quarta-feira, 31 de outubro de 2012

domingo, 28 de outubro de 2012

Well it is a long rest. Feel no more. It's the moment you feel. Must be damned unpleasant. Can't believe it at first. Mistake must be: someone else. Try the house opposite. Wait, I wanted to. I haven't yet. Then darkened deathchamber. Light they want. Whispering around you. Would you like to see a priest? Then rambling and wandering. Delirium all you hid all your life. The death struggle. His sleep is not natural. Press his lower eyelid. Watching is his nose pointed is his jaw sinking are the soles of his feet yellow. Pull the pillow away and finish it off on the floor since he's doomed. Devil in that picture of sinner's death showing him a woman. Dying to embrace her in his shirt. Last act of Lucia. Shall I nevermore behold thee? Bam! expires. Gone at last. People talk about you a bit: forget you. Don't forget to pray for him. Remember him in your prayers. Even Parnell. Ivy day dying out. Then they follow: dropping into a hole one after the other.

James Joyce, Ulysses.

segunda-feira, 22 de outubro de 2012

Irene era una chica nacida para no molestar a nadie. Aparte de su actividad matinal se pasaba el resto del día tejiendo en el sofá de su dormitorio. No sé por qué tejía tanto, yo creo que las mujeres tejen cuando han encontrado en esa labor el gran pretexto para no hacer nada. Irene no era así, tejía cosas siempre necesarias, tricotas para ele invierno, medias para mí, mañanitas y chalecos para ella. A veces tejía un chaleco y después lo destejía en un momento porque algo no le agradaba; era gracioso ver en la canastilla el montón de lana encrespada resistiéndose a perder su forma de algunas horas. Los sábados iba yo al centro a comprarle lana; Irene tenía fe en mi gusto, se complacía con los colores y nunca tuve que devolver madejas. Yo aprovechaba esas salidas para dar una vuelta por las librerías y preguntar vanamente si había novedades en literatura francesa. Desde 1939 no llegaba nada valioso a Argentina.

Julio Cortázar, Casa tomada

quarta-feira, 17 de outubro de 2012

Commune présence

Tu es pressé d'écrire,
comme si tu étais en retard sur la vie.
S'il en est ainsi fais cortège à tes sources.
Hâte-toi de transmettre
ta part de merveilleux de rébellion de bienfaisance.
Effectivement tu es en retard sur la vie,
la vie inexprimable,
la seule en fin de compte à laquelle tu acceptes de
celle qui t'es refusée chaque jour par les êtres et par
   les choses,
dont tu obtiens péniblement de-ci de-là quelques
   fragments décharnés
au bout de combats sans merci.
Hors d'elle, tout n'est qu'agonie soumise, fin grossière.
Si tu rencontres la mort durant ton labeur,
reçois-là comme la nuque en sueur trouve bon le
   mouchoir aride,
en t'inclinant.
Si tu veux rire,
offre ta soumission,
jamais tes armes.
Tu as été créé pour des moments peu communs.
Modifie-toi, disparais sans regret
au gré de la rigueur suave.
Quartier suivant quartier la liquidation du monde se
sans interruption
sans égarement.

Essaime la poussière.
Nul ne décèlera votre union.

René Char, Commune présence: choix de poèmes, Éditions Gallimard, 1964.

terça-feira, 16 de outubro de 2012

Kind Valentine

She hugs a white rose to her heart—
The petals flare—in her breath, blown;
She'll catch the fruit on her death day—
The flower rooted in the bone.
The face at evening comes for love;
Reeds in the river meet below.
She sleeps, small child, her face a tear;
The dream comes in with stars to go
Into the window, feigning snow.
This is the book that no one knows.
This papered wall holds mythic oaks,
Behind the oaks a castle grows.
Over the door, and over her
(She dies! She wakes!) the seeds gallop.
The child stirs, hits the dumb air, weeps,
Afraid of night's long loving-cup.

Into yourself, live, live, Joanne!
And count the buttons—how they run
To doctor, red chief, lady's man!
Most softly pass, on the stairs down,
The stranger in your evening gown.
Hearing white, inside your grief,
And insane laughter up the roof.
O little wind, come in with dawn—
It is your shadows on the lawn.

Break the pot! and let carnations—
Smell them! they're the very first.
Break the sky, and let come magic
Rain! Let earth come pseudo-tragic
Roses—blossom, unrehearsed.
Head, break! is broken. Dream, so small,
Come in to her. O little child,
Dance on the squills where the winds run wild.

The candles rise in the warm night
Back and forth, the tide is bright.
Slowly, slowly, the waves retreat
Under her wish and under feet.
And over tight breath, tighter eyes,
The mirror ebbs, it ebbs and flows.
And the intern, the driver, speed
To gangrene! But—who knows—suppose
He was beside her! Please, star-bright,
First I see, while in the night
A soft-voiced like a tear, guitar—
It calls a palm coast from afar.
And oh, so far the stars were there
For him to hang upon her hair
Like the white rose he gave, white hot,
While the low sobbing band—it wept
Violets and forget-me-nots.

