On the 30th of January,of year 1608,there's an overloaded ship (a Portuguese Nau,named Santo Agostinho) departing from Goa,India.Her captain is very w...moreOn the 30th of January,of year 1608,there's an overloaded ship (a Portuguese Nau,named Santo Agostinho) departing from Goa,India.Her captain is very worried about both cargo and people on board. The ship would arrive to Lisbon eight months later. In the meantime, a love story unfolds, and there's this mysterious box, the ship carries along. The writings inside the box (and their deciphering by a journalist of the 21st century) are, truly,the backbone of the book; they're authored by the shoemaker of Trancoso,named Bandarra,a kind of prophet and dreamer.And these writings tell something about the future of Portugal and the world. Some say that Nostradamus language looks sloppy compared to Bandarra's careful one-that's debatable. I take this chance to place right here just some of the shoemaker's words: Everyone will have a love/Gentiles and pagans/Jews shall become Christians/no more error shall be. They will serve only one Lord/Jesus Christ; that I name/All will believe that the/Anointed saviour has already come. (My translation from Portuguese into English). (less)
Five stars ain't enough,maybe six will suffice. Only those who read Portuguese can fully appreciate the vastness and full depth of this poetic work...more
Five stars ain't enough,maybe six will suffice. Only those who read Portuguese can fully appreciate the vastness and full depth of this poetic work.Of course, The Lusiads are the Portuguese people, and the Camões masterpiece is about the epic of the Discoveries; about men and women,Kings and Queens,and the Gods favoring and those against,... that enterprise: the pride of my nation....been so long. (less)
-Fact or fiction? truth or part of it? what to say of a 16th century Portuguese man who travelled over large areas of...more A book first published in 1614.
-Fact or fiction? truth or part of it? what to say of a 16th century Portuguese man who travelled over large areas of Africa and Asia (Gulf of Siam,Japan,India,China...) as merchant, as warrior,...in company of the Jesuits...imprisoned turned into slave...occasional physician,ambassador,a pirate in the China seas,...soldier,business agent and... 20 years later in Portugal recalled his trips?
I think Mendes Pinto has the stature of Da Gama, the only diference is that a few noticed that,so far.
Back in 1987 the Portuguese writer Miguel Torga visited Macao; reflecting on the Discoveries time he said:" this land has got something of disturbing and of opium-quality";"Macao is like a confusing dream of Portugal". Torga wrote in his Diary:"it's our destiny not to fit in the birth's cradle"... since the early days we are emigrants; the pre-historical Portuguese already was an adventurer, a missioner, a sower of culture"..."... "to be a complete Portuguese is to be (Camões)a pioneer, a banner holder, an apostle, a visionary,a boyfriend and a poet ". All the enunciated qualities fit so well into Mendes Pinto.
On the 2004 edition of "Peregrinação" the Portuguese writer José António Saraiva wrote in the Introduction: "Being an auto-biographical book, what's most interesting about the character is his anti-hero side. FMP is a poor devil....he refers to himself as "poor me"...he exposes himself to the reader to be laughed at". Saraiva compared FMP to Charlot of Charlie Chaplin or certain characters of Woody Allen.
Saraiva added: "the episode when FMP portrays himself killing time laying down on a sea beach, watching hours roll by, ending up being bought by a merchant for a ridiculous price, may be symbolical: it shows us a man reduced to his tiniest condition-the human merchandise in its simplest form".
"He could have died a twenty times but he always saved himself"
Quoting FMP:"...God always saved me....for twenty one years,thirteen times I was held captive and for seventeen I was sold,in those parts of India,Ethiopia,Arabia Félix,China,Tartária,Macáçar,Samatra and many other provinces of that oriental archipelago of the far east Asia, one the chin,siam,"guéus" and "léquios" writers call in their geographies the "lid of the world"..."
"Fernão,mentes?" -Minto! *
Had I been a Historian; had I had the chance to write a doctoral dissertation...than FMP would had been my topic. -I'm not lying.
