Saturday, December 31, 2005
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Saturday, December 24, 2005
so that he was able to travel to a distant island
to study Zen with a certain Master for a
three-year period. At the end of the three
years, feeling no sense of accomplishment,
he presented himself to the Master and
announced his departure. The Master said,
“You’ve been here three years. Why don’t
you stay three months more?” The student agreed,
but at the end of the three months he still
felt that he had made no advance. When he
told the Master again that he was leaving,
the Master said, “Look now, you’ve been here
three years and three months. Stay
three weeks longer.” The student did, but
with no success. When he told the Master
that absolutely nothing had happened, the
Master said, “You’ve been here three years,
three months, and three weeks. Stay
three more days, and if, at
the end of that time, you have not
attained enlightenment, commit
suicide.” Towards the end of the
second day, the student was enlightened.
his American pupils didn’t do
There was one girl in
the class in particular who,
it is true,
no work at all.
He asked her
one day why she
didn’t accomplish more.
“I don’t have
any time.” He said,
hours are there in the
day?” She said,
there are as many
hours in a day
as you put into it.”
lecturing on how to hear
“You must pay
full attention to what is being
said and you can’t do
that if you take notes.”
lady on my right was taking
The man on
her right nudged her and
said, “Don’t you
hear what he’s saying?
supposed to take notes.”
read what she had written
I have it written down
right here in my notes.”
Thursday, December 22, 2005
RIFUGIO D'UCCELLI NOTTURNI
In alto c'è un pino distorto;
sta intento ed ascolta
l'abisso col fusto piegato a balestra.
Rifugio d'uccelli notturni,
nell' ora piú alta risuona
d'un battere d'ali veloce.
Ha pure un suo nido il mio cuore
sospeso nel buio, una voce;
sta pure in ascolto, la notte.
REFUGE OF NIGHT BIRDS
Up there is a twisted pine;
intent it harkens to the abyss,
its trunk bent like a crossbow.
Refuge of night birds,
at the darkest hour it reverberates
to the swift strokes of wings.
My heart too has its nest
suspended in the dark, and its voice;
also intent, it harkens in the night.
Salvatore Quasimodo, To Give and to Have and other poems,
translated by Edith Farnsworth, Henry Regnery Company, Chicago, 1969
Monday, December 19, 2005
Arrastados os vizinhos ou os concidadãos para a aventura, já consumada a invasão, já depois dos inevitáveis mortos, já depois do dinheiro e energia gastos a destruir gloriosamente os perigosos bandidos, a eliminar os inimigos da paz e da humanidade, vá à televisão confessar que errou e pedir desculpa pelo engano: afinal, bolas, não era uma epopeia; foi uma asneira, mas as intenções eram e continuam a ser as melhores. Acha que acreditam em si? Acha que pedir desculpa resolveu algum problema e o iliba de culpas? Acha que as suas palavras alguma vez mais vão ter, na opinião de gente honesta e séria, alguma importância? Acha que morrer pela sua causa "errada" tem alguma justificação responsável?
Em vez de resolverem os nossos problemas, alguns políticos especializam-se em criar-nos problemas que nem sequer tínhamos antes de eles terem começado a querer ajudar-nos.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Como se vê pelo texto acima citado, nem tudo está dito sobre questões de "retórica narrativa" - a reflexão continua. Algumas obras interessantes, entre tantas outras que podem ser úteis:
. Luc Herman & Bart Vervaeck, Handbook of Narrative Analysis. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln and London, 2001
. Wallace Martin, Recent Theories of Narrative. Cornell University Press, Ithaca and London, 1994 (1986)
. Ladislav Matejka and Krystyna Pomorska (Eds.), Readings in Russian Poetics, Formalist and Structuralist Views. Dalkey Archive Press, 2002
word of English was once offered free
transportation across the United States plus $500
providing she would accompany a corpse that was
being sent back to America for burial. She accepted.
On her arrival she looked about and noticed that
people who went into the railroad station left the
city and she never saw them again. Apparently they
traveled some place else. She also noticed that
before leaving they went to the ticket window, said
something to the salesman, and got a ticket. She
stood in line, listened carefully to what the person
in front of her said to the ticket salesman,
repeated what that person said, and then traveled
wherever he traveled. In this way she moved about
the country from one city to another. After some
time, her money was running out and she decided to
settle down in the next city she came to, to find
employment, and to live there the rest of her life.
But when she came to this decision she was in a small
town in Wisconsin from which no one that day was
traveling. However, in the course of moving about
she had picked up a bit of English. So finally she
went to the ticket window and said to the man there,
“Where would you go if you were going?” He named a
small town in Ohio where she lives to this day.
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Town Hall. The
composer whose works were being
performed had provided program
notes. One of
these notes was to the effect
that there is too much pain
in the world.
