27 fevereiro 2004

Late night post:

Granta en Español ya ha salido.

A couple of articles here and here.

Methinks I should buy this: How America Sees the World, and because of Paul Theroux, who spent four days as a sexual prisoner in Zambia: "My first true experience of captivity ... it shocked me and made me feel American". [and we to ask, "who's the git?" The one of Mosquito Coast, that's who]

A slaughterhouse that ensures cows go to their deaths calmly and without struggle:
Two sides of Beef

O livro que foi o primeiro 'best-seller' da literatura
Em carta datada de 1 de Junho de 1774, declarava um Goethe de 25 anos incompletos ao escritor Gottlieb Schönborn: «Criei algo de totalmente novo». Não se enganava: As paixões do jovem Werther, romance inaugural do genial intelectual alemão, é considerado o primeiro romance moderno. Mas na altura em que foi escrito, provocou um verdadeiro tumulto e um fenómeno de culto, moda e imitação só comparável ao de alguns grupos de música «pop» dos anos 60 e 70. Mais: vários casos houve de jovens que imitaram o destino do protagonista (que se suicida) como resposta a amores infelizes.
Publicado em 1774, o Werther é visto como a obra emblemática do período literário conhecido como Sturm und Drang (algo como «Tempestade e Ímpeto»), que surge como reacção aos princípios da racionalidade e de moderação das paixões do Iluminismo.
Goethe teve não só a coragem de tirar a consequência dramatúrgica natural da catástrofe que se abate sobre Werther (o suicídio), como se absteve ainda de a avaliar do ponto de vista moral. O efeito desta dupla inovação foi poderosíssimo. Ainda é!

[cortesia da minha amiga querida :-D]

26 fevereiro 2004

Why Is It Called The Passion?
How Jesus' suffering got its name.

Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ -- which gorily depicts the sufferings of Jesus during his last days - opens tomorrow amid great anticipation and controversy. But how did Jesus' anguish on the cross come to be called the Passion in the first place?

The simple answer is that the English word passion referred to Jesus' suffering long before it evolved other, more sultry meanings. Today, the word still refers to Jesus' torments, as well as to retellings of the crucifixion in the Gospels and elsewhere, even in pieces of music. (Before Gibson's Passion, for instance, there were Bach's Passions.)

But the Christian meaning and its modern, carnal cousins are not entirely unrelated. In fact, the more common meanings of the word passion -- strong emotion, zeal, and sexual desire -- grew organically from the Christian sense over the course of several centuries.

The English word has its roots in the Latin passio, which means, simply, "suffering." Its first recorded use is in early Latin translations of the Bible that appeared in the 2nd century A.D. and that describe the death of Jesus. The Latin word was borrowed prolifically in Old English religious texts, where its meaning remained exclusively theological. But when the Normans invaded Britain in the middle of the 11th century, their conquest infused thousands of French words -- including passion, which also referred solely to the sufferings of Jesus -- into the spoken language. The record is sketchy, but it seems that once passion was in use in both languages, it began to develop broader meanings. The first new senses in English referred to martyrdom and physical suffering or affliction, and by the 13th century, passion was being used to refer to any strong emotion.

The process accelerated greatly as the English vocabulary exploded in the 16th century. Many words accrued new meanings during this period; literature and vernacular poetry flourished, and a renewed interest in classical learning may have given Latin a more direct influence on the language as well. Passion, for instance, may have been shaded by an obscure definition of the Latin passio as an "affection of the mind" or "emotion." (Etymologists believe that this more arcane meaning drew from the Greek word pathos.) Over the course of the century, the word came to signify a panoply of emotional afflictions, such as "extreme anger," "a literary work marked by deep emotion," and, finally, "strong sexual attraction or love."

The first sexual usage is attributed to William Shakespeare, who wrote, in Titus Andronicus, "My sword ? shall ? plead my passions for Lavinia's love." It wasn't a great leap from Shakespeare to the entirely modern senses of passion, which developed, with his and others' help, over the next few decades.

Bonus Explainer: Gibson originally wanted to call his film The Passion, but he had to change the name when it turned out Miramax already had a project under development with that title. But why the "the" in "of the Christ"? The moniker is a less common alternative to just plain Christ, which is a derivation of a Latin translation of a Greek translation of the Hebrew title Messiah, which means "the Anointed." In the Geneva and 1611 versions of the New Testament, the word "Christ" is often preceded by the word "the."