David Schubert, The Initial A, Macmillan, New York, 1961.

segunda-feira, 15 de outubro de 2012

Prospect Park

I would like to ask that dumb ox, Thomas
Aquinas, why it is, that when you have said
Something — you said it — then they ask you
A month later if it is true? Of course it is!
It is something about them I think. They think
It is something about me. It adds up
To my thinking I must be what I don’t
Know . . .

— The park is certainly
Tranquil tonight: lovers, like ants
Are scurrying into any old darkness,
Covert for kisses. It makes me feel
Old and lonely. I wish that I were
All of them, not with any one,
Would I exchange my lot, but the entire
Scene has a certain Breughel quality
I would participate in. —

Do I have to repeat
Myself. I really mean it.
I am not saying it again to convince myself
But to convince the repressed conviction
Of yourself. I think. I think. I think it.

David Schubert, Works and Days, Quarterly Review of Literature, s.d.

domingo, 14 de outubro de 2012

Another poet called David

I reached a point where there was no
Use going on: my companion said, “Do not waken
The watchman, do not shout, he will die
Of shock if you make the slightest
Sound.” I stood in the utter darkness,
Cold. Without evidence of myself.

The technique of diversion con-
Founds the rival by simulating friendship or
As the Victorians might say, worming
Affections. Then, at the point of trust,
As on this dark stage where one man sleeps
Slumped by the flashlight, to change the
Mode of address, from friend-
Ship to a complete stranger, to shriek-
Ing subtlety, to innuendo, and back to
Friendship. The executive wishes to
Demoralize his employee, perhaps he is slightly

I do not know. At the same time I could not enjoy
The enchanting silly coffee waves, sometimes
Sapphire, which is the fluid stream of our life.
Since then, like William James, I have learned
Ice-skating in my August, after—

At that point I returned;
Since there was no point going on I went back,
I spoke again to the marvelous friends of
My youth: for a short while it was a life.

That you were not willing I am sorry.

David Schubert, Works and Days, Quarterly Review of Literature, s.d.

sábado, 13 de outubro de 2012

 As relações entre arte e moral são extraordinariamente simples, pois tanto os defensores de que não há qualquer relação, como os seus opositores, têm razão. Objectivamente, não existe qualquer razão entre arte e moralidade, pela simples razão de que arte é arte e moralidade é moralidade, e pela mesma razão por que não existe qualquer relação entre a verdade e a moralidade. No entanto, a moralidade, sendo o esforço para elevar a vida humana, para lhe dar um valor humano, tem consequentemente relações com toda a vida humana. E a vida humana inclui a arte e a verdade.
  As mesmas relações existem entre beleza e verdade. Eu posso, se estiver ao meu alcance, basear um poema esplêndido no pressuposto de que o Sol se move em redor da Terra; nenhuma injúria a Copérnico afectará necessariamente a cadência do meu verso. Todavia, na mesma medida em que utilizo um pressuposto manifestamente errado, assim farei com que o meu poema perca o contacto com a vida – ou seja, ainda que não perca o contacto com a arte, perdê-lo-á com aquilo a que a arte pertence.  
  A minha mentira não prejudicará o efeito artístico do meu poema, mas arruinará o efeito de elevação de que o efeito artístico é apenas um aspecto. É que – e aqui tocamos no chão – elevar é a finalidade da arte mais sublime, e o seu fim é, por conseguinte, idêntico ao da moral. O meu poema pode elevar como um poema; deixará de elevar como produto vivente.

Fernando Pessoa, Heróstrato e a busca da imortalidade, Manuela Rocha (trad.) Assírio & Alvim, 2000.

quinta-feira, 11 de outubro de 2012

 Gustave Courbet, L'Atelier du peintre, 1855, Musée d'Orsay.

Prémio Nobel da Literatura 2012

Neste ano, como em todos os outros, é ela e acabou.

segunda-feira, 8 de outubro de 2012

John B. Thompson sobre o livro na era digital

John Thompson: Ebooks - threats and opportunities from George Miller on Vimeo.

