–Curiosa peça de bons costumes–

“…think you see them great,
And follow’d with the general throng and sweat

Of thousand friends; then in a moment, see
How soon this mightiness meets misery:
And, if you can be merry then, I’ll say
A man may weep upon his wedding-day.”

“To-day the French,
All clinquant, all in gold, like heathen gods,
Shone down the English; and, to-morrow, they
Made Britain India: every man that stood
Show’d like a mine. Their dwarfish pages were
As cherubins, all guilt: the madams too,
Not used to toil, did almost sweat to bear
The pride upon them, that their very labour
Was to them as a painting”


…the devil is a niggard,
Or has given all before, and he begins
A new hell in himself.”


Grievingly I think,
The peace between the French and us not values
The cost that did conclude it.”

“For France hath flaw’d the league, and hath attach’d
Our merchants’ goods at Bourdeaux.”

“…You know his nature,
That he’s revengeful, and I know his sword
Hath a sharp edge: it’s long and, ‘t may be said,
It reaches far, and where ‘twill not extend,
Thither he darts it. Bosom up my counsel,
You’ll find it wholesome. Lo, where comes that rock
That I advise your shunning.

Enter CARDINAL WOLSEY, the purse borne before him”

“A beggar’s book outworths a noble’s blood.”


Be advised;
Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot
That it do singe yourself: we may outrun,
By violent swiftness, that which we run at,
And lose by over-running. Know you not,
The fire that mounts the liquor til run o’er,
In seeming to augment it wastes it? Be advised:
I say again, there is no English soul
More stronger to direct you than yourself,
If with the sap of reason you would quench,
Or but allay, the fire of passion.”

“…This holy fox,
Or wolf, or both,–for he is equal ravenous
As he is subtle, and as prone to mischief
As able to perform’t; his mind and place
Infecting one another, yea, reciprocally–
Only to show his pomp as well in France
As here at home, suggests the king our master
To this last costly treaty…”


My lord the Duke of Buckingham, and Earl
Of Hereford, Stafford, and Northampton, I
Arrest thee of high treason, in the name
Of our most sovereign king.”


…Sixth part of each?
A trembling contribution! Why, we take
From every tree lop, bark, and part o’ the timber;
And, though we leave it with a root, thus hack’d,
The air will drink the sap. To every county
Where this is question’d send our letters, with
Free pardon to each man that has denied
The force of this commission: pray, look to ’t;
I put it to your care.”


Stand forth, and with bold spirit relate what you,
Most like a careful subject, have collected
Out of the Duke of Buckingham.


Speak freely.


First, it was usual with him, every day
It would infect his speech, that if the king
Should without issue die, he’ll carry it so
To make the sceptre his: these very words
I’ve heard him utter to his son-in-law,
Lord Abergavenny; to whom by oath he menaced
Revenge upon the cardinal.


Please your highness, note
This dangerous conception in this point.
Not friended-by by his wish, to your high person
His will is most malignant; and it stretches
Beyond you, to your friends.”


Speak on:
How grounded he his title to the crown,
Upon our fail? to this point hast thou heard him
At any time speak aught?


He was brought to this
By a vain prophecy of Nicholas Hopkins.


What was that Hopkins?


Sir, a Chartreux friar,
His confessor, who fed him every minute
With words of sovereignty.


How know’st thou this?


Not long before your highness sped to France,
The duke being at the Rose, within the parish
Saint Lawrence Poultney, did of me demand
What was the speech among the Londoners
Concerning the French journey: I replied,
Men fear’d the French would prove perfidious,
To the king’s danger.”


If I know you well,
You were the duke’s surveyor, and lost your office
On the complaint o’ the tenants: take good heed
You charge not in your spleen a noble person
And spoil your nobler soul: I say, take heed;
Yes, heartily beseech you.”

“If, quoth he, I for this had been committed,

As, to the Tower, I thought, I would have play’d

The part my father meant to act upon

The usurper Richard; who, being at Salisbury,

Made suit to come in’s presence; which if granted,

As he made semblance of his duty, would

Have put his knife to him.”


Now, madam, may his highness live in freedom,
and this man out of prison?


God mend all!”


There’s his period,
To sheathe his knife in us. He is attach’d;
Call him to present trial: if he may
Find mercy in the law, ‘tis his: if none,
Let him not seek ‘t of us: by day and night,
He’s traitor to the height.


“Two women placed together makes cold weather”

“Duas mulheres lado a lado fazem do lugar gelado”

“Você ajudará a passar as horas;

Sente no meio destas senhoras.”


By my faith,

And thank your lordship. By your leave, sweet ladies:

If I chance to talk a little wild, forgive me;

I had it from my father.


Was he mad, sir?


O, very mad, exceeding mad, in love too:

But he would bite none; just as I do now,

He would kiss you twenty with a breath.

Kisses her”



You few that loved me,

And dare be bold to weep for Buckingham,

His noble friends and fellows, whom to leave

Is only bitter to him, only dying,

Go with me, like good angels, to my end;

And, as the long divorce of steel falls on me,

Make of your prayers one sweet sacrifice,

And lift my soul to heaven. Lead on, o’ God’s name.”

“Nay, Sir Nicholas,

Let it alone; my state now will but mock me.

When I came hither, I was lord high constable

And Duke of Buckingham; now, poor Edward Bohun:

Yet I am richer than my base accusers,

That never knew what truth meant: I now seal it;

And with that blood will make ‘em one day groan for’t.

My noble father, Henry of Buckingham,

Who first raised head against usurping Richard,

Flying for succor to his servant Banister,

Being distress’d, was by that wretch betray’d,

And without trial fell; God’s peace be with him!

Henry the Seventh succeeding, truly pitying

My father’s loss, like a most royal prince,

Restored me to my honours, and, out of ruins,

Made my name once more noble. Now his son,

Henry the Eighth, life, honour, name and all

That made me happy at one stroke has taken

For ever from the world. I had my trial,

And, must needs say, a noble one; which makes me,

A little happier than my wretched father:

Yet thus far we are one in fortunes: both

Fell by our servants, by those men we loved most;

A most unnatural and faithless service!

Heaven has an end in all: yet, you that hear me,

This from a dying man receive as certain:

Where you are liberal of your loves and counsels

Be sure you be not loose; for those you make friends

And give your hearts to, when they once perceive

The least rub in your fortunes, fall away

Like water from ye, never found again

But where they mean to sink ye.”


I left him private,

Full of sad thoughts and troubles.


What’s the cause?


It seems the marriage with his brother’s wife

Has crept too near his conscience.


No, his conscience

Has crept too near another lady.


‘Tis so:

This is the cardinal’s doing, the king-cardinal:

That blind priest, like the eldest son of fortune,

Turns what he list. The king will know him one day.”


How holily he works in all his business!

And with what zeal! for, now he has crack’d the league

Between us and the emperor, the queen’s great nephew,

He dives into the king’s soul, and there scatters

Dangers, doubts, wringing of the conscience,

Fears, and despairs; and all these for his marriage:

And out of all these to restore the king,

He counsels a divorce; a loss of her

That, like a jewel, has hung twenty years

About his neck, yet never lost her lustre;

Of her that loves him with that excellence

That angels love good men with…”

“…his curses and his blessings

Touch me alike, they’re breath I not believe in.

I knew him, and I know him; so I leave him

To him that made him proud, the pope.”


Who’s there, ha?


Pray God he be not angry.


Who’s there, I say? How dare you thrust yourselves

Into my private meditations?

Who am I? ha?”


…All the clerks,

I mean the learned ones, in Christian kingdoms

Have their free voices: Rome, the nurse of judgment,

Invited by your noble self, hath sent

One general tongue unto us, this good man,

This just and learned priest, Cardinal Campeius;

Whom once more I present unto your highness.”


[Aside to GARDINER] Give me your hand much joy and

favour to you;

You are the king’s now.



But to be commanded

For ever by your grace, whose hand has raised me.”

“O, my lord,

Would it not grieve an able man to leave

So sweet a bedfellow? But, conscience, conscience!

O, ‘tis a tender place; and I must leave her.



O, God’s will! much better
She ne’er had known pomp: though’t be temporal,
Yet, if that quarrel, fortune, do divorce
It from the bearer, ‘tis a sufferance panging
As soul and body’s severing.

Old Lady

Alas, poor lady!
She’s a stranger now again.”


By my troth and maidenhead,
I would not be a queen.

Old Lady

Beshrew me, I would,
And venture maidenhead for’t; and so would you,
For all this spice of your hypocrisy:
You, that have so fair parts of woman on you,
Have too a woman’s heart; which ever yet
Affected eminence, wealth, sovereignty;
Which, to say sooth, are blessings…”


I have perused her well;
Beauty and honour in her are so mingled
That they have caught the king: and who knows yet
But from this lady may proceed a gem
To lighten all this isle? I’ll to the king,
And say I spoke with you.
Exit Chamberlain

Old Lady

How tastes it? is it bitter? forty pence, no.
There was a lady once, ‘tis an old story,
That would not be a queen, that would she not,
For all the mud in Egypt: have you heard it?


Come, you are pleasant.

Old Lady

With your theme, I could
O’ermount the lark. The Marchioness of Pembroke!
A thousand pounds a year for pure respect!
No other obligation! By my life,
That promises moe thousands: honour’s train
Is longer than his foreskirt. By this time
I know your back will bear a duchess: say,
Are you not stronger than you were?”

A descrição cenográfica mais completa que já li em Shakespeare:

SCENE IV. A hall in Black-Friars.

Trumpets, sennet, and cornets. Enter two Vergers, with short silver wands; next them, two Scribes, in the habit of doctors; after them, CANTERBURY alone; after him, LINCOLN, Ely, Rochester, and Saint Asaph; next them, with some small distance, follows a Gentleman bearing the purse, with the great seal, and a cardinal’s hat; then two Priests, bearing each a silver cross; then a Gentleman-usher bare-headed, accompanied with a Sergeant-at-arms bearing a silver mace; then two Gentlemen bearing two great silver pillars; after them, side by side, CARDINAL WOLSEY and CARDINAL CAMPEIUS; two Noblemen with the sword and mace. KING HENRY VIII takes place under the cloth of state; CARDINAL WOLSEY and CARDINAL CAMPEIUS sit under him as judges. QUEEN KATHARINE takes place some distance from KING HENRY VIII. The Bishops place themselves on each side the court, in manner of a consistory; below them, the Scribes. The Lords sit next the Bishops. The rest of the Attendants stand in convenient order about the stage”


…  Alas, sir,
In what have I offended you? what cause
Hath my behavior given to your displeasure,
That thus you should proceed to put me off,
And take your good grace from me? Heaven witness,
I have been to you a true and humble wife,
At all times to your will conformable;
Ever in fear to kindle your dislike,
Yea, subject to your countenance, glad or sorry
As I saw it inclined: when was the hour
I ever contradicted your desire,
Or made it not mine too? Or which of your friends
Have I not strove to love, although I knew
He were mine enemy? what friend of mine
That had to him derived your anger, did I
Continue in my liking? nay, gave notice
He was from thence discharged. Sir, call to mind
That I have been your wife, in this obedience,
Upward of twenty years, and have been blest
With many children by you: if, in the course
And process of this time, you can report,
And prove it too, against mine honour aught,
My bond to wedlock, or my love and duty,
Against your sacred person, in God’s name,
Turn me away; and let the foul’st contempt
Shut door upon me, and so give me up
To the sharp’st kind of justice. Please you sir,
The king, your father, was reputed for
A prince most prudent, of an excellent
And unmatch’d wit and judgment: Ferdinand,
My father, king of Spain, was reckon’d one
The wisest prince that there had reign’d by many
A year before: it is not to be question’d
That they had gather’d a wise council to them
Of every realm, that did debate this business,
Who deem’d our marriage lawful: wherefore I humbly
Beseech you, sir, to spare me, till I may
Be by my friends in Spain advised; whose counsel
I will implore: if not, i’ the name of God,
Your pleasure be fulfill’d!”


