sexta-feira, novembro 25, 2005
Sim, sim... estou aqui!
... usando as palavras de outros!:

"No será este un aniversario para el balance y la memoria, ni quiero recordar a los que conocí y ya tanto cansé. Este blog, como todos, como tú, es una estación de paso, un sitio para abandonar cuando pase el invierno .

Conversaciones, palabras al fin y al cabo, que diremos y con las que nombraremos el mundo y también lo re-crearemos. Quedará atrás y, si alguna vez lo recordamos, lo haremos con el cansancio con que se evoca los libros que ya no apreciamos, historias que ya dejaron de pertenecernos como los amores que perdimos.

A veces escribo cartas cumple tres años
"
posted by George Cassiel @ 9:41 da manhã   0 comments
sexta-feira, novembro 18, 2005
palavras e fim de semana...

"Man Reading at Table", Warren Dennis

novo fim de semana, e novas palavras...
livros para ler, notas para tirar, jornais para folhear, textos para traduzir!
um bom fim de semana!
posted by George Cassiel @ 3:29 da tarde   1 comments
quarta-feira, novembro 16, 2005
Livrarias... espaços de liberdade
posted by George Cassiel @ 2:58 da tarde   2 comments
sexta-feira, novembro 11, 2005
"No meu bairro..."
tem mais um texto.
posted by George Cassiel @ 2:07 da tarde   2 comments
Prémios Literários em França
São sempre muitos, ajudam a promover a leitura e (nem sempre) esclarecem o leitor...
mas vale a pena estar atento: aqui!
posted by George Cassiel @ 9:30 da manhã   0 comments
quinta-feira, novembro 10, 2005
Prix Interallié 2005
Assim se atribuem prémios:

"Le Prix Interallié 2005 a été attribué mardi 8 novembre à Michel Houellebecq pour "La possibilité d'une île" (Fayard). Michel Houellebecq l'a emporté au 4e tour par 7 voix contre 3 à Marc Dugain pour "La malédiction d'Edgar" (Gallimard) et 1 à Frédéric Mitterrand pour "La mauvaise vie" (Robert Laffont). "Je suis bien là, je suis plutôt content. C'est normal que j'aie eu un prix, d'une manière ou d'une autre, sinon il y aurait une espèce d'illogisme qui serait choquant", a déclaré le romancier qui est passé à côté du Goncourt alors qu'il était donné favori (finalement attribué à François Weyergans pour Trois jours chez ma mère chez Grasset)."

posted by George Cassiel @ 11:47 da manhã   0 comments
"Meus Irmãos Portugueses"
Discurso de Lygia Fagundes Telles ao receber o Prêmio Camões:

"Meus Irmãos Portugueses

Acima de tudo quero externar minha alegria ao receber o Prêmio Camões – alegria por ter sido lembrada por este Portugal que amo tanto e onde estão minhas mais profundas raízes plantadas na terra-mar de Viana do Castelo. Sim, lá repousa o navegador João Álvares Fagundes com o brasão no qual figuram as armas, são Sete Chaves de azul e prata. Com essas chaves o Capitão da Terra Nova teria tentado abrir as Sete Portas dos Sete Mares no Século XVI, na epopéia dos descobrimentos. Sim, Álvares Fagundes, nascido por volta de 1470 e logo seduzido pelo misterioso mar profundo na cruzada que iria dar a Portugal as melhores glórias.

O antigo sonho da descoberta e da colonização. O moço fidalgo morreu em 1527, morreu pobre e cheio de dívidas e dádivas. Jaz sepultado na Igreja Matriz de Viana do Castelo, na Capela do Santo Cristo. Creio que a vocação está nessa herança que é a predestinação para a vida e para o ofício e no qual está incluído o amor; inútil disfarçar, amamos a vida e lutamos dentro e fora de nós mesmos. Sim, a vida e seu ofício que exige coragem no verde da esperança e no vermelho da paixão, se eu tivesse uma bandeira ela seria verde e vermelha. Nesse vermelho, um laivo de cólera em face do drama das nossas desigualdades sociais.

Hora de plantar e hora de colher. Na plantação, ainda a paciência, a longa paciência na luta pela palavra que precisa ser amada no geral e no particular. O risco. Ousar esse risco que é um desafio: o desafio de pensar e de criar nesta nossa amada língua portuguesa. Mas com o estilo, ou melhor, com a forma ou modo brasileiro. Idioma que consagrou Camões e o nosso poeta romântico Gonçalves Dias que falou tanto da saudade do sabiá cantando na palmeira. Idioma que consagrou Fernando Pessoa e o nosso Jorge de Lima com sua Invenção de Orfeu, de certo ângulo, Os lusíadas metafísico.

Ao longo de todo esse tempo de escritura, aprendi a lutar com a palavra naquela luta do poema do poeta Drummond, mas guardando ainda certa inocência daquela criança que corria a procura de borboletas, ah! como brilhavam meus olhos enquanto escrevia ainda sem a certeza de chegar ao fim da frase.

Mas quero confessar aqui, o importante é a intensidade com que buscava o verbo nesta luta silenciosa e secreta. Pois não disse São Paulo que era mister dar o bom combate? Mas contra quem e a favor de quais interesses?

