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Joseph Conrad, escritor de XXI

por jpt, em 06.06.10

Recordo que foi a propósito deste John Gray (Gray's Anatomy. Selected Writings, Allen Lane, 2009) e da sua abordagem ao enorme Conrad - autor anacronicamente destratado por alguma intelligentsia gauchiste, mais lesta na "crítica" do que na "análise" - e ao qual convém sempre voltar, que começou o ma-schamba colectivo

"He can be read as the first great political novelist of the twenty-first century." [...]  [Conrad] precisely because he never accepted that collective action could fundamentally transform the conditions of human life, he anticipated more clearly than any twentieth-century writer the dilemmas that face us today." (385) "A great deal of ink has been spilt attacking Conrad's views of colonialism, but it is safe to say that few, if any, of his twentieth-century critics had the imagination to anticipate that the age of empire could return."


publicado às 17:53

A propósito de Conrad

por jpt, em 26.08.09


"Conrad is our contemporary because ... he writes of the realities in which we live. At bottom, we know the dilemmas we face are not wholly soluble; but we prefer not to dwell on that fact. In order to avoid ethnic and religious enmities interacting with the rising scarcity of oil, water and other necessities, we need a worlwide programme of restraint and conservation; but such a programme is difficult to imagine at the best of times, and impossible while crucial regions of the world are at war. The realistic prospect is that the most we can do is stave off disaster, a task that demands stoicism an fortitude, not the utopian imagination. Which other novelist can school us so well in these forgotten virtues?

Conrad's greatness is that he brings us back to our actual life. The callow, rationalistic philosophies of the twentieth century, promising world peace and a universal civilization, are poor guides to a time in which war, terror and empire have returned. It falls to a novelist without much faith in the power of reason to enlighten us how to live reasonably in these circunstances. As to ideologues of the end of history, prophets of a new world united under the sign of the market, their day is done."

[John Gray, Gray's Anatomy, Allen Lane, 2009, p. 390]

publicado às 01:57

Conrad polaco

por jpt, em 20.05.06

Prince Roman é um conto visto como "obra menor" em Conrad. Mas é o único que mergulha na sua Polónia natal. E que, se calhar por isso, assume explicitamente um tom autobiográfico - o narrador (o inominado "speaker ... of Polish nationality") é Conrad, que recupera um episódio da sua infância para encetar o episódio. Daí talvez o tanto da sua cosmovisão que é deixada, e vincada, nesta pequena história. Sublinhada pelo recordar da (sua) amputação pessoal que a distância provoca:

"And this familiar landscape associated with the days without thought and without sorrow, this land the charm of which he felt without even looking at it, soothed his pain, like the presence of an old friend who sits silent and disregarded by one in some dark hour of life."

[Prince Roman, Selected Short Stories, Wordsworth, 1997, 212]Obra menor, será. Um menor neste contexto. Maiorizando-se, assim.

publicado às 16:10

Conrad e o fanatismo

por jpt, em 20.05.06

Roman Sanguszko, príncipe."This looks like mere fanaticism. But fanaticism is human. Man has adored ferocious divinities. There is ferocity in every passion, even in love itself. The religion of undying hope resembles the mad cult of despair, of death, of annihilation. The difference lies in the moral motive springing from the secret needs and the unexpressed aspiration of the believers. It is only to vain men that all is vanity; and all is deception only to those who have never been sincere with themselves".(Prince Roman, Selected Short Stories, Wordsworth, 1997, 218)

publicado às 16:08

Motivo de Conrad

por jpt, em 20.05.06







Batalha de Stoczek, de Wojciech Kossak, alusiva à revolta polaca de 1831.

publicado às 16:05

Conrad e a Polónia nobre

por jpt, em 20.05.06


"The man the Prince was expecting ... was of a family of small nobles who for generations had been adherents, servants and friends of the Princes ... He remembered the times before the last partition, and had taken part in the struggles of the last hour. He was a typical old Pole of that class, with a great capacity for emotion, for blind enthusiasm; with martial instincts and simple beliefs; and even with the old-time habit of larding his speech with Latin words. And his kindly shrewd eyes, his ruddy face, his lofty brow and his thick, grey, pendent moustache were also very tipical of his kind." (214)

"The aristocracy we were talking about was the very highest, the great families of Europe, not impoverished, not converted, not liberalised, the most distinctive and specialised class of all classes, for which even ambition itself does not exist among the usual incentives to activity and regulators of conduct. The undisputed right of leadership having passed away from them we judged that their great fortunes, their cosmopolitanism, brought about by wide alliances, their elevated station, in which there is so little to gain and so much to lose, must make their position difficult in times of political commotion or national upheaval. No longer born to command - which is the very essence of aristocracy - it becomes difficult for them to do ought else but hold aloof from the great movements of popular passion." (206-207)

[Prince Roman, Selected Short Stories, Wordsworth, 1997]

Imagem do escudo da revolta polaca de 1831 recolhida aqui.

Adenda: Aristocracia polaca.

publicado às 15:59

Conrad e o inverno natal

por jpt, em 20.05.06

Joseph Conrad:"It was the dead of winter . The great lawn in front was as pure and smooth as an Alpine snowfield, a white and feathery level sparkling under the sun as if sprinkled with diamond-dust, declining gently to the lake - a long, sinuous piece of frozen water looking bluish and more solid than the earth. A cold brilliant sun glided low above and undulating horizon of great folds of snow in which the villages of Ukrainian peasants remained out of sight, like clusters of boats hidden in the hollows of a running sea."(Prince Roman, Selected Short Stories, Wordsworth, 1997, pp. 207-208)

publicado às 15:55

Conrad e a Polónia

por jpt, em 20.05.06

Jozef Korzeniowski.:"The speaker was of Polish nationality, that nationality not so much alive as surviving, which persists in thinking, breathing, speaking, hoping and suffering in its grave, railed in by a million of bayonets and triple-sealed with the seals of three great empires".(Prince Roman, Selected Short Stories, Wordsworth, 1997, 206)

publicado às 15:46

Conrad e o patriotismo

por jpt, em 20.05.06

"...patriotism - a somewhat discredited sentiment, because the delicacy of our humanitarians regards it as a relic of barbarism ... It requires a certain greatness of soul to interpret patriotism worthily - or else a sincerity of feeling denied to the vulgar refinement of modern thought which cannot understand the august simplicity of a sentiment proceeding from the very nature of things and men". (Joseph Conrad, Prince Roman, p. 206; versão electrónica disponível aqui).

publicado às 15:32



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