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the canon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
(As You Like It, 2. 7. 139-167)

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His current Mona Lisa is a three-layer cake, a sensational rendezvous of chocolate, almond, and orange flavors. Turbant, now a caterer in Marseille, France, came up with the recipe when he was asked to bake a birthday cake for a party of 50 guests. The host's only request was that it be "special." After experimenting a bit, Turbant went with the flavors he likes best. [with recipeeeeee]

And molecular gastronomy:

The term molecular gastronomy was coined in the 1980s by a French scientist, Hervé This, and Nicholas Kurti, who was a professor of physics at Oxford University in England. Both men were interested in food science, but they felt that empirical knowledge and tradition were as important in cooking as rational understanding.

Courtesy of The Christian Science Monitor, no less!
Stole this from Janela:

Wired complete guide to Google

25 fevereiro 2004

Gonna buy this book (Berlin 1945, The Downfall)

"Probably the most amusing story is how the Red Army occupied a huge
underground command center south of Berlin. A caretaker was taking
Soviet troops on a tour when a phone rang. One of the soldiers picked
up the phone to hear a voice barking at him in German. The soldier
shot back in Russian: "Ivan is here. Go to hell." -- and hung up."

Here's one excerpt:

Air raids were so frequent, with the British by night and the Americans by day, that Berliners felt that they spent more time in cellars and air-raid shelters than in their own beds. The lack of sleep contributed to the strange mixture of suppressed hysteria and fatalism. Far fewer people seemed to worry about being denounced to the Gestapo for defeatism, as the rash of jokes indicated. The ubiquitous initials LSR for Luftschutzraum, or air-raid shelter, were said to stand for ‘Lernt schnell Russisch’: 'Learn Russian quickly'. Most Berliners had entirely dropped the ‘Heil Hitler!’ greeting. When Lothar Loewe, a Hitler Youth who had been away from the city, used it on entering a shop, everyone turned and stared at him. It was the last time he uttered the words when not on duty. Loewe found that the most common greeting had become ‘Bleib übrig!’ — 'Survive!'
Uma amiga querida visitou o Museu do Pão na Serra da Estrela:

Should you have a craving for maps, the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection
of the University of Texas at Austin has all of them online.
Since it's on the news I thought it might be interesting to review some of the most interesting US Constitutional Amendments:

Article [I]
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Article [II]
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Article [V] --> the most famous one
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Article XIII
Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Article XV
Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Article [XVIII] [dry-law, later repealed by another ammendment]
Section 1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

I used to be subscribed to two of these journals when I raced to be an English Literature teacher. They've made some samples them available under the MUSE project [Johns Hopkins University]. Here's one of them:

The Holocaust and American Public Memory, 1945-1960
[Download it as a PDF to print it]
Lawrence Baron

Abstract: Until the 1960s, many scholars assert, most Americans' awareness of the Holocaust was based upon vague, trivial, or inaccurate representations. Yet the extermination of the Jews was remembered in significant ways, this article posits, through World War II accounts, the Nuremberg trials, philosophical works, comparisons with Soviet totalitarianism, Christian and Jewish theological reflections, pioneering scholarly publications, and mass-media portrayals. These early postwar attempts to comprehend the Jewish tragedy within prevailing cultural paradigms provided the foundation for subsequent understandings of that event.

There plenty more in the sample issue

Translation in the Age of Terror
A new U.S. government center will connect linguists on the front lines of the war against terror with translation assistance technologies that can digitize, parse, and digest raw intelligence material.
The Guardian's Top 10 books on the Renaissance including The Inferno by Dante Alighieri (good they had an Italian there)

24 fevereiro 2004

Maybe it's time we look back to the most recent conflict in European soil: Yugoslavia. Here's an interesting site on the conflict [many of the images won't load since they're located on an external ftp server].
Found this long and interesting essay demystifying the tactical importance of Stalingrad as an isolated turning point of WWII. Worth a print and a good read..

23 fevereiro 2004

More details about the NSDAP program can be found here [anti-revisionist site, God bless them]. Full details on the party's structure, history, etc can be found here.
The official program of the NSDAP, proclaimed 24 February 1920 by Adolf Hitler at a public gathering in Munich (excerpt):

Point 4: "None but members of the nation (Volksgenosse) may be citizens. None but those of German blood, whatever their creed, may be members of the nation. No Jew, therefore, may be a member of the nation."

Point 23: [...]

(a) that all editors and collaborators of newspapers published in the German language be members of the nation.
(b) non-German newspapers be requested to have express permission of the State to be published. They may not be printed in the German language.

Rosenberg advocated in 1920 the adoption of the following program concerning the Jews:"

(1) The Jews are to be recognized as a (separate) nation living in Germany, irrespective of he religion they belong to.

(2) A Jew is he whose parents on either side are nationally Jews. Anyone who has a Jewish husband or wife is henceforth a Jew.

(3) Jews have no right to speak and write on or be active in German politics.