I will, when you are humble; nay, before,
Or God will punish me. I do believe,
Induced by potent circumstances, that
You are mine enemy, and make my challenge
You shall not be my judge: for it is you
Have blown this coal betwixt my lord and me;
Which God’s dew quench! Therefore I say again,
I utterly abhor, yea, from my soul
Refuse you for my judge; whom, yet once more,
I hold my most malicious foe, and think not
At all a friend to truth.


I do profess
You speak not like yourself; who ever yet
Have stood to charity, and display’d the effects
Of disposition gentle, and of wisdom
O’ertopping woman’s power. Madam, you do me wrong:
I have no spleen against you; nor injustice
For you or any: how far I have proceeded,
Or how far further shall, is warranted
By a commission from the consistory,
Yea, the whole consistory of Rome.”


My lord, my lord,
I am a simple woman, much too weak
To oppose your cunning. You’re meek and
You sign your place and calling, in full seeming,
With meekness and humility; but your heart
Is cramm’d with arrogancy, spleen, and pride.
You have, by fortune and his highness’ favours,
Gone slightly o’er low steps and now are mounted
Where powers are your retainers, and your words,
Domestics to you, serve your will as’t please
Yourself pronounce their office. I must tell you,
You tender more your person’s honour than
Your high profession spiritual: that again
I do refuse you for my judge; and here,
Before you all, appeal unto the pope,
To bring my whole cause ‘fore his holiness,
And to be judged by him.

She curtsies to KING HENRY VIII, and offers to depart


Katharine Queen of England, come into the court.


Madam, you are call’d back.


What need you note it? pray you, keep your way:
When you are call’d, return. Now, the Lord help,
They vex me past my patience! Pray you, pass on:
I will not tarry; no, nor ever more
Upon this business my appearance make
In any of their courts.

Exeunt QUEEN KATHARINE and her Attendants


Go thy ways, Kate:
That man i’ the world who shall report he has
A better wife, let him in nought be trusted,
For speaking false in that: thou art, alone,
If thy rare qualities, sweet gentleness,
Thy meekness saint-like, wife-like government,
Obeying in commanding, and thy parts
Sovereign and pious else, could speak thee out,
The queen of earthly queens: she’s noble born;
And, like her true nobility, she has
Carried herself towards me.”


So please your highness,
The queen being absent, ‘tis a needful fitness
That we adjourn this court till further day:
Meanwhile must be an earnest motion
Made to the queen, to call back her appeal
She intends unto his holiness.


(Aside) I may perceive
These cardinals trifle with me: I abhor
This dilatory sloth and tricks of Rome.
My learn’d and well-beloved servant, Cranmer,
Prithee, return: with thy approach, I know,
My comfort comes along. Break up the court:
I say, set on.

Exeunt in manner as they entered”


O, good my lord, no Latin;
I am not such a truant since my coming,
As not to know the language I have lived in:
A strange tongue makes my cause more strange,
Pray, speak in English: here are some will thank you,
If you speak truth, for their poor mistress’ sake;
Believe me, she has had much wrong: lord cardinal,
The willing’st sin I ever yet committed
May be absolved in English.”


Most honour’d madam,
My Lord of York, out of his noble nature,
Zeal and obedience he still bore your grace,
Forgetting, like a good man your late censure
Both of his truth and him, which was too far,
Offers, as I do, in a sign of peace,
His service and his counsel.”

“Ye have angels’ faces, but heaven knows your hearts.
What will become of me now, wretched lady!
I am the most unhappy woman living.
Alas, poor wenches, where are now your fortunes!
Shipwreck’d upon a kingdom, where no pity,
No friend, no hope; no kindred weep for me;
Almost no grave allow’d me: like the lily,
That once was mistress of the field and flourish’d,
I’ll hang my head and perish.”


The cardinal’s letters to the pope miscarried,
And came to the eye o’ the king: wherein was read,
How that the cardinal did entreat his holiness
To stay the judgment o’ the divorce; for if
It did take place, ‘I do,’ quoth he, ‘perceive
My king is tangled in affection to
A creature of the queen’s, Lady Anne Bullen.’


Has the king this?


Believe it.


Will this work?


The king in this perceives him, how he coasts
And hedges his own way. But in this point
All his tricks founder, and he brings his physic
After his patient’s death: the king already
Hath married the fair lady.”

“…Katharine no more
Shall be call’d queen, but princess dowager
And widow to Prince Arthur.”


The packet, Cromwell.
Gave’t you the king?


To his own hand, in’s bedchamber.


Look’d he o’ the inside of the paper?


He did unseal them: and the first he view’d,
He did it with a serious mind; a heed
Was in his countenance. You he bade
Attend him here this morning.”


…There’s more in’t than fair visage. Bullen!
No, we’ll no Bullens. Speedily I wish
To hear from Rome. The Marchioness of Pembroke!


He’s discontented.


May be, he hears the king
Does whet his anger to him.”

“…yet I know her for
A spleeny Lutheran; and not wholesome to
Our cause, that she should lie i’ the bosom of
Our hard-ruled king. Again, there is sprung up
An heretic, an arch one, Cranmer; one
Hath crawl’d into the favour of the king,
And is his oracle.


He is vex’d at something.”



My father loved you:
His said he did; and with his deed did crown
His word upon you. Since I had my office,
I have kept you next my heart; have not alone
Employ’d you where high profits might come home,
But pared my present havings, to bestow
My bounties upon you.


[Aside] What should this mean?”

“He parted frowning from me, as if ruin
Leap’d from his eyes: so looks the chafed lion
Upon the daring huntsman that has gall’d him;
Then makes him nothing. I must read this paper;
I fear, the story of his anger. ‘Tis so;
This paper has undone me: ‘tis the account
Of all that world of wealth I have drawn together
For mine own ends; indeed, to gain the popedom,
And fee my friends in Rome. O negligence!
Fit for a fool to fall by: what cross devil
Made me put this main secret in the packet
I sent the king? Is there no way to cure this?
No new device to beat this from his brains?
I know ‘twill stir him strongly; yet I know
A way, if it take right, in spite of fortune
Will bring me off again. What’s this? ‘To the Pope!’”

“Vain pomp and glory of this world, I hate ye:
I feel my heart new open’d. O, how wretched
Is that poor man that hangs on princes’ favours!
There is, betwixt that smile we would aspire to,
That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin,
More pangs and fears than wars or women have:
And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,
Never to hope again.”

“I feel within me
A peace above all earthly dignities,
A still and quiet conscience. The king has cured me,
I humbly thank his grace; and from these shoulders,
These ruin’d pillars, out of pity, taken
A load would sink a navy, too much honour:
O, ‘tis a burthen, Cromwell, ‘tis a burthen
Too heavy for a man that hopes for heaven!”


O my lord,
Must I, then, leave you? must I needs forego
So good, so noble and so true a master?
Bear witness, all that have not hearts of iron,
With what a sorrow Cromwell leaves his lord.
The king shall have my service: but my prayers
For ever and for ever shall be yours.


Had I but served my God with half the zeal
I served my king, he would not in mine age
Have left me naked to mine enemies.”

“But, I beseech you, what’s become of Katharine,
The princess dowager? how goes her business?

First Gentleman

That I can tell you too. The Archbishop
Of Canterbury, accompanied with other
Learned and reverend fathers of his order,
Held a late court at Dunstable, six miles off
From Ampthill where the princess lay; to which
She was often cited by them, but appear’d not:
And, to be short, for not appearance and
The king’s late scruple, by the main assent
Of all these learned men she was divorced,
And the late marriage made of none effect
Since which she was removed to Kimbolton,
Where she remains now sick.”


Madam, in good health.


So may he ever do! and ever flourish,
When I shal l dwell with worms, and my poor name
Banish’d the kingdom! Patience, is that letter,
I caused you write, yet sent away?


No, madam.

Giving it to KATHARINE


Sir, I most humbly pray you to deliver
This to my lord the king.”



You take a precipice for no leap of danger,
And woo your own destruction.


God and your majesty
Protect mine innocence, or I fall into
The trap is laid for me!”

“…Look, the good man weeps!
He’s honest, on mine honour. God’s blest mother!
I swear he is true–hearted; and a soul
None better in my kingdom. Get you gone,
And do as I have bid you.

He has strangled
His language in his tears.”

Old Lady

Ay, ay, my liege;
And of a lovely boy: the God of heaven
Both now and ever bless her! ‘tis a girl,
Promises boys hereafter. Sir, your queen
Desires your visitation, and to be
Acquainted with this stranger ‘tis as like you
As cherry is to cherry.”


My good lord archbishop, I’m very sorry
To sit here at this present, and behold
That chair stand empty: but we all are men,
In our own natures frail, and capable
Of our flesh; few are angels: out of which frailty
And want of wisdom, you, that best should teach us,
Have misdemean’d yourself, and not a little,
Toward the king first, then his laws, in filling
The whole realm, by your teaching and your chaplains,
For so we are inform’d, with new opinions,
Divers and dangerous; which are heresies,
And, not reform’d, may prove pernicious.”


Is there no other way of mercy,
But I must needs to the Tower, my lords?


What other
Would you expect? you are strangely troublesome.
Let some o’ the guard be ready there.”


No, sir, it does not please me.
I had thought I had had men of some understanding
And wisdom of my council; but I find none.
Was it discretion, lords, to let this man,
This good man,–few of you deserve that title,–
This honest man, wait like a lousy footboy
At chamber–door? and one as great as you are?
Why, what a shame was this! Did my commission
Bid ye so far forget yourselves? I gave ye
Power as he was a counsellor to try him,
Not as a groom: there’s some of ye, I see,
More out of malice than integrity,
Would try him to the utmost, had ye mean;
Which ye shall never have while I live.”


Heaven, from thy endless goodness, send prosperous
life, long, and ever happy, to the high and mighty
princess of England, Elizabeth!”


Thank you, good lord archbishop:
What is her name?




Stand up, lord.

KING HENRY VIII kisses the child

With this kiss take my blessing: God protect thee!
Into whose hand I give thy life.”

“This royal infant–heaven still move about her!–
Though in her cradle, yet now promises
Upon this land a thousand thousand blessings,
Which time shall bring to ripeness: she shall be–
But few now living can behold that goodness–
A pattern to all princes living with her,
And all that shall succeed: Saba was never
More covetous of wisdom and fair virtue
Than this pure soul shall be: all princely graces,
That mould up such a mighty piece as this is,
With all the virtues that attend the good,
Shall still be doubled on her: truth shall nurse her,
Holy and heavenly thoughts still counsel her:
She shall be loved and fear’d: her own shall bless her;
Her foes shake like a field of beaten corn,
And hang their heads with sorrow: good grows with her:
In her days every man shall eat in safety,
Under his own vine, what he plants; and sing
The merry songs of peace to all his neighbours:
God shall be truly known; and those about her
From her shall read the perfect ways of honour,
And by those claim their greatness, not by blood.
Nor shall this peace sleep with her: but as when
The bird of wonder dies, the maiden phoenix,
Her ashes new create another heir,
As great in admiration as herself;
So shall she leave her blessedness to one,
When heaven shall call her from this cloud of darkness,
Who from the sacred ashes of her honour
Shall star-like rise, as great in fame as she was,
And so stand fix’d: peace, plenty, love, truth, terror,
That were the servants to this chosen infant,
Shall then be his, and like a vine grow to him:
Wherever the bright sun of heaven shall shine,
His honour and the greatness of his name
Shall be, and make new nations: he shall flourish,
And, like a mountain cedar, reach his branches
To all the plains about him: our children’s children
Shall see this, and bless heaven.”


She shall be, to the happiness of England,
An aged princess; many days shall see her,
And yet no day without a deed to crown it.
Would I had known no more! but she must die,
She must, the saints must have her; yet a virgin,
A most unspotted lily shall she pass
To the ground, and all the world shall mourn her.”

‘Tis ten to one this play can never please
All that are here: some come to take their ease,
And sleep an act or two; but those, we fear,
We have frighted with our trumpets; so, ‘tis clear,
They’ll say ‘tis naught: others, to hear the city
Abused extremely, and to cry ‘That’s witty!’
Which we have not done neither: that, I fear,
All the expected good we’re like to hear
For this play at this time, is only in
The merciful construction of good women;
For such a one we show’d ‘em: if they smile,
And say ‘twill do, I know, within a while
All the best men are ours; for ‘tis ill hap,
If they hold when their ladies bid ‘em clap.”

