Reading in Brazil

The sun shines 365 days in Brazil. So we prefer outside sports? No, we prefer to read !

Viscount of Taunay

 Viscount of Taunay founded Brazilian Academy of Letters with other immortal Brazilian authors. He was born in 1843 in Rio de Janeiro and died in 1899.

 He was a witness of the most important events of Brazilian History. In 1864 he was on the Military School when Brazil started war against Paraguay (the most bloody war of South  America). He fought there and then wrote impressive books about his military memories.

 Then he dedicated his career to the politics. He advocated that the soldier's widows should receive a pension and that the years in war should be considered 'doubled' for the military retirenment. He also supported the civil marriage, the freedom of slavery and incentives for massive European immigration to Brazil.

 He was an investitor in the stock market when the Bourse of Rio de Janeiro crashed. He wrote a book about that time of economical catastrophe.

 In 1889 the Emperor was deposed. As Taunay was loyal to Emperor, he abandoned the politics and dedicated his life exclusively to Literatury. He wrote more than 30 books. His most famous works are : Inocência and A Retirada da Laguna.

 

Spiritualism in Roman Empire

On the Republic and on the Laws - Cicero, David Fott

 

 This work is devided into 6 books. Most of the books are dedicated to discuss the best way of government for achieving the true Republic ('public thing'), a fair society with equal rights for all citizens. It is presented as a dialogue among friends. They present the pro and con of monarchy, aristocracy and democracy. For developping this ideas, they discuss History of Rome.



The last book is dedicated to God and author's spiritual experience. As a Brazilian, this part was expecially interessant for me. There is a popular Religion here named 'Spiritualism' (founded by French Alan Kardec), it says people have successive reincarnations and, between the death in a previous life and the reincarnation in the next life, the spirits go to a Spiritual World. The description of the Spiritual World made by Chico Xavier (a famous leader of Spiritismus) is the same of Cicero. But he lived 2,000 years after Cicero! Maybe he read Cicero's book (that is not probable, because Chico Xavier had low education) or both had the same kind of experience and this is the only way they could explain it.

It called my attention when one of the spirits says: 'Look at that globe! That is the Earth!'. How do they know the Earth was a globe 100 b.C.? And he says there are lands in Southern Earth and there were peoples there too. These peoples were so different that they didn't look like Romans.

I can write thousands of things that impressed me. I still don't know if I trust on it or not. But even if you are not religious, you should read this book. The discussion about the ways of government is very current until nowadays.

 

 

 

These are images from the movie Nosso Lar (Our Home, Neutre Demeure), based on the book (with same title) by Chico Xavier.

 

 

An Enemy of the People (Dover Thrift Editions) - Henrik Ibsen,  Waleria Marrené A Doll's House (paper) - Henrik Ibsen, Phillip Smith The Wild Duck - Henrik Ibsen Rosmersholm - Henrik Ibsen;William-Alan Landes;Sharon H. Landes The Lady from the Sea - Thomas Zanon-Larcher, Jules Wright Halvard Solness, Master Builder - Henrik Ibsen, Wallace Shawn When We Dead Awaken - Henrik Ibsen, William Archer

Discussing Ibsen's plays

 After reading An Enemy of the People, I had the opportunity to watch it played by Schaubühne Berlin,directed by Thomas Ostermeier.

 I know almost nothing about Theather, so I read the biography of the director There it was informed Ibsen is not Ostemeier's favourite author.  As Ibsen is not my favourite author neither, I decided to go. Big mistake! I simply hated how Ostermeier changed the play. 

 

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 Now I'm reflecting more and more about Ibsen's plays.

 I'm Brazilian and he was from Norway. We are separated by huge cultural and historical distances. I'm afraid I'm not too educated to surpass such differences and completely understand his plays. 

 Before reading a book, I always read the biography of the author. If the author's life is not in accordance with his books, I don't read the book. Ibsen is an exception. He criticized society and lived all his life in totally accordance with society's rules, taking advantage of it. 

 Normally I don't read more than one book of the same author per year. Even Dostoievski, that is by far my favourite author, I only read 1-2 books per year. 

 There was an opportunity on the book shop, so I bought 7 plays of Ibsen for a good price. As the books were in my house, I decided to read all them in 2013.

 They were: Doll's House, An Enemy of the People, The Wild Duck, Rosemersholm, The Lady from the Sea, Solness, the Builder, When We Dead Awaken.

 

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 Doll's House is extraordinary. It is one of the best text I've every read in my life. It is perfect how the author expresses Nora's feelings and her husband's feelings. How she is much braver than him in a similar situation. 

 An Enemy of the People... If I had read it when I was a teenager I would have liked it more. It's a play for people who think they will change the world. I believe Ostermeier killed meaning of the play when he changed the end. I don't believe on Ibsen's ideas, but I believe they should be respected as in the original text.

 Solness, the Builder touched me in a special way. I cannot describe it. Maybe because it touches the border of sanity and insanity. I found amazing this can be a theme for life in Brazil or in Norway. Humankind is fragile in all countries around the world.

 The rest...the other plays... They are not above mediocrity.

Currently reading

A Retirada da Laguna (Great Brazilian Literature)
Visconde de Taunay
Progress: 49/270 pages