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I try not to think about it. That way I manage to remain in peace, unpreoccupied and, from what people tell me, fatter [ Not even Oriental art gives him any pleasure; "[ With respect to Chinese art, I have no criteria: nothing interests me, and I do not understand anything. I find everything banal and insipid; always the same thing, devoid of meaning and interest. Always the same themes, the same processes, the same routine and stupid taste. But art, beauty, taste? Not at all, absolutely not. Anyone who saw a Chinese tapestry, table or plate a thousand years ago saw all tapestries, tables and plates by all artisans and from all periods, in omnia secula secolorum.

There are some common elements in the experiences and vision of the three authors I just mentioned, as far as Macao is concerned. What immediately stands out is the brevity of their stay -- five days, two weeks, eleven months -- which leads to a superficial knowledge, or even to a lack of knowledge, of the place, its people and its specific culture and people who have lived in Macao know that it takes "time" to understand and come to love this "space". This lack of knowledge leads to two attitudes, only apparently different: either rejection or an attraction for a pseudo- exoticism that is a false attraction or, more so, a false bond.

What everyone immediately notices about Macao is the topography of the city.


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It is divided in two, which lets the modus vivendi of its population show through. This division does not signify any type of opposition. It is a way of using space that reveals how the two communities live together: people mind their own business; the Portuguese do not impose themselves and the Chinese are good neighbours cold perhaps, but pacific.

In short, there is no fusion, but neither is there confusion. What exists is a sort of soft apartheid that none of the authors questions. And it seems that the way the two communities initially met is repeating itself, continuing. Is Pessanha's example unique and unrepeatable? Others have spoken of a deeper knowledge and stronger ties or the desire for such , as is apparent in their texts.

This list does not include any writers from Macao. I would like to say a few words about them now.

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They are a group of writers who consider themselves a result of Luso-Oriental contact and present themselves as children of a community that, today, has problems of identity. What the author means by "everything" is a specific and original culture that also shows through in a literature that is strictly Macanese. There are other, younger ones, who will no doubt also be in the limelight in the future. All one has to do is look at the titles mentioned above to see how Macanese literature is made: the language is Portuguese, but the themes are Chinese or Luso-Chinese.

This bicultural writing results from openness to others and reveals a refusal to be indifferent, rather than the desire to assimilate or be assimilated.

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It speaks of the 'good neighbour' that may why not? It speaks of this desire, so it is transgressive in many aspects. At a certain point in the history of literature in Macao, the 'marriage' took place, from which emerged a common language-- the patois -- and texts in this language. Today, the patois is hardly ever used "[ These writers all passed through Macao and shared their impressions in texts that are related to the territory, in one way or another. His poetic itinerary follows the same paths -- it starts with reality, 'undoes it' and creates one that is more 'real'.

Along the way, there is nostalgia for a time that was and a time that might be. Hence there is the paradoxical 'empty-full' experience that is the stuff of dreams.

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To this poet, Macao is the last dream place -- a space where one lives by 'exchanging' and not by trading or imposition -- teachings, feelings, lan-guages, cultures and histories are all exchanged. For this reason, Couto Viana's poetry reveals an attentive and delicate observer of a delicate and fragile reality that seduced and enchanted him, and with which he fell in love. It is with, and because of, his way of seeing things that, rather than seeing what is exotic, he sees what is identical in that which is distinctive, what is the same in that which is different, and shows the desire to adapt and communicate which, as you may recall, takes us back to the initial situation.

The result is a 'mixed' writing in which the poet's feelings are confronted with elements that are apparently external to him - nature, customs, people who are the 'normal ones' there, where they meet. It is in this common life that he wants to participate and make us participate - a desire for a union, as such, 'until death do us part'. And, for this reason, there is a passive non-acceptance of a 'separation' that feels imposed. And there is all the more pathos when the subject is the relationship between two cultures although it may be felt by an individual only.

Perhaps it was "[ Seabra wrote Poemas do Nome de Deus Poems of Name of God - poems presented in a bilingual volume so that they seem to have been written by four people or recited by two voices. The poems are about "the name" - and the name encompasses the memory of "the canto", "the epic", "the bard", "the grotto", "the language", "the writing", and "the symbol"; about "exile", which consists of "loyalty", "the rose", "the ogive", and "the Holy Spirit"; about "the ruins", "the gods", "the dead" and "the ashes"; about experiencing "the undefined", "blue", "the seven moons", "opium", "gambling" and "time"; and the sign slides through and from "the rhythm", "the music", "the garden" and "the islands", and breaks through the barrier "of the wall" and "the siege" to speak once again, "of the mariners" "the route " and "the prophecy", when "the dragon" awakens.