Sempre soube que se falhasse na busca da palavra, quem haveria de me socorrer? E falhando, a quem culpar? Acaso Deus me abandonou nesses anos ou nós é que o abandonamos quando ficamos mornos, insensíveis diante do drama humano? Quando não sabemos interpretar a homenagem que a palavra escrita presta à vida? Pois não é a arte que restaura a vida? Nem sempre sei. Nunca sei. Sei que é preciso aceitar o desafio da arte. Da loucura. Romper com a falsa harmonia, com o falso equilíbrio que mancha o papel. Afinal, que garantia temos de acertar? De nos convencer que os livros, saídos de nossa pena, expressem aquelas páginas com as quais sonhamos na juventude?

As primeiras sementes vieram daquele tempo, quando eu era uma jovem estudante da Faculdade de Direito do Largo de São Francisco, lá em São Paulo. A escola tinha sido um antigo convento de frades franciscanos e era tão fria nas manhãs de garoa, mas ficava tão quente quando o sol rompia a névoa, ah, o brilho daquele sol rompendo a névoa e invadindo as arcadas do velho pátio. A mocinha de boina era obstinada e essa obstinação prosseguiu na defesa do ofício e do idioma. Mais provas da paciência e da coragem nessa massa de tempo que se canaliza na luta para manter o coração e a escrita em boa forma. Sim, insistimos e resistimos às ameaças quando dizem que já não somos os mesmos, que a literatura é trivial e que já não encontramos lugar no mundo. Afinal, os escritores estão se multiplicando como no milagre dos pães e há tantas tentações lá fora, a palavra na moda é evento. E os leitores? Onde estão esses leitores tão ocupados neste Planeta em transe? Tão esquivos esses leitores... Recorro agora aos versos de um poeta português que morreu jovem, Sebastião da Gama:

"É pelo Sonho que vamos
comovidos e mudos.
Chegamos? Não chegamos?
Haja ou não frutos
é pelo Sonho que vamos."

Penso ainda naquele antigo ancestral, Álvares Fagundes, e que teria legado a esta remota descendente as Sete Chaves que abririam os segredos da minha vocação.

Sinto, às vezes, que fui além do quintal da infância na pequena cidade de Sertãozinho. Sobrevoei São Paulo, meu Estado, cruzei o Brasil e cheguei a Lisboa. Sei que há razões para estar aqui e receber o Prêmio que é uma homenagem ao Poeta maior. Resta-me agradecer comovida este belo momento da minha vida. Sim, meus caros amigos, estou muito grata. Até sempre!"


Lygia Fagundes Telles
Porto, 13 de outubro de 2005.
posted by George Cassiel @ 11:45 da manhã   0 comments
E...
já está nas bancas o novo número da Magazine Litteraire.

Dossier:Platão.
posted by George Cassiel @ 11:42 da manhã   0 comments
Roth, em mãos

A propósito do trabalho de Philip Roth, um artigo no The Guardian:

The long road home
An intensely private man, Philip Roth is one of America's greatest writers. He is dedicated, even obsessive, about his work but loathes the fame that attends it. After spells in eastern Europe and the UK, his return to New York marked a period of creative renewal as he reflected on the US through the lens of history. His latest novel revisits - and reimagines - his childhood
por Al Alvarez, Saturday September 11, 2004 The Guardian.


Philip Roth: More powerful and accomplished with age.

Philip Roth has had the grandest prizes available to an American writer, some of them more than once, and he has been to the White House to have the National Medal of Arts pinned on him by former president Bill Clinton. But the honour that seems to have pleased him most is the forthcoming multi-volume edition of his collected works in the Library of America. This officially establishes him as an American classic, with Melville, Hawthorne, James, Fitzgerald and Faulkner, and so far only two other writers - Saul Bellow and Eudora Welty - have been immortalised in this way during their lifetimes.

For the last decade, at an age when most writers are beginning to lose interest, Roth has produced a series of books more powerful and accomplished than any he has written before. And he shows no signs of slowing down.
"Even now, he doesn't relent," says Aaron Ascher, Roth's old friend and editor. "This is a 70-something-year-old writer who is still going uphill and keeps getting better. He has back problems which give him great pain, yet he's always working. He never stops, even in his worst periods."

Roth's face is lined now, his mouth has tightened and his springy hair has turned grey, but he still looks like an athlete - tall and lean, with broad shoulders and a small head. Until recently, when surgery on his back and arthritis in the shoulder laid him low, he worked out and swam regularly, though always, it seemed, for a purpose - not for the animal pleasure of physical exercise, but to stay fit for the long hours he puts in at his writing. He works standing up, paces around while he's thinking and has said he walks half a mile for every page he writes. Even now, when his joints are beginning to creak and fail, energy still comes off him like a heat haze, but it is all driven by the intellect. It comes out as argument, mimicry, wild comic riffs on whatever happens to turn up in the conversation. His concentration is fierce, and the sharp black eyes under their thick brows miss nothing. The pleasure of his company is immense, but you need to be at your best not to disappoint him.

He has always believed in the separation of life and art. He keeps his private life strictly to himself and prefers not to work where he lives. In Connecticut, his studio is back in the trees away from the house; 30 years ago, when he was spending half the year in London, he lived in Fulham and worked in a little flat in Kensington; in New York, there were two apartments on the Upper West Side, one for living in and a studio for work; when he moved more or less full-time to Connecticut, he kept the New York studio and that is where we met to talk.

