What I’ve Got: The Neverending Story (print)

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The never ending story is a German children’s book written by Michael Ende in 1979. Basic premise: this book explores dual realities. On the one side we have our current world, where the protagonist Bastian lives, goes to school, and encounters the Neverending story. On the other side of this book exists another reality, a fantasy world filled with monsters, princesses, and heroes. Here lives Atreyu, entrusted by the Childlike Princess to save Fantastica, the magical realm. At a certain point, Bastian notices that the book is describing him in his current location, hiding in the attic of his school, at which point he ‘enters’ the book and becomes a part of the Neverending story, never-ending since it is constantly being written.

What I think is particularly interesting in the design of this book is the complement of content to form, reflected primarily through the color of the text. When describing events of our reality, Ende writes in red ink. When transitioning to Fantastica and the world of the novel, the text is in green. This unique decision to include unorthodox printing colors in his book make the process of reading much more enjoyable (since it is unique and different) but it also functions to clarify the plot, which could get confusing to a young audience. While the story is great, (and I am in the process of rereading it), it is worth noting that this aspect of is completely lost in translations to all other mediums— audiobook, film, etc.

As a book that celebrates the hidden, thriving world that exists within books (‘the magic of reading’ if you will), Ende transforms his own creation into such an experience through his approach to content and form.

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Sources: http://dedalvs.com/books/2008/12/26/the-neverending-story/

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