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inside lusofonia

Luís de Camões
Eduardo Agualusa
Mia Couto
Jorge Amado
Vinícius de Moraes
Camilo Castelo Branco
Paulina Chiziane
Ungulani Ba Ka Khosa
Henrique de Senna Fernandes
Carlos Drummond de Andrade
Eça de Queirós
Sophia de Mello Breyner
Cecília Meireles
Fernando Pessoa I
Fernando Pessoa II
Agostinho Neto

"I buy books to find my lost soul, because disgusts teach me how to read them", Maisa Champalimaud


"All literature is an effort to turn life real. As everyone knows, even when they act as they don’t know, life is absolutely unreal in its direct reality. The fields, the cities, the ideas, are absolutely fictitious things, daughters of our complex sense of ourselves. All of them are transferables unless they become literary.

Fernando Pessoa

I remember of being a kid not yet able to read, being a child staying at home while my brothers went to school. I remember the silence that felt when I entered secretly in their room and entertained me openning their books. I didn’t know to read them, but that wasn’t what held me to them. What pulled me, was the fact that, passing my hands through places where my brothers, my first best friends, had passed, state, dreamed: I felt a little like I was with them, accompanied, hand in hand to travel trough the same worlds, giving the same steps ...

A few years ago, faced with the absence of someone very special, filled my home with their books. Who the authors were or wich stories they told,  didn’t bother me, but the presence of someone who had been so important to me, spread over all those pages. The certainty that in each of these books, on every page of this huge stack of books, would be a bit of themselves, their steps making my room full of his presence. I went back to remember the silence felt in the room of my brothers and that made me so much company.

The books, either new fresh from the store or ancient relics passed from hand to hand, have the potential to transform a life. The ability to hold us on, make us welcoming, or cozy, make us see that we aren´tt alone in the universe, that our pains are nothing but merely pain; that our doubts, anxieties, passions and joys are not only ours, but of all universe! After years and centuries of existence, all we went through similar moments, we all feel similar emotions. Books have the power to relativize life, they keep us accompany, they talk to us, anyway, they  immortalize human experience.

 Life teaches us to read them, but they are also teaching us life.

So, maybe I actually buy more books than those I can really read, just because I want to find them answers to my own soul.

When I was invited to exalt the maximum interpreters of Portuguese language portraying Portuguese-speaking writers around the world, I couldn’ stop thinking that the perfect portraying them on their own holder: books.



 Maisa Champalimaud 2014

Make the books your companions. Let your bookcases and shelves be your gardens and playgrounds."

Judah ibn-Tibbon

The words open our soul." Jasão Casimiro peered that stamped metal box. The eventide had already began and the flushed light painted the landscape in shades of bronze and rust sunny splashes on the green fields. Behind him Eugenia Flores, named Maria Eugenia and therefore so-called when informal conversation was allowed, warming the body to the sun plunged into a light sleep. She would be snoozing. Jasão continued, nevertheless absorbed by his discovery, stuck to the inescapable magnetism of that unusual object. I couldn’t read, but those strange characters, twisted and arcane symbols that we know they are, for long, forgotten letters in this remote and distant future, made paradoxically sense in his head. Squealed and gestured in the direction of Maria Eugenia, once awake, returned him the cacophony. Still sleepy staggered toward him, bewildered but also curious. she howled. Gradually, human creatures rose-like flowers, plants and trees in a garden, in those dyed green fields of iron metal by the setting Helios. They converged on Jasão, Casimiro was its name, and therefore so-called when informal conversation was allowed, even though this didn’t happen. They gesticulated, howled, shouted, screamed, laughed, bleated, barked and sang. But they did not speak. No. They don’t know how to do it, that was a forgotten thing in this remote and distant future.

Then he removed from the box, that one of stamped metal sign, the object that all bewitched: A lusofóne. He stopped for a moment, hesitant. A respectful fear came through him.

Then he picked up the object, took it to his mouth and spoke. He didn’t shriek neither gesture, bark or howl, he didn’t shout or sing. He just spoke. He spoke speaking words, the words of our Portuguese. Words that everyone understood and repeated, words they have learned, words that keep them united. Not only there, in that evening sunny field, but everywhere, on every continent they sailed, and spread the word, as well. Because that is it power, like was writen on that box, "The words open our soul." Unite us.

Hugo Viera da Silva 2014

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