Posts filed under ‘Literature’

Quote

I came across this quote on Denise’s blog and I really enjoyed it –

Não entendo. Isso é tão vasto que ultrapassa qualquer entender. Entender é sempre limitado. Mas não entender pode não ter fronteiras. Sinto que sou muito mais completa quando não entendo. Não entender, do modo como falo, é um dom. Não entender, mas não como um simples de espírito. O bom é ser inteligente e não entender. É uma benção estranha, como ter loucura sem ser doida. É um desinteresse manso, é uma doçura de burrice. Só que de vez em quando vem a inquietação: quero entender um pouco. Não demais: mas pelo menos entender que não entendo.

Clarice Lispector

March 8, 2007 at 8:32 pm 3 comments

To travel…

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. Mark Twain

The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see. Gilbert K. Chesterton

To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries. Aldous Huxley

I’ve just finished reading Javier Reverte’s Vagabundo en África, a mix of travel notes, history of Africa and reflections on the state of Africa at the time Reverte spent two months criss-crossing through that great continent. Highly recommended. It made me wish I was brave enough to travel as he does.

His conclusion on travelling at the closing of his journey through the heart of Africa:

“Viajar prolonga tu vida, la llena de rostros y paisajes. Conoces hombres cobardes que deben vivir una vida valiente, y hombres valientes obligados a vivir como cobardes. “Viajar – escribió Aldoux Huxley – es descubrir que todo el mundo se equivoca. Cuando uno viaja, tus convicciones caen con tanta facilidad como las gafas; sólo que es más difícil volver a ponerlas en su sitio”.

Un largo viaje es también una suspensión en el vacío, por eso crea en ti una sensación de eternidad. Observas, como un “voyeur” impúdico, cuanto sucede a tu alrededor, y a la vez te implicas, te asombras, te estremeces, sientes la ternura de los hombres y también el temor a lo imprevisto. Te observas mientras miras fuera de ti.

Y viajar es también una forma de crear, porque retienes cuanto ves y cuanto oyes, en la memoria y en la retina, para intentar más tarde interpretarlo, como si fueras un artista, un pintor frente a los colores, frente a los rostros y las formas; un músico abierto a los sonidos, a las voces y los ritmos, o quizá y al fín, un poeta. El viaje nos convierte en seres libres; hace posible que nos veamos detenidos en el tiempo mientras el mundo corre a nuestro lado.

Y viajar es bailar, como bien dicen los Chichewas, sordo a todo aquello que no sea el son de una canción ignorada.

Elsewhere he says:

Hay veces, cuando viajas o emprendes una tarea creativa,, en las que te preguntas si el destino existe. Es una cuestión boba que no está de moda en estos tiempos de realidades matemáticas y de hombres seguros de su ciencia. Pero yo creo que existe. Y que es uno quien lo propicia.

October 28, 2006 at 4:10 pm 2 comments

The art of travel

I’ve been reading Javier Reverte’s Vagabundo en Africa, a book that has surprised me in many ways. Reverte sets out to Africa to follow on the footsteps of other great writers to travelled the mythical continent – Joseph Conrad, Rudyard Kipling, Mark Twain, to name a few. I really enjoy travel books but this book has turned out to be much more than a simple travel journal. Reverte is very interested in history and his book was very well researched. It’s part travel log and part a history of all the different bits of Africa he passes through: South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Congo… All I can say is: what a history! I wish I could discuss it with Andy or some of my other friends who study African history…

This is not from the book, but rather for an article Reverte wrote to the El País newspaper:

The art of travel, in any case, supposes an act of permanent humility, because you discover that you are wrong more than you could have thought. Your prejudices disappear one by one and your principles become fewer, although they become stronger in quality. A good journey is the one that changes something inside you, and that teaches you, through the eyes of others, something about yourself.

And more than anything, travel requires a good dose of humor. You have to learn to laugh, particularly at yourself. Because if you learn the value of making fun of yourself, you’ll have something to laugh at for the rest of your life.

October 4, 2006 at 8:04 pm Leave a comment


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