“The spectacle of nature never tires”

“The spectacle of nature never tires”

At 80, the English voice of children’s literature, author of more than 130 novels, once again sees one of his works adapted for the cinema: The Kingdom of Kensuké. A magical film.

What do this novel and film say about you?
They tell the story of a young boy who falls from a boat and ends up on an island with his dog. This place, which he thought was deserted, is in reality inhabited by Kensuké, an old man who will open the doors to his “kingdom” for him… The relationships between old people and young people, between people of different cultures, to me interested. This story also speaks to my deep interest in the environment and how we take care of it.

A place that inspires you to write?

The islands. Every year, I spend my holidays on the Isles of Scilly, an archipelago off the coast of Cornwall. I live on an island and I see the effects that this has on us, its rather special inhabitants. I love living surrounded by water, the moods of the sea and the tides. Like many writers, I spend a lot of time alone and am fascinated by the theme of isolation.

Is there a place that crosses generations in your family?

Yes, where I live, in Devon, in the west of England. It’s a region that we love and where we have been rooted for generations. I don’t like leaving this place.

What will you never tire of looking at?

Nature at my window: the birds coming to peck every morning for their breakfast. I couldn’t do without this show.

The music that makes you happy in the morning?

The night music of the streets of Madrid, by Boccherini, which I listen to very often at the moment.

The movie you could watch a hundred times?

The kingdom of Kensuké, Of course! Hundreds of people worked on this project for twenty-two years and I am very grateful to them for the beauty of this film.

The person who meant the most in your family?

My mother and my wife. The latter has just pointed out to me that I “don’t have to say that”. And that’s precisely why it means so much to me…

Do you have a hidden talent?

I don’t think so… Probably so well hidden that I don’t know it!

You are offered eternal life. Do you sign?

Or? With whom? And how long would eternity last?

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