in prison he found freedom! All passed quietly, no complaints there. Even the cartoon was removed.

— But now you will think before you write something.

— Let them pick. And Korney Chukovsky fell for his crocodile. Even Mark TWAIN got it. His Huckleberry Finn, they say, stole a Negro!

— Apart from censorship, do children’s authors to adapt to modern realities? Simply put, the life of a Gopher and Homa of the sample 75-th year differs from the 2000s.

— Yes what I the signs? It’s more of a fantasy. Of course, I can “teach” them to talk on the phone, to drive the scooter, but why? I don’t need it, I want everything to be real — forest, meadow, Creek. If say they met a muskrat, then specify what she looks like, what kind of lifestyle leads. At the same time all is fiction Homa and Gopher float on a raft, pushing off the sixth. Nevertheless, it is clear that they met the muskrat, the otter is not some.

— But still integral today with items present your inseparable buddies know you? TV, radio?

— Familiar with TV. Gopher one day about something ask Homa: “How do you know Homa? — and he said, “seen On TV”. — “On TV? Where??” — “In the village, with the fence. The Windows in the house were open, clearly seen and heard.”

— About Pushkin they have you know…

— I know. Even their perennial enemy, the Fox, once said, “And as for me, Pushkin wrote, I heard in the village in the school yard, the verses read: “In crimson and gold clad Fox.

— We have sanctions, war in Ukraine, and Homa with the Gopher still friends with foreign relatives.

— Before we with Ukraine fell out, I left the tale, as to Homa to visit aggressive hamster came from Dikanka — a distant relative from neighboring countries. German hamsters also visited and when he saw a real wolf, he immediately ran away. American hamster to teach us fools, to visit visited: I’m from Oklahoma, says. Gopher says about Homa, or what?

— You recently said that your characters come off from “parent”. What do you mean?

— Borrow! Characters, quotes. A long time ago I wrote “it is Good there where we are.” This is also from the cycle of stories about Homa and Gopher. And please — saying became the title of one of the shows. Or here’s the tale “Wings, legs and tails”. Heard the ad on the radio: “Wings, legs, tails? No, teeth!”. Like, come to our clinic to treat teeth.

“And no one asked for permission?

— No. Must think me long in this world, and that take. As if from a piggy Bank of some kind.

— Fighting?

— No. Let them go anywhere. Many even borrow other people’s characters. Right now I have on the shelf a dozen volumes of “Sherlock Holmes written by other authors. Take Winnie-The-Pooh. How many movies filmed about him, but the book-it was originally one. Recently watched the movie — “the Daughter of Porthos” is called. Quite often it is.

— A Gopher with a Homa too?

— How! I have, of course, a monopoly on stories about hamsters. But please, think of your hamster other name. So no, take the famous Homa! And even compose tales with similar plots, and they do not judge.

It seems that this is the first case in Russia when judged tale. Absurd? The whole story about how bad to be an addict and how difficult it is to fight this scourge, and accused it of promoting drugs. Honest to God, there will be those times, when the wolf from “Nu, pogodi!” you’ll also be in the dock for Smoking and drinking.

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