Sunday, December 27, 2009

Robert Schumann - Arabeske Op 18

Werther: "my wish is gratified"




Albert, upon his return, was received by Charlotte with ill-concealed embarrassment. He was himself out of humour; his business was unfinished; and he had just discovered that the neighbouring official with whom he had to deal, was an obstinate and narrow-minded personage. Many things had occurred to irritate him.

(...)

The presence of the being she loved and honoured produced a new impression on her heart. The recollection of his generosity, kindness, and affection had calmed her agitation: a secret impulse prompted her to follow him; she took her work and went to his study, as was often her custom. He was busily employed opening and reading his letters. It seemed as if the contents of some were disagreeable. She asked some questions: he gave short answers, and sat down to write.

Several hours passed in this manner, and Charlotte's feelings became more and more melancholy. She felt the extreme difficulty of explaining to her husband, under any circumstances, the weight that lay upon her heart; and her depression became every moment greater, in proportion as she endeavoured to hide her grief, and to conceal her tears.

The arrival of Werther's servant occasioned her the greatest embarrassment. He gave Albert a note, which the latter coldly handed to his wife, saying, at the same time, "Give him the pistols. I wish him a pleasant journey," he added, turning to the servant. These words fell upon Charlotte like a thunderstroke: she rose from her seat half-fainting, and unconscious of what she did. She walked mechanically toward the wall, took down the pistols with a trembling hand, slowly wiped the dust from them, and would have delayed longer, had not Albert hastened her movements by an impatient look. She then delivered the fatal weapons to the servant, without being able to utter a word. As soon as he had departed, she folded up her work, and retired at once to her room, her heart overcome with the most fearful forebodings. She anticipated some dreadful calamity.

(...)

When the servant brought the pistols to Werther, the latter received them with transports of delight upon hearing that Charlotte had given them to him with her own hand. He ate some bread, drank some wine, sent his servant to dinner, and then sat down to write as follows:

They have been in your hands, you wiped the dust from them. I kiss them a thousand times - you have touched them. Yes, Heaven favours my design, and you, Charlotte, provide me with the fatal instruments. It was my desire to receive my death from your hands, and my wish is gratified. I have made inquiries of my servant. You trembled when you gave him the pistols, but you bade me no adieu. Wretched, wretched that I am - not one farewell! How could you shut your heart against me in that hour which makes you mine for ever? Charlotte, ages cannot efface the impression - I feel you cannot hate the man who so passionately loves you!

The Sorrows of Young Werther, Nathen Haskell Dole, translation by R.D. Boyla

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Editora OVNI premiada

Melhor Projecto Gráfico de Literatura 2008

O ALIENISTA E OUTRAS RARIDADES, antologia de Machado de Assis publicada no ano em em que se completou um século sobre o seu desaparecimento, venceu a categoria Melhor Projecto Gráfico de Literatura dos Prémios de Edição LER/Booktailors 2008.

Gerard Souzay-Ravel: Don Quichotte a Dulcinee

Friday, December 25, 2009

Her blood was boiling in her veins


(Waterhouse, The crystal ball)


Charlotte was sitting alone. None of her family were near, and she gave herself up to the reflections that silently took possession of her mind. She was for ever united to a husband whose love and fidelity she had proved, to whom she was heartily devoted, and who seemed to be a special gift from Heaven to ensure her happiness. On the other hand, Werther had become dear to her. There was a cordial unanimity of sentiment between them from the very first hour of their acquaintance, and their long association and repeated interviews had made an indelible impression upon her heart. She had been accustomed to communicate to him every thought and feeling which interested her, and his absence threatened to open a void in her existence which it might be impossible to fill. How heartily she wished that she might change him into her brother, - that she could induce him to marry one of her own friends, or could reestablish his intimacy with Albert.

Charlotte had slept little during the past night. All her apprehensions were realised in a way that she could neither foresee nor avoid. Her blood was boiling in her veins, and a thousand painful sensations rent her pure heart. Was it the ardour of Werther's passionate embraces that she felt within her bosom? Was it anger at his daring? Was it the sad comparison of her present condition with former days of innocence, tranquillity, and self-confidence? How could she approach her husband, and confess a scene which she had no reason to conceal, and which she yet felt, nevertheless, unwilling to avow? They had preserved so long a silence toward each other and should she be the first to break it by so unexpected a discovery? She feared that the mere statement of Werther's visit would trouble him, and his distress would be heightened by her perfect candour. She wished that he could see her in her true light, and judge her without prejudice; but was she anxious that he should read her inmost soul? On the other hand, could she deceive a being to whom all her thoughts had ever been exposed as clearly as crystal, and from whom no sentiment had ever been concealed? These reflections made her anxious and thoughtful. Her mind still dwelt on Werther, who was now lost to her, but whom she could not bring herself to resign, and for whom she knew nothing was left but despair if she should be lost to him for ever.

A recollection of that mysterious estrangement which had lately subsisted between herself and Albert, and which she could never thoroughly understand, was now beyond measure painful to her.

The Sorrows of Young Werther, Nathen Haskell Dole, translation by R.D. Boyla

Coisas pequenas (Madredeus)

I can't believe that you are in love with me

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Praia Do Mar - Madredeus (1997)

Charlote was in a pitiable state of mind




DECEMBER 20

I am grateful to your love, Wilhelm, for having repeated your advice so seasonably. Yes, you are right: it is undoubtedly better that I should depart. But I do not entirely approve your scheme of returning at once to your neighbourhood; at least, I should like to make a little excursion on the way, particularly as we may now expect a continued frost, and consequently good roads. I am much pleased with your intention of coming to fetch me; only delay your journey for a fortnight, and wait for another letter from me. One should gather nothing before it is ripe, and a fortnight sooner or later makes a great difference. Entreat my mother to pray for her son, and tell her I beg her pardon for all the unhappiness I have occasioned her. It has ever been my fate to give pain to those whose happiness I should have promoted. Adieu, my dearest friend. May every blessing of Heaven attend you! Farewell.