It is on the 12th floor, a single large room with a kitchen area, a little bathroom and a glass wall looking south across Manhattan's gothic landscape to the Empire State Building, with a wisp of cloud around its top.

The lectern at which Roth works is at right angles to the view, presumably to avoid distraction. Above it is a sketch of an open book, with an indecipherable text that might be in Hebrew, by his friend, the late Philip Guston. There is a bed with a neat white counterpane against the wall, an easy chair in the centre of the room, with a graceful standing lamp beside it, all of it leather and steel and glass, discreetly modern. It is a place strictly for work, spare and chaste, a monk's cell with a great view.

This seems to fit Roth very well. I once asked him what he would like to have been if he could have lived his life again. "A parish priest," he said, "swishing around in a cassock and hearing confessions." He may have missed out on the cassock - he dresses soberly, neutrally, as though not to be noticed - and celibacy is not his style, but in other ways his life is as stern, self-sufficient and dedicated as any priest's: he works long hours, eats sparingly, drinks hardly at all and goes to bed early.

Roth's monkish routine is at odds with what he once called his "reputation as a crazed penis" bestowed on him by Portnoy's Complaint, his great panegyric to the comedy of sex. When Portnoy was published in 1969, it seemed to epitomise the anarchic spirit of the decade. Maybe it did, but the author himself was a product of the 1950s, the last generation of well-behaved, sternly educated children who believed in high culture and high principles and lived in the nuclear shadow of the cold war until their orderly world was blown apart by birth-control pills and psychedelic drugs. Portnoy was considered outrageous when it appeared, but the real outrage was Roth's and he was outraged because he couldn't help being a good boy however much he yearned to be bad.

Like most Jewish families, Roth's was close-knit, affectionate and tempestuous. His father, Herman, was a passionate New Dealer, a forceful indignant man, who worked for Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and rose to be a district manager - which was as high as a Jew could go before Congress passed the Fair Employment Act after the second world war. He and his wife Bess were children of immigrants from eastern Europe and they lived in the largely Jewish Weequahic section of Newark. In those days Newark was the commercial capital of New Jersey, a prosperous industrial town. "I was brought up in a Jewish neighbourhood," he says, "and never saw a skullcap, a beard, sidelocks - ever, ever, ever - because the mission was to live here, not there. There was no there. If you asked your grandmother where she came from, she'd say, 'Don't worry about it. I forgot already.' To the Jews, this was Zion." The neighbourhood schools were good and Roth was a straight A student. He graduated magna cum laude from Bucknell, an idyllic little college in Lewisberg, Pennsylvania, got his MA from the University of Chicago, did a spell in the army, was invalided out with a spinal injury, returned to Chicago to start a PhD and teach freshman English, then dropped out after one term. Ascher first heard of him when his sister, a student at Chicago, wrote to tell him she had sublet an apartment from "a guy called Philip Roth. He says he's a writer."

It was a long time, however, before Roth began to write about the world he was brought up in. Neither of his devoted, sensible parents seems to have had much in common with the comic nightmares that tormented Portnoy and they only began to figure large in their son's work after they died. His new novel, The Plot Against America, is, in a way, his memorial to them. When Roth was working on it he told his friend David Plante, the novelist, that he was "writing about his parents in their prime, when their life was at its full and they were dealing with it". Though the book turned out to be about a lot of other things as well, the portrait, according to Ascher, is strong and accurate: "Herman was fiercely what he was - a marvellous, naïve man who loved his children and was perplexed by them. In this new book, Philip puts him in these terrible situations and he reacts exactly as he would have done in real life."

The idea for the terrible situation occurred to Roth when he read in Arthur Schlesinger's autobiography that the right wing of the Republican party had thought of nominating Charles Lindbergh, the celebrated aviator, anti-semite and friend of Hitler, to run for the presidency against FDR in 1940: "I wrote in the margin, 'What if they had?' Then I began thinking about other what-ifs, like what if Hitler hadn't lost? All this was happening when I was a little child - I was born in 1933 - but it is quite vivid to me because the great outside world came into the house through the radio and through my father's reactions to it. So it began to make sense as a novel. One of the reasons I could never write about what our family life was really like was because my parents were good, hard-working, responsible people and that's boring for a novelist. What I discovered inadvertently was that if you put pressure on these decent people, then you've got a story."

Putting pressure on people and facts and his own experience is one of the many solutions Roth has come up with for the problem to which he has devoted his life: how to transform life into art. "I have to have something to do that engages me totally," he says. "Without that, life is hell for me. I can't be idle and I don't know what to do other than write. If I were afflicted with some illness that left me otherwise OK but stopped me writing, I'd go out of my mind. I don't really have other interests. My interest is in solving the problems presented by writing a book. That's what stops my brain spinning like a car wheel in the snow, obsessing about nothing. Some people do crossword puzzles to satisfy their need to keep the mind engaged. For me, the absolutely demanding mental test is the desire to get the work right. The crude cliché is that the writer is solving the problem of his life in his books. Not at all. What he's doing is taking something that interests him in life and then solving the problem of the book - which is, How do you write about this? The engagement is with the problem that the book raises, not with the problems you borrow from living. Those aren't solved, they are forgotten in the gigantic problem of finding a way of writing about them."