CASO SUZANNE URBAN – Binswanger (trad. Tadeu Costa Andrade)

Fonte: https://www.yumpu.com/pt/document/read/12536208/o-caso-suzanne-urban-psicopatologia-fenomenologica-


Beeindruckbarkeit: impressionabilidade

Besessenheit: obsessão; possessão (demoníaca).

In der Wirklichkeitstehen: estar com os pés no chão (terra; realidade)

lazareto: hospital de leprosos, espaço destinado à quarentena

mit-teilsam: com-unicativo

Selbst-Verblendung: autocegamento

Verantwortlichkeit: responsabilidade

Da ist eine Fliege in meiner Suppe”

ins Dasein kommen” vir-a-ser

Desde que eu me entendo por gente

Caso Ilse: o <ponto de partida> era o amor passional pelo pai e o sofrimento constante pelos maus-tratos que ele dispensava à mãe.”

“Enquanto, no Caso Ilse, o Dasein estaba sob uma alta-tensão que durou muitos anos e <deu vazão> a si mesma primeiramente no sacrifício da queimadura, depois no delírio de perseguição e no delírio amoroso, a alta-tensão sob a qual está o Dasein no caso Suzanne Urban mostra-se não apenas em um amor <idólatra> pelos pais, mas também em um culto amoroso hipocondríaco <quase anormal> aos pais e ao esposo. Esse culto é afetado profundamente e é colocado sob a máxima prova quando o esposo (um primo) contrai câncer na bexiga.” “Além disso, ressalte-se que não se trata de um delírio de perseguição singular <residual> que se liga a uma vivência de desabamento do mundo, como no caso Schreber-Flechsig, mas, como nos casos Lola e Ilse, de um delírio de perseguição anônimo ou plural.”

(Nota: os títulos a seguir foram insertos por mim de forma arbitrária, não correspondendo nem à posição dos capítulos e tópicos do livro nem coincidindo em nomenclatura.)


“nenhuma amizade autêntica.”

“Sobretudo nos últimos anos, colocou que o ideal haveria sido não ter se casado, mas ter feito carreira no teatro. Natureza muito erótica (…) gostava de contar ao velho pai piadinhas eróticas.”

Quem não vira artista fica doido; mas e o artista, anormal, fica o quê?

“Quando menina, era notavelmente bonita. (…) Não agia como uma coquette” “Tornou-se noiva de um primo muito rapidamente”

“Aos 27 anos começaram ataques de espirro paroxísticos [?] que permaneceram fechados à influência terapêutica. A organoterapia junto a renomados laringologistas falhou completamente.”

“O marido era dominado pela esposa, cedia a ela constantemente”“só tinha interesse pelo câncer do marido, não suportava qualquer outro assunto. Indignava-se se alguém risse em sua frente. Queria acima de tudo matar o marido ela mesma e suicidar-se depois. Desejava um acidente que trouxesse a morte para os dois.” “Insultava os médicos porque eles não matavam o marido.”

“A paciente ingressou num hospital psiquiátrico (…) desde o começo, acreditava que estava sendo observada, perseguida pela polícia, radiografada; segundo ela, a família (…) estava tomando seus bens; no parque havia fios elétricos que registravam os passos de todos, ela teria sido infectada com sífilis, além de ter câncer, e todas as doenças possíveis. Recusava comida, acreditando que estava envenenada. À noite, vozes entravam-lhe na cabeça e mandavam-na repetir tudo que havia de mau; tudo seria impresso e divulgado por meio de gravadores especiais. Havia fios por toda parte. Mesmo no banho, haveria aparatos que a fotografavam nua para expô-la publicamente. Julgava que misturados aos remédios tomava sêmen de rãs e lagartos, queria vomitar tudo.”

“As idéias persecutórias pioravam cada vez mais. Gritava da janela (…) haviam cortado fora o nariz, as orelhas, os braços da mãe. Os familiares estavam enfiados em meio a fezes, batiam neles com barras de ferro, etc.”

“alta após 4 semanas”

“Nos últimos tempos, envelheceu muito, os cabelos esbranquiçaram rapidamente.”


“[Internada na clínica de Binswanger,] escreveu em poucos dias 2 cadernos completos, em alemão, embora esse não fosse seu idioma natal. (…) A partir dos escritos, pode-se perceber o quão exatamente as informações dadas pela paciente concordam com as dadas pelos familiares do ponto de vista do tempo e dos fatos”

Visto que a doença piorava cada vez mais, que meu marido começou a sofrer de insônia total apesar da medicação e que só comia se o forçavam e se alimentava principalmente de sangue prensado com creme, ovos e carne, os médicos sugeriram, uma vez que não se podia obter o novo medicamento (mesotório) onde morávamos, que fôssemos a Paris, ao que meus familiares também me encorajavam, dizendo que eu devia de toda maneira, embora estivesse arrasada, inconsolável, tentar também isso, a fim de nunca poder me culpar por [não] ter tentado fazer todo o possível para, se não salvar, ao menos prolongar a vida do homem. Essa estadia de 2 meses em P. foi o inferno para o pobre homem; alguns médicos queriam mandar operar meu marido, proposta, contudo, veementemente rejeitado por outros médicos.”

Enquanto eu estou andando pelo parque, eu escuto minhas expressões um tanto triviais serem repetidas por algumas mulheres que estão andando o mais perto possível de mim, a fim de me mostrar que elas ouviram tudo. Isso me deixa frenética. Até mesmo meus pensamentos são repetidos por outras pessoas. Eu digo para minha irmã ‘Nós estamos aqui entre espiões, o que eles querem de mim?’, mas ela apenas ri”

eu pressinto uma corrente elétrica”

tornei-me assassina de toda a família; não isso apenas; eu mando despedaçar a tumba do meu pai. Esses pensamentos me vêm na língua …, que eu nunca usei em casa. (…) e eu, assassina, estou deitada aqui na cama, estou sendo alimentada, estão me dando banho enquanto meus inocentes familiares atormentam-se.”

nós somos mendigas, eu caluniei vocês todos por meio do poder do diabo.”

Agora estou vivendo com a única esperança de escrever um pedido (petição) de que fuzilem as pobres pessoas sofridas ao invés de martirizarem-nas por tanto tempo.”


“Teriam-na mandado dizer que seu sobrinho é um socialista. Sente depois, com toda a exatidão, que estão arrancando os olhos dele.”

“tão logo conta uma piada, faz mais uma vez censuras a si mesma. (…) Conta com muito gosto as piadas mais sujas. Pergunta quem lhe tirou o entendimento.”

“Em 4 de setembro de 1920 é retirada do hospital psiquiátrico pela irmã imprudente, depois da assinatura de uma declaração rigorosa (…) Desde então, não ouvimos sequer mais uma palavra a seu respeito, e todas as buscas ficaram sem resultado devido aos caos da I e II Guerras Mundiais.”

“Até o último momento, a letra era tão precisa e pequena que a paciente podia colocar toda a história de seu sofrimento em um cartão postal”


O médico disse-lhe que havia uma parte da bexiga que estava ferida, mas, quando ele virou as costas, fez para mim uma cara tão terrivelmente desesperançosa que fiquei completamente paralisada (…) de modo que o médico agarrou minha mão para me indicar que eu não devia mostrar a ele nenhuma das minhas sensações. Essa mímica foi uma coisa pavorosa! Meu marido também percebeu algo, talvez, mas exibiu uma expressão completamente amigável e apenas perguntou ao médico de onde isto poderia ter vindo; ele respondeu que isso frequentemente está no sangue, sem que se saiba sua origem.”

“horror mudo”

“Suzanne Urban leu no rosto e na mímica do médico não apenas a sentença de morte do marido, mas também a perspectiva das dores tormentosas que o aguardavam.”

“Todo o Dasein estava agora sob o domínio do tema de que foi encarregado na <cena original>, o tema do <câncer do marido>. Como algo de que alguém é encarregado <a partir de fora>, esse tema implica um encargo, o encargo, propriamente, de <levar a cabo> esse tema de alguma maneira, de não sucumbir a ele, mas vencê-lo.”

“Suzanne Urban agora fala consigo mesma, ouve a si mesma, escuta exclusivamente a si mesma. Se o dito de que todo monólogo é um diálogo (Vossler) é correto, isso também se aplica neste caso.”

“Enquanto o si-mesmo aberto (aberto à verdadeira comunidade) atenua a carga de tal tema falando a respeito dele com um amigo, o si-mesmo que se enclausura com o tema procura carregá-la <exclusivamente> em seus próprios ombros, sem ver que esses ombros se tornaram fracos demais para isso há muito. A essa altura estamos diante do 1º passo desse Dasein em direção ao cegamento do si-mesmo ou à extravagância.”

Vacas não-malhadas e gatos no telhado: “Nachts sind alle Kühe grau”

“Como é regra nos delírios de perseguição plurais, aqui o pretenso fundador da <desgraça de toda a família> [o psiquiatra da internação] vai depressa para o 2º plano para temporariamente dar lugar a uma pessoa completamente diferente (<a prostituta de rua>, a enfermeira) e somente ser mencionado de novo ocasionalmente. O Dr. R. figura aí como aquele que a separou de seu marido (…) o carrasco da família” “Apesar de tudo isso, não parece fora de questão que o Dr. R. deva seu significado de desgraça ou de pavor a uma <identificação atmosférica> com o urologista que <martirizou> o marido com seu exame e lhe revelou o diagnóstico de câncer tão <pavorosamente>. Pois o verdadeiro carrasco, aquele com quem <a desgraça de toda a família> começou, é decerto o médico da cena original

Te peguei pela nota de rodapé.

Tu te tornas eternamente citável pelo artigo que publicas.

“Também a autosseculusão frente aos outros é uma forma desse ser compartilhado (…) Todavia, com isso ainda estamos na superfície, completamente à parte do fato de que a passividade sempre implica uma forma de atividade e vice-versa.”

Mundchen, a boquinha de Munique.

É fitar e começar: start and resume (pressing start): starren: é ver pra crer: que fita, pode crer!

Select your destinyfreedom!

Pausar qualquer progresso.

Engessar qualquer um que deu um pau na máquina que deu pau.

Congelar, reter, dar crise de pânico e resetar.

Meu torpor seguro onde cristalizaram as emoções já faz um tempo.

Já faz um tempo que as pessoas agem como se portas-afora fossem.

Ágora é que são elas, cuspindo na cara dos carnavais.

Parcas fora do baralho, só estão no mundo real –

Presente de hilota e pelego!

Recebo, não nego, dadivoso logro quando hipomaníaco eu estiver.

Rancorosa Lola Corre do Tempo que Assedia a Moça de Somas Bonitas.

Poxa que rosa sua coxa, recorro aos meus pensamentos para encerrar o coro

Com uma mensagem que não escoe pelo ralo: uma ponte entre nossas


Abismo cheio de miasma, conhecido como el mismo.

Cacarejou a cara do novo dia normal e malogrado.

O Apanhador de Sentidos no Campo do Nonsense.

Em termos de sentido da vida, a única coisa que se apanha, em muitas pessoas, é seu eu-criança. Isso é falta de apanhar, K.! Preguiça mental!

Entorpecido em suas sólidas crenças morais.

Fagulhas de luz negra em seu olhar gasoso, de névoa desinteressada.

História da Moral: Não conte.


Ator: doar um

Um ator, atordoar

fina morte morna de morfina

“Em lugar da simesmação autentica do Dasein no sentido da existência, entra a errância sem-fim para o <mundo pavoroso>, para a <odisséia pavorosa>.”