(4) Jews have no right to hold public offices, or to serve in the Army either as soldiers or as officers. However, their contribution of work may be considered.

(5) Jews have no right to be leaders of cultural institution of the state and community (theaters, galleries, etc.) or to be professors and teachers in German schools and universities.

(6) Jews have no right to be active in state or municipal commissions for examinations, control, censorship, etc. Jews have no right to represent the German Reich in economic treaties; they have no right to be represented in the directorate of state banks or communal credit establishments.

(7) Foreign Jews have no right to settle in Germany permanently. Their admission into the German political community is to be forbidden under all circumstances.

(8) Zionism should be energetically supported in order to promote the departure of German Jews -- in numbers to be determined annually to Palestine or generally across the border."
"No hay discurso del método, hermano,
todos los mapas mienten salvo el del
corazón, pero donde está el norte en este
corazón vuelto a los rumbos de la vida,
dónde el oeste, dónde el sur..."

Julio Cortázar

Viajes para no perder:

Página oficial del año Cortazar

Completísimo monográfico del maestro y su obra

Cortesía del blog Evasivas
Listen to the girl
As she takes on half the world
Moving up and so alive
In her honey dripping beehive
It's good, so good, it's so good
So good

Walking back to you
Is the hardest thing that
I can do
That I can do for you
For you

I'll be your plastic toy
I'll be your plastic toy
For you

Eating up the scum
Is the hardest thing for
Me to do

Just like honey
Siempre me ha encantado este dicho andalusí:

"No hables si lo que vas a decir no es más hermoso que el silencio"

The best of British blogging by the Guardian
Just found this PT Blog called Tradução Simultânea
[dunno whether the unresolved tag in their title is intentional or not]

21 fevereiro 2004

Cavalo de Ferro
[boy I luuuurve these ppl]

Today, Patricia Highsmith is hot. Once belittled as a "dime-store Dostoyevsky," she is now being canonized as a major American artist. Nearly a decade after her death, in 1995, her popularity in the United States is at an all-time high. A collection, The Selected Stories of Patricia Highsmith, was published by W.W. Norton in 2001, and Nothing That Meets the Eye: The Uncollected Stories of Patricia Highsmith followed in 2002. Norton also has been steadily reissuing Highsmith's previous books in handsome new trade editions. In a different venue, Matt Damon and John Malkovich have taken their turns playing Highsmith's murderous antihero Tom Ripley in recent movies.

20 fevereiro 2004

Susan Sontag on Translation

To translate means many things, among them: to circulate, to transport, to disseminate, to explain, to make (more) accessible. By literary translation we mean, we could mean, the translation of the small percentage of published books actually worth reading: that is to say, worth rereading. I shall argue that a proper consideration of the art of literary translation is essentially a claim for the value of literature itself. Beyond the obvious need for the translator's facilitations in creating stock for literature as a small, prestigious import-export business, beyond the indispensable role that translation has in the construction of literature as a competitive sport, played both nationally and internationally (with rivalries, teams and lucrative prizes) -- beyond the mercantile and the agonistic and ludic incentives for doing translation lies an older, frankly evangelical incentive, more difficult to avow in these self-consciously impious times.

In what I call the evangelical incentive, the purpose of translation is to enlarge the readership of a book deemed to be important. It assumes that some books are discernibly better than other books, that literary merit exists in a pyramidal shape, and it is imperative for the works near the top to become available to as many as possible, which means to be widely translated, and as frequently retranslated as is feasible. Clearly, such a view of literature assumes that a rough consensus can be reached on which works are essential. It does not entail thinking the consensus -- or canon -- is fixed for all time and cannot be modified.

At the top of the pyramid are the books regarded as scripture: indispensable or essential exoteric knowledge which, by definition, invites translation. (Probably the most linguistically influential translations have been translations of the Bible: St Jerome, Luther, Tyndale, the Authorized Version). Translation is then first of all making better known what deserves to be better known -because it is improving, deepening, exalting; because it is an indispensable legacy from the past; because it is a contribution to knowledge, sacred or other. In a more secular register, translation was also thought to bring a benefit to the translator: translating was a valuable cognitive -- and ethical -- workout.

In the era when it is proposed that computers -"translating machines" -will soon be able to perform most translating tasks, what we call literary translation perpetuates the traditional sense of what translation entails. The new view is that translation is the finding of equivalents; or, to vary the metaphor, that a translation is a problem, for which solutions can be devised. In contrast, the old understanding is that translation is the making of choices, conscious choices, choices not simply between the stark dichotomies of good and bad, correct and incorrect, but among a more complex dispersion of alternatives, such as «good» versus «better» and «better» versus «best», not to mention such impure alternatives as «old-fashioned» versus «trendy», «vulgar» versus «pretentious», and «abbreviated» versus «wordy».

