sexta-feira, janeiro 05, 2007

The Meaning of "Portugueseness" - Part II 

  My name is Miguel, I am a 3rd grader and today I have to accomplish my school assignment, because today is the deadline. The assignment consists in describing the Portuguese people and their habits, by the way, I forgot to tell, I’m Portuguese.
  I decided that the best way to do this job was to interview the people on my neighbourhood. But the morning started bad, because I had an argument with my older brother Carlos. He got mad with me ‘cause I told my friends at school that my mother was a domestic servant. Well, she is a domestic servant. Apparently, my brother spread the news that our mother was an account manager in a big company and forgot to warn me about the fact. Sometimes I think he is ashamed of our family. When I asked for his help on the assignment, he refused, said he had to go buy a new expensive jeans just like those bought by João, our next door neighbour . But this reminded me of a Portuguese characteristic, we like to dress well. So I wrote my first item:

- Portuguese care about what they dress

  I crossed with Mr. and Mrs. Pereira, as usual I said hello but there was no answer in return. It’s weird, they seem a nice couple, maybe they think I am just a kid. And there was my second item:

- Portuguese don´t speak with neighbours in the elevators, at least if the neighbour isn’t yet an adult.

  Sofia is the hottest girl in the street and that is why nobody complains when she, like today, parks her car over the sidewalk just in front of our building door . She was walking her huskey, Inca, and I asked her help for the assignment. So she did:

- Portuguese like dogs.

  Of course she loved her dog, but not to the point of picking his poo up. She did it only when Mr. Pinto was watching, but today he showed up too late . Mr. Pinto is a retired old man who lives alone and spends a lot of time playing cards with his buddies. He gave me some advises about my assignment. Although he spent our talk spitting to the floor, it was a nice conversation and I got another item:

- Portuguese get smarter with age.

  Mr. Pinto told me he once had done a work like mine when he was younger and if I needed help he could explain me everything. He is a clever person, though my mother wasn’t pleased with him when he said he would fix our refrigerator and broke it . My brother doesn’t like him also. It’s an old story, Mr. Pinto said he was a bike expert and tried to fix my brother’s bike and things went wrong.
  I went to the Laurinda’s café and got a lot of material for the assignment. It’s a typical neighbourhood café. It’s very noisy; the floor is always covered with buts, chewing gums and lupin’s crusts. It has a smell of cheap wine and there’s always cigarette smoke on the air .
  Sofia was talking with Dr. Bento, it seems that she got a parking ticket and she was trying to get rid of it. Dr. Bento is, as my mother says, a "very useful person" . Everybody calls him "Dr. Bento", when I grow up I want people to call me "Dr. Oliveira"; it will make me feel important.

- Important Portuguese are addressed by "Dr.".

  Laurinda, the café’s owner, was loudly complaining to her supplier. He was supposed to bring pips and lupins the week before and was excusing himself, saying he had had troubles with his provider, seems he had his mother-in-law sick and couldn’t deliver on time .

- Portuguese care about family members.

  It was soccer day and the game was about to start when interferences appeared on the TV. Somebody suggested the antenna broke. To "Senhora" Laurinda’s luck, Beto Mãozinhas was in the house. He promptly offered himself to fix the antenna as he could. Everybody got amazed seeing him fixing the antenna with only cutlery . Then it occured me another topic.

- Portuguese can fix antennas with knives and forks.

  While Beto was fixing the antenna, three or four guys joined him to help. To me it seemed strange that they did nothing but speak, maybe they were giving him technical support. All I could hear was "do it like this...", "don’t do it like this, do it like that" and it gave me a new item:

- Portuguese are good team workers.

  On my way home, I saw Dr. Bento speaking with a police officer in a very happy mood. Probably he was telling him about Sofia’s fine. I don´t understand why she always parks her car in front of our building when fifty meters down the street there´s a parking lot always half empty. But I got another item from this occurrence:

- Portuguese polices have low wages and people help them with money.

  When I got home my father was very upset and complaining about something he received from the IRS. It seems he got into troubles due to tax evasion.
  He was sitting in front of the TV set, watching the game, drinking beer and shouting now and then for his team and swearing at the referee.
  My mother was making dinner and when half-time came she put dinner on the table and my father was still with his annoying toothpick noisy habit.

- In soccer days, Portuguese have meals at half-time.

  After dinner I sent my assignment to my teacher, Mr. Bastos. He sent me a reply saying I caught well the meaning of being Portuguese and told me I had been clever not to mention the onions and potatoes my father gave him.

The Meaning of "Portugueseness" - Part I 

José Malhoa - O Fado, 1910.

terça-feira, setembro 05, 2006

Michel Gabriel, Rue Mouffetard, 1952 

Photographier, c'est mettre sur la même ligne de mire la tête, l'oeil et le coeur. C'est une façon de vivre. Henri Cartier-Bresson

terça-feira, julho 25, 2006

Algures lá atrás 

Os poetas não inventam os poemas
O poema está algures lá atrás
Há muito muito tempo que lá está
O poeta não faz senão descobri-lo

Jan Skacel

sexta-feira, julho 14, 2006

Do something different 

"It's no use trying to do something that somebody else has done as well as it can be done. Do something different."
Ezra Pound
(dirigindo-se a T.S. Eliot sobre cortes que sugeriu em The Waste Land )

segunda-feira, julho 10, 2006

Le baiser de l’Hotel de Ville - 1950 

Robert Doisneau

sexta-feira, julho 07, 2006


Ontem, durante uma terrível insónia, enquanto visionava a excelente série americana Dawson’s Creek na TVI, tive uma epifania. Perguntar-me-ão "Mas o que é que interessa o que este gajo pensa?"; a resposta é óbvia, o que penso não tem qualquer interesse, contudo, e se ainda estão a ler, advirto que o esforço da leitura será (re)compensado. Poderão pensar, "mas epifania não é uma festa religiosa?"; também, mas não só. Epifania, e finalmente vejo recompensado o esforço de estudar James Joyce, é, sucintamente, a realização ou compreensão da essência ou significado de algo. Depois desta última frase, e após ter usado "Perguntar-me-ão", dirão "este gajo [parece que] sabe o que diz". Eu dir-vos-ei que é já a influência da epifania em mim a dar frutos, como mais à frente descobrirão. E reparem de novo, o uso de uma prolepse, e a noção do mesmo uso. Que bela insónia foi.