His solutions to the problem have taken many forms as well as a large cast of narrators. Deception, for instance, is written entirely in dialogue, like a stage play. Operation Shylock is a find-the-Roth shell-game, with a false Philip pretending to be the true one until neither is quite sure who is who. The technical problem of The Plot Against America was less tricky but equally hard to solve: although it is a Roth book, the Roth who narrates it is aged seven: "Prior to that, I'd had these rich brains telling the story and now I was going to have to look over the shoulder of a child. I never wrote What Maisie Knew and this was What Little Philip Knew. How do I do that without putting on a straitjacket? The answer turned out to be quite simple: if you have one child in the centre of the book, you have a problem, but it goes away when he is a child among children. So once I discovered the other children to act as foils for him I was in the clear. Then I had a child's perspective, but the book is no longer told by a child; it's told by an adult remembering his family when he was a child."

Roth has never been much interested in aesthetic theories and experiment and when he talks about getting a story right he does so, like any craftsman, with a practical understanding of the materials he uses and the techniques needed to get the job done. In The Ghost Writer, the ageing writer, EI Lonoff, tells 23-year-old Nathan Zuckerman, the most disabused of Roth's stand-ins, that he "has the most compelling voice I've encountered in years. I don't mean style... I mean voice: something that begins at around the back of the knees and reaches well above the head." Voice in this sense is the vehicle by which a writer expresses his aliveness and Roth himself is all voice. Style, in the formal, flowery sense, bores him; he has, he once wrote, "a resistance to plaintive metaphor and poeticised analogy". His prose is immaculate yet curiously plain and unostentatious, as natural as breathing. Reading him, it's always the story that's in your face, never the style.

His voice sounds so spontaneous that the lazy reader might suppose he is listening to confession rather than reading a work of fiction. And this, to Roth, is an insult to the labour he puts into his craft. It also links him with the cult of celebrity and that is something he has fought against throughout his career.

"One dreams of the goddess Fame," wrote Peter de Vries, "and winds up with the bitch Publicity." Roth first tangled with the bitch when Goodbye, Columbus provoked rabbis to denounce him as "a self-hating Jew", and he responded by writing Letting Go, the most conventional of his novels, as if to show that he was indeed as serious and worthy as authors were expected to be in the 50s. Being a good boy, however, did not sit easily either with his surreal comic inventiveness or with the troubles he was having in a difficult first marriage to Margaret Williams. When he finally yoked comedy and rage together to produce Portnoy's Complaint, the serious writer again came face-to-face with the bitch Publicity and this time she didn't let him go.

"In 1969, I wrote Portnoy. Not only did I write it - that was easy - I also became the author of Portnoy's Complaint and what I faced publicly was the trivialisation of everything."

Instead of being read as someone playing brilliant games with reality in the tradition of Kafka and Gogol, Roth got scandal, outrage and best-seller celebrity in its most crummy form. According to Ascher, "the attacks were horrible and disheartening, especially from the Jews. He had to cope with the nightmare of a smash hit. It made him angry and defensive, so he closed up. But maybe it did him good. The setback of great success changed and improved him as a writer. Without it, he'd have been different."

Roth's immediate response was to refuse all public appearances and retreat to Yaddo, the writers' colony in upstate New York. Hiding himself away was easy, but disguising that distinctive, compelling voice of his was a trickier problem. His solution was ventriloquism, narrators with everyday lives not unlike his, but who see them differently and transform them into something else: disabused, tough-talking Nathan Zuckerman who sniffs out every weakness and forgives no one; studious David Kepesh, a professor to whom outlandish things happen when he lets himself go, but who loves literature as much as he loves women; a character called Philip Roth whose relationship to the author is a source of mystery for both of them. Roth remarked to me, apropos of President Bush, that born-again Christianity is the ignorant man's version of the intellectual life. Similarly, reading fiction as though it were true confessions is the ignorant man's aesthetics and Roth has made a mockery of it in many ways. The eulogist at Zuckerman's funeral in The Counterlife puts it pompously but well: "What people envy in the novelist... is the gift for theatrical self-transformation, the way they are able to loosen and make ambiguous their connection to a real life through the imposition of talent. The exhibitionism of the superior artist is connected to his imagination; fiction is for him at once playful hypothesis and serious supposition, an imaginative form of inquiry - everything that exhibitionism is not... Contrary to the general belief, it is the distance between the writer's life and his novel that is the most intriguing aspect of his imagination."

In life as in art: a snide academic at a New York dinner party once tried to show his disdain for the famous author by pretending to mistake him for Herman Wouk and taking him to task for the structural weakness of Marjorie Morningstar. Roth, of course, was too smart to be indignant; he just played right along with the game and became Wouk for the rest of the evening.

His most effective escape from New York celebrity was Czechoslovakia and its writers. He stumbled across them inadvertently, when he was on a holiday tour of Europe and stopped off in Prague to pay homage to Kafka. This was in 1972, three years after both the nightmare success of Portnoy and the far greater nightmare that followed the Prague Spring. Through his Czech translator he met blacklisted writers who cleaned windows and stoked boilers for a living while they wrote books that wouldn't be published at home. Their troubles put his into perspective: "They made me very conscious of the difference between the private ludicracy of being a writer in America and the harsh ludicrousness of being a writer in eastern Europe. These men and women were drowning in history. They were working under tremendous pressure and the pressure was new to me - and news to me, too. They were suffering for what I did freely and I felt great affection for them, and allegiance; we were all members of the same guild."