---------- *Portuguese game of words/sounds (playing with name Pinto and the verb to lie=Minto=I lie): -Fernão,do you lie? -I do.(less)
Foi elle o Nostradamus dos Portuguezes, como antigas memorias nos certificão, no tempo d'el Rei D. João o III ------------------------------------------...moreFoi elle o Nostradamus dos Portuguezes, como antigas memorias nos certificão, no tempo d'el Rei D. João o III --------------------------------------------------------------------- Bandarra: "was the Nostradamus of the Portuguese...in the time of king D.João III".(less)
I've just read some pages, and I surely can envision many to come of the same.
It starts quoting Hebrews 11:4. “By faith, Abel offered God a sacrifice...moreI've just read some pages, and I surely can envision many to come of the same.
It starts quoting Hebrews 11:4. “By faith, Abel offered God a sacrifice….and by faith Abel, though dead, still speaks". A quote from the Book of "Rubbish/non-sense",according to Saramago.
An imperfect Creation, that's the main issue: (1) God got aware later that Adam and Eve (in the book: adam and eve) didn’t speak: so God made a tongue (both the muscle and the idiom); afterwards the creation. (2) God corrected later a lack of belly button;yes, for procreation purposes. He sparsely visited the couple, because he had other paradises to visit.
God expells them from paradise after they had disobeyed; Eve said:”a serpent fooled me” in a dream; she ate from the Tree of Life; Adam too.
So my present thesis is:this is truly a manual on how to mock God*.
Yes, I will continue reading, to unravel the Cain issue.
Adam and Eve now live in a cave…nearby four rivers.
Adam and Eve are hungry; Eve volunteers to get fruit from paradise garden; she meets with the Cherubim Azael**: asks him some fruit; he’s reluctant but then will provide her with some fruits.
Later Adam and Eve would meet with the cherubim: he tells them: you’re not alone; soon they will get a ride from a caravan.
Adam and Eve are portrayed as being of black hair and dark skin; but their children, Abel and Cain, are different;Abel being blond,Saramago hints at the rendezvous between Eve and the angel of Eden.
Abel and Cain have different vocations; they offer a sacrifice to God; God is pleased with Abel, but despises Cain’s; Abel mocks Cain; Cain kills Abel; Cain wanted to kill God. God will punish Cain: he’s condemned to become a wanderer…and gets a mark in his forehead.The Cain sign.
“O diabo que te assinalou algum defeito encontrou”.
Cain gets to Nod land; he doesn’t say his name is Cain; he says he’s Abel (!!); he manages to get two jobs: one as clay worker and another at the palace of the governess of Nod: Lilith, the wife of Noah. Noah is jealous about that second job.. Noah’s men try to kill Cain, but due to his sign they aren’t succeeded. The above mentioned palace was not like Mafra or Versailles... or Buckingham's. Certainly not.
»»»««« "O senhor não é pessoa em que se possa confiar".
Now Cain tells Lilith his true name.She asks him to kill Noah. He refuses.Lilith is pregnant.Cain departures to a new,green land. There he meets with Abraham,about to sacrifice his son Isaac to God.Not the angel...,but Cain saves the boy! Here I laughed.I am still laughing: the angel got late,due to a mechanical problem... in the wing (!!!).So Cain got the laurels. Haha. Hahaha.
Riding a donkey Cain arrives to the place where the Babel Tower was being built; but people are in total disagreement: they speak different languages,...they looked crazy. Cain asks a man who speaks Hebrew like him:how come?; the man replied: they all spoke the "Tongue",the same for everybody...but then God visited them, and didn't like the Tower; so,he confused the languages; God was jealous of men.(!!!!) ah!! Cain reveals that he's got a special (supernatural?) ability: he can travel in time: back and forward.
Allow me to abbreviate. -Cain reports on Sodom and Gomorra: fire and sulfur rain falls upon the cities…. Lot’s wife turning into a statue of salt. The same merciless God who didn’t save the children.
-Moses 40 days and 40 nights on the Sinai;… now Cain says he’s Noah; God gets his revenge on people for their adoration of the golden calf. Cain leaves because he’s sick about bloodshed.
-Joshua and Jericho’s walls that fell after the sound of the trumpets… Cain says the stopping of the sun is a lie.
Noah is building the Arc because God wants to exterminate men ,…in a land full of inequities; Cain joins Noah’s family….but exposes God's ignorance on the Archimedes principle.(!!!)