In Poemas do Nome de Deus , Macao is the other name of the epic, or a "[ It tells us of its vocation to "relink" different peoples and different gods in religion - that"[ Could it be that from the ruins and the ashes it will rise up, with the help of opium or gambling, for another time, an undefined blue that we lacked long ago? When the dragon awakens and we have to return, will we be "[ The month before, the evidence that the meeting had already taken place became public in the form of a bilingual anthology Portuguese-Chinese , Com Palavras Amo I Love with Words.

He comes with the grace of fountains, the acridness of lime and the other name of the land. He comes, because he never left.

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Now that he has come to us and we look at him, he has already built us a house in transparency. Could it be that it is only when they must part that "lovers" discover how much they complete each other and belong to each other? That for the first time our eyes light up and reveal "[ Each poem is a fundamental text to provide proof of the meeting I referred to.

The first moment of that meeting is reflected in Camilo Pessanha, o Mestre Camilo Pessanha, the Teacher , the master of language: "[ This was indecision turned into the material of poetry, creating with this reluctance to speak a plot; a subtle complicity with silence, a hesitation between thinking and feeling. He subsequently goes to the Jardim de Lou Lim leoc Lou Lim leoc Garden and emerges from there with a stalk of bamboo and Eastern wisdom. Then he contemplates As Pedras The Stones that "[ A great love always involves farewells and distance, so those who love "[ We remain in the blue-green of the bamboos that reach for the sky, with a different wisdom, found this time in the Templo da Barra Ama Temple.

There is also the enigma of rituals such as the "walking" of birds in the gardens of Macao by elderly people whose "[ The others, the mediocre ones among those he sees carved on the grotto must be removed because they offend poets.

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Others must be rewritten, so that they may be "[ Light and water mark the approach to Coloane - an island - a port that in the past harboured pirates and today is blue, shady and misty. The journey ends at the cemetery, which in this case is not a place of pain but a place of beauty and another encounter: "A woman who was sweeping the graves picked up a vase, filled it with water and handed it to me with a smile.

That was the prettiest thing in the cemetery, that smile, cool even in the mid-day sun. The circle is closed. The teacher of the first moment continues to keep the poet company, and will do so forever. In the end, Macao will continue to be like a house whose doors will always be open to poetry, which is alive and well there. With the same sense of adventure as the first to leave and with the feeling of someone who accepts a challenge, without fully understanding it or what it will lead to, Miguel Torga decided to travel from Coimbra to Macao on the 2nd of June Of all of them, the paradigm is O Senhor Ventura Mr.

Fortune , the adventurer who, once in Macao, was faced with himself, the established laws and the place, then left for other destinations he imagined existed and for which his sense of freedom hungered. The experience leads him to conclude: "Everything in this land is at once natural and magical, concrete and abstract, immobile and fleeting. Rather than being stimulating, it makes you languid. A tangible mirage, a challenge to our reason, our sensibility and our common sense. Macao is not a reality that can be clearly grasped. It is like a confused dream of Portugal.

On the 10th of June, in a 'Last Supper' ritual at the dinner table typically a Chinese meal , the communion is established: "For the first time in my life I was seated at a table ingesting each dish as if I were swallowing a host, taking communion, and I liked that. Everything is so enigmatic, so changeable, so ambiguous, so labyrinthine, that we lose our senses with every step. The simultaneous discovery of oneself and others, and the realization that: "In the midst of the yellow uniformity, it is we who are exotic.

Doing what? On the day of the celebration, it is established: "[ This visit of love is a farewell. The spirit will endure: "After we leave, we will continue to be here, present in each family tree, in each surname, in each custom, in each term, in each seasoning, in each prayer, in each moment, in each ruin. The "[ To return eternally. At the moment of the critical separation, Torga criticizes the political logic, suggesting that it would be to China's and the world's advantage if 'things' were not as the 'powers' have planned: "It is a pity that national pride measures all foreign shadows by the same standard.

Whereas Hong Kong is an example of capitalist insolence, a colonial affront that offends heaven and earth, Macao is merely a discrete adventurous landmark. And perhaps it would not hurt the Chinese colossus to consent to having a Portuguese presence, anchored at its side, continue to give it lyrical news from the West.

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As someone once said, Torga was a "[ So it is natural that Portugal allowed him to speak on its behalf, and sent him with a message of farewell and a promise of eternal return. It was this sacramental 'gesture' that the poet made the day he spoke about the other poet in Macao in his our heart the words of Jesus: "Father, if possible, take this cup away from me.