Back in New York, Roth immersed himself in literature from behind the iron curtain. He went every week to a little college on Staten Island to attend Antonin Liehm's classes on Czech culture and edited a series of eastern European fiction for Penguin.

"My life in New York after Portnoy was lived in the Czech exile community - listening, listening, listening. I ate every night in Czech restaurants in Yorkville, talked to whoever wanted to talk to me and left all this Portnoy crap behind. That was idiotic, this was not idiotic. I lived up in Connecticut, where Philip Guston was my friend, and had my east European world in New York, and those were the things that saved me. I think that's why Hemingway lived in Key West; he liked to be in a world that had nothing to do with what he did all day. Fame is a worthless distraction."

Roth's regular visits to Prague continued until 1977, when he was denied an entry visa, and they seemed to bring about a change in his focus as a writer. By then, he was spending half the year in London, but he left in 1989 to be with his father in his final illness and, following the break-up of his second marriage to the actress Claire Bloom, he never went back. It was, he says, a huge relief to be home: "I used to walk around New York saying under my breath, 'I'm back! I'm back!' I felt like Rip van Winkle waking up with a long beard and discovering there'd been a revolution and the British were gone! Being home, being free in my personal life brought a great revival of energy. I felt renewed."

While he was rediscovering America, Roth immersed himself in the modern classics and they reminded him of what American novelists do best: "The great American writers are regionalists. It's in the American grain. Think of Faulkner in Mississippi or Updike and the town in Pennsylvania he calls Brewer. It's there on the page, brick by brick. What are these places like? Who lives there? What are the forces determining their lives? ... I hadn't yet discovered my own place, that town across the river called Newark, and it didn't have any power for me until it was destroyed in the race riots of 1966. Before, it was too pleasant and my family was too decent to write about. Only when the place had been burned down and the families I knew had been exiled did it become a fit subject for inquiry."

The energy released by his return to America culminated in his great, subversive outburst of comic outrage and exasperation, Sabbath's Theatre. The book reads like Portnoy's Complaint retold by a 60-year-old man raging not about sex, but against the injustice and ludicrousness of death, and it was a turning point. Having vented his rage at the prospect of death, and while he still had time, he set about writing an extraordinary series of novels about what it was like to live in the United States in the second half of the 20th century. After his experience in eastern Europe, he now saw the place more sharply through the lens of history.

In the 50s, when Roth was starting out and literature was considered the noblest of all vocations, the best writers responded in an intensely inward way to whatever was going on in the big outside. All that changed, Roth thinks, when Kennedy was assassinated in 1963: "It was an event so stunning that our historical receptors were activated. The stuff that's happened in the last 40 years - the Vietnam war, the social revolution of the 60s, the Republican backlash of the 80s and 90s - have been so powerfully determining that men and women of intelligence and literary sensibility feel that the strongest thing in their lives is what has happened to us collectively: the new freedoms, the testing of the old conventions, the prosperity. That's what I was writing about in the trilogy that followed Sabbath - American Pastoral, I Married a Communist and The Human Stain: people prepare for life in a certain way and have certain expectations of the difficulties that come with those lives, then they get blindsided by the present moment; history comes in at them in ways for which there is no preparation. 'History is a very sudden thing,' is how I put it. I'm talking about the historical fire at the centre and how the smoke from that fire reaches into your house."

Old age and its humiliations, he says, are equally unpredictable. "I think about Hemingway and Faulkner and how it ended for them - tragically, not peacefully in their sleep. Faulkner drank himself to death; Hemingway's body was banged to bits, the booze had saturated him and he couldn't write; he had nothing to live for, so he shot himself. These are lives of torment... I'm not a romantic about writing, I don't want a tormented life and, by and large, I haven't had one. But these guys... I can't stand to think about how they ended."

"Who knew what getting old would be like?" he says. "There may be a biological blinder about age that's built in. You are not supposed to understand until you get there. Just as an animal doesn't know about death, the human animal doesn't know about age. When I wrote that book about my father in old age, Patrimony, I thought I knew what I was talking about, but I didn't really. In this new book I've brought both my parents back in their full flower. The flow of energy in our house was extraordinary."

It was also the atmosphere in which Roth's own special talents began to flourish. When he was a teenager and his older brother Sandy was an art student in Brooklyn, they would meet up with their friends most weekends at the Roth house in Newark: "My mother loved it. Eight or 10 boys, a very mixed bag, but one thing they had in common was tremendous humour. Some of them I still know and they remember roaring with laughter in our house - laughing and eating and laughing. It was a wonderful period, a great explosion of camaraderie. Our subject was the comedy of being between 15 and 20 - comedy located in sex and frustration - lots of longing, little activity. I think that was the incubator for everything."

Maybe it still is, in a ghostly way. "Roth often visits his parents' grave in New Jersey," Plante says. "He stands at their graveside and weeps. Then he begins to talk to them and they answer. Then he starts joking with them, they have these funny, bantering conversations and he goes away feeling better."
posted by George Cassiel @ 11:32 da manhã   0 comments
terça-feira, novembro 08, 2005
30 anos
A revista Lire está a comemorá-los!