Translating, which is here seen as an activity of choosing in the larger sense, was a profession of individuals who were the bearers of a certain inward culture.

To translate thoughtfully, painstakingly, ingeniously, respectfully, is a measure of the translator's fealty to the enterprise of literature itself.

Choices that might be thought of as merely linguistic always imply ethical standards as well, which has made the activity of translating itself the vehicle of such values as integrity, responsibility, fidelity, boldness and humility. The ethical understanding of the task of the translator originated in the awareness that translation is basically an impossible task, if what is meant is that the translator is able to take up the text of an author written in one language, and deliver it, intact, without loss, into another language. Obviously, this is not what is being stressed by those who await impatiently the supersession of the dilemmas of the translator by the equivalencings of better, more ingenious translating machines. Literary translation is a branch of literature -- anything but a mechanical task.

But what makes translation so complex an undertaking is that it responds to a variety of aims. There are demands which arise from the nature of literature as a form of communication. There is the mandate, with a work regarded as essential, to make it known to the widest possible audience. There is the difficulty of passing from one language to another; and of the intransigence of certain texts. For there is something inherent in the work quite outside the intentions or awareness of its author, which emerges as the cycle of translations begins -- a quality that, for want of a better word, we have to call translatability.

This nest of complex questions is often reduced to the perennial debate among translators -- the debate about literalness -- that dates back at least to ancient Rome, when Greek literature was translated into Latin, and continues to exercise translators in every country (and with respect to which there are a variety of national traditions and biases). The oldest theme of the discussion of translations is the role of accuracy and fidelity. Surely there must have been translators in the ancient world whose standard was strict literal fidelity (and damn euphony!), a position defended with dazzling obstinacy by Vladimir Nabokov in his Englishing of Eugene Onegin. How else to explain the bold insistence of St Jerome himself (331-420), the first intellectual (as far as I know) from the ancient world to reflect extensively on the task of translation, that the inevitable result of aiming at a faithful reproduction of the author's words and images is the sacrifice of meaning and of grace?

This is from the preface Jerome wrote to his translation into Latin of the Chronicle of Eusebius. (He translated it in 381-2, while he was living in Constantinople in order to take part in the Council -- six years before he settled in Bethlehem, to improve his knowledge of Hebrew, and almost a decade before he began the epochal task of translating the Hebrew Bible into Latin.) Of this early translation from Greek, Jerome wrote:

It has long been the practice of learned men to exercise their minds by rendering into Latin the words of Greek writers and, what is more difficult, to translate poems by illustrious authors though trammelled by the further requirements of verse. It was thus that our Cicero translated whole books of Plato... and later amused himself with Xenophon. In this latter work the golden river of eloquence again and again meets with obstacles, around which its waters break and foam to such an extent that persons unacquainted with the original would not believe they were reading Cicero's words. And no wonder! It is hard to follow another writer's lines. It is an arduous task to preserve felicity and grace unimpaired in a translation. A writer has chosen a word that forcibly expressed a given thought; I have no word of my own to convey the meaning; and while I am seeking to satisfy the sense I may go a long way round and accomplish but a small distance of my journey. Then we must take into account the ins and outs of transposition, the variations in cases, the diversity of figures, and, lastly, the peculiarities of the native idiom of the language. A literal translation sounds absurd; if, however, I am obliged to change either the orders or the words themselves, I shall appear to have forsaken the duty of a translator.

(Translated by W. H. Fremantle, 1892) What is striking about this self-justifying passage is Jerome's concern that his readers understand just how daunting a task literary translation is...
A very interesting site on Auschwitz

Convento de Cristo

Suzanne Vega's Favourite playlist:

Bigger Than My Body, John Mayer from Heavier Things
Time and Love, Laura Nyro, from New York Tendaberry
Trouble, Coldplay from Parachutes
St. Teresa, Joan Osborne from Relish
American Tune, Paul Simon from There Goes Rhymin' Simon
Like a Tattoo, Sade from Love Deluxe
Barely Breathing, Duncan Sheik from Duncan Sheik
Living It Up, Rickie Lee Jones from Pirates
Story of Isaac, Judy Collins from Who Knows Where the Time Goes
Red Rain, Peter Gabriel from So
Can't Let Go, Lucinda Williams from Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
Fortress around Your Heart, Sting from The Dream of the Blue Turtles
Ring of Fire, Johnny Cash from 16 Biggest Hits: Johnny Cash

The Guardian's Eight Step Guide to Win an Oscar: It's perfectly simple.
Also, take the quiz and Could you win an Oscar?