“A notável idiossincrasia das narrações delirantes dos esquizofrênicos está correlacionada ao fato de que o <como> da narração, a representação linguística, pode ser extremamente sucinta e precisa – tão precisa que um leigo, em regra, dará crédito às declarações delirantes da paciente prontamente se elas não forem abstrusas demais –, enquanto o <o quê>, o conteúdo de suas narrativas, é em regra notavelmente impreciso, vago, ambíguo, até mesmo <aventuroso>.”

me sinto como se…”

“Quanto mais evidente é a sinistra entrega de Suzanne à publicidade, mais os órgãos executores dela (aqui como em outros lugares) se subtraem a uma verificação exata. Todos procedem de maneira mais ou menos secreta. (…) está cercada de espiões, contudo não consegue vê-los e identificá-los; ela escuta <um apitar policial>, mas não vê nenhum policial. (…) A despeito do sentimento de ódio para com o Dr. R e para com a <prostituta de rua>, Suzanne, ao contrário do presidente do senado Schreber, não implica com uma pessoa determinada, ao redor da qual circula amor & ódio. Não foi <ele> nem <ela> que armou, mas simplesmente <armaram> uma <armadilha pavorosa>” Bem weberiano!

“Lidamos com duas <linguagens> da paciente ao mesmo tempo: uma linguagem do pavor e uma linguagem da verificação calma e da reflexão. Delírio e reflexão sóbria não se excluem mutuamente”

“Suzanne ouve dia e noite um uivo pavoroso, como o dos lobos. <Tossem> e <cospem> alto diante da janela dela, ela vê grandes facas de cozinha que estão numa janela e grita alto ao ver algumas gotas de sangue sobre o chão, etc.”

“a criada do hospital está vestindo os aventais dela, para <mostrar-lhe> que estão fazendo <revistas> (policiais) em seu quarto. As declarações de uma senhora de que se deveria deixar o gato <dar uma boa mastigada no pássaro>, certos movimentos manuais e o ato de puxar o nariz, tudo isso tem o mesmo sentido, que algumas vezes ela escuta expresso por palavras: <a cabecinha precisa cair>.”

“Depois de pensar como seria bom se quisessem decapitar ela própria (em lugar de seus familiares), ela vê <diante de si> um menino que tem um sabre de brinquedo fazer o movimento da decapitação. Ao capinara grama <mostram> a foice significativamente: <Eu, contudo, entendi o sentido da foice>.”

zombam dela, até mesmo da doença do marido: Câncer, câncer, pelo amor de Deus! Por que não lagosta?”

“O que torna o <paciente que sofre de delírio> alheio a nós, o que o faz parecer alienado não são percepções ou idéias isoladas, mas o fato de seu enclausuramento em um esboço de mundo dominado por um único ou alguns poucos temas, ou seja, enormemente estreito.”

“há os pensamentos que mandam-na pensar!”

“obrigam-na a pensar que os familiares são cobertos com chumbo e piche.”

“O mais tormentoso de todos os tormentos é, na verdade, a obrigação, que parte de um poder diabólico, de caluniar seus familiares <em pensamentos> ou com palavras e, desse modo, de fazer-se culpável pelos martírios e pela decadência tormentosa deles, portanto, de ser uma criminosa, por assim dizer, uma criminosa a contragosto.”

1) ‘voz’ inquisidora; 2) poder caluniador dos pensamentos e das palavras; 3) instância transcendente que reflete o jogo de perguntas e respostas, sendo aceita como destino pela ‘voz’, que no entanto ‘corrige’ as respostas quando necessário.

“Aí vemos que O Dasein ainda consegue resistir à publicização dos <pensamentos> ou, ao menos, ainda consegue encará-la de frente se ela estiver em extrema contradição com o si-mesmo. No entanto, é claro que as acusações caluniadores surgem a partir do próprio Dasein.”

Detalhe curioso: a ‘voz’ diz-lhe injustamente o tempo todo que seu marido, inocente, é um falso-moedeiro. “Em Kreuzlingen [segunda internação, na Suíça], ela sempre ouve o martelar de uma forja <nos ouvidos>, que indica que ali mora a mulher do falsificador de dinheiro!”

“E se alguém designa todos esses pensamentos como idéias delirantes, declara ela energicamente: Não são idéias delirantes, são idéias verdadeiras! E logo após Suzanne faz de novo um relato completamente objetivo sobre o novo medicamento que foi inventado contra o câncer em Munique e que seu irmão buscará.”

“a intenção de matar o marido com veneno (arsênico) agora é colocada como a causa de sua internação no 1º hospital”

A paciente passa a se arranhar (no lugar da enfermeira), a se masturbar sem consideração com quem a assiste ao invés de ter vergonha de qualquer atitude em seclusão, uma vez que é sempre, de alguma forma, filmada e gravada: “O mundo compartilhado, que normalmente tem o papel principal no delírio, aqui afunda em direção à completa insignificância. O Dasein retorna à vida no próprio corpo e ao gozo do próprio corpo, agora não mais na seclusão do mundo com-partilhado, mas <diante dos olhos dele>.”

ESPACIALIZAÇÃO DO DASEIN ou TEATRO DA PERSEGUIÇÃO: “Ellen West designava seu Dasein como uma prisão, uma rede e, sobretudo, um palco, cujas saídas estão ocupadas por homens armados <de espadas sacadas>

Jemandem auf den Leibrücken

“Mesmo os pensamentos são <coisas> que são como que tiradas de um recipiente e inseridas nele.”

“mundo sinistro marionético” “Essa consciência de ser uma simples marionete nas mãos de manipuladores desconhecidos está relacionada ao que há de mais pavoroso nos pavores” “Também o predomínio da tecnologia e do maquinário tecnológico está correlacionado à redução do mundo desse delírio a um simples mundo do contato.”

Minkowski – Les notions de distance vécue

E agora, que devir poderá dar uma condição de possibilidade de me salvar? EEEEuuuuuuu

Já conhecemos da <experiência natural> o papel da polícia como um poder sinistro-anônimo. É preciso ler somente O Processo de Kafka para ter uma idéia do tipo, da dimensão e do efeito desse poder. Além da polícia, agora entram em ação também seus companheiros, seja a mando dela, seja por conta própria.” “o médico encaminhador ou ‘carrasco’, os enfermeiros, os outros pacientes, os companheiros de viagem, etc.” “órgãos executores do pavoroso

“Em todos os casos, trata-se das formas do pegar ou ser-pego por algo relacionados ao mundo compartilhado, no sentido da impressionabilidade.

“Acima desses <ramos> dos órgãos executores do pavoroso e, especialmente, acima da polícia, encontramos – como contratantes – o partido (anti-socialista), o exército de ocupação (vive-se então a Primeira Guerra Mundial) ou mesmo o Estado. E sobre tudo isso está simplesmente o poder diabólico do pavoroso, que ora é apenas pressentido, ora é ouvido como uma ‘voz’ terrível.”

“Apesar de ele assumir uma voz, não se chega manifestamente à personificação propriamente dita do poder do pavoroso na forma de um diabo ou um demônio, como muitas vezes podemos constatar em outros casos. Em todo caso, também não ouvimos dizer nada sore visões diabólicas.”

Szilasi – Potência e impotência do espírito


“o Dasein que adentrou o símile do palco de Ellen West está de uma vez por todas cercado por cortinas que não podem ser deslocadas, por inimigos insuperáveis.”

Resignação como a “ajuda que vem do próprio Dasein”.

“Uma vez que a possibilidade de ser da impressionabilidade se autonomize completamente e, com isso, se torne desmedida e ilimitada, e, consequentemente, o Dasein se limite ao recebimento de impressões, fala-se de alucinação. Se essa receptividade estiver sob a supremacia do pavoroso e obtiver instruções dele, trata-se necessariamente de alucinações pavorosas. O mesmo vale para os pensamentos.”

“O <palco> inteiro está posto em cena por um único <diretor>, por um único poder que confere sentido e dá uma direção. É apenas a partir desse poder que todos os atos que conferem e cumprem sentidos recebem sua diretiva e seu cumprimento intencional.”

Mergulho na viscosa piscina do delírio. Fácil entrar, difícil sair.

“Enquanto o delírio é uma das formas da sujeição do Dasein a esse poder do pavoroso, o mito e a religião, a poesia e a filosofia representam, pelo contrário, formas da superação dele.” “O pavoroso diz respeito ao Dasein em seu isolamento no autismo

Partida bem disputada antes da partida bem acenada

como se…” símile, analogia, erga mínimo distanciamento, abstração, consideração fria de uma autoimagem – diferente de quando se passa ao delírio (psicose) p.d.

“O ser-espiritual é exatamente esse retorno, esse recuperar-a-si-mesmo do tumulto do mundo, a possibilidade da capacidade de ser no espírito.”

passa-se à voz passiva do ente

“O próprio pavoroso-aflitivo se transformou aqui: em lugar do marido, encontramos toda a família ameaçada pelo martírio e pela morte, no lugar do martírio por uma doença incurável, entraram os martírios feitos pela polícia, etc.”

“Daí resulta que, para a compreensão do delírio, não podemos recorrer nem a um distúrbio do juízo em termos de um equívoco, nem a um distúrbio de percepção sensorial, de ilusão por meio de alucinações. Ambos são já consequências da transformação da estrutura do ser-no-mundo como um todo, no sentido do ser-no-mundo deliróide.”

“Ele não se porta de maneira diferente de uma pessoa a quem aconteceu uma injustiça real. Não tem somente a necessidade de <dizer o que sofre>, mas também de defender a si mesmo e os outros dos sofrimentos. (…) o contato com o mundo compartilhado não está de nenhuma maneira interrompido.”

Quem tem inimigos sempre tem testemunhas e objetos neutros no universo. Não houvesse isso, seria apenas uma câmara de yin-yang e partir-se-ia para o confronto direto. No entanto, o inimigo é covarde, é astuto e “mais sujo” do que nós (os personagens delirantes), precisa recorrer a subterfúgios e a táticas infames para “ganhar de nós”. Como ainda cremos, apesar de tudo, numa justiça como princípio das coisas, olhamos em todos os recantos atrás de alguém que simpatize com nossa causa e perceba a vileza e a má-fé de nossos oponentes-perseguidores.

Desse ponto de vista, aquele que sofre de delírio de perseguição não é de forma alguma autista.” Ele sofre de hiper-realidade. Ele pensa que cometeu o crime perfeito e agora sofre uma retaliação não menos impecável…

O perseguido é um secreto exibicionista.

“a <conversão> dos acontecimentos em <ação> vai muito mais longe do que onde já se chegou ou pode se chegar na tragédia e também no mais arrepiante drama barroco. (…) o delírio (…) supera a (…) tragédia (…) [porque] (…) também os pensamentos [são] recebidos [de fora e incluídos] na ação.”

“aqui, como na tragédia, não há <rua sem-saída>, mas tudo vai a qualquer lugar e vem de qualquer lugar e claramente <se refere a um centro>”, o que, como já ressaltamos, exclui o acaso. (…) [Mas,] enquanto na tragédia o poeta é quem <transforma a matéria-prima com sua força>, no delírio o poder formador (…) é cego, e isso implica DESTRUIR A FORMA” Édipo é o autor dessa mímica infernal.


Para usar o idioleto idiótico de Einstein, no delírio de perseguição, deus joga todos os dados que tem à mão!

À procura da batida perfeita, quer dizer da cena perfeita, quer dizer, da cena original.O protótipo de todos os males.


Sem cessar, ao meu lado, se agita o Demônio,

Ele nada em torno de mim como um ar impalpável

Eu o trago e sinto que queima meu pulmão

E o enche de um desejo eterno e culpável.

Por vezes ele toma, sabendo meu grande amor pela Arte,

A forma da mais sedutora das mulheres

E, sob pretextos especiosos da tristeza,

Acostuma meu lábio a filtros infames.

Ele me conduz assim, longe do olhar de Deus,

Arquejando e quebrado de fadiga, em meio

Às planícies do Tédio,¹ profundas e desertas.

E lança aos meus olhos cheios² de confusão

Vestimentas sujas, feridas abertas,

É a máquina sangrenta da Destruição!”


¹ Tártaro

² de cisne


Nada no ar

Ar que queima

Fogo que chamusca,


Terra que cobre

Tudo de novo.

Imagina se esse eidos pega n’olho

Você vê resultados nos testes de Rorschach?


“nos ocuparemos de um caso especialmente famoso e bem-documentado da literatura mundial, o de Jean-Jacques Rousseau.”