After the concert I was
walking along with the composer
and he was telling me
how the performances had not been
quite up to snuff.
So I said,
enjoyed the music,
but I didn’t agree with that
program note about there being
too much pain in the world.”
He said, “What?
think there’s enough?” I
said, “I think
there’s just the right amount.”
Suzuki would be there. He was.
Before dinner I mentioned Gertrude Stein.
Suzuki had never heard of her. I
described aspects of her work, which he said sounded
very interesting. Stimulated, I mentioned
James Joyce, whose name was also new to him.
At dinner he was unable to eat the curries
that were offered, so a few uncooked
vegetables and fruits were brought, which
he enjoyed. After dinner the talk
turned to metaphysical problems, and
there were many questions, for the
hostess was a follower of a certain Indian
yogi and her guests were more or less
equally divided between allegiance to Indian
thought and to Japanese thought.
About eleven o’clock we were out on the
street walking along, and an American
lady said, “How is it, Dr. Suzuki?
We spend the evening asking you
questions and nothing is decided.” Dr.
Suzuki smiled and said, “That’s why
I love philosophy: no one wins.”
i vostri occhi leggevano sul foglio
gl'impossibili segni; e franto era
ogni accordo come una voce di cordoglio.
Compresi che tutto, intorno, s'inteneriva
in vedervi inceppata inerme ignara
del linguaggio più vostro: ne bruiva
oltre i vetri socchiusi la marina chiara.
Passò nel riquadro azzurro una fugace danza
di farfalle; una fronda si scrollò nel sole.
Nessuna cosa prossima trovava le sue parole,
ed era mia, era nostra, la vostra dolce ignoranza.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
arida, rivolgendomi, vedrò compirsi il miracolo:
il nulla alle mie spalle, il vuoto dietro
di me, con un terrore di ubriaco.
Poi come s'uno schermo, s'accamperanno di gitto
alberi case colli per l'inganno consueto.
Ma sarà troppo tardi; ed io me n'andrò zitto
tra gli uomini che non si voltano, col mio segreto.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Ter passado não nos consola de não ter futuro nem basta para reabilitar o tempo presente?
Ter apenas presente pode levar ao tédio ou ao desespero?
Ter apenas futuro impacienta-nos ou deixa-nos com um sorriso confiante e sereno nos lábios?
Ter passado, presente e futuro é o melhor que nos pode acontecer?
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Devo ter recebido esse texto atribuído a EPC por email, mas também o vi referido no Forum do Sporting como tendo sido publicado no Público com o título "Precisa-se de matéria prima para construir um País". Ou não se trata do mesmo texto?
Como não há nada de óbvio nesta questão, fico sem saber se o texto a que me referi foi de facto escrito por EPC.
Acrescento que ao referir-me aos portugueses que vivem no estrangeiro não estava a pensar em sucessos estrondosos nem em sucessos intelectuais em particular. Queria apenas sublinhar que, uma vez transplantados para o estrangeiro, os portugueses têm nos países onde vivem um comportamento e "sucessos" semelhantes aos dos cidadãos dos países em que se integraram. O que torna bastante problemática a existência de uma "personalidade", "carácter" ou "alma" "nacional" dos indivíduos.
P. S. A questão do "insucesso escolar" dos filhos dos nossos emigrantes, evocada por Luís Rainha, parece-me que se explicará em grande parte, no caso do Luxemburgo, como apontam os comentários, pelo trilinguismo. Mas visto que esse insucesso escolar (certamente relativo) se verifica noutros países (UK e França, por exemplo), deve haver explicações complementares. A qualidade e capacidade de apoio fornecido pela família e a atitude dos professores e da escola para com o "estranho" ou "estrangeiro" parece-me que não podem deixar de ser tidas em conta nestas circunstâncias particulares .
Friday, December 09, 2005
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Na cesta do pão assobiaram o rapaz. Pelo seu sportinguismo, pelos vistos. Who cares?
"Forty years ago (...) before the imposition of strict fitness regimes gave full-backs the speed and suppleness of wingers, the man in the blue No7 shirt had enjoyed ample space and time in which to weave his spells. No such luxury is afforded Ronaldo in the crowded areas of today's European matches: his stepovers, backheels and flicks are performed in spaces the size of a telephone box.
Last night he was also whistled with ear-splitting ferocity by the home fans, who remember his time with Sporting, their local rivals. How they loved it when, after a largely frustrating night, he was replaced by Park Ji-Sung as, with 20 minutes left, Ferguson started to play his final cards."
Monday, December 05, 2005
Beyond all this, the wish to be alone:
However the sky grows dark with invitation-cards
However we follow the printed directions of sex
However the family is photographed under the flagstaff -
Beyond all this, the wish to be alone.
Beneath it all, desire of oblivion runs:
Despite the artful tensions of the calendar,
The life insurance, the tabled fertility rites,
The costly aversion of the eyes from death –
Beneath it all, desire of oblivion runs.