We find it difficult to express the emotions with which Charlotte's soul was agitated during the whole of this time, whether in relation to her husband or to her unfortunate friend; although we are enabled, by our knowledge of her character, to understand their nature.

It is certain that she had formed a determination, by every means in her power, to keep Werther at a distance; and, if she hesitated in her decision, it was from a sincere feeling of friendly pity, knowing how much it would cost him, indeed, that he would find it almost impossible to comply with her wishes. But various causes now urged her to be firm. Her husband preserved a strict silence about the whole matter; and she never made it a subject of conversation, feeling bound to prove to him by her conduct that her sentiments agreed with his.

The same day, which was the Sunday before Christmas, after Werther had written the last-mentioned letter to his friend, he came in the evening to Charlotte's house, and found her alone. She was busy preparing some little gifts for her brothers and sisters, which were to be distributed to them on Christmas Day. He began talking of the delight of the children, and of that age when the sudden appearance of the Christmas-tree, decorated with fruit and sweetmeats, and lighted up with wax candles, causes such transports of joy. "You shall have a gift too, if you behave well," said Charlotte, hiding her embarrassment under sweet smile. "And what do you call behaving well? What should I do, what can I do, my dear Charlotte?" said he. "Thursday night," she answered, "is Christmas Eve. The children are all to be here, and my father too: there is a present for each; do you come likewise, but do not come before that time." Werther started. "I desire you will not: it must be so," she continued. "I ask it of you as a favour, for my own peace and tranquillity. We cannot go on in this manner any longer." He turned away his face walked hastily up and down the room, muttering indistinctly, "We cannot go on in this manner any longer!" Charlotte, seeing the violent agitation into which these words had thrown him, endeavoured to divert his thoughts by different questions, but in vain. "No, Charlotte!" he exclaimed; "I will never see you any more!" "And why so?" she answered. "We may - we must see each other again; only let it be with more discretion. Oh! why were you born with that excessive, that ungovernable passion for everything that is dear to you?" Then, taking his hand, she said, "I entreat of you to be more calm: your talents, your understanding, your genius, will furnish you with a thousand resources. Be a man, and conquer an unhappy attachment toward a creature who can do nothing but pity you." He bit his lips, and looked at her with a gloomy countenance. She continued to hold his hand. "Grant me but a moment's patience, Werther," she said. "Do you not see that you are deceiving yourself, that you are seeking your own destruction? Why must you love me, me only, who belong to another? I fear, I much fear, that it is only the impossibility of possessing me which makes your desire for me so strong." He drew back his hand, whilst he surveyed her with a wild and angry look. "'Tis well!" he exclaimed, "'tis very well! Did not Albert furnish you with this reflection? It is profound, a very profound remark." "A reflection that any one might easily make," she answered; "and is there not a woman in the whole world who is at liberty, and has the power to make you happy? Conquer yourself: look for such a being, and believe me when I say that you will certainly find her. I have long felt for you, and for us all: you have confined yourself too long within the limits of too narrow a circle. Conquer yourself; make an effort: a short journey will be of service to you. Seek and find an object worthy of your love; then return hither, and let us enjoy together all the happiness of the most perfect friendship."

"This speech," replied Werther with a cold smile, "this speech should be printed, for the benefit of all teachers. My dear Charlotte, allow me but a short time longer, and all will be well." "

In the meantime, Charlotte was in a pitiable state of mind. After her last conversation with Werther, she found how painful to herself it would be to decline his visits, and knew how severely he would suffer from their separation.

Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, Nathen Haskell Dole, translation by R.D. Boyla

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

LIgeti: String Quartet nº 1 (III e IV)

Werther: The Editor to the Reader



The Editor to the Reader

Sorrow and discontent had taken deep root in Werther's soul, and gradually imparted their character to his whole being. The harmony of his mind became completely disturbed; a perpetual excitement and mental irritation, which weakened his natural powers, produced the saddest effects upon him, and rendered him at length the victim of an exhaustion against which he struggled with still more painful efforts than he had displayed, even in contending with his other misfortunes. His mental anxiety weakened his various good qualities; and he was soon converted into a gloomy companion, always unhappy and unjust in his ideas, the more wretched he became. This was, at least, the opinion of Albert's friends. They assert, moreover, that the character of Albert himself had undergone no change in the meantime: he was still the same being whom Werther had loved, honored, and respected from the commencement. His love for Charlotte was unbounded: he was proud of her, and desired that she should be recognized by every one as the noblest of created beings. Was he, however, to blame for wishing to avert from her every appearance of suspicion? Or for his unwillingness to share his rich prize with another, even for a moment, and in the most innocent manner? It is asserted that Albert frequently retired from his wife's apartment during Werther's visits; but this did not arise from hatred or aversion to his friend, but only from a feeling that his presence was oppressive to Werther.

DECEMBER 15

"What is the matter with me, dear Wilhelm? I am afraid of myself! Is not my love for her of the purest, most holy, and most brotherly nature? Has my soul ever been sullied by a single sensual desire? but I will make no protestations. And now, ye nightly visions, how truly have those mortals understood you, who ascribe your various contradictory effects to some invincible power! This night I tremble at the avowal - I held her in my arms, locked in a close embrace: I pressed her to my bosom, and covered with countless kisses those dear lips which murmured in reply soft protestations of love. My sight became confused by the delicious intoxication of her eyes. Heavens! Is it sinful to revel again in such happiness, to recall once more those rapturous moments with intense delight? Charlotte! Charlotte! I am lost! My senses are bewildered, my recollection is confused, mine eyes are bathed in tears - I am ill; and yet I am well - I wish for nothing - I have no desires - it were better I were gone."