“Esse caso é muito apropriado ao que nos interessa, pois a língua francesa é extraordinariamente rica em expressões metafóricas, que são aquilo de que se trata aqui.”

“Rousseau sofria de um delírio de perseguição completamente não-sangrento, puramente social ou reputacional, em termos de uma difamação levada ao extremo, e, no entanto, nele encontramos um vasto número de expressões da esfera do maquinário e da tecnologia a serviço da destruição.” UnB murky atmosphere

Rousseau, Dialogues (vol. XVIII[!] das Obras completas)

Barbarus hic ego sum quia non intelligor illis”


Aqui sou um bárbaro, pois não me entendem”

agrupamentos, cochichos, risos desrespeitosos, olhares cruéis e selvagens, escárnio… atentados… o inimigo sabe exatamente aquilo que mais nos pode ferir, como que magicamente… somos nós que temos rivais finalmente à nossa altura, ou nossa mente nos prega essa peça tão pesada (nosso maior inimigo é nossa própria inteligência tão sutil em seu masoquismo autoacusatório?)?

esse corredor polonês assintótico, entre a certeza absoluta de ser o bode expiatório e a certeza de ser só um ser-num-mundo-ruim, eternamente em dúvida entre os dois pólos perfeitos, eternamente num julgamento impreciso sobre todos os eventos e circunstâncias em pingue-pongue

Eles encontraram a arte de me fazer sofrer uma morte lenta me mantendo enterrado vivo”



“apunhalam-me impunemente”

“tudo é uma armadilha”

“maldade diabólica”

não soa, é!

a ameaça de um vago processo…

ocafka da Kapes

a vingança é impessoal

Imaginem pessoas que começam a colocar cada um uma boa máscara, bem ajustada, que se armam com ferro até os dentes, que surpreendem seu inimigo em seguida, o acertam por trás, colocam-no nu, atam-lhe o corpo, os braços, as mãos, os pés, a cabeça, de modo que ele não possa se mover, colocam-lhe uma mordaça na boca, furam-lhe os olhos, o estendem sobre a terra e passam, enfim, sua nobre vida a massacrá-lo de pavor docemente, de modo que, morrendo por suas feridas, ele não cesse de senti-las tão cedo … a vista cruel deles fere seus olhos por todas as partes … o espetáculo do ódio o aflige e o dilacera ainda mais [na mente que no corpo]”

…estes Senhores conjurados em um complô anônimo para difamar-me, inclusive em face do amanhã…” “o grupo parte de 2 rivais, cujo número rapidamente aumenta para 10, mas gradualmente passa a abranger o mundo inteiro (l’univers)”

neurose de transferência do inimigo mortal zena-carolina (nevrose à 4)

cassaram-lhe a aposentadoria integral

invejavam seu carrão

não o valorizavam o suficiente

obviamente falavam mal dele as suas costas (((sem provas)))

UnB – tornar-se um adulto – emular o progenitor

pessoas falam mal de mim às costas

fazem cartazes, infringem normas do Orkut (sim, com provas!)

desvalorizam-me a olhos vistos (a imbecil que desistiu do curso para cursar medicina diz que Heisenberg não pode ser citado numa aula de Introdução à sociologia, pois “não tem nada a ver”, física nada tem a ver com este mundo compartilhado em que pisamos – e mesmo se tivesse, vc fez uma analogia idiota!!)

o calouro que tomou pinho-sol (como se tivesse sido um litro, foi um gole de desafio, mas isso não importa, é a última coisa que importaria, o que importa é a mofa e a troça, passar adiante este relato mui cômico… e ele não tem direito de se enfezar com essa história, afinal, quem mandou ele… inclusive quebrar o dente numa escada numa festa… que ridículo! que ridículo ele descontar hipócrita e dissimuladamente em seu blog intelectual – ele não tem esse direito! – ele me chamou de chato lá… disse que eu dou sono, eu atrapalho, que NÓS SOMOS BURROS, inadmissível, alguém que tomou um gole de pinho-sol ser superior a nós, ovelhas de rebanho, em qualquer coisa que seja!…apague seu blog, viva de acordo com meus preceitos, seu… doido… retifico… seu menos-que-doido pois eu li em Foucault que doidos são seres complexos e honrados vc é um menos-que-nada-e-além-do-mais-vc-é-um-playboyzinho-que-estudou-no-CEUB, meu pai arquiteto que gosta de ornar a casa com colunas gregas jamais teria dinheiro para pagar 700 reais por mês numa FACULDADE para mim, embora ele custeie minha vida numa cidade longe de Fortaleza num apartamento NO CENTRO DA CIDADE, o que pelas minhas contas, para o ano de 2007, excede com facilidade as 2 mil pratas… ó!)

O curso inteiro virou meu inimigo

Mas tinha começado com um núcleo duro…

Logo me afastei até mesmo dos meus amigos mais próximos, que decerto não compactuavam com nada dessa marmotada toda…

Virei um desconfiado de carteirinha. Estava sendo observado na biblioteca, na cantina…

E depois? Ninguém me deus os parabéns, era mera obrigação… Então, a OBRIGAÇÃO de honrar os pais eu a cancelo, porque eu sou livre. Sua obrigação é sofrer seu destino.

Meu destino foi sofrer meu estágio probatório. E rir no meio de uma pandemia, rir, gargalhar, galhofar cada vez mais alto e espalhafatoso, até o dia que por acidente (pois já não mais me perseguem, as pessoas estão paranoicas com outras coisas muito mais importantes, sem dúvida! estou curado!) – por acidente eu disse! – toparem com seus nomes nodoados num post numa entrada miserável na internet e tudo recomeçar?… MAS ESTE É UM PROCESSO SEM-FIM E AUTORRETROALIMENTADO, não se esqueça! Ele faz e paga e sofre e recebe o que pagou e assim por diante incessante infinitamente até que alunos e professores todos se esmaguem num abraço coletivo cheio de ruído e cólera e, não foi nada demais… insignificante.

No fim, eles têm de admitir: eu sou marcante. Eu tenho digitais, eu marco aquilo que toco. Se transformo em ouro ou cinzas, não interessa, o Dasein não tem – para emitir diagnósticos – qualquer resquício de pressa

A vítima de racismo que comeu uma banana e deixou o agressor com cara de tacho é uma história que me lembra muito a minha!

Eu lavei minha boca e troquei a dentadura, para poder falar (com) coisas(-pessoas) melhores.

Eu sou viciado nessa história porque apesar da dor que me causou e que ainda me causa marginalmente, eu viveria todos estes capítulos de novo e de novo… Se sou doente de alguma coisa, essa é minha doença e ela é com toda certeza absolutamente intencional e culpa minha!

A provocação tem 1000 vozes. É próprio da provocação misturar os gêneros, multiplicar os vocábulos, fazer literatura, e esta integridade da matéria dura que nos provoca vai ser atacada, não somente pela mão armada, mas pelos olhos ardentes, pelas injúrias. O ardor combativo, o neikos, é polivalente.”


Mas e Rousseau?


“No pavor abismal relativo ao diagnóstico de câncer e no congelamento de todo o Dasein, <o tempo> estava, por assim dizer, em repouso, não se desdobrou em seus êxtases e, portanto, o Dasein não existia mais no sentido pleno da palavra.”

ab –ismo (até o exagero)




“Enquanto no quarto estudo, o Caso Lola Voss, tivemos que nos contentar essencialmente com a verificação e a descrição dessa transformação, esperamos, neste quinto estudo, ter dado um passo a mais na compreensão daseinanalítica [hm] dela. Temos consciência que ainda estamos longe da meta.”

“A palavra physis vem do verbo phyo (nascer, originar-se).”

Um grau além da citação cruzada ou autocitação: a citação de um livro que é dedicado à própria teoria! Grosso modo: “Como diz Binswanger apud Szilasi …” Binswanger [!!!]

“com a evolução da esquizofrenia crônica, acontece pouca coisa, e sempre menos, na medida em que os pacientes esquizofrênicos não têm experiências novas no sentido da experiência natural, i.e., que <adicionem algo novo> às antigas, mas apenas experiências em termos da monotonia do velho estribilho. Permanece-se fundamentalmente na experiência do elemento geral único, e, assim, <não acontece muita coisa>”

“uma longura que se diferencia da lentidão da depressão.”

“no delírio de perseguição, tem-se uma imensidão de <<novas>> experiências

“A temporalização da longura nunca conduz à temporalização do tédio

“Vale notar que o termo utilizado para <andamento musical> em alemão é Tempo

Adorno riria desse esforço: “Binswanger está tentando distinguir na etimologia de longura e lentidão vestígios de formas diferentes de lidar com o tempo. Infelizmente não é possível manter essas relações etimológicas em português.”

“A palavra para tédio é Langweile, formada pelo adjetivo lang e o substantivo Weile (momento, intervalo de tempo).”

“Se alguém, no convívio da vida e do trabalho, for irritado repetidamente da mesma maneira pela mesma pessoa, <ele não vai suportar para sempre>. Em verdade, aqui se experiencia a generalidade da irritação novamente em cada particularidade, mas não de maneira que (como no delírio) o particular represente o geral e exista somente pela graça dele, mas de modo que o geral se particularize de fato em toda sua dimensão, i.e., experiencie sua plena concreção em cada <ensejo> particular (…) É isso que, frente ao irritante, não suportamos para sempre.”


Husserl, Ideen zu einer reinen Phänomenologie und phänomenologischen Philosophie

“Só se repare de passagem que eu, a despeito de minha convicção da importância filosófica e científica imperecível do método puramente fenomenológico, não estou no campo do <intuicionismo absoluto> da maneira que Husserl o advoga, razão pela qual ainda sou aberto a contemplações e reflexões, como disse Hans Kunz em O problema do espírito na Psicologia Profunda (art.).”

Dormimos todos juntos sobre vulcões”


Naquilo que é teu, também vejo o que é meu”

Ulisses no Ájax de Sófocles

é 1000, tio! run!

é 100&cia.


“quando o clínico fala de pessoa ou personalidade, ele já deixou o campo da análise do Dasein.”

estamos demasiado acostumados a agir como se a doença invadisse uma pessoa saudável como se fosse alguém estranho!”

Tiling, Tipificação e Distúrbio Individual do Espírito, 1904.

“Eu vejo em T., a despeito de seus esquemas psicológicos historicamente condicionados, um predecessor da psiquiatria clínica moderna.”

“Suzanne Urban nunca perdeu sua <orientação> e nunca exibiu os distúrbios de pensamento esquizofrênicos formais. Isso também é importante para o tipo de ocorrência delirante de forma de delírio de nosso caso. Pois, ainda que se diferencie dos casos Strindberg e Rousseau pelo <afeto> melancólico em alto grau, tem em comum com eles a forma do delírio.”

“A alguém que leia o histórico da doença pode surgir a suspeita de que, no caso de Suzanne Urban, se tratasse de um delírio puramente depressivo (<afetivo>, <holotímico> ou <sintímico>). Esta suspeita se funda no fato de que de acordo com a família a doença começou com um <transtorno triste de humor>, que o humor permaneceu até o final depressivo e [que] os delírios [são de tipo] melancólico.”

O delírio de culpabilidade leva a acreditar que se cometeram os crimes mais graves sem que haja razão para tanto, ou transforma más ações pequenas e reais em pecados imperdoáveis. Por causa do crime, não somente o paciente é castigado de maneira atroz nessa e na outra vida, mas também todos [os] seus familiares, o mundo inteiro”


7 x 77: a Bíblia é um manual psiquiátrico de primeira grandeza!

“Aqui não se fala de um pecado imperdoável e de seu castigo atroz.” Suzanne sente-se injustiçada. Além disso ela foi uma “criminosa” completamente passiva (de acordo consigo mesma).

hunter x hunter

paranoid x depressed

sense vs. sense

Muito Além da Melancolia (de Ken?)

Delírio de referência: sistematizado e independente do ciclo crime-culpa-e-castigo. Perto disso, a pura mel-ancolia é uma doce brisa.

“há uma perda das inibições morais que não é conciliável com o diagnóstico de melancolia.”