Friday, December 02, 2005
Altra vita mi tenne: solitaria
fra gente ignota; poco pane in dono.
In me smarrita ogni forma,
bellezza, amore, da cui trae inganno
il fanciullo e la tristezza poi.
P.S. Franz Schubert, String Quintet in C major D956,
Lindsay String Quartet with Douglas Cummings
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Sunday, November 27, 2005
I was already old and hadn't made it
as a writer
when a young man sitting on my couch
"what do you think of Huxley living up
in the Hollywood hills while you live down here?"
"I don't think anything about it,"
I told him.
"what do you mean?" he asked.
"I mean, I don't think it has anything
to do with anything."
now the young man who asked me
that question lives up in the hills
and I still live down here
and I still don't think it has anything to do with
especially with writing.
but people keep asking foolish
Charles Bukowski, The Flash of Lightning
Behind the Mountain, Harper Collins, 2004
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Era nos extremos do Minho e onde esta risonha e feracíssima província começa já a ressentir-se, senão ainda nos vales e planuras, nos visos dos outeiros pelo menos, da vizinhança de sua irmã, a alpestre e severa Trás-os-Montes.
O que é que se perde se se eliminarem no texto de Júlio Dinis algumas palavras e frases e se condensar a informação transmitida pelo texto em duas frases curtas?
O que é a "literatura"?
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Outros trabalhos ocupam-se da real thing e não estão dispostos a admitir que para entender as coisas mais evidentes num texto se tem de ter lido outra pessoa que o entendeu antes (era o que faltava, que mesmo as evidências e as banalidades mais comuns tivessem de ser atribuídas a cabeças anteriores à nossa só para sacrificar ao ritual das autoridades!) Estes últimos trabalhos fornecerão menos informação histórica ou enciclopédica sobre o tema que tratam, referindo só o que interessa para o caso ou projecto particular. Mas ao praticar um saudável desprezo pela citação inútil, despropositada e pretensiosa, reabilitam juvenilmente - eh oui! - a coragem de "pensar por si". Ousando enfrentar o objecto de estudo sem a protecção de umas frases ou opiniões já solenemente embalsamadas ou engravatadas - e por isso usadas como se fossem escudos protectores - restituem ao texto original a sua força e a sua originalidade usurpada. Simultaneamente evidenciam com frequência uma humildade e uma capacidade de interrogação, de contestação e de investigação bem mais sérias e mais fecundas do que as dos minuciosos inventariadores de opiniões alheias e das verdades do passado.
Há professores e estudantes dos dois tipos. Ambos são úteis e necessários. Mas se os primeiros fazem mapas de caminhos já abertos, são os últimos que realmente se interrogam seriamente sobre aquilo que querem estudar e que, sem preconceitos, tentam entender. Por isso estão na origem do progresso e tornam possível um futuro menos monótono e provavelmente menos contaminado pelo erro.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
(...) At the time when Unterholzer moved to Regensburg, van Igelfeld was himself involved in his own difficulties over publication. Studia Utteraria Verlag, the publishers of his renowned and monumental work Portuguese Irregular Verbs, had written to him informing him that they had managed to sell only two hundred copies of the book. There was no doubt about the book's status: it was to be found in all the relevant libraries of Europe and North America, and was established as a classic in its field; but the problem was that the field was extremely small. Indeed, almost the entire field met every year at the annual conference and fitted comfortably into one small conference hall, usually with twenty or thirty seats left over.
The publishers pointed out that although two hundred copies had been sold, there still remained seven hundred and thirty-seven in a warehouse in Frankfurt. Over the previous two years, only six copies had been sold, and it occurred to them that at this rate they could expect to have to store the stock until well into the twenty-second century. Von Igelfeld personally saw nothing unacceptable about this, and was outraged when he read the proposal of Studia Litteraria's manager.
'We have received an offer from a firm of interior decorators,' he read. 'They decorate the apartments of wealthy people in a style which indicates good taste and education. They are keen to purchase our entire stock of Portuguese Irregular Verbs, which, as you know, has a very fine binding. They will then, at their own expense and at no cost to yourself, change the embossed spine title to Portuguese Irrigated Herbs and use the books as furniture for the bookshelves they install in the houses of their customers. I am sure you will agree that this is an excellent idea, and I look forward to receiving your views on the proposition.'
It was no use, thought von Igelfeld, to attempt to use the arguments of scholarship and value when dealing with commercial men, such as the proprietors of Studia Litteraria undoubtedly were: they only understood the market. It would be far better, then, to ask them to wait for a while and see whether the sales of Portuguese Irregular Verbs picked up. From the commercial point of view, it would surely be more profitable to sell the book as a book rather than as - what was the insulting expression they had used? - furniture. (...)