Feels Like Home
Norah Jones blew everybody away with her jazzy, country-tinged, Grammy-winning debut CD, Come Away With Me. On this recording, Jones doesn't mess with her trademark formula. Under Arif Mardin's cozy co-production, Jones is supported by her writing partners, her Handsome Band, and some special guests (country legend Dolly Parton, Levon Helm and Garth Hudson of the Band, and jazz drummer Brian Blade, to name a few).

You can listen to some samples here


Albaicín - Moorish Quarter in Granada

19 fevereiro 2004

Links in Spanish, nah, really?

O capítulo perdido da Rayuela de Cortázar, vinte anos depois:

«Rayuela partió de estas páginas». ¿Y por qué lo eliminó? «No me había dado cuenta [...] que el final del libro, la noche de Horacio en el manicomio, se cumplía dentro de un simulacro equivalente al de este primer capítulo». Comprendió «que debía eliminarlo, sobreponiéndome al amargo trago de retirar la base de todo el edificio».»

" -- A mãe disse que o biberão ficou em cima do fogão -- informei eu.
- Dei-lho há pouco. Não é fome -- retorquiu Seymour.
Mesmo no escuro, dirigiu-se à estante e fez incidir o feixe de luz ao correr das prateleiras. Sentei-me na cama e inquiri:
- De que andas tu à procura?
- Pensei que talvez lendo-lhe qualquer coisa... - respondeu Seymour e tirou um livro da estante.
- Por amor de Deus, ela tem dez meses! -- exclamei.
- Bem sei -- tornou ele -- , mas tem ouvidos, pode ouvir.
A história que Seymour leu a Franny, nessa noite, à luz da lâmpada, era uma das suas preferidas, uma história taoista, e a minha irmã ainda hoje jura que se lembra de ele lha haver lido.

O príncipe Mu da China disse a Po Lo: «Já estás velho. Há alguém na tua família que te possa substituir em cuidar dos cavalos?» Po Lo respondeu: «Um bom cavalo conhece-se pelo porte e pelas maneiras. Mas um cavalo excepcional -- que não levanta pó nem deixa rasto -- tem qualquer coisa de efémero e rápido, evanescente como o ar. Em talento, os meus filhos estão num plano mais baixo; sabem o que é um bom cavalo, quando o vêem, mas são incapazes de reconhecer um cavalo excepcional. No entanto, tenho um amigo, chamado Chiu-fang Kao, vendedor ambulante de azeite e hortaliças, que, no que diz respeito a cavalos, não me fica de modo algum atrás. Chame-o, por favor.»
O príncipe Um assim fez, e depois mandou-o em busca de um bom garanhão. Três meses passados, voltou com a notícia de que encontrara um. «Está agora em Shach`iu» - informou ele. E o príncipe perguntou: «Que espécie de cavalo é?» «É uma égua baia, um pouco escura» - foi a sua resposta. Entretanto, mandaram buscar o animal e verificou-se que era um garanhão negro como a noite! Muito aborrecido, o príncipe chamou Po Lo. «Aquele teu amigo, que encarreguei de me procurar um cavalo, arranjou uma bela trapalhada. Num animal, não consegue sequer distinguir nem a cor, nem o sexo! Como é que ele percebe de cavalos?» Po Lo respirou com satisfação e perguntou: «Ele já chegou realmente a esse apuro? Se assim é, vale dez mil como eu todos juntos. Entre nós não pode haver comparação. Kao é um perito de mecanismo espiritual. Assegurando-se do essencial, esquece o pormenor. Atenta nas qualidades intrínsecas, despreza as aparências exteriores. Vê o que quer ver e não o que não quer. Olha para as coisas que deve olhar e põe de parte as que o não merecem. Kao deu mostras de ser um perito tão clarividente que devia julgar qualquer outra coisa melhor do que cavalos.»
Quando o cavalo chegou, verificou-se, na verdade, ser um animal magnífico."

SALINGER, J. D. (trad. Bertha Mendes e Salvato Telles Menezes), "Carpinteiros, Levantem Alto O Pau de Fileira", Lisboa, Quetzal Editores, 1991.

Frederico Lourenço Galardoado com o Prémio D. Diniz

Frederico Lourenço foi galardoado com o Prémio D. Diniz, um dos mais importantes de Portugal, pela tradução de Odisseia, de Homero. É a primeira vez que uma tradução é distinguida com este prémio.

Atribuído pela Fundação Casa de Mateus, em Vila Real, o D. Diniz foi instituído em 1981 e distinguiu obras de ensaio, ficção, poesia (Eduardo Lourenço, António Lobo Antunes, Sophia, são alguns dos galardoados). Também por isso, Frederico Lourenço, romancista (autor de "Pode um Desejo Imenso", "O Curso das Estrelas" e "À Beira do Mundo") disse ontem ter ficado "absolutamente surpreendido": "Nunca imaginei ganhar o D. Diniz. Com toda a sinceridade, fiquei estupefacto."

