Regarding the book Platero and I, I hold the same view as Jiménez: it is suitable for people across the age range, not limited to children, but definitely including them. Regarding death, I always believe that knowing death and living life are not two contradictory modes of existence.
Young, old or in between, everyone should know death and dare to face it head-on, be aware and normalize its presence as an integral, natural process of all living beings; generations replacing generations in centuries after centuries.
Jiménez, who had suffered from depression throughout his life, wrote about death with surprisingly calming, even gentle lines that never characterise death as the terrifying horrific monster we imagine. The vague shape of death gradually becomes clearer and, in the end, the author forces a confrontation where the reader, like the “I” in the book, has to look into the eyes of death directly. As mentioned before, the tiny breadcrumbs of death sprinkled out in small episodes culminate in the death of the protagonist, whom the reader learns to love and gets attached to during the storytelling.
Jiménez shows that experience of death does not necessitate darkness, desperation, hopelessness and other unmentionable abominations. Death is not only to be associated with sin, punishment or revenge, always evoking imagery of blood and violence; but can also be a source of inner peace, inspiration and light. The spectator, the reader, the viewer can all see that death is quite literally Jiménez’s poetry.
So let us think of it not with bitterness and defeat, with no denials and flinching avoidance. Let us look at death with life.