“Com isso, chegamos ao terreno espinhoso da paranoidia, da parafrenia e da paranóia. Já dizemos de antemão que, juntamente com Kolle, Bleuler, Mayer-Gross e outros, somos da opinião de que, hoje em dia, tanto a paranóia (psicótica) quanto a parafrenia devem ser classificadas como esquizofrenia.”

“Do ponto de vista puramente sintomatológico, o caso S.U. poderia ser classificado como a paraphrenia systematica de Kraepelin, já que se trata aqui de um desenvolvimento sorrateiro de um delírio de perseguição constantemente em avanço sem degeneração da personalidade.” Sublinhados: discordantes do caso S.U.

Este sujeito é incurrável, disse o doktor alemal. Ele não pode ser comido!

“o fosso de lama, semelhantemente à caverna, é uma forma particular especialmente feia, fétida e pútrida de profundeza da terra.”

“Uma vez que o diagnóstico de esquizofrenia parece confirmado, e visto que, <onde idéias delirantes e alucinações … estão em primeiro plano>, fala-se (como em Bleuler) de paranoidia, precisamos incluir o caso nesse subgrupo esquizofrênico e, quanto à orientação delirante, classificá-lo como delírio de perseguição paranóide.” Ainda assim: “não vemos sintomas catatônicos, negativismos, estereotipias, excentricidades, maneirismos e também neologismos ou propriedades lingüísticas esquizofrênicas”.

“paralisia das pernas”: histeria

delírio de perseguição singular (portanto necessariamente identitário, vinculado a um sujeito) x delírio de perseguição plural identitário (teoricamente possível, mas que sempre tenderia a alargar seus inimigos, tendendo ao próximo) x delírio de perseguição plural anônimo (caso S.U.)


Aquele que não desconfia de ninguém… talvez desconfie de si mesmo.

Aquele que não desconfia de ninguém, nem de si mesmo… talvez simplesmente não exista!

Aquele que desconfia de si mesmo, talvez não desconfie de mais ninguém. Saudável desconfiado! Homem invejável!

Aquele que desconfia de um, mas que não desconfia de si mesmo, pode desafortunadamente desconfiar de muitos.

Mas, amigos, aquele que desconfia de muitos, esse desconfia de todos os homens, mais cedo ou mais tarde!

Schreber, por exemplo, o típico delirante singular, vai sucumbindo ao delírio em degraus – imagem perfeita, porque uma escada não é uma rampa. Há uma descontinuidade, mas a ocorrência de ataques ou surtos agudos, que, pelo menos até o segundo, são visivelmente mais importantes do ponto de vista clínico e do ponto de vista do aprofundamento do delírio. Após o segundo, Schreber já está convencido de que ele está no centro de uma trama que envolve o destino do mundo inteiro. E no entanto é só uma figura que emite a voz. Seu pai ou deus. Há posteriormente certa contração (relaxamento), que podemos chamar de descida da escada.

Suzanne, ao contrário, ignora a escada, dá um drible da vaca no real, mesmo no real do delírio, enquanto o delirante for um Schreber. Quem são os inimigos de Suzanne? A sociedade anônima. Enfermeiras, doutores, bedéis, a polícia inteira da cidade ou do país, todos os fascistas e capitalistas, em última instância. Porque de repente os Urban são um bando de socialistas. O mundo não vai ser salvo nem acabar de maneira alguma, mas esse terremoto com Suzanne no centro de seu palco seria suficiente para liquefazer toda a ordem do seu dia. Ela, a vítima. Não deixarão constar nas manchetes de jornais nem nos livros de história a verdadeira história: que Suzanne é inocente. O Grande Irmão a apanhou. E ele tem infinitos avatares intercambiáveis. O que é que fazem com os perseguidos políticos? Podem muito bem metralhar. Mas se não metralham? Talvez não metralham porque existe o risco de se tornarem mártires! Aí então são mais cosméticos e cirúrgicos: basta com exilá-los, torná-los párias inofensivos, eternas personae non gratae. Se Suzanne está viva, só pode ser esse o tratamento a ela dispensada pelos inimigos ocultos!

O dia em que cri que o apresentador do canal de esportes se dirigia a mim, porque sabia que eu estava na pior. A mim!

A internet escamoteia Cila ou Caribde.

Ou eu bem gostaria que fosse verdade, para vender mais livros…

Quem cai na boca do trombone e é o centro das fofocas quer se matar –

Porque não pode se identificar

Com o lunático solitário que só queria ser falado e criticado!

Ou vice-versa.

Schreber x Professor Flechsig

ódio concentrado, advindo do amor pelo pai

Suzanne x “autoridades”

culpa sem relação interpessoal específica, difundida por todos os sentidos alucinados

culpa totalizante, culpa da própria nulidade social

o delírio seria a vingança da moral contra um eu torpe, que se torna mera coisa, títere no teatro. e sua punição deve ser universalmente contemplada, como num reality show ou grande panóptico avant la lettre, seu corpo nu, sua micção, defecação, o ato de comer, transpirar, assoar o nariz, gozar… menos exibicionismo a contragosto que um voyeurismo de si, um sadomasoquismo em que se é boneco, personagem trágico, platéia, direção e os próprios antagonistas.

Schuld em alemão significa tanto culpa quanto dívida.”

“Uma vez que o conceito de autismo é usado ora no sentido daseinanalítico, ora no psicológico, caracterológico, psicopatológico ou psicanalítico, ele se tornou cientificamente quase inutilizável hoje em dia.”

novo demais pra ser demente, velho demais pra ser bobão.

“Nós vimos que nossa própria paciente se encontra na menopausa e os cabelos esbranquiçaram rapidamente nos últimos tempos.”

“Lembramos que Bleuler notou muito freqüentemente nos paranóides uma <sexualidade fraca>, bem como a falta de desejo por filhos. (…) um autoerotismo <forte> dificilmente pode ser concebido como um sinal de sexualidade forte.” “sem a predisposição sadomasoquista, o exame e o adoecimento do marido não teriam esse papel proeminente na doença.”

“seguimos Bleuler quando ele diz <de acordo com nossos conceitos, a constituição hipo-paranóica é uma subforma da psicopatia esquizóide, assim como a paranóia involutiva é uma subforma da esquizofrenia paranóide.>


“Aqui o medo não mantém o Dasein <no nada>, desse modo, ele não deixa o mundo naufragar na insignificância, antes confere a ele uma significância distinta e absolutizada, a do pavoroso e, assim, do significado pavoroso de toda singularidade.

“Vemos no conceito de necessidade de delírio o quanto a investigação do delírio (para o mal do conhecimento psiquiátrico) acabou sendo levada a reboque pela investigação normal-psicológica.”

Diretamente relacionado com as polêmicas Freud//Adler: “Bleuler observa com muita agudeza mais uma vez [péla-saco] que se alguém fala de desejo ou necessidade de estar doente, de interesse pela doença, de meta, de ganho da doença, de fuga para as doenças, de intenção e organização, é necessário ter claro em mente, por causa das conseqüências práticas, que essas expressões e conceitos são tirados das idéias de um leigo sobre a psique [!] normal e, na verdade, não deveriam ser de forma alguma empregados em relação a estados mórbidos.”

Nunca vou entender como os autores cinicamente (acordo tácito?), após ridicularizarem Freud num parágrafo, sem citar, nas suas linhas, ‘F.’ e ‘psicanálise’, procedem, logo a seguir, a uma exaltação fabulosa do <legado>: “Em F., o conceito é muito mais profundo do que naquilo que se costuma falar [mais ainda?] sobre o processo de cura, uma vez que ele está firmemente baseado na teoria (construída com muita fineza) da libido, do recalque, do retorno do recalcado e da projeção.”

Projeção continua, a meu ver, o conceito mais problemático da psicologia em geral.

“A partir desse caso de Schwab, pode-se encontrar facilmente um caminho para o <demônio diabólico> de Suzanne Urban e de muitos outros pacientes que sofrem de delírio”

“nos afastamos de Bleuler e de Jung quando eles querem desqualificar a teoria do delírio primário com a assunção e freqüente evidenciamento de motivos inconscientes

“Hans Kunz acreditava que era necessário ver a vivência de desabamento do mundo (cf. Schreber) <como o conteúdo> do delírio primário <mais adequado à ocorrência>, contudo essa vivência (como nosso caso mostra) não é de forma alguma um pressuposto necessário para o delírio primário.”

Heidenhain, J.J. Rousseaus Persönlichkeit, Philosophie und Psychose

“Vê-se quão pouco o critério da recorrência pode, do ponto de vista da <deflagração do delírio>, ser utilizado no diagnóstico diferencial de paranóia e esquizofrenia.”“Mesmo o <esquizofrênico> que chega imediatamente à certeza delirante tem, como nosso caso mostra também, experiências sempre novas que confirmam as antigas.”

“Hoje não podemos mais dizer que as idéias persecutórias se misturam ao quadro da doença <em razão de ilusões sensoriais>, como se podia ler na avaliação do hospital psiquiátrico Sonnenberg sobre o presidente do senado Schreber e infelizmente ainda se pode ler freqüentemente. Antes temos que perceber de uma vez por todas que as alucinações não são distúrbios isolados, como ressaltam Schröder e Meyer-Gross. Mas o precursor nesse tema foi Minkowski em Le Temps vécu, 1923.”

Um louco não faz mais do que perceber a condição humana a sua maneira”


As alucinações não se originam de um distúrbio do sensório – compreendendo-se essas funções no sentido psicológico –, também não se originam de um distúrbio das funções da percepção, do pensamento, do juízo, mas partem de um distúrbio e uma variação das funções simpáticas da sensação. Visto que essas funções estão alteradas, o paciente vive outra comunicação com o mundo; mas uma vez que os modos de ser-no-mundo são fundamentais para todas as vivências, as alucinações não são distúrbios isolados”

Erwin Straus, Do Sentido dos Sentidos, 1935

“No conto Na Colônia Penal de Kafka, um viajante, ao ver um delinquente, pergunta ao oficial se ele sabia sua sentença. <Não>, diz o oficial, <seria inútil anunciá-la a ele. Ele já a sente sobre seu corpo>. Dessa maneira, Suzanne Urban não vem a saber de sua sentença, mas de seu sofrimento <sobre seu corpo>, e, por isso, é <inútil> <anunciar> ou explicar a sentença a ela, ou esclarecê-la. E quando Kafka continua: <não é fácil decifrar a escrita (da sentença) com os olhos; nosso homem a decifra, mas com suas feridas>, também nossa pobre S.U. decifra a escrita de seu <destino> não com os olhos (da compreensão), mas com suas <feridas> e as de seus familiares, com os <sofrimentos infligidos> a ela e a eles. (…) O Dasein zomba de qualquer outra experiência; pois esta é a mais <impressionante> no sentido duplo da palavra.” (íntimo e doloroso)

“Por mais que a clínica não consiga evitar todas as tentativas psicológicas, caracterológicas e biológicas de responder o porquê dessa questão em termos de um conhecimento objetificante, a tarefa da psiquiatria como ciência não se esgota nisso.”

“As capacidades anímicas, as propriedades anímicas, a alma (no sentido da psicologia e da psicopatologia), o caráter, a pessoa, a personalidade, o impulso, etc., tudo isso está ontologicamente no limbo, ou seja, não tem fundamento ontológico. Encontramos esse fundamento na analítica do Dasein de Heidegger.”

Jaeger, Paideia II [!!], Die griechische Medizin als Paideia

“o terrível não pode mais se tornar algo impessoal e extramundano contra o qual se pode invocar o destino, mas ele se tornou um ente intramundo que ainda é acessível sob o aspecto da hostilidade.”

Não existe satisfação compensatória: não é uma expiação que demande “x” de tempo ou energia, até haver a quitação. Em tese Suzanne poderia sofrer de seu delírio um tempo infinito (enquanto viver), sem tendência à cura. Realmente o poema de Baudelaire caía bem: uma máquina infernal!

Não importa o conteúdo do delírio: o médico deve analisar a vida pregressa desse tipo de paciente esquizofrênico.