Under the circumstances narrated above, a determination to quit this world had now taken fixed possession of Werther's soul. Since Charlotte's return, this thought had been the final object of all his hopes and wishes; but he had resolved that such a step should not be taken with precipitation, but with calmness and tranquillity, and with the most perfect deliberation.


His troubles and internal struggles may be understood from the following fragment, which was found, without any date, amongst his papers, and appears to have formed the beginning of a letter to Wilhelm.


"Her presence, her fate, her sympathy for me, have power still to extract tears from my withered brain."


"One lifts up the curtain, and passes to the other side, - that is all! And why all these doubts and delays? Because we know not what is behind - because there is no returning - and because our mind infers that all is darkness and confusion, where we have nothing but uncertainty."


His appearance at length became quite altered by the effect of his melancholy thoughts; and his resolution was now finally and irrevocably taken, of which the following ambiguous letter, which he addressed to his friend, may appear to afford some proof.


Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, Nathen Haskell Dole, translation by R.D. Boyla

Monday, December 21, 2009

Werther: " I shall never be myself again"




NOVEMBER 24


She is sensible of my sufferings. This morning her look pierced my very soul. I found her alone, and she was silent: she steadfastly surveyed me. I no longer saw in her face the charms of beauty or the fire of genius: these had disappeared. But I was affected by an expression much more touching, a look of the deepest sympathy and of the softest pity. Why was I afraid to throw myself at her feet? Why did I not dare to take her in my arms, and answer her by a thousand kisses? She had recourse to her piano for relief, and in a low and sweet voice accompanied the music with delicious sounds. Her lips never appeared so lovely: they seemed but just to open, that they might imbibe the sweet tones which issued from the instrument, and return the heavenly vibration from her lovely mouth. Oh! who can express my sensations? I was quite overcome, and, bending down, pronounced this vow: "Beautiful lips, which the angels guard, never will I seek to profane your purity with a kiss." And yet, my friend, oh, I wish -- but my heart is darkened by doubt and indecision -- could I but taste felicity, and then die to expiate the sin! What sin?


NOVEMBER 26


Oftentimes I say to myself, "Thou alone art wretched: all other mortals are happy, none are distressed like thee!" Then I read a passage in an ancient poet, and I seem to understand my own heart. I have so much to endure! Have men before me ever been so wretched?


NOVEMBER 30


I shall never be myself again! Wherever I go, some fatality occurs to distract me. Even to-day alas -- for our destiny! alas for human nature!

December 6

How her image haunts me! Waking or asleep, she fills my entire soul! Soon as I close my eyes, here, in my brain, where all the nerves of vision are concentrated, her dark eyes are imprinted. Here - I do not know how to describe it; but, if I shut my eyes, hers are immediately before me: dark as an abyss they open upon me, and absorb my senses.


Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, Nathen Haskell Dole, translation by R.D. Boyla

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Não muito distante (Madredeus)

Merry Christmas to you...

"Werther: "She does not feel, she does not know"


(Waterhouse: Half sick of the shadow)



NOVEMBER 21

She does not feel, she does not know, that she is preparing a poison which will destroy us both; and I drink deeply of the draught which is to prove my destruction. What mean those looks of kindness with which she often -- often? no, not often, but sometimes, regards me, that complacency with which she hears the involuntary sentiments which frequently escape me, and the tender pity for my sufferings which appears in her countenance?
Yesterday, when I took leave she seized me by the hand, and said, "Adieu, dear Werther." Dear Werther! It was the first time she ever called me dear: the sound sunk deep into my heart. I have repeated it a hundred times; and last night, on going to bed, and talking to myself of various things, I suddenly said, "Good night, dear Werther!" and then could not but laugh at myself.

NOVEMBER 22

I cannot pray, "Leave her to me !" and yet she often seems to belong to me. I cannot pray, "Give her to me!" for she is another's. In this way I affect mirth over my troubles; and, if I had time, I could compose a whole litany of antitheses.

Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, Nathen Haskell Dole, translation by R.D. Boyla

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Maria Callas - L'amour est un oiseau rebelle - Habanera - Carmen - Bizet

Werther: "I am alone the cause of my own woe"




NOVEMBER 3

Witness, Heaven, how often I lie down in my bed with a wish, and even a hope, that I may never awaken again. And in the morning, when I open my eyes, I behold the sun once more, and am wretched. If I were whimsical, I might blame the weather, or an acquaintance, or some personal disappointment, for my discontented mind; and then this insupportable load of trouble would not rest entirely upon myself. But, alas! I feel it too sadly. I am alone the cause of my own woe, am I not? Truly, my own bosom contains the source of all my sorrow, as it previously contained the source of all my pleasure. Am I not the same being who once enjoyed an excess of happiness, who, at every step, saw paradise open before him, and whose heart was ever expanded toward the whole world? And this heart is now dead, no sentiment can revive it; my eyes are dry; and my senses, no more refreshed by the influence of soft tears, wither and consume my brain. I suffer much, for I have lost the only charm of life: that active, sacred power which created worlds around me, -- it is no more. When I look from my window at the distant hills, and behold the morning sun breaking through the mists, and illuminating the country around, which is still wrapped in silence, whilst the soft stream winds gently through the willows, which have shed their leaves; when glorious nature displays all her beauties before me, and her wondrous prospects are ineffectual to extract one tear of joy from my withered heart, I feel that in such a moment I stand like a reprobate before heaven, hardened, insensible, and unmoved. Oftentimes do I then bend my knee to the earth, and implore God for the blessing of tears, as the desponding labourer in some scorching climate prays for the dews of heaven to moisten his parched corn.

But I feel that God does not grant sunshine or rain to our importunate entreaties. And oh, those bygone days, whose memory now torments me! why were they so fortunate? Because I then waited with patience for the blessings of the Eternal, and received his gifts with the grateful feelings of a thankful heart.