Portuguese women have also written about their 'special' ties to Macao. In A Pedra Decorada The Decorated Stone , 77 Agustina Bessa Luis, in her unique style of fable-reflection, traces the 'history' of the territory to raise the following doubt: "[ It will not be easy to separate two peoples who, despite their many differences, also have much in common. The idea of "time", for example, and how it is viewed is the same in the two communities.

From that stems the 'essential' mutual understanding: "Like the Chinese, the Portuguese have a particular tendency to waste time, to enjoy it without the avidity the English [and the Americans] have. Time, for the Chinese, is not money, but rather a wonderful spiritual activity, an item to barter against eternity, not for survival. The Portuguese are also artists in this respect. Time is merely an indiscretion committed by God. The concept of time is given to us so that we may place ourselves in relation to any action repeated over the millennia with the same degree of wisdom and inexplicable importance.

Referring to the space, the people, the birds, she says: "[ The oriental woman is a world apart [ In a letter to Fr.

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Manuel Teixeira dated January 14, , she suggests that she may return because she feels that it is necessary, that "it is right not to let [ If they are not written down, no monument will save them. Literature will be the witness of days gone by and the building of a future. It will be consubstantial architecture that everyone looks at, a universal city, to say of this other one that, being "[ As she rereads Barbosa's work, she observes that "[ No one has done, or does, it better than Maria Ondina Braga in a work that is paradigmatic in every respect.

This writer-traveller, who is restless and restlessly in transit through writing and through the places where the Portuguese have passed, speaks about the attraction for the enigma of Macao, the mystery that is Macao. Running away from a fate that was supposed to be natural and made women "sedentary" beings, Maria Ondina Braga left"[ Braga belongs to a group of women to whom, in the words of Regina Louro, "[ They leave their familiar world to break loose, and the new places they see are, above all, a pretext for an interior journey whose outcome is impossible to predict upon departure.

The last book published 87 by Maria Ondina Braga, Passagem do Cabo Beyond the Cape , is in a way a synthesis of her journey through space and writing. She writes about the wounded lands of Africa, traversing the Indian Ocean, the days in Macao, the first time "[ The attitude of people who travel to such a variety of places and writing is one of complete openness, discreet attention, solemn renunciation and, in the end, wisdom, knowledge that transforms and also makes us different in history.

The writer invents stories, but it is of history that she speaks and of people who actually exist - "us" - in Macao. This "us" is really plural, perhaps even excessively so, and it encompasses "me", "you" and "they" - the Portuguese members of the military, teachers, nuns, myths , the Macanese their businesses, the marriages and intrigues , the Chinese men and women, writing, legends [ Citing Vivian Ling Shu, Braga says: "Whereas history records the external events, fiction reflects the mind and soul of society.

To this author, Macao is the place of revelation, the place where mystery "[ So that China may stop "[ A new knowledge, a new path to love, to friendship - the joy of 'being' in Macao, the feeling of "being" in Macao. This work represents an attempt to acquire knowledge: "Macao was also my curiosity and my fondness for the Chinese people, their history, their wisdom. Nocturno em Macao is about assumed transgression, attraction taken to the ultimate - love and death.

The story is about the love between a Portuguese woman and a Chinese man, the fascination the woman feels for the Chinese 'characters' and the way she defies the established rules. Macao is presented as a place where the various Aeneas, who for some reason, are separated from their places of origin, land and permanently yearn for home. It is a place that is conducive to self-discovery and a port where the eternal travellers prepare to leave once again, leaving behind roots and taking with them 'nourishment' for later on.

Macao is like the male character in the book, who is loved by two women, one Portuguese and one Chinese. Like Esther, tied to a man who is an enigma to her, so is Portugal with Macao. And the paradox of death? Will Macao survive? Could it be that the departure of one of the characters in the novel, the little importance the other seems to accord to it, the breaking up of the triangle, will destroy an identity that lived on a happy ambiguity? In the author's words: " Nocturne [Nocturne] foreshadows the end of the empire". In order to set up a list of libraries that you have access to, you must first login or sign up.

Then set up a personal list of libraries from your profile page by clicking on your user name at the top right of any screen. You also may like to try some of these bookshops , which may or may not sell this item. Separate different tags with a comma. To include a comma in your tag, surround the tag with double quotes. Please enable cookies in your browser to get the full Trove experience. Skip to content Skip to search. Pessanha, Camilo, Language Portuguese. Uniform Title Selections. Physical Description p. Poets, Portuguese -- 20th century -- Biography.

Notes Errata slip inserted. LC copy lacking errata slip. Includes bibliographical references and index. View online Borrow Buy Freely available Show 0 more links Set up My libraries How do I set up "My libraries"?