Situação de partida > Autonomização delirante (a paciente perde o foco da ‘angústia original’, quando ainda tinha um ser-no-mundo autêntico)



Trechos de Mounin, Les problèmes théoriques de la traduction

« Cette notion de langue-répertoire, ajoute Martinet, se fonde sur l’idée simpliste que le monde tout entier s’ordonne, antérieurement à la vision qu’en ont les hommes, en catégories d’objets parfaitement distinctes, chacune recevant nécessairement une désignation dans chaque langue »

« à Paris, il ne savait pas nommer chaque céréale par son nom; parce qu’il n’était pas en situation d’avoir besoin de la nommer. (Son système risque encore de lui faire nommer blé un champ de riz jeune en Camargue, ou de jeune maïs en Dordogne ou de sorgho dans le Vaucluse.) Maintenant, son pouvoir de nomination différentielle des céréales correspond à sa pratique sociale de petit citadin en vacances au nord de Lyon, capable de nommer ce qu’il voit. Mais le même système des céréales, ou des herbes, est susceptible, selon le même processus, de se compliquer encore, pour des gens – ce petit garçon devenant ingénieur agronome, ou vendeur de semences – dont la pratique sociale est liée à une détermination différentielle plus poussée du même champ de réalité à nommer. De ce filet à une seule maille du petit citadin qui débarque à la campagne, ils feront un filet à dizaines de mailles, de formes et de tailles différentes, qui couvrira la même surface sémantique; c’est-à-dire qui désignera la même quantité de réalité dans le monde extérieur, mais connue, c’est-à-dire organisée, ou qualifiée autrement, – ordonnée de plus en plus, selon des différenciations de plus en plus poussées. Saussure a pleinement raison quand il définit la valeur d’un terme comme étant ce que tous les autres termes (du système) ne sont pas. Là où le petit citadin dit: de l’herbe, le producteur distingue et nomme 53 variétés de 23 espèces (…), par le processus génétique qui vient d’être analysé: système dont tous les termes se tiennent, car si le spécialiste ne sait pas distinguer les 7 variétés de flouves, par exemple, 6 mailles sautent dans son système à 53 mailles, mais la maille unique restante couvre la même surface sémantique que les 7 noms de flouve qui seraient possibles. »

« Notion traditionnelle qui remontait peut-être à la Bible, décrivant la nomination des choses comme une attribution de noms propres: ‘Et Dieu nomma la lumière Jour, et les ténèbres, Nuit […]. Et Dieu nomma l’étendue, Cieux […] Et Dieu nomma le sec, Terre; il nomma l’amas des eaux, Mers’ (Genèse, I, 5-8-10). ‘Or l’Éternel Dieu avait formé de la terre toutes les bêtes des champs, et tous les oiseaux des cieux: puis il les avait fait venir vers Adam, afin qu’il vît comment il les nommerait: et que le nom qu’Adam donnerait à tout animal vivant fût son nom. Et Adam donna les noms à tous les animaux domestiques, et aux oiseaux des cieux, et à toutes les bêtes des champs…’ (Genèse, II, 19-20). A ce propos, quelle que soit l’intention finale de Platon dans le Cratyle, il faut aussi souligner la place énorme, dans ce dialogue, des exemples tirés des noms propres (49 exemples sur 139, plus du tiers) pour exposer une théorie des noms communs, c’est-à-dire de la nomination des choses en général; et plus important que le nombre d’exemples, le fait que Platon parte du nom propre, base tout son exposé sur le nom propre, passe indifféremment du nom propre au nom commun, comme si ces deux operations de nomination pouvaient être assimilées. La Bible et le Cratyle, qui tiennent une grande place dans l’origine de notre notion traditionnelle de langue-répertoire, illustrent aussi le processus mental archaïque par lequel l’assignation des noms aux choses (et des sens aux mots), se voyait conçue comme un baptême et comme un recensement. »

« Voulant donc éviter toute définition mentaliste de la notion de sens, il a recours à la définition behaviouriste: le sens d’un énoncé linguistique est <la situation dans laquelle le locuteur émet cet énoncé, ainsi que le comportement-réponse que cet énoncé tire de l’auditeur> (Bloomfield, Language, p. 139). » « La définition de Bloomfield se trouve matérialisée dans le fait que nous pouvons lire certaines langues mortes sans pouvoir les traduire parce que toutes les situations qui pouvaient nous donner le sens de ces langues ont disparu avec les peuples qui les parlaient. Mais sa définition, de l’aveu de Bloomfield lui-même, amène à dire que la saisie du sens des énoncés linguistiques est scientifiquement impossible, puisqu’elle équivaut, reconnaît-il, à postuler <guère moins que l’omniscience> » « La théorie bloomfieldienne en matière de sens impliquerait donc une négation, soit de la légitimité théorique, soit de la possibilité pratique, de toute traduction. Le sens d’un énoncé restant inaccessible, on ne pourrait jamais être certain d’avoir fait passer ce sens d’une langue dans une autre. »

« Il existe un véritable postulat de Bloomfield (jamais assez mis en relief au cours des discussions) qui justifie la possibilité de la science linguistique en dépit de la critique bloomfieldienne de la notion de sens, postulat qu’on doit toujours remettre au centre de la doctrine bloomfieldienne après l’avoir critiquée: <Comme nous n’avons pas de moyens de définir la plupart des significations, ni de démontrer leur constance, nous devons adopter comme un postulat de toute étude linguistique, ce caractère de spécificité et de stabilité de chaque forme linguistique, exactement comme nous les postulons dans nos rapports quotidiens avec les autres hommes. Nous pouvons formuler ce postulat comme l’hypothèse fondamentale de la linguistique, sous cette forme: Dans certaines communautés (communautés de langue), il y a des énoncés linguistiques qui sont les mêmes quant à la forme et quant au sens> (Bloomfield, ouvr. cit. p. 144). »

« Jusqu’à ce jour, 40 ans après l’enseignement de Saussure, les linguistes n’ont pas encore réussi à découvrir une méthode qui permettrait de délimiter les monèmes sans tenir compte du signifié » (Frei, Critères de délimitation, p. 136)

« L’analyse distributionnelle, ainsi réduite à sa dimension théorique correcte, apparaît comme une formulation trop extrême de la vieille méthode combinatoire, proposée, dès le XVIIIème siècle, par l’abbé Passeri et employée pour accéder aux langues non déchiffrées. C’est sur des cas comme l’étrusque qu’on pourrait vérifier si cette théorie fonctionne, car toutes les fois qu’on l’applique à des langues dont le linguiste connaît les significations par ailleurs, il est établi qu’il ne peut pas se comporter comme s’il ignorait ces significations. L’analyse distributionnelle appliquée au corpus connu de textes étrusques, permettrait de vérifier si, en conclusion, nous nous retrouverions ou non devant un formulaire impeccable de combinaisons, mais dont nous ne saurions toujours pas à quoi appliquer les formules – ou devant une description de l’étrusque qui soit utilisable (à la lettre, il faut imaginer un volume rempli de signes et de calculs algébriques, dont nous restituerions toute la logique, mais dont nous ne posséderions pas les valeurs, de sorte qu’il serait impossible de deviner si elles concernent le cubage du bois, la résistance du ciment vibré, le débit des liquides dans des conduites, etc… sauf si nous avions, d’autre part, des notions en ces matières). »

« Pour Hjelmslev, le langage offre à notre observation deux substances; 1) la substance de l’expression, généralement considérée comme physique, matérielle, analysable en sons par la physique et la physiologie, mais étudiée par Hjelmslev uniquement dans sa valeur abstraite: les relations entre les différences élémentaires qui font que ces sons deviennent utilisés comme éléments de signaux (nous n’en parlerons plus ici); 2) la substance sémantique, ou substance du sens, ou substance du contenu. »

É IMPRESSÃO MINHA OU A INGENUIDADE DOS LINGÜISTAS AINDA OS SITUA ANTES DE KANT? “«la substance (du contenu, du sens), étant par elle-même, avant d’être ‘formée’, une masse amorphe, échappe à toute analyse, et, par là, à toute connaissance». (Il n’envisage même pas la possibilité, théoriquement concédée par Bloomfield, d’une connaissance du sens par référence à la situation correspondante.)”

« L’étude linguistique de l’expression ne sera donc pas une phonétique, ou étude des sons, et l’étude du contenu ne sera pas une sémantique, ou étude des sens. La science linguistique sera une sorte d’algèbre… (Martinet, Au sujet des fondements, p. 31) conclut-il [Hjelmslev], en ce sens qu’elle étudiera uniquement les formes, vides, des relations des éléments linguistiques entre eux. »


sons sens

sans sons




k b Ludotec4

« L’analyse hjelmslévienne, elle non plus, ne détruit donc pas la notion de signification en linguistique. Pour des raisons de méthode, elle écarte tout recours au sens comme substance du contenu, elle veut éviter le cercle vicieux qui consiste à fonder l’analyse des structures (phonétiques, morphologiques, lexicales, syntaxiques) d’une langue en s’appuyant implicitement sur le postulat qu’on connaît (sens exact des énoncés linguistiques qu’on analyse) – pour ensuite établir la connaissance du sens de ces mêmes énoncés d’après l’emploi des structures qu’on en aura tirées. Hjelmslev comme Saussure, comme Bloomfield et comme Harris, essaie de mettre la connaissance du sens au-delà du point d’arrivée de la linguistique descriptive, au lieu de la mettre (sans le dire) au point de départ. Tous quatre ne visent qu’à fournir des méthodes plus scientifiques pour approcher finalement le sens. En attendant que ces méthodes plus scientifiques soient définitivement construites, acceptées, prouvées – puis qu’elles aient permis d’analyser scientifiquement la substance du contenu – Hjelmslev écrit des livres et des articles dont chaque phrase, comme celles de Saussure, de Bloomfield et de Harris, est empiriquement fondée sur le postulat fondamental de Bloomfield lui-même: l’existence d’une signification relativement spécifique et relativement stable (dans certaines limites chaque jour mieux connues), pour chaque énoncé linguistique distinct. Mais ce postulat qui soutient, empiriquement sans doute, aussi provisoirement qu’on le voudra, la légitimité de toute recherche linguistique, soutient également – sous les mêmes reserves – la légitimité de l’opération traduisante. »

Em suma, a Tradução é um hóspede que você deixou entrar e acabou se tornando o dono da casa.

« Cette façon de concevoir les rapports entre l’univers de notre expérience (ou notre expérience de l’univers), d’une part, et les langues, d’autre part, a été lentement mais complètement bouleversée depuis cent ans, c’est-à-dire depouis les thèses philosophiques sur le langage exposées par Wilhelm von Humboldt, et surtout ses descendants, dits néo-kantians ou néo-humboldtiens. »

« Les anciens Grec n’étudièrent que leur propre langue; ils considérèrent comme évident que la strucuture de cette langue incarnait les formes universelles de la pensée humaine ou, peut-être, de l’ordre du cosmos. En conséquence, ils firent des observations grammaticales, mais les limitèrent à une seule langue, et les formulèrent em termes de philosophie. » Bloomfield

« <‘Le capitalisme de tout le monde’, qui traduit assez mal une terminologie américaine plus concise, ‘people’s capitalism’ […], qu’on a également baptisé parfois ‘capitalisme démocratique’ ou ‘capitalisme populaire’ et que nous appellerons pour plus de commodité, au cours de cet article, tout simplement, le ‘capitalisme américain’.> (Nida) Indiscutiblement, le lecteur français, même moyennement nourri d’économie politique, reconnaîtra que les 4 équivalents proposés (du terme américain) ne donnent pas une idée claire de la structure économique que veut distinguer et que semble distinguer – pour un locuteur américan – l’étiquette anglo-saxonne <people’s capitalism>. »

« überfragen, poser des questions auxquelles l’autre ne peut répondre, <coller> » Philippe Forget

Não existe masculino de imbécile em francês!

* * *

Trechos de Charles Zaremba, “Traduction – Traductions”, in: La traduction: problèmes théoriques et pratiques

« Toutes les mythologies réservent une place de choix au «paradis perdu», à «l’âge d’or», c’est-à dire à un temps et un lieu perdus (provisoirement puisqu’ils doivent revenir «à la fin destemps»), qui se caractérisent non seulement par le bien-être et l’abondance, mais aussi par um statut linguistique particulier: il n’y a qu’une seule langue.