NOVEMBER 8

Charlotte has reproved me for my excesses, with so much tenderness and goodness! I have lately been in the habit of drinking more wine than heretofore. "Don't do it," she said. "Think of Charlotte!" "Think of you!" I answered; "need you bid me do so? Think of you -- I do not think of you: you are ever before my soul! This very morning I sat on the spot where, a few days ago, you descended from the carriage, and--" She immediately changed the subject to prevent me from pursuing it farther. My dear friend, my energies are all prostrated: she can do with me what she pleases.

Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, Nathen Haskell Dole, translation by R.D. Boyla

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Werther: "Because she knows how much I love her"


(Louise-Elizabeth-Vigee-Lebrun: Self-portrait in a straw hat)

SEPTEMBER 3

I sometimes cannot understand how she can love another, how she dares love another, when I love nothing in this world so completely, so devotedly, as I love her, when I know only her, and have no other possession.
(...)

SEPTEMBER 5

Charlotte had written a letter to her husband in the country, where he was detained by business. It commenced, "My dearest love, return as soon as possible: I await you with a thousand raptures." A friend who arrived, brought word, that, for certain reasons, he could not return immediately. Charlotte's letter was not forwarded, and the same evening it fell into my hands. I read it, and smiled. She asked the reason. "What a heavenly treasure is imagination:" I exclaimed; "I fancied for a moment that this was written to me." She paused, and seemed displeased. I was silent.


SEPTEMBER 6

It cost me much to part with the blue coat which I wore the first time I danced with Charlotte. But I could not possibly wear it any longer. I have ordered a new one, precisely similar, even to the collar and sleeves, as well as a new waistcoat and pantaloons.
But it does not produce the same effect upon me. I know not how it is, but I hope in time I shall like it better.


SEPTEMBER 12

She has been absent for some days. She went to meet Albert. To-day I visited her: she rose to receive me, and I kissed her hand most tenderly.
A canary at the moment flew from a mirror, and settled upon her shoulder. "Here is a new friend," she observed, while she made him perch upon her hand: "he is a present for the children. What a dear he is! Look at him! When I feed him, he flutters with his wings, and pecks so nicely. He kisses me, too, only look!"
She held the bird to her mouth; and he pressed her sweet lips with so much fervour that he seemed to feel the excess of bliss which he enjoyed.
"He shall kiss you too," she added; and then she held the bird toward me. His little beak moved from her mouth to mine, and the delightful sensation seemed like the forerunner of the sweetest bliss.
"A kiss," I observed, "does not seem to satisfy him: he wishes for food, and seems disappointed by these unsatisfactory endearments."
"But he eats out of my mouth," she continued, and extended her lips to him containing seed; and she smiled with all the charm of a being who has allowed an innocent participation of her love.
I turned my face away. She should not act thus. She ought not to excite my imagination with such displays of heavenly innocence and happiness, nor awaken my heart from its slumbers, in which it dreams of the worthlessness of life! And why not? Because she knows how much I love her.
(...)


OCTOBER 10

Only to gaze upon her dark eyes is to me a source of happiness! And what grieves me, is, that Albert does not seem so happy as he -- hoped to be -- as I should have been -- if -- I am no friend to these pauses, but here I cannot express it otherwise; and probably I am explicit enough.
(...)


OCTOBER 27: Evening

I possess so much, but my love for her absorbs it all. I possess so much, but without her I have nothing.


OCTOBER 30

One hundred times have I been on the point of embracing her. Heavens! what a torment it is to see so much loveliness passing and repassing before us, and yet not dare to lay hold of it! And laying hold is the most natural of human instincts. Do not children touch everything they see? And I!

Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, Nathen Haskell Dole, translation by R.D. Boyla

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Alfred Schnittke: Musica Nostalgica

Werther: "Unhappy being that I am!"


 (D. G. Rossetti)

AUGUST 28


If my ills would admit of any cure, they would certainly be cured here. This is my birthday, and early in the morning I received a packet from Albert. Upon opening it, I found one of the pink ribbons which Charlotte wore in her dress the first time I saw her, and which I had several times asked her to give me. With it were two volumes in duodecimo of Wetstein's "Homer," a book I had often wished for, to save me the inconvenience of carrying the large Ernestine edition with me upon my walks. You see how they anticipate my wishes, how well they understand all those little attentions of friendship, so superior to the costly presents of the great, which are humiliating. I kissed the ribbon a thousand times, and in every breath inhaled the remembrance of those happy and irrevocable days which filled me with the keenest joy. Such, Wilhelm, is our fate. I do not murmur at it: the flowers of life are but visionary. How many pass away, and leave no trace behind -- how few yield any fruit -- and the fruit itself, how rarely does it ripen! And yet there are flowers enough! and is it not strange, my friend, that we should suffer the little that does really ripen, to rot, decay, and perish unenjoyed? Farewell! This is a glorious summer. I often climb into the trees in Charlotte's orchard, and shake down the pears that hang on the highest branches. She stands below, and catches them as they fall.


AUGUST 30

Unhappy being that I am! Why do I thus deceive myself? What is to come of all this wild, aimless, endless passion? I cannot pray except to her. My imagination sees nothing but her: all surrounding objects are of no account, except as they relate to her. In this dreamy state I enjoy many happy hours, till at length I feel compelled to tear myself away from her. Ah, Wilhelm, to what does not my heart often compel me! When I have spent several hours in her company, till I feel completely absorbed by her figure, her grace, the divine expression of her thoughts, my mind becomes gradually excited to the highest excess, my sight grows dim, my hearing confused, my breathing oppressed as if by the hand of a murderer, and my beating heart seeks to obtain relief for my aching senses. I am sometimes unconscious whether I really exist. If in such moments I find no sympathy, and Charlotte does not allow me to enjoy the melancholy consolation of bathing her hand with my tears, I feel compelled to tear myself from her, when I either wander through the country, climb some precipitous cliff, or force a path through the trackless thicket, where I am lacerated and torn by thorns and briers; and thence I find relief. Sometimes I lie stretched on the ground, overcome with fatigue and dying with thirst; sometimes, late in the night, when the moon shines above me, I recline against an aged tree in some sequestered forest, to rest my weary limbs, when, exhausted and worn, I sleep till break of day. O Wilhelm! the hermit's cell, his sackcloth, and girdle of thorns would be luxury and indulgence compared with what I suffer. Adieu! I see no end to this wretchedness except the grave.




Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, Nathen Haskell Dole, translation by R.D. Boyla

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

A música de Patrício da Silva

Patrício da Silva (b. 1973): Awards include the International Barto Prize, the Gould Family Foundation Composers Award, the Ojai Festival Music for Tomorrow, the Otto Eckstein Family Fellowship, the Susan and Ford Schumann Fellowship, and residencies at the MacDowell Colony and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. His music has been recently heard at Tanglewood, Ojai Music Festival, Aspen, Ruhr Festival, Schleswig Holstein Music Festival, Historische Stadthalle Wuppertal, Bayer Erholungshaus, London Festival of American Music, Piano Spheres, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Zipper Hall, Cistermúsica, International Music Festival Póvoa do Varzim, Yamaha's YASI, SCRIME, and Los Angeles Sonic Odyssey.

http://www.patriciodasilva.com

SAMSON FRANÇOIS plays FAURÉ NOCTURNE 2

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Cada Família é uma Nação?


Família conta a história de 41 famílias que ao longo dos últimos 20 anos foram retratadas pelas lentes de Isabel Pinto. Figo, Mariza, Laurinda Alves, Paula Moura Pinheiro, Mafalda Pinto Leite, entre muitas outras faces familiares revelam nestas imagens o seu lado mais íntimo.

Um território de enredos intensos: intimidades, cumplicidades, tensões. Um retrato de família é sempre um documento da relação. Os corpos das mães e dos filhos, dos avós e dos irmãos – enternecidos, entretecidos – dizem-nos tudo. Dizem-nos tudo o que precisamos de saber. Coisas que não sabem que estão a dizer.
Os 101 retratos destas 41 famílias contam histórias intermináveis. Histórias que todos queremos espreitar, histórias em que todos nos podemos rever.
As fotografias de Isabel Pinto que aqui se apresentam não seguem nenhuma ordem cronológica e foram feitas nas mais diversas circunstâncias ao longo de mais de vinte anos. A fotógrafa escolheu-as porque gosta muito delas. Eu também gosto muito delas. São fotografias que na sua imensa diversidade nos dizem sempre a mesma coisa: o melhor da vida é termo-nos uns aos outros.

Paula Moura Pinheiro




Joan Margarit na Casa Fernando Pessoa

Joan Margarit, uma das grandes figuras da poesia catalã contemporânea, lança o seu primeiro livro em Portugal a 14 de Dezembro, pelas 18.30h, na Casa Fernando Pessoa. Na sessão participará também o escritor Fernando Pinto do Amaral.

Casa da Misericórdia tem chancela da ovni e tradução de Rita Custódio e Àlex Tarradellas, e recebeu, entre outros, o Prémio Nacional de Poesia em 2008, galardão conferido anualmente pelo Ministério de Cultura de Espanha à obra de poesia que mais se destaca em qualquer uma das línguas oficiais do país.

Para mais informações, por favor consulte:
Microsite OVNI dedicado à obra de Joan Margarit
Casa da Misericórdia no site da OVNI
Casa Fernando Pessoa

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Werther: About happiness and misery

(Fragonard: Inspiration)


AUGUST 15
There can be no doubt that in this world nothing is so indispensable as love. I observe that Charlotte could not lose me without a pang, and the very children have but one wish; that is, that I should visit them again to-morrow. I went this afternoon to tune Charlotte's piano. But I could not do it, for the little ones insisted on my telling them a story; and Charlotte herself urged me to satisfy them. I waited upon them at tea, and they are now as fully contented with me as with Charlotte; and I told them my very best tale of the princess who was waited upon by dwarfs. I improve myself by this exercise, and am quite surprised at the impression my stories create. If I sometimes invent an incident which I forget upon the next narration, they remind one directly that the story was different before; so that I now endeavour to relate with exactness the same anecdote in the same monotonous tone, which never changes. I find by this, how much an author injures his works by altering them, even though they be improved in a poetical point of view. The first impression is readily received. We are so constituted that we believe the most incredible things; and, once they are engraved upon the memory, woe to him who would endeavour to efface them.

AUGUST 18
Must it ever be thus, -- that the source of our happiness must also be the fountain of our misery? The full and ardent sentiment which animated my heart with the love of nature, overwhelming me with a torrent of delight, and which brought all paradise before me, has now become an insupportable torment, a demon which perpetually pursues and harasses me.
(...)
It is as if a curtain had been drawn from before my eyes, and, instead of prospects of eternal life, the abyss of an ever open grave yawned before me. Can we say of anything that it exists when all passes away, when time, with the speed of a storm, carries all things onward, -- and our transitory existence, hurried along by the torrent, is either swallowed up by the waves or dashed against the rocks? There is not a moment but preys upon you, -- and upon all around you, not a moment in which you do not yourself become a destroyer. The most innocent walk deprives of life thousands of poor insects: one step destroys the fabric of the industrious ant, and converts a little world into chaos. No: it is not the great and rare calamities of the world, the floods which sweep away whole villages, the earthquakes which swallow up our towns, that affect me. My heart is wasted by the thought of that destructive power which lies concealed in every part of universal nature. Nature has formed nothing that does not consume itself, and every object near it: so that, surrounded by earth and air, and all the active powers, I wander on my way with aching heart; and the universe is to me a fearful monster, for ever devouring its own offspring.