A proposta inédita de distinguir uma tradução foi feita por Vasco Graça Moura, e aceite pelos outros dois membros do júri, os poetas Nuno Júdice e Fernando Pinto do Amaral.

No ano passado, Graça Moura considerou Odisseia (edição Cotovia) "o acontecimento cultural mais importante do ano", e ontem justificou que "o regulamento não impede [que o prémio seja atribuído a uma tradução]". Até porque esta tradução, do grego, é "uma recriação literária, tem plena justificação".

Recordando que existem duas traduções integrais desta obra de Homero que são "desinteressantes", "sem qualidade", Graça Moura justifica a atribuição do prémio pela "qualidade literária", pelo "registo de oralidade que [o tradutor] encontra e que é característica dos poemas homéricos", e ainda por ser "uma tradução que nos coloca perante a sensação de uma língua com certas asperezas, de uma oralidade primitiva". O poeta e eurodeputado classifica a tradução de Lourenço como "extraordinária" e "extremamente inovadora em termos do registo da linguagem que consegue encontrar".

E acrescenta: "Parece que estamos a ler o texto no original e, pela primeira vez, a redescobri-lo."

Para Frederico Lourenço (n. 1963), que traduziu peças de Eurípides ("Hipólito", "Íon") e está agora a trabalhar na "Ilíada", de Homero, a Odisseia continua a ser "o mais interessante e mais belo livro que existe", "absolutamente incomparável".

Lourenço confessa que começou a tentar traduzir Odisseia em 1988. Houve mesmo períodos em que quase desistiu: "O grande momento foi quando decidi traduzir em verso e tentei reproduzir a musicalidade." A tradução "não é o ponto final" na leitura de um texto que o professor de grego da Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa conhece e estuda há anos: "É um texto que ainda quero descobrir" - "É tão rico, tão humano; as personagens são tão envolventes e os problemas humanos retratados são tão actuais, intemporais..."

A tradução de Frederico Lourenço é a única disponível em verso; existe uma da Europa-América (não directamente do original) e outra da colecção Sá da Costa. Porque é que tão poucos se aventuraram a traduzir esta obra? Maria Helena Rocha Pereira, a mais reconhecida helenista portuguesa, que considera a atribuição deste prémio à tradução de "uma das grandes obras-primas da Humanidade" "perfeitamente" justa, diz: "Não é fácil, trata-se de uma obra extensa. E uma das grandes dificuldades que os tradutores podem apontar é a da equivalência das fórmulas fundamentais, característica no estilo homérico." Mas, para a helenista, esta tradução "é das melhores que se tem feito, pela cadência e ritmo que o autor manteve", e que "não pode ser do original - é uma poesia que obedece a esquemas quantitativos quanto às sílabas, não é possível arranjar um equivalência exacta, mas ele arranjou uma forma de transpor o esquema para a nossa métrica."

Odisseia, de Homero, saiu em Maio de 2003 e vai já na terceira edição (dois mil exemplares cada).

"quiero fer una prosa en román paladino,
en cual suele el pueblo fablar con su vezino,
ca non so tan letrado por fer otro latino
bien valdrá., como creo, un vaso de bon vino".

"Los Milagros de Nuestra Señora",
Gonzalo de Berceo (13th century)
Wine & War: The French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France's Greatest Treasure (link in Spanish)
Several links on Ferrá Adria (maybe already posted): The Guardian's Spray-on sauces, caviar for astronauts and aerosols of wine article, Terra's weekly section on Adrià [oh my God, this link is in Spanish, bastards, Gollum, Gollum!), Wine Spectator's article on his book hitting America,

18 fevereiro 2004

William Gibson begs to differ with those who describe him as a futurist.

Walter Benjamin on Translation:

"(A literary work's) essential quality is not statement or the imparting of information. Yet any translation which intends to perform a transmitting function cannot transmit anything but information—hence, something inessential. This is the hallmark
of bad translations. But do we not generally regard as the essential substance of a literary work what it contains in addition to information—as even a poor translator would admit—the unfathomable, the mysterious, the "poetic," something that a translator can reproduce only if he is also a poet?"

"The Task of the Translator"
(Introduction to his translation of Baudelaire's Tableaux Parisiens)

5 pintores portugueses en la Pedrera de Gaudi

17 fevereiro 2004

Porn und Drang

The latest novel of Germany's hot young writer Thor Kunkel exposes the Nazis' previously unknown trade in pornographic films. Sounds like a guaranteed bestseller. So why has the book's publisher cancelled it and kicked up a literary storm? Luke Harding investigates, here.

