quinta-feira, 11 de março de 2004

Herzog"Herzog", de Saul Bellow

Há muitos que consideram o Saul Bellow (Nobel Literatura 1976) o maior escritor norte americano de todos os tempos. Já tinha lido um livro dele, que por acaso não me deixou muita marca, mas este... estou a achar absolutamente genial.

Deixo umas amostras, logo do arranque do livro (sendo longo, não espero que alguém leia, mas quero citar à mesma):

«Grief, Sir, Is a species of idleness.

He went on taking stock, lying face down on the sofa. Was he a clever man or an idiot? Well, he could not at this time claim to be clever. He might once have had the makings of a clever character, but he had chosen to be dreamy instead, and the sharpies cleaned him out. What more? He was losing his hair. He read the ads of the Thomas Scalp Specialists, with the exaggerated skepticism of a man whose craving to believe was deep, desperate. Scalp Experts! So... he was a formerly handsome man. His face revealed what a beating he had taken. But he had asked to be beaten, too, and had lent his attackers strength. That brought him to consider his character. What sort of character was it? Well, in the modern vocabulary, it was narcissistic; is was masochistic; it was anachronistic. His clinical picture was depressive - not the severest type; not a manic depressive. There were worse cripples around. If you believed, as everyone nowadays apparently did, that man was the sick animal, then was he even spectacularly sick, exceptionally blind, extraordinarily degraded? No. Was he intelligent? His intellect would have been more effective of he had had and aggressive paranoid character, eager for power. He was jelous but not exceptionally competitive, not a true paranoiac. And what about his learning? - He was obliged to admit, now, that he was not much of a professor, either. Oh, he was earnest, he had a certain large, immature sincerity, but he might never succeed in becoming systematic.
Resuming his self-examination, he admited that he had been a bad husband - twice. Daisy, his first wife, he had treated miserably. Madeleine, his second, had tried to do him in. To his son and his daughter he was a loving but bad father. To his own parents he had been an ungrateful child. To his country, and indifferent citizen. To his brothers and his sister, affectionate but remote. With his friends, an egotist. With love, lazy. With brightness, dull. With power, passive. With his own soul, evasive.

Satisfied with his own severity, positively enjoying the hardness and factual rigor of his judgement, he lay on his sofa, his arms rising behind him, his legs extended without aim.

But how charming we remain, notwithstanding.»

e outro, umas páginas depois:

«Soberly deliberating, Herzog decided it would be better not to accept Ramona's offer. She was thirty-seven or thirty-eight years of age, he shrewdly reckoned, and this meant that she was looking for an husband. This, in itself, was not wicked, or even funny. Simple and general human conditions prevailed among the most seemingly sophisticated. Ramona had not learned those erotic monkeyshines in a manual, but in adventure, in confusion, and at times probably with a sinking heart, in brutal and often alien embraces. So now she must yearn for stability. She wanted to give her heart once and for all, and level with a good man, become Herzog's wife and quit being an easy lay. She often had a sober look. Her eyes touched him deeply.»

Admito que não te digam nada, estes bocados de texto, mas a mim surpreenderam-me e achei-os brilhantes, tal como acho ao livro, apesar de o estar a ler com pouco ritmo. Não costumo citar de livros, é prova bastante o quão este está a tocar na minha sensibilidade.

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