AUGUST 21.
In vain do I stretch out my arms toward her when I awaken in the morning from my weary slumbers. In vain do I seek for her at night in my bed, when some innocent dream has happily deceived me, and placed her near me in the fields, when I have seized her hand and covered it with countless kisses. And when I feel for her in the half confusion of sleep, with the happy sense that she is near, tears flow from my oppressed heart; and, bereft of all comfort, I weep over my future woes.

AUGUST 22
What a misfortune, Wilhelm! My active spirits have degenerated into contented indolence. I cannot be idle, and yet I am unable to set to work. I cannot think: I have no longer any feeling for the beauties of nature, and books are distasteful to me. Once we give ourselves up, we are totally lost. Many a time and oft I wish I were a common labourer; that, awakening in the morning, I might have but one prospect, one pursuit, one hope, for the day which has dawned.

Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, Nathen Haskell Dole, translation by R.D. Boyla

Georges Moustaki - Le Métèque

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Werther: "Oh! you people of sound understandings"

(Ingres: Contesse d'Haussonville)

AUGUST 12

Certainly Albert is the best fellow in the world. I had a strange scene with him yesterday. I went to take leave of him; for I took it into my head to spend a few days in these mountains, from where I now write to you. As I was walking up and down his room, my eye fell upon his pistols. "Lend me those pistols," said I, "for my journey." "By all means," he replied, "if you will take the trouble to load them; for they only hang there for form." I took down one of them; and he continued, "Ever since I was near suffering for my extreme caution, I will have nothing to do with such things." I was curious to hear the story. "I was staying," said he, "some three months ago, at a friend's house in the country. I had a brace of pistols with me, unloaded; and I slept without any anxiety. One rainy afternoon I was sitting by myself, doing nothing, when it occurred to me I do not know how that the house might be attacked, that we might require the pistols, that we might in short, you know how we go on fancying, when we have nothing better to do. I gave the pistols to the servant, to clean and load. He was playing with the maid, and trying to frighten her, when the pistol went off -- God knows how! -- the ramrod was in the barrel; and it went straight through her right hand, and shattered the thumb. I had to endure all the lamentation, and to pay the surgeon's bill; so, since that time, I have kept all my weapons unloaded. But, my dear friend, what is the use of prudence? We can never be on our guard against all possible dangers. However," -- now, you must know I can tolerate all men till they come to "however;" -- for it is self-evident that every universal rule must have its exceptions. But he is so exceedingly accurate, that, if he only fancies he has said a word too precipitate, or too general, or only half true, he never ceases to qualify, to modify, and extenuate, till at last he appears to have said nothing at all. Upon this occasion, Albert was deeply immersed in his subject: I ceased to listen to him, and became lost in reverie. With a sudden motion, I pointed the mouth of the pistol to my forehead, over the right eye. "What do you mean?" cried Albert, turning back the pistol. "It is not loaded," said I. "And even if not," he answered with impatience, "what can you mean? I cannot comprehend how a man can be so mad as to shoot himself, and the bare idea of it shocks me."

"But why should any one," said I, "in speaking of an action, venture to pronounce it mad or wise, or good or bad? What is the meaning of all this? Have you carefully studied the secret motives of our actions? Do you understand -- can you explain the causes which occasion them, and make them inevitable? If you can, you will be less hasty with your decision."

"But you will allow," said Albert; "that some actions are criminal, let them spring from whatever motives they may." I granted it, and shrugged my shoulders.

"But still, my good friend," I continued, "there are some exceptions here too. Theft is a crime; but the man who commits it from extreme poverty, with no design but to save his family from perishing, is he an object of pity, or of punishment? Who shall throw the first stone at a husband, who, in the heat of just resentment, sacrifices his faithless wife and her perfidious seducer? or at the young maiden, who, in her weak hour of rapture, forgets herself in the impetuous joys of love? Even our laws, cold and cruel as they are, relent in such cases, and withhold their punishment."

"That is quite another thing," said Albert; "because a man under the influence of violent passion loses all power of reflection, and is regarded as intoxicated or insane."

"Oh! you people of sound understandings," I replied, smiling, "are ever ready to exclaim 'Extravagance, and madness, and intoxication!' You moral men are so calm and so subdued! You abhor the drunken man, and detest the extravagant; you pass by, like the Levite, and thank God, like the Pharisee, that you are not like one of them. I have been more than once intoxicated, my passions have always bordered on extravagance: I am not ashamed to confess it; for I have learned, by my own experience, that all extraordinary men, who have accomplished great and astonishing actions, have ever been decried by the world as drunken or insane. And in private life, too, is it not intolerable that no one can undertake the execution of a noble or generous deed, without giving rise to the exclamation that the doer is intoxicated or mad? Shame upon you, ye sages!"

"This is another of your extravagant humours," said Albert: "you always exaggerate a case, and in this matter you are undoubtedly wrong; for we were speaking of suicide, which you compare with great actions, when it is impossible to regard it as anything but a weakness. It is much easier to die than to bear a life of misery with fortitude."

..................................................................

Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, Nathen Haskell Dole,
translation by R.D. Boyla

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Werther: "Albert is arrived"


(Titian, Lady in white)

JULY 25

Yes, dear Charlotte! I will order and arrange everything. Only give me more commissions, the more the better. One thing, however, I must request: use no more writing-sand with the dear notes you send me. Today I raised your letter hastily to my lips, and it set my teeth on edge.