"Lire a trente ans", por François Busnel - Lire, novembre 2005

"François Busnel, directeur de la rédaction de Lire, rencontre Jean-Louis Servan-Schreiber, qui fonda Lire et préside aux destinées de Psychologies: ensemble, ils ébauchent les grandes lignes de la nouvelle formule du magazine qui, dans trente ans, fêtera ses 60 ans. Nous sommes en 2035... Science-fiction ou réalisme?

En cette fin d'année 2035, rien ne va plus pour la presse écrite: plus de kiosques, presque plus de librairies... Comment seront remplacés les magazines sur papier que nous lisions en 2005?
JEAN-LOUIS SERVAN-SCHREIBER. Les journaux et les livres ont en commun d'être imprimés sur du papier. Si ce dernier nous a bien arrangés pendant sept ou huit siècles, entraînant avec lui une véritable révolution culturelle, il a l'inconvénient d'être une matière très lourde. L'industrie du papier est, en tonnage, la plus lourde après celle de la sidérurgie. Le papier doit être déplacé et stocké, et tous ceux qui possèdent une bibliothèque savent quelles contraintes cela peut représenter. Mais nous sommes en 2035, c'est-à-dire à une époque où nous habituons les nouvelles générations, depuis au moins trente ans, à vivre dans le virtuel, le symbolique, le numérique, l'impalpable, avec des objets qui n'ont aucun poids. On peut stocker toute une encyclopédie dans un coin de l'écran de son ordinateur et y avoir accès en cliquant sur une simple petite icône. Ceci a provoqué un choc dont nul, en 2005, n'a véritablement pris conscience. Je constate que, comme à chaque changement technologique de rupture, on trouvait alors une majorité de gens chez les éditeurs et les créateurs de journaux pour sacraliser le papier: l'objet livre et l'objet journal étaient pour eux des «coucouches» auxquelles on était habitué depuis l'enfance et dont on ne saurait se passer, par besoin de contact charnel ou pour le plaisir de tourner les pages... Pour toute personne qui essayait de lire un grand format dans le métro, ce n'était pas le top du confort! Et tout enfant qui partait à l'école avec six livres dans son sac à dos alors que sa colonne vertébrale est encore en cours de consolidation préférerait n'avoir qu'un seul objet, son ordinateur, qui contienne tous ses cours. Il y avait là un manque de réflexion et de perspectives."


... vale a pena ler o resto! (aqui)
posted by George Cassiel @ 3:14 da tarde   0 comments
Quando Paris se acaba...
... nos Blogs, o Ministro do Interior Francês tem direito a uma atenção "especial".
Sarkostique!
posted by George Cassiel @ 3:11 da tarde   2 comments
acabei-o ontem!

"Paris Nunca se Acaba"
Enrique Vila-Matas
Teorema
posted by George Cassiel @ 3:08 da tarde   1 comments
segunda-feira, novembro 07, 2005
Paris Nunca se Acaba...


título muito actual!
posted by George Cassiel @ 3:48 da tarde   1 comments
Paris não se acaba, de Vila-Matas, na Babelia de 18-10-2003
por SERGI PÀMIES:

Enrique Vila-Matas (Barcelona, 1948) publica el retrato irónico de sus años de juventud en París a mediados de los setenta, coincidiendo con uno de los momentos más activos del escritor (su novela El mal de Montano ha sido seleccionada como finalista del Premio Medicis a la mejor novela extranjera publicada en Francia, junto a autores como Ian MacEwan y Jeffrey Eugenides).