o que fica

Um controlo de segurança num aeroporto. Há que esvaziar o conteúdo da mochila: o computador, dois livros, um caderno, o iPod, três ou quatro canetas, três lápis de números diferentes, um porta-moedas, um bloco de notas verde, as chaves de casa. A vida secreta da mochila exposta. E depois veio o take off your shoes sem o please antes ou depois. E de repente no meio da confusão de gente que passava de um lado para o outro, detectores de metais em bip, guardas armados de metralhadora, o computador retido para testarem não sei o quê, espere cinco minutos, etc., etc., e dez minutos depois will you give me back my computer, like now, like right now?, já sem o please também, porque, de repente, a um ambiente cada vez mais hostil outra resposta possível é a hostilidade, o objecto privado sob investigação de estranhos, e, ao mesmo tempo, o anonimato disto, é tudo estranho, é tudo aleatório, não sou eu, não é o meu computador especificamente, é a ameaça anónima, a ameaça anónima aleatória e potencial, provável, de outra coisa qualquer que pode ou pode não vir, e no meio disto tudo, saído não sei de onde, não sei porquê, aquele verso de Elytis no início de O Monograma. Um mundo tão longe disto, de repente, a privacidade de um pequeno quarto, este quarto de onde venho e a que regresso, um verso a meio do caos, um verso como identidade, há-de ser sempre assim, a cabeça cheia de versos. De repente o silêncio desse verso, qualquer coisa nele de um lugar familiar. O silêncio a meio do caos, a coisa de que não podes ser outstripped, aquilo que não é inspeccionável, a nossa vida interna. Esta é a função do texto enquanto parte da tua história pessoal. A sua função vital, cardíaca. Não existe outra. Por isso os pequenos livros de poemas, os cadernos, o computador, as canetas. Porque o sentido, a pequena ternura de um verso a meio da noite, num lugar hostil, de repente é por vezes toda a civilização que nos resta.

sábado, 6 de outubro de 2012

Easter, 1916

I have met them at close of day
Coming with vivid faces
From counter or desk among grey
Eighteenth-century houses.
I have passed with a nod of the head
Or polite meaningless words,
Or have lingered awhile and said
Polite meaningless words,
And thought before I had done
Of a mocking tale or a gibe
To please a companion
Around the fire at the club,
Being certain that they and I
But lived where motley is worn:
All changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

That woman's days were spent
In ignorant good-will,
Her nights in argument
Until her voice grew shrill.
What voice more sweet than hers
When, young and beautiful,
She rode to harriers?
This man had kept a school
And rode our winged horse;
This other his helper and friend
Was coming into his force;
He might have won fame in the end,
So sensitive his nature seemed,
So daring and sweet his thought.
This other man I had dreamed
A drunken, vainglorious lout.
He had done most bitter wrong
To some who are near my heart,
Yet I number him in the song;
He, too, has resigned his part
In the casual comedy;
He, too, has been changed in his turn,
Transformed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

Hearts with one purpose alone
Through summer and winter seem
Enchanted to a stone
To trouble the living stream.
The horse that comes from the road.
The rider, the birds that range
From cloud to tumbling cloud,
Minute by minute they change;
A shadow of cloud on the stream
Changes minute by minute;
A horse-hoof slides on the brim,
And a horse plashes within it;
The long-legged moor-hens dive,
And hens to moor-cocks call;
Minute by minute they live:
The stone's in the midst of all.

Too long a sacrifice
Can make a stone of the heart.
O when may it suffice?
That is Heaven's part, our part
To murmur name upon name,
As a mother names her child
When sleep at last has come
On limbs that had run wild.
What is it but nightfall?
No, no, not night but death;
Was it needless death after all?
For England may keep faith
For all that is done and said.
We know their dream; enough
To know they dreamed and are dead;
And what if excess of love
Bewildered them till they died?
I write it out in a verse -
MacDonagh and MacBride
And Connolly and Pearse
Now and in time to be,
Wherever green is worn,
Are changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

W. B. YeatsThe Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats, Richard Finneran (ed.), Simon & Schuster, 1996

Serious writing

We were interested in serious writing. Comic, not comical. Entertaining, not entertainment. We had no wish to claim that, because of what we read, we were better than those who read trash. We did not consider ourselves superior to our parents. We told ourselves that the things we valued in good writing - exaltation of spirit, insight into the lives and minds of others, good humour, the power to attack wrong, exposure to the the different between our own and other times, the constant challenge of high standards set by those who had gone before us - were benefits that might come to others in other ways, but our particular needs were literature, painting, music, all as parts of our daily, ordinary everyday lives, even though the rest of the world gave not a farthing for them.

Christopher LoguePrince Charming: A Memoir, Faber & Faber, 1999.

terça-feira, 2 de outubro de 2012

My cousin was a twin and a real card, he was christened Vincek and his brother was christened Ludvicek, and when they were a year old their mother was bathing them in a tub and popped out to a see a neighbor, and when she got back half an hour later one of them had drowned, and they were so much alike nobody could tell which one, Ludvicek or Vincek, so they flipped a coin, heads for Lucvicek, tails for Vincek, and it came up Ludvicek, but when my cousin Vincek grew up he began to wonder - and he had plenty of time for it, he was always out of a job - he began to wonder who really did drown, whether the person walking around on earth wasn't really Ludvicek and he, Vincek, was up in heaven, which led him to drink and to wander along the water's edge and go in swimming, testing the waters, so to speak, till at last he drowned, by way of proof that he hadn't been the one to drown back then...  

Bohumil Hrabal, Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age, 1995, Trad. Michael Henry Heim.