JULY 26

I have often determined not to see her so frequently. But who could keep such a resolution? Every day I am exposed to the temptation, and promise faithfully that tomorrow I will really stay away: but, when tomorrow comes, I find some irresistible reason for seeing her; and, before I can account for it, I am with her again. Either she has said on the previous evening "You will be sure to call tomorrow," -- and who could stay away then? -- or she gives me some commission, and I find it essential to take her the answer in person; or the day is fine, and I walk to Walheim; and, when I am there, it is only half a league farther to her. I am within the charmed atmosphere, and soon find myself at her side. My grandmother used to tell us a story of a mountain of loadstone. When any vessels came near it, they were instantly deprived of their ironwork: the nails flew to the mountain, and the unhappy crew perished amidst the disjointed planks.


JULY 30.

Albert is arrived, and I must take my departure. Were he the best and noblest of men, and I in every respect his inferior, I could not endure to see him in possession of such a perfect being. Possession! -- enough, Wilhelm: her betrothed is here, -- a fine, worthy fellow, whom one cannot help liking. Fortunately I was not present at their meeting. It would have broken my heart! And he is so considerate: he has not given Charlotte one kiss in my presence. Heaven reward him for it! I must love him for the respect with which he treats her. He shows a regard for me, but for this I suspect I am more indebted to Charlotte than to his own fancy for me. Women have a delicate tact in such matters, and it should be so. They cannot always succeed in keeping two rivals on terms with each other; but, when they do, they are the only gainers.

I cannot help esteeming Albert. The coolness of his temper contrasts strongly with the impetuosity of mine, which I cannot conceal. He has a great deal of feeling, and is fully sensible of the treasure he possesses in Charlotte. He is free from ill-humour, which you know is the fault I detest most.

He regards me as a man of sense; and my attachment to Charlotte, and the interest I take in all that concerns her, augment his triumph and his love. I shall not inquire whether he may not at times tease her with some little jealousies; as I know that, were I in his place, I should not be entirely free from such sensations.

Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, Nathen Haskell Dole, translation by R.D. Boyla

Coloratura soprano MARIA GALVANY - Fado Português

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

About transgenics: What constitutes a human being?

Altering Humans

Is it possible the technology may be used to create slaves?

Several bioethicists have called for a ban on species-altering technology that would be enforced by an international tribunal.14 Part of the rationale for a ban is the concern that such technology could be used to create a slave race, that is, a race of subhumans that would be exploited. In April 1998, scientists Jeremy Rifkin and Stuart Newman, who are both opposed to genetically modified organisms (GMOs), applied for a patent for a “humanzee,” part human and part chimpanzee, to fuel debate and to draw attention to potential abuses on this issue. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) denied the patent on the grounds that it violated the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which prohibits slavery. The decision has been appealed, but the appeal has not yet reached a court, and it may never do so. The appeal may be dismissed on other technical grounds.

Can the definition of “human” be applied to altered species containing human genes?

Although the USPTO has permitted the extensive patenting of bioengineered life forms and human DNA, the question that has been raised by Newman and Rifkin’s application is one that will not be resolved easily: What constitutes a human being? A genetic definition is not very helpful, given the variability of gene sequences between individuals. A species definition is controversial, as mentioned earlier. If we look to characteristics for a definition, there are many characteristics that humans share with primates and other animals.15 If we create a being that has the ability to speak and perhaps even reason but looks like a dog or a chimp, should that being be given all the rights and protection of a human being? Some bioethicists argue that the definition of “human being” should be more expansive and protective, rather than more restrictive. Others argue that definitions that are more expansive could be denigrating to humanity’s status and create a financial disincentive to patenting creations that could be of use to humanity. The question of whether or not the definition should be more expansive or more restrictive will have to be considered as courts, legislatures, and institutions address laws regarding genetic discrimination.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Werther: " I shall see her today! "


JULY 16

How my heart beats when by accident I touch her finger, or my feet meet hers under the table! I draw back as if from a furnace; but a secret force impels me forward again, and my senses become disordered. Her innocent, unconscious heart never knows what agony these little familiarities inflict upon me. Sometimes when we are talking she lays her hand upon mine, and in the eagerness of conversation comes closer to me, and her balmy breath reaches my lips — when I feel as if lightning had struck me, and that I could sink into the earth. And yet, Wilhelm, with all this heavenly confidence — if I know myself, and should ever dare — you understand me. No, no! my heart is not so corrupt, it is weak, weak enough but is not that a degree of corruption?


She is to me a sacred being. All passion is still in her presence: I cannot express my sensations when I am near her. I feel as if my soul beat in every nerve of my body. There is a melody which she plays on the piano with angelic skill — so simple is it, and yet so spiritual! It is her favourite air; and, when she plays the first note, all pain, care, and sorrow disappear from me in a moment.


I believe every word that is said of the magic of ancient music. How her simple song enchants me! Sometimes, when I am ready to commit suicide, she sings that air; and instantly the gloom and madness which hung over me are dispersed, and I breathe freely again.


JULY 18

Wilhelm, what is the world to our hearts without love? What is a magic-lantern without light? You have but to kindle the flame within, and the brightest figures shine on the white wall; and, if love only show us fleeting shadows, we are yet happy, when, like mere children, we behold them, and are transported with the splendid phantoms. I have not been able to see Charlotte today. I was prevented by company from which I could not disengage myself. What was to be done? I sent my servant to her house, that I might at least see somebody today who had been near her. Oh, the impatience with which I waited for his return! the joy with which I welcomed him! I should certainly have caught him in my arms, and kissed him, if I had not been ashamed.


It is said that the Bologna stone, when placed in the sun, attracts the rays, and for a time appears luminous in the dark. So was it with me and this servant. The idea that Charlotte's eyes had dwelt on his countenance, his cheek, his very apparel, endeared them all inestimably to me, so that at the moment I would not have parted from him for a thousand crowns. His presence made me so happy! Beware of laughing at me, Wilhelm. Can that be a delusion which makes us happy?