PREGUNTA. En París no se acaba nunca utiliza varios registros: cuento, relato autobiográfico, crónica periodística. Antes de que otros se atrevan a etiquetarla, ¿prefiere hacerlo usted?
RESPUESTA. Es un fragmento de la novela de mi vida en el que todo es verdad porque todo está inventado. Y es que, como se dice en el libro, un relato autobiográfico es una ficción entre muchas posibles.
P. ¿Es indispensable ser "muy pobre y muy infeliz" para convertirse en escritor, como insinúa en su libro?
R. Es un juego con las últimas palabras de París era una
fiesta, de Hemingway, que termina diciendo que en esa ciudad fue pobre y muy feliz. París no se acaba nunca pretende ser un libro paralelo. Entonces yo aspiraba a ser Hemingway. El título está tomado del último capítulo del libro de Hemingway, con la intención descarada de cambiar la alegría de vivir y el entusiasmo del original por la perplejidad de un joven que viaja a París con la idea, más que de triunfar, de huir de Barcelona y sobrevivir.
P. ¿Era un huida cultural y política o un asunto personal?
R. Creo que me dediqué a escribir para no tener que quedarme en Barcelona. El elemento inicial fue el azar, ya que, al visitar a Adolfo Arrieta y Javier Grandes en París, me encontré con Marguerite Duras, que era amiga de ellos y me alquiló inmediatamente, sin que yo me atreviera a rechistar, una buhardilla de su propiedad. Añádase que estábamos en 1974, y que Barcelona era, en efecto, una ciudad siniestra. La conjunción de tener casa en París y no en Barcelona me llevó a la idea de escribir una novela. Con el tiempo, me he dado cuenta de que fui a París a escribir mi primera novela pero no aprendí nada. Miento: aprendí a escribir a máquina y ese consejo que dio Raymond Queneau a Marguerite Duras y que ella me dio a mí: " Escriba y no haga nada más". Y así me ha ido. La novela hay que verla como la historia de cómo se escribe un primer libro, de qué manera tan chapucera, con cuántas trampas. También me apetecía reírme de las novelas clásicas de la experiencia, de formación de un escritor.
P. Otro elemento importante es la reflexión sobre la ironía.
R. El libro se iba a llamar La ironía en
París. Nace de una conferencia que me invitó a pronunciar la Fundación Luis Goytisolo. Para prepararla, leí muchos ensayos sobre la ironía, pero vi que no sabía hablar teóricamente del tema y que me salía un bodrio de conferencia. Pero de pronto viajé a París en el verano del año pasado y, sin darme cuenta, comencé a ironizar en voz alta sobre mi pasado en esa ciudad. Eso me llevó a convertir la conferencia en una narración irónica sobre aquellos años. En este libro, el tratamiento de la ironía es un poco cervantino, amable con la condición humana, a mitad de camino entre la esperanza y la benevolencia. Aunque tal como está el mundo actual es más difícil que en la época de Cervantes.
P. ¿Estamos peor que en la época de Cervantes?
R. Hay más información y eso nos hace verlo todo aún más horrible. Mire España. Un país, por otra parte, en el que la gente está poco dispuesta a reírse públicamente de sí misma. En mi caso, ha sido fácil porque no me río del Vila-Matas actual sino del que fue a París a convertirse en artista. Y ya se sabe que narrar una historia supone siempre, aunque esa historia sea la tuya, ponerse en otro lugar.
P. Describe a ese personaje como "joven, guapo e idiota", pasados los años, ¿qué queda de esos tres adjetivos?
R. Creo que era consciente de que era joven, guapo e idiota. Aunque tampoco importa demasiado, porque sabía que gustaba a mucha gente precisamente por ser idiota. Por tanto,no era tan grave. Además, pensaba que dejaría de serlo, pues no me consideraba idiota del todo. Y sí tenía claro que dejaría de ser guapo. Jaime Gil de Biedma me dijo, hablando de Alain Delon, que era guapo pero que sería eternamente burro. Y que él prefería ser feo e inteligente a la larga.
P. Dice que en París la desesperación es elegante. ¿Aún hoy?
R. Mi idea era la de ser artista. Y creía que para ser un artista como dios manda había que vestir de negro, estar siempre desesperado, ser delgado y leer a Lautréamont en las terrazas de los cafés. Alimenté este equívoco durante años hasta que me di cuenta de que la alegría también existe. Es una ironía acerca de tantos jóvenes malditos, aunque no contra ellos, porque todavía los admiro. Pero yo he perdido bastante contacto con la delgadez y me acerco más a la figura de novelista gordo. Lo cual tampoco está mal, porque yo diría que los novelistas tienen que ser gordos y los poetas delgados. Parece que la flacura está más relacionada con lo poético y lo espiritual, ¿no? No sé, vaya usted a saber. Igual es al contrario.
P. Ese París capaz de embellecer incluso la desesperación, ¿existe todavía o se ha convertido en un parque temático?
R. En los años setenta ya evolucionaba en esa dirección. Los sábados y domingos llegaban autocares de provincias llenos de gente ansiosa por ver el mítico Saint-Germain. Y ahora mucho más, porque han desaparecido casi todos esos lugares y ya sólo quedan la librería La Hune, el Café de Flore y el Les Deux-Magots. Para mí, el Flore era el café de mi calle. Nunca más he vivido en un lugar así. Por otro lado, me parecía que para entrar allí tenías que ser digno de los escritores que te habían precedido. Era un café muy relacionado con el exilio.
P. Con el exilio intelectual, querrá decir.
R. Sí, sobre todo con el exilio intelectual latinoamericano. De Rubén Darío a Severo Sarduy. Yo, al entrar en el Flore, sentía que tenía que continuar esa tradición. Entonces había otro café, La Boule d'Or, con una parroquia compuesta sobre todo por exiliados políticos, agrupados en torno a Agustín García Calvo, que vivían su situación de un modo muy distinto. Me di cuenta de las diferencias entre alguien que se autoexiliaba, como yo, y los que no podían regresar y lo vivían como un drama. Y también de que ser autoexiliado estaba mal visto.
P. No era ésa la única diferencia entre el exilio voluntario y el forzoso.