Patrick Chauvel, guerra no Líbano

Joaquim Narciso Possidónio da Silva, Torre de S. Vicente de Belém - 1863

Shakespeare went even further, caught as he was not just between two social classes but between two historical modes of production. His Globe theater was a profitable enterprise, charging only a penny for standing space (a third of the cost of a pipeful of tobacco), but able to accommodate an audience of 3,000. Even so, this budding capitalist venture still needed the protection of the court, and could suffer political censorship at its hands. Queen Elizabeth, an expert political operator, would have been quick to score a red line through any script that advocated popular rebellion.

I've always been fascinated by WWII German propaganda.
Here's a frightening collection of Goebbels' speaches (one as late into the war as April 1945)

Also, there is this massive site with free WWII photographs . Courtesy of the Simon Wiesenthal Center

Japanese prisoner camp: When liberators reached camps in the jungles of Southeast Asia, they were horrified by what they found. Some captives had lost over 100 pounds, and almost all suffered from crippling diseases.

First post referring to another blog, opinionwise I mean: why Americans have nothing, absolutely nothing, to learn from barbarian, uncultivated, scheming good-for-nothing Zeropeans, at EuroPundits
Window Shopping in the (Evil?) Empire

I shop comfortably, mindlessly, compulsively; sometimes purposefully; often in a daze. I scrutinize merchandise with the privilege and prejudice of a Westerner. Consumption is my cultural responsibility and patriotic duty. This cornucopia is my birthright and I understand it well. Shopping synchronizes my heartbeat with the rhythms of industry. It teaches me my place in the social hierarchy. It initiates me into my many temporary tribes. Watching television is shopping just as reading the news is shopping. Meeting people is shopping. Travel is shopping. Shopping is choosing a momentary self out of a ceaseless catalog of disposable identities.

To not shop is to not pay attention.

Between 1986 and 1990, I made approximately 8,000 color, Hasselblad images on the streets of Communist Europe. I purposely avoided dramatic moments and newsworthy events. In a cityscape without commercial seduction, banality seemed to signify everything. At first I was interested in simple pedestrian traffic. Later I doggedly documented store windows. These seemed to signify the real difference between East and West. Without the garish ad campaigns of the West, these streets felt more neutral... devoid of trumped up and pumped up urgency.

If I had been born in Eastern Europe in the middle of the 20th Century I might have read these windows more pragmatically; perhaps even critically. But in the dying days of the Cold War I saw a vast, ad hoc museum of a great failing utopia. The Socialist dream had been made fragile by a simple but terminal misreading of human desire. Suddenly in 1990 this museum closed without fanfare or notice. History rightly marks that moment by what was born rather than by what fell away... but what did fall away?.

Once upon a time in the Cold War we tempted global suicide over the content of our respective shop windows. Perhaps this is too simplistic. Dramatists called it a fight for freedom. But that seems like a line from a Disney trailer, too. As it happens, the East collapsed not because it was "evil" but because its own marketplace of ideas and things finally ran out of promise. For now at least... and for better or worse, Free Enterprise has proven itself one of the grandest freedom of all. Eastern windows are already filling with the Western simulacrum... a new utopia built out of flash and seduction. But the East Bloc windows I photographed were far from bankrupt. Yes, they were unpretentious, naive and seemed ironic. But they also contained an inventory of our most common human needs. That alone ought to have brought us together. — David Hlynsky

Juice vending machine with communal glass - Moscow, 1990

Bakery window, one slice of cake - Krakow, Poland, 1988

Progress men's wear - Serbia, Yugoslavia, 1989
Three loaves of bread - Krakow, Poland, 1988

Merchant Marine association - Moscow 1990

Illegal, anarchist graffito - Krakow, 1989
Martin Scorsese presents

Ashley Kahn
ed. Amistad
É fácil, é assunto, Música para filmes, filmes onde o italo-americano (sempre eles..) Martin Scorsese é quem mais ordena. Um conjunto de fitas. 'A Century of the Blues' por Robert Santelli, 'Feel Like Going Home' por Scorsese, 'Warming by the Devil's Fire' de Charles Burnett, 'The Road to Memphis' por Richard Pearce, 'The Soul of a Man' por Wim Wenders, 'Godfather and Sons' de Marc Levin, 'Red, White and Blues' por Mick Figgis e 'Piano Blues and Beyond' de Clint Eastwood. Um disco sem ser ouvido está morto, um livro de filmes sem serem vistos presta apenas para ler e nele, neste, há artigos, depoimentos, entrevistas úteis e sensacionais até. O book é gordo e pesado e promete estrelas muitas do mundo dos blues. Os blues não têm estrelas, mas sim estrelas. Do céu. Há muitos autores de escrita, neste livro, e brancos e pretos como bluesmen e women, até alguns british. Se o filme corresponder à qualidade de informação e amor e investigação bluesiana deste livro, temos fita! Resta esperar. E esperar é tema para blues.

