In Sentinela, the third book published by the Bahian author Jefferson Silva, a firefly lives a contradiction: at the same time that it has the function of illuminating the forest at night, the lack of light frightens it. However, it needs to face it to carry out its work. Without pitch, the insect ceases to exist. Based on this reflection, the author draws a parallel between the role of the shadow in people’s lives and the human need to understand their own fears and the dark parts of the soul.
The plot presents the trajectory of Prósfero, a sentinel who walks through the forest with the aim of lighting up the place to protect animals and plants from threats. As he walks, he meets, for example, Ésus. The character is also a sentinel who, when he is next to the protagonist, emits a stronger light.
Born in Salvador, Bahia, Jefferson Silva Pinho de Jesus studied at a public school in the capital and, upon graduation, chose to focus on graphic design. Lover of the health area, he became a Pharmacy student. Concomitantly with this training, he entered the artistic world from an early age: he took singing courses, won dance competitions and wrote. He is the author of the books “O Homem Árvore”, “O Caminho e o Andarilho”. Check out the interview!
Exploring a context of fears and courage, “Sentinela” sets the stage for the difficult dilemma of a firefly that, while having the function of lighting up the forest, is afraid of the dark of night. What were the main starting points that led you to this story?
It’s hard to find someone who teaches us how to overcome our fears, even when we’re young. Even if there is, it’s a complicated path. Right at the beginning of the characters’ trajectory, we realize that the function of the sentries is to protect the forests from darkness with light, however, there is much more at stake than just the role of watching. There is much more to it than just dealing with fear and fulfilling functions. Sentinela is a critique of these issues, because we live like “robots” having to, most of the time, be useful for society, but for ourselves? “Os Vaga-lumes do Jardim” traces a theme in relation to finding oneself, and that we can, yes, be useful in society, but without excluding our particularities.
Far beyond the way you found to illustrate the context of your story, you present the public with a parallel of the shadows that populate our lives and the need we have to understand our fears. In a practical way, how was the challenge of transcribing this context to the pages?
It wasn’t as challenging, as I’ve already written about it in other books. However, this is emphasized in Sentinela, and this parallel is about how fear can make us grow, even if we feel surrounded by shadows, we can turn negativities into practical solutions, into positivity, into doing good things, and it illuminates the being that is short of light. The biggest challenge was to humanize the little firefly in order to place it in human dramas.
In terms of awakening that courage and encouraging the ability to understand your own fears and the dark parts of your soul, do you think many people have this difficulty these days? How has the public reception been?
I do believe, many people live trapped in traumas and fears, however, if we analyze the trajectory of the main character, it is noticeable that overcoming our fears is a very complicated process. When reading the synopsis, some people get very excited, including those who started reading it, usually say that they identified a lot with the processes experienced by Prósfero.
During the course of the narrative, the firefly ends up meeting several characters who help him with his questions, such as Esus, Anciã, among others. How was the process of building the characters and what were your inspirations?
Looking back, in the story there is an exchange between the experiences of the main characters, and they help each other, what Prósfero lived in some way helps Ésus, and Ésus, Prósfero, etc… I was inspired by medieval, fiction and fairy stories, such as Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, World of Warcraft… Basically the names of the characters were in Greek and Latin, I was changing the word itself that came from verbs, nouns and adjectives, “give light”, “donate”, until to conform to a real name, however, there wasn’t much description in the physical form, as most of it was just a luminous orb. The personality and characteristics were based on the role that the character would have in the story, and what philosophy he could bring that linked to his behaviors and his physico-chemical transformations. Creating a “language” and forms of expression that would make the characters more real and in tune with the circumstances and moments in the book. I couldn’t describe the emotions of the characters the same as those of human beings, since they were beings of light that don’t have a face to express emotions, however, I described their expression by the tone of voice and by their words, generating a hint of poetry among the readers. paragraphs.
Despite being a real subject and one that many people have difficulty dealing with, do you believe that having passed this narrative through fantasy could have been a good tool instead of writing a purely more technical book on the subject?
I assume so, I believe that the interconnection of self-knowledge in other literary genres is a good tactic to help people deal with their own dramas, especially in a post-pandemic period, rising prices, crisis in Brazil, war in the world, climate change . So there are internal and external issues that people need to work on and deal with. This theme is a way to help them, and I consider dealing with even more self-knowledge in the future, because the future is in knowing ourselves in the present and in the now. Who will we be for what will be?
Your book is filled with life lessons and situations that make us think about our feelings. What are the main lessons you want the reader to acquire from reading your work?
The good fruits of self-knowledge, self-love, understanding your role in the world in its unique essence, that despite being the protagonists of our history, not everything will be about us. Good and evil are not so different, it just depends on where it is applied. Nobody is a coward for being afraid, on the contrary, we are brave for living with fear around our necks, not ceasing to live even with it. It’s okay to get lost a little bit, or you’ll never find yourself.
What is the main meaning that this work is having in your career as a writer?
When I proposed fireflies as characters, I did it with the purpose of raising awareness of the social and environmental impacts, social in the sense that when reading the book we identify with them, despite the fact that insects are not human, however, they carry light with them and so do we, the brightness of each one of us, in a unique way, we are fireflies when we shine through our attitudes. We got too used to the superficial and forgot the natural, today, fireflies, sentinels of our gardens, are practically extinct, as the book itself says, darkness is not always our enemy, light can be too, and that light it’s urbanization, it’s time to use technology in favor of what is natural.
In addition to this new work, he is also the author of the books “O Caminho é o Andarilho” and “O Homem Árvore”. What was the main difference you noticed when working on this new release?
I intended to deal with fiction without abandoning prose and poetry, I created a “language” within the book, something I had never thought of in the first two, I had challenges to enrich the story and build characters, which I had not done before in detail .
Author: Jefferson Silva
Price: BRL 35.35 (physical)
Visit Jefferson Silva‘s website