JULY 19

"I shall see her today!" I exclaim with delight, when I rise in the morning, and look out with gladness of heart at the bright, beautiful sun. "I shall see her today!" And then I have no further wish to form: all, all is included in that one thought.


Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, Nathen Haskell Dole, translation by R.D. Boylan

Monday, November 09, 2009

Watch your step, Piskarev!

He saw the unknown woman fly up the steps, look back, put her finger to her lips, and motion for him to follow her. His knees trembled; his senses and thoughts were on fire; a lightning flash of joy pierced his heart with an unbearable point! No, it was no dream! God, so much happiness in one instant! such a wonderful life of two minutes!

But was it not a dream? Could it be that she, for one of whose heavenly glances he would be ready to give his whole life, to approach whose dwelling he already counted an inexplicable bliss - could it be that she had just shown him such favor and attention? He flew up the stairs. He did not feel any earthly thought; he was not heated with the flame of earthly passion, no, at that moment he was pure and chaste, like a virginal youth, still breathing the vague spiritual need for love. And that which in a depraved man would arouse bold thoughts, that same thing, on the contrary, made him still more radiant. This trust which a weak, beautiful being had shown in him, this trust imposed on him a vow of chivalric rigor, a vow slavishly to fulfill all her commands. He wished only for her commands to be all the more difficult and unrealizable, so that he could fly to overcome them with the greater effort. He had no doubt that some secret and at the same time important reason had made the unknown woman entrust herself to him, that some important services would surely be required of him, and he already felt in himself enough strength and resolve for everything.

The stairway wound around, and his quick dreams wound with it. "Watch your step!" a voice sounded like a harp and filled his veins with fresh trembling. On the dark height of the fourth floor, the unknown lady knocked at the door - it opened, and they went in together. A rather good-looking woman met them with a candle in her hand, but she gave Piskarev such a strange and insolent look that he involuntarily lowered his eyes. They went into the room. Three female figures in different corners appeared before his eyes. One was laying out cards; the second sat at a piano and with two fingers picked out some pathetic semblance of an old polonaise; the third sat before a mirror combing her long hair and never thought of interrupting her toilette at the entrance of a stranger. Some unpleasant disorder, to be met with only in the carefree room of a bachelor, reigned over all. The rather nice furniture was covered with dust; a spider had spread its web over a molded cornice; in the half-open doorway to another room, a spurred boot gleamed and the red piping of a uniform flitted: a loud male voice and female laughter rang out unrestrainedly.

God, where had he come! At first he refused to believe it and began studying the objects that filled the room more attentively; but the bare walls and curtainless windows showed no presence of a thoughtful housewife; the worn faces of these pathetic creatures, one of whom sat down almost in front of his nose and gazed at him as calmly as at a spot on someone's clothes-all this convinced him that he had come to one of those revolting havens where pathetic depravity makes its abode, born of tawdry education and the terrible populousness of the capital. One of those havens where man blasphemously crushes and derides all the pure and holy that adorns life, where woman, the beauty of the world, the crown of creation, turns into some strange, ambiguous being, where, along with purity of soul, she loses everything feminine and repulsively adopts all the mannerisms and insolence of a man, and ceases to be that weak, that beautiful being so different from us. Piskarev looked her up and down with astonished eyes, as if still wishing to make sure that it was she who had so bewitched him and swept him away on Nevsky Prospect. But she stood before him as beautiful as ever; her hair was as wonderful; her eyes seemed as heavenly. She was fresh; she was just seventeen; one could see that terrible depravity had overtaken her only recently; it had not yet dared to touch her cheeks, they were fresh and lightly tinted by a fine blush - she was beautiful.

Nikolai Gogol, “Nevsky Prospect”, in The Collected Tales of Nicolai Gogol, Vintage Classics, Random House, 1999, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky

Armando José Fernandes, Sonata a Tre (Trio Bontempo)

A few of the videos you find here were made and uploaded to YouTube by myself. You will find them at my YouTube's channel: nadaniente115a.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas

Irène Joachim sings Debussy's La Flûte de Pan

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Wagner - Die Valkure (Wes Herd dies auch... )

Sublime




Há nas óperas de Wagner uma perfeição desumana, cruel. Pelo menos era o que eu sentia ao ouvi-las e que me mantinha a certa distância. Nada a ver com o calor humano de Mozart ou Beethoven, por exemplo, como se sabe. Mas enquanto estava a ouvir esta interpretação de Die Valkure dirigida por Knappertsbusch (com Kirsten Flagstad, entre outros) qualquer coisa aconteceu e mudou a minha opinião. Aos meus amigos diria: façam a experiência, o CD está à venda na Amazon. Fiz um video e pus no YouTube (o que conta é a música; o video é necessário para pôr a música). Vem a seguir aqui.

Don't underestimate me...

Há pessoas que tendo aprendido a viver manhosamente imaginam que os outros não aprenderam a proteger-se da astúcia alheia. Eu não me atribuo importância social especial e os abusos de que sou às vezes vítima, como acontece a toda a gente com alguma responsabilidade, não me preocupam nem me deprimem; só me irritam. Mas tenho de dizer que, nos limites da minha modéstia, de mim nunca ninguém levou nada por ter começado a bajular-me: não preciso da excelente ou péssima opinião de ninguém para me ajudar a viver, por isso poupem-se e poupem-me, por favor. Quando o que parecia ser interesse e simpatia genuínos finalmente se revela ter sido apenas preparação ingenuamente engenhosa para o pedido de favores injustificados ou merecidos eu não fico surpreendido, só tenho pena do ingénuo que me tomou por parvo e que, denunciando-se enfim, ficou imediatamente fora da minha lista de relações. Leave me alone.

P.S. Je est toujours un autre... :-)

Kirsten Flagstad - Liebestod - 1936 Covent Garden

100 Greatest Singers: GIACOMO LAURI-VOLPI