The flood:40 days and nights of rain. After 150 days, water level starts receding. Noah had seen an unicorn; really: all animals in the ark?. The ark had no sail... nor engine. By the end of the book: all humans are dead...but Cain. Noah committed suicide.
Saramago took pity on Cain:”despite the murder, Cain is an intrinsically honest man…with moral sense”. I would say Cain looks godish. His forehead sign is becoming bigger. Like a black sun.
---------- * Saramago interview with Spanish EFE; he was 86 years old and he said: “Dios no es una persona de fiar…no estoy questionando Dios, …la humanidad que lo ha inventado”; "God is not a trustworthy person...I am not questioning God...but mankind that has invented God".
**Jewish legend speaks of Azazel as the angel who refused to bow down to Adam. For such refusal, Azazel was thenceforth dubbed "the accursed Satan".....Azazel refused,contending "why should a son of fire (an angel) fall down before a son of clay (a mortal)". Whereupon God cast Azazel out of Heaven.... Milton in PARADISE LOST I,534 describes Azazel as "a cherub tall" but also as a fallen angel... in: A Dictionary of Angels by Gustav Davidson(less)
This is a Portuguese author I know for long, though I never read a single one of his books*. I know him from TV: as a journalist and (political) comme...moreThis is a Portuguese author I know for long, though I never read a single one of his books*. I know him from TV: as a journalist and (political) commentator; also a moderator in his own “show”. He worked both for private and public TV channels. Oh, of course, I know him from reading his articles in Expresso, a weekly newspaper.
His father, Francisco Sousa Tavares, was for some time a MP and his mother a much –acclaimed (first woman to receive the Camões Prize) writer of Danish lineage, Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen.
MST was recently (24th of May) interviewed by IPSILON (of Publico newspaper) and I got curious about his latest book: Madrugada suja”. What follows (except point 8) relates to the interview output.
1-The book has a great bearing on political corruption. According to MST his departure point was his discovery that there exists, in fact, in Alentejo, a village with a single inhabitant. He wondered about: why that happened….what would it be for a 80-year-old man,alone out there, talking to the animals….and no TV set.
2-MST coined a village’s name: Medronhais da Serra for his book’s fiction. Then he added the fiction which amalgamates around 30 years of the “Portuguese public life”. The book “has no heroes” contrary to another one of the same author “Equador” (2001).
3-The author acknowledges that a TV reportage gave him inspiration. He recalls once the commandos (a military unit) had to perform a “cultural” sort of animation (“dinamização) on a village in the remote Trás-os-Montes region; they arrived in military vehicles ("chaimites") and people were afraid, clearly, behind closed doors. He remembers the tumultuous times after the 25th of April Revolution: the occupation of large agricultural properties in Alentejo; he compares: “it was like a film of Eisenstein: “Battleship Potemkin” entering Alentejo”.
It was a time of “land nationalization”.He considers Alentejo something quite unique in the Portuguese territory: something “apart”: (after November 1975) “there was a lot of people imagining that Alentejo might become a sort of Cuba inside Portugal”. Truly, the political history of that region “is different”.
4-“Filipe (the "main" character), the grandson of the single inhabitant of…works for a municipality by the sea side,and confronts corruption”…MST comments: “…you cannot say that the local authority got corrupted…he only thinks that it’s good for his land to get urbanized and to get golf fields: that’s investment….tax -money for his land….(BUT)..that’s based on that kind of reasoning that Portugal has been systematically liquidated…”. MST said that we tend to think that “big corruption starts with the PM,that’s not true…it starts from the bottom level: just before everybody’s eyes.”
5-Taking his father’s example, the author points to great differences in political generations: his father was of the generation participating in the Constitutional Assembly: it was a generation moved by IDEALS. Our present constitution,which is utterly “absurd and pamphletarian”, still reflects those ideals of a “better world” and “the honest way of living a life”.
6-And yet, in that fictitious village there’s a character reading “War and peace”,Tolstoy:Why? MST: that’s an homage to literature. “The characters of the great books travel with us for good”.
7-The book has a message of hope,though a “very subliminal” one.”No nation is doomed to evil”.
8-Quite recently MST got into trouble for calling the Portuguese PR a “clown”. ---------- *Correction:I read part of "O planeta branco" [The white planet].