Esquecendo estas (meta)reflexões, passo a Dawson’s Creek. As interpretações parecem-me brilhantes, embora a dobragem, que supera claramente o original, me tenha impedido desfrutar completamente a performance destes actores. Mas o que mais me surpreendeu nesta série foi a loquacidade das personagens. Sendo esta série o reflexo da adolescência americana, ou pelo menos a imagem que os americanos têm da mesma, concluo que os adolescentes americanos são, sem dúvida, bastante eloquentes e autênticos filósofos. A espontaneidade dos diálogos, que me trás à memória os nada artificiais comentários desportivos do Jorge Gabriel, é espantosa. Vejamos um exemplo, uma jovem a dialogar "normalmente" com um amigo:

Joey(Sra. Tom Cruise): "Do you believe in magic? I never used to. I mean, how could I? 13, your mom dies, you hope against hope for magic, something to make it all better. It never comes, and, you know, you look to your father who's unable to overcome all of his tragic flaws. Well, no abracadabra there. And then there's Pacey. Well... any magic that was there, that ran out, didn't it? But, uh, then there's you. There's proof that someone out there is thinking of me... my friend who was with me always. It's pure magic."

O que me leva a concluir que existe um (ligeiro) declínio desta tremenda capacidade de expressão oral dos americanos ao longo da sua vida. Reparem na menor eloquência de George W. Bush, e com menos espontaneidade que as personagens da série, não esqueçamos que estas frases são pensadas pelo Presidente e pelo seu staff em demorados brainstorms:

"I tell people, let's don't fear the future, let's shape it." George W. Bush, Omaha, Neb., June 7, 2006

Que é feito dos heróis autênticos como Huckleberry Finn? Que espelho é esse onde os americanos se vêm? Vou, tal como eles, acreditar que a realidade é como "eu" quero que seja, para mim os adolescentes americanos continuam a ser Holden Caulfield(s).

"Anyway, I'm sort of glad they've got the atomic bomb invented. If there's ever another war, I'm going to sit right the hell on top of it. I'll volunteer for it, I swear to God I will." J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 18

Termino, e já imagino uns suspiros de alívio, com uma última (meta) consideração, reparem que a única citação que não está devidamente referenciada é a de Dawson’s Creek. Esta omissão é deliberada e tem o propósito de vos suscitar "insónias inconscientes". Se estiveram atentos ao que disse, estarão nesta altura a questonarem-se, "Mas então qual foi a epifania?", ao que respondo: isso é o que menos interessa, nada com um final aberto, onde o leitor escolhe o final que desejar.

quinta-feira, maio 04, 2006

Sonnet 18 

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.


quinta-feira, abril 27, 2006

Lilac Wine 

I lost myself on a cool damp night
Was hypnotized by a strange delight
Under a lilac tree
I made wine from the lilac tree
Put my heart in its recipe
It makes me see what I want to see...
And be what I want to be
When I think more than I want to think
Do things I never should do
I drink much more that I ought to drink
Because it brings me back you...
Lilac wine is sweet and heady, like my love
Lilac wine, I feel unsteady, like my love
Listen to me... I cannot see clearly
Isn't that she coming to me nearly here?
Lilac wine is sweet and heady where's my love?
Lilac wine, I feel unsteady, where's my love?
Listen to me, why is everything so hazy?
Isn't that she, or am I just going crazy, dear?
Lilac Wine, I feel unready for my love...

Tribute to Jeff Buckley

quarta-feira, abril 19, 2006

Tanto gentil 

Tanto gentil e tanto onesta pare
la donna mia quand'ella altrui saluta,
ch'ogne lingua deven tremando muta,
e li occhi no l'ardiscon di guardare.

Ella si va, sentendosi laudare,
benignamente d'umilta' vestuta;
e par che sia una cosa venuta
da cielo in terra a miracol mostrare.

Mostrasi si' piacente a chi la mira,
che da' per li occhi una dolcezza al core,
che 'ntender non la puo' chi no la prova;

e par che de la sua labbia si mova
uno spirito soave pien d'amore,
che va dicendo a l'anima: Sospira.

Dante Alighieri, Vita Nova

sexta-feira, março 31, 2006

Colega, passe-me o quebra-palavras:
encontrei uma que deve ter qualquer coisa lá dentro

Alexandre O'Neill

Há palavras que nos beijam 

Há palavras que nos beijam
Como se tivessem boca.
Palavras de amor, de esperança,
De imenso amor, de esperança louca.

Palavras nuas que beijas
Quando a noite perde o rosto;
Palavras que se recusam
Aos muros do teu desgosto.

De repente coloridas
Entre palavras sem cor,
Esperadas inesperadas
Como a poesia ou o amor.

(O nome de quem se ama
Letra a letra revelado
No mármore distraído
No papel abandonado)

Palavras que nos transportam
Aonde a noite é mais forte,
Ao silêncio dos amantes
Abraçados contra a morte.

Alexandre O'Neill, No Reino da Dinamarca

sexta-feira, dezembro 05, 2003


do Lat.inanitate

s. f.,
qualidade ou estado do que é inane;

falta de fundamento.

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