16 fevereiro 2004

The NYT on Bill Murray's acting in LIT:


When a performer becomes a star by seeming hipper than everyone else, it can put a damper on his future as a dramatic actor. Imagine Groucho Marx being tearily sincere or that lordly drunk W. C. Fields owning up to his alcoholism: no, it wouldn't feel right to watch these champions of one-upmanship stripped of their comic masks.

But in "Lost in Translation," Bill Murray has found a role that lets him be the rumpled, mock-suave, slightly lewd hipster that made him a pop-culture icon, and also an achingly vulnerable late-middle-aged man contemplating the wreckage of his life. The performance is a dual triumph — for the actor, who is marvelous, and for the director, Sofia Coppola, who conceived it with his persona in mind. Under Ms. Coppola's direction, Mr. Murray's humor and sadness can now be seen as coming from the same place, his irony rooted in an unshakable sense of isolation.

As the fading movie star Bob Harris, Mr. Murray sits in the sky bar of his Tokyo hotel, so removed from the city that it could be a spaceship. His patter with the film's protagonist, Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), is determinedly breezy: almost every line is rounded with a quip. Still, his anguish is palpable. His jokes about his Japanese hosts are not expressions of superiority but of resignation. He will never connect with them. His satire is something to cling to in this alien universe.

Mr. Murray's Bob may not have the vocabulary to express his emotions without sardonic curlicues, but on two occasions he is suddenly "straight." The first is in a karaoke bar, when he croons Bryan Ferry's "More Than This": his "Saturday Night Live" lounge lizard melts away, and we realize with a start that his yearning is sincere. Then, at the end of the film, he whispers into Charlotte's ear — something Ms. Coppola allows to remain private. She gives Mr. Murray his most heartbreaking moment on screen, yet protects his integrity as one of the cinema's great modern clowns.

13 fevereiro 2004

Revisitar o Holocausto

O Holocausto é um dos maiores traumas na História da humanidade. Muito foi dito e escrito sobre o tema.

No entanto, uma nova geração de historiadores está a reformular os motivos que conduziram à ascensão de Hitler. É o caso de Norbert Frei, escritor alemão que aborda o III Reich em todas as suas formas de desenvolvimento, do político ao cultural, do económico ao social. Em «O Estado de Hitler», o autor reconstitui a complexidade da Alemanha hitleriana, desmontando ponto por ponto o triunfo do mito do Füher e a construção da «Comunidade do Povo».

O Estado de Hitler
Norbert Frei
Editorial Notícias, 2003, 380 Págs.

I would like to see this show:
Teatro da Trindade, Lisbon's oldest theatre, will also sponsor a preliminary tour of university towns in Portugal, beginning in Porto on Nov. 13, 2003, the writers said.

The production, which will be performed in Portuguese under the title O Último Tango de Fermat, features a multimedia presentation as part of the production. Teatro da Trindade's artistic director, Carlos Fragateiro, is also involved in the planning of other European productions of the show, both in English and translated into other European languages.

Executive producer Catarina Gonçalves said in a statement: "I would love for the Portuguese version travel to New York, to be enjoyed by the city's Portuguese community. César Viana has given a superb translation."

from Playbill
Somebody wrote this guess about whom?

Deus fê-la à nossa medida
Uma Lusitana Paixão
Lágrima doce e dorida
Canção do Mar convertida
Em Senhora do Almortão

Portugal tem mais fronteira
O País nasce de novo
Na sua Alma Guerreira
Traz a nossa alma inteira
E a voz do nosso povo
Soa nela, verdadeira
This is a website that caters to its own needs and ours: I've been looking for the foreign-language magazine where I saw Ferran Adrià on the cover and it turns out there are several, from Le Monde 2 to NYT to a Jap publication, and what is more, even if one can no longer access them, they're all on the page :-D (IMHO, French and Jap have the best photos, no wonder)
La imagen ganadora del World Press Photo 2003
La imagen de un prisionero iraquí consolando a su hijo de cuatro años -tomada el pasado marzo cerca de Nayaf-
ha ganado el certamen World Press Photo 2003. Su autor es el fotógrafo francés de la Associated Press
Jean-Marc Bouju. (AP)
Some Spanish photographers among the prizes ;)

Impressionism, Born of the Sea...

12 fevereiro 2004

"The Simpsons" Movie...Finally?