R. No, por supuesto. ¡La realidad política! En París no se acaba nunca he tenido que hablar de tres cosas de las que no suelo hablar en mis libros: de mujeres, de dónde salía el dinero y de mi realidad política de entonces.
P. De la muerte de Franco, por ejemplo, que le pilló en la buhardilla, leyendo poesía. Tras una reflexión, usted se pregunta: ha muerto Franco, ¿y qué?
R. En parte porque Franco llevaba años muriéndose y las conversaciones sobre esta cuestión eran interminables. Mi punto de vista sobre la dictadura estaba evidentemente presente, pero me preocupaba más mi viaje interior. Había viajado a París para olvidarme de lo español y casi todos mis amigos eran o franceses o del clan de argentinos cercanos a Copi. Buscaba no encontrarme con españoles. Este problema de huir de lo cercano se repitió en mi primer viaje a México. En esa ocasión, huía de Europa y, tras doce horas de viaje, llegué a México, entré en la habitación del hotel, puse la televisión y lo primero que me salió fue Jordi Pujol. Eso confirma la imposibilidad de la huida.
P. Hemos hablado de política, nos faltan las mujeres y el dinero.
R. La cuestión de las mujeres está explicada en el libro: mis movimientos de timidez hacia ellas y el verdadero pánico que sentía. Una timidez que se ha prolongado en el tiempo. Respecto al dinero, tenía que explicar la verdad: recibía correos postales que me mandaba mi padre, al que intentaba convencer de que estaba escribiendo una obra maestra. Pero hubo una huelga de Correos que impidió que me llegara el dinero durante un mes y medio. Eso fue muy importante porque, al no poder regresar, tuve que perder timidez y volverme simpático, abrirme, salir del encierro de la buhardilla y aceptar todas las invitaciones para cenas, fiestas y cócteles.
P. En aquel París convivían el situacionismo, el desconstructivismo, el nouveau roman; pasados los años, ¿cree que fueron un cambio o una impostura? ¿Y qué ha quedado de todo aquello?
R. Si fue una impostura, como afirma Robbe-Grillet cuando dice que el nouveau roman era un juego que no se tomaban en serio, me parece genial. En estos momentos es curioso que lo que más haya permanecido sea Guy Debord y su La sociedad del
espectáculo. Quién lo iba a decir, porque entonces Debord era el último mono, el más marginado, sin ninguna presencia mediática.
P. También manifiesta su respeto por el lado poco edificante de escritores como su extravagante casera, Marguerite Duras.
R. Estoy un poco harto de los yernos ideales, de todos esos escritores pulcros, limpios y ordenados que tanto proliferan. En cambio, hablo de esos otros escritores que no están en el cuadro de honor del colegio, conflictivos, poco o nada edificantes, cargados de defectos pero con talento. Creo que ese lado de Duras me influyó al escribir.
P. La novela que escribe en París, La asesina ilustrada, tiene la facultad de matar a quien la lee. ¿Sería la solución para acabar con el problema de la muerte de la novela, matar a los lectores?
R. Mi teoría es que, más que muerta, la novela evoluciona. Vamos a una novela que se aproxima al ensayo. Pienso en esos cuentos de Pitol que acaban como ensayos o en esos ensayos suyos que terminan como cuentos. Es probable que el lector vaya buscando, con el tiempo, menos ficción y más ensayo. El propio Coetzee, en su último libro, admite que camina en esa dirección. Creo que existe una saturación de la ficción que se sabe ficción y también una saturación del ensayo que se sabe plomizo. Sebald, Magris, Piglia, son otros casos claros de introducción del ensayo dentro de la ficción, o viceversa. Mezclar a Montaigne con Kafka, por ejemplo, me parece en este preciso instante una idea muy interesante.
P. Al final de París no se acaba nunca cuenta el suicido de Hemingway y describe a una Marguerite amnésica, recordando el Saigón de su infancia. ¿Es inevitable acabar así?
R. Lo que digo es que todos los escritores acaban solos y acaban mal. Lo segundo es algo bastante irrefutable porque todo el mundo acaba mal.
P. Sus libros hablan obsesivamente de alguien que desea convertirse en escritor. Usted ya lo es. ¿Cómo se ve a sí mismo?
R. Aparentemente me he hecho con una máquina literaria capaz de codificar y llevar a su terreno casi cualquier tema. Eso me da cierta confianza, y por eso tengo que andar con mucho cuidado y pensar muy bien en los próximos pasos que voy a dar, pues, una vez más, deberé desmarcarme de los libros anteriores y huir de esa facilidad tan engañosa.
P. Me ha sorprendido una frase de su libro: "Me gusta París porque no tiene catedrales ni casas de Gaudí".
R. Sí, señor. Es así. No tengo nada más que añadir.
posted by George Cassiel @ 3:38 da tarde   0 comments
por onde começar?
pela actualização dos livros em mãos:
Paris Nunca se Acaba, de Vila-Matas;
Aquilo que eu amava, de Siri Hustvedt.

Aconselho vivamente... talvez mais o primeiro!
posted by George Cassiel @ 11:32 da manhã   2 comments
sexta-feira, novembro 04, 2005
de regresso...
haverá actualizações segunda-feira!
Este Blog regressou.
posted by George Cassiel @ 5:56 da tarde   4 comments

GEORGE CASSIEL

Um blog sobre literatura, autores, ideias e criação.

_________________


"Este era un cuco que traballou durante trinta anos nun reloxo. Cando lle chegou a hora da xubilación, o cuco regresou ao bosque de onde partira. Farto de cantar as horas, as medias e os cuartos, no bosque unicamente cantaba unha vez ao ano: a primavera en punto." Carlos López, Minimaladas (Premio Merlín 2007)

«Dedico estas histórias aos camponeses que não abandonaram a terra, para encher os nossos olhos de flores na primavera» Tonino Guerra, Livro das Igrejas Abandonadas

 
About Me

George Cassiel
Portugal
See my complete profile
E-mail
georgecassiel[at]hotmail.com
Search

Previous Post
Archives
Links
Outras coisas a dizer
Caixa para alguns comentários (mais permanentes) em breve.
Template by

Free Blogger Templates

BLOGGER

® 2004-2008 by George Cassiel