La nostalgie de l’avant-Babel, ou si l’on préfère, d’une langue originelle et universelle, impregne profondément notre civilisation qui essaie, plus ou moins consciemment, de revenir àcet état idéal en s’efforçant de rompre les barrières linguistiques.

En effet, dans un premier temps mythique, la diversité des langues est un châtiment (aumême titre que le travail): seul Dieu possède l’entendement universel et peut le conférer »

Todas as mitologias reservam um espaço para o <paraíso perdido>, um tempo para a <idade de ouro>, isto é, um tempo e um lugar literalmente perdidos (provisoriamente, já que eles deverão retornar <no final dos tempos>), que se caracterizam não somente pelo bem-estar e abundância, mas também por um estatuto lingüístico singular: nele só há um idioma.

A nostalgia pré-babélica ou, se se preferir, duma língua seminal e universal, impregna profundamente nossa civilização, que ensaia, mais ou menos conscientemente, desde que é civilização, o retorno a esse estado de coisas com mil propostas de derrubada das barreiras lingüísticas.

Com efeito, num primeiro tempo mítico, a pluralidade das línguas é sempre um castigo (como sempre se define o trabalho): só Deus possui o dom do entendimento universal e portanto estaria autorizado distribuí-lo a um reduzido número de porta-vozes.”

Se tão perfeita por que te degradas com o uso, ó Una?! Mas cá entre nós só o que me interessa seria o exercício perfeitamente contrário: um concurso em que o campeão seria o autor do idioma mais imperfeito concebível. É mais difícil do que parece, já que teria que ser muito superior a qualquer seqüência de grunhidos animais, embora tenha de ser feia e abjeta como uma sinfonia de black metal velha guarda tocada por orcs irremediáveis! Quase sempre criaríamos minúcias de beleza sem notarmos, querendo apenas produzir nojo e aversão – como somos ingênuos, parnasianos e asseados, apesar de tudo!

« Villon ou Rutebeuf tels quels sont incompréhensibles, de même qu’un grand nombre de fabuleux; le problème devient épineux avec Rabelais, qu’on hésite à traduire. La langue de Rabelais exige tant de notes qu’elle devient difficilement lisible – mais même dans ce cas, on préfère parler de transposition que de traduction en français moderne. Le subterfuge est cousu de fil blanc: la transposition est bel et bien une traduction d’um texte dont on n’ose pas vraiment avouer qu’il est écrit dans une langue qui n’est plus la nôtre, car cela pourrait suggérer que Rabelais n’est pas vraiment français… Cependant, le travail du traducteur de Rabelais est, me semble-t-il, en tout point comparable au travail du traducteur français d’un auteur italien ou espagnol. Là encore, on a un passage d’une langue A (état ancien de la langue) à une langue B (état moderne de la même langue).

Le voyage inverse, c’est-à-dire dans le temps linguistique, a intrigué plus d’un auteur – mais rarement à ma connaissance les auteurs de science-fiction, pour qui les voyages dans le temps sont souvent étrangement atemporels, des individus distants de plusieurs siècles discourant à loisir (ainsi Pierre Boulle dans La planète des singes fait-il lire à la guenon Phyllis, vivant dans um futur très éloigné, un manuscrit rédigé par un homme). Stanislaw Lem a échappé à cette naïve commodité dans ses Mémoires trouvés dans une baignoire (Pamietnik znaleziony w wannie, 1961, Trad. D. Sila et A. Labedzka Mémoires trouvés dans une baignoire, Calmann-Lévy, 1974) où l’intrigue repose en partie sur la quasi-impossibilité pour un homme du futur de comprendre notre civilisation à partir d’un vieux manuscrit trouvé justement dans une baignoire. Le voyage dans le temps linguistique est plutôt le fait d’auteurs qui ne pratiquent pas la science-fiction. »

A viagem inversa, i.e., do presente para o futuro (lingüístico), já intrigou mais de um autor, mas raramente, que eu saiba, os de ficção científica. Para eles, a viagem temporal é estranhamente atemporal, indivíduos de vários séculos de diferença conversam entre si sem qualquer tipo de problema (sucede, por exemplo, no Planeta dos Macacos de Pierre Boulle: o autor faz a macaca Phyllis, dum futuro longínquo, achar, ler e compreender perfeitamente um manuscrito de um humano, parisiense do século XX). Stanislaw Lem soube se subtrair dessa comodidade ingênua em suas Memórias encontradas numa Banheira (original polonês, Pamiętnik znaleziony w wannie, de 1961; tradução francesa por Dominique Sila e Labedzka de 1974 [edição em português de Portugal – tradução indireta – de 1984 por Manuela Alves – quem sabe o Cila não é o primeiro a traduzir, um dia, direto do Polonês para o Português brasileiro?]). O mote da trama é a incompreensão da humanidade de um futuro distante diante de um tempo histórico muito mais antigo, que historiadores tentam decifrar com base num só vestígio, um manuscrito encontrado curiosamente dentro de uma banheira. A viagem no tempo lingüístico é muito mais para o escritor que não redige ficção científica.”

« Remarquons à ce propos que G. Karski conseille de styliser les textes ‘sans logique’, pour ne donner qu’une coloration archaïque. » …brutO

On ne traduit pas Ronsard en français modeme mais on retraduit les auteurs étrangers en français moderne, justement.”

« Des générations de Français se sont nourris de Kafka dans la traduction d’Alexandre Vialatte – et comprenaient le monde de l’auteur. Une nouvelle traduction a quand même été nécessaire. Et c’est une différence fondamentale entre l’original et la traduction: cette dernière est caduque. ‘Les traductions supportent mal le temps et mis à part de rares exceptions, elles ne deviendront jamais des chefs-d’oeuvres éternels.’ (Géher) »

polisistema intralinguistico

Poli-sistema intralingüístico de M. Wandruszka

PATOIS: « structures grammaticales différentes » (Associado ao camponês – como o Provençal ou a Langue d’oc são patoás e muito próximos do Catalão, isso só aumenta minha razão naquele debate com a catalunha [?] estúpida no twitter.)

« Toutefois, il est difficile de traduire d’une «sous-langue» dans une autre (on peut parler ici de pluriglossie et non de plurilinguisme): les passages d’un technolecte à un dialecte, par exemple, sont difficiles à imaginer. »

Les études de traduction (ou encore: les textes de traductologie) distinguent souvent deux types de textes: les textes littéraires et les textes scientifiques (les textes de traductologie littéraire font souvent preuve de mépris pour la traduction technique, cette dernière étant ravalée au rang de simple transcodage; en outre le traducteur technique est en général mieux rémunéré que son homologue littéraire).”

Os estudos de tradução (ou ainda: os textos de Tradutologia) distinguem, no mínimo, dois tipos de textos: os literários e os científicos (os tradutores literários comumente desprezam a tradução técnica, i.e., científica, limitando-se esta última, o mais das vezes, a uma simples transcodificação; se bem que o tradutor técnico-científico é em geral mais bem-pago que seu homólogo literário.)”

NICHO DO NICHO DO NICHO: “Le «mépris» va dans les deux sens, les traducteurs techniques reprochant aux littéraires leur manque de précision… Le texte littéraire possède des qualités esthétiques que ne possède pas, en principe, le texte scientifique. Le traducteur littéraire doit faire oeuvre non plus de simple transcodage, ou encore de traduction de langue à langue, mais de traduction de milieu à milieu, de texte à texte, la composante purement linguistique de son travail passant presque au second plan. Le traducteur littéraire doit être coauteur, faire preuve de «congénialité», suivant l’expression de B. Lortholary. Et là encore, on distingue la prose de la poésie, la première étant à la portée de tout traducteur, la seconde étant réservée aux poètes. On reviendra sur ce point quand on abordera la personnalité du traducteur.Falso déjà vu ou a Jéssica B***** é realmente uma TECNOCRATA da Tradução? Papo muito antigo… Vergonha da classe… (É sempre horrível quando lembramos dos piores praticantes de nossas artes e ofícios!)

Il me semble nécessaire de distinguer les textes sacrés (bibliques) des textes non-sacrés, qu’on peut aussi appeler ecclésiastiques, qui sont l’oeuvre d’hommes d’Église (gloses, commentaires, vies de saints) et ne posent pas les mêmes problèmes philosophiques de traduction, puisqu’il ne s’agit pas de la «parole de Dieu» (je ne prends en considération que la tradition chrétienne dans sa version catholique romaine – c’est-à-dire que je limite mon champ de réflexion à l’Europe qui a connu la Renaissance).” “la traduction avait été «officialisée» par le miracle de la Pentecôte qui confirme le bien-fondé de la traduction des Septantes, à savoir qu’il n’y a pas de langue sacrée. Au IVe siècle, Saint Jérôme traduit la Bible en latin (la Vulgate) mais il faudra attendre le concile de Trente (1545-1563) pour que cette version soit déclarée authentique et devant servir de base à toute traduction ultérieure. Durant une dizaine de siècles, la question n’avait été ni posée ni tranchée.”

Au siècle suivant apparaissent des traductions de la Vulgate et surtout des originaux hébreux et grecs. En 1532 est imprimé un psautier traduit au XIIIe siècle et connu sous le nom de Psalterzflorianski; en 1552, Stanislaw Murzynowski publie une traduction du Nouveau Testament, suivie de plusieurs autres. Ce siècle est donc marqué par une intense activité de traduction qui se fixe 2 buts: d’une part, faire mieux connaître la Bible au peuple, d’autre part, mieux traduire la Bible.”

le mot plagiaire n’est attesté en français qu’en 1555, plagiat date de 1697 et plagier de 1801 et qu’il vient du latin plagiarus «débaucheur et receleur des esclaves d’autrui», lui-même venant de plagium «détournement», cf. Nouveau Dictionnaire Étymologique et historique, par A. Dauzat, J. Dubois et H. Mitterand, Larousse, 1971. Remarquons d’ailleurs que la première loi sur la propriété littéraire en France, championne de l’administration, date de 1866.” SESQUICENTENÁRIO DE MERDA!

On comprend l’importance de la déclaration d’authenticité de la Vulgate: c’est, en quelque sorte, le premier copyright de l’Histoire moderne.”

L’auteur devient propriétaire de son texte et ce dernier se sacralise en quelque sorte: tout texte a droit à une traduction fidèle, au même titre que la Bible. La traduction proprement dite, opposée à la libre adaptation, devient non seulement possible, mais peu à peu souhaitable et philosophiquement obligatoire.”

La lecture de quelques ouvrages et articles de traductologie, montre d’une part que c’est un discours extrêmement répétitif et, d’autre part, que plusieurs discours coexistent qui pretendent chacun à la traductologie. On distingue très nettement deux types d’études: les textes de linguistes (très souvent, ce sont des approches théoriques) et les textes de littéraires (dans l’ensemble plus pratiques).”

Il illustre son propos par l’anglais worker qu’il faut traduire en russe par robotnik ou robotnica, c’est-à-dire que la langue russe impose la précision du genre, ce qui n’est pas le cas em anglais pour ce mot-là. De tels exemples sont légion et de nombreux ouvrages y sont consacrés, principalement écrits par des linguistes structuralistes, comme Z. Klemensiewicz.”

Jakobson ilustra seu argumento pelo inglês worker, que deve ser traduzido em russo por robotnik ou robotnica, i.e., a língua russa impõe a determinação do gênero, o que passa longe de ser o caso do inglês, pelo menos para esta palavra. Inumeráveis exemplos num sem-fim de livros foram esmiuçados século XX adentro, campo no qual se destacam os lingüistas estruturalistas, como Z. Klemensiewicz.”

Le discours des littéraires a les limites qu’ont les récits d’expériences personnelles. Il est souvent peu généralisable – mais, par la précision de certaines remarques, il est soouvent une mine de renseignements pour le linguiste comparatiste.”

Pode-se comparar o tradutor a um artesão, a meio caminho entre o artista (o autor) e o técnico (o lingüista).” Há um texto meu que já virou um clássico: https://www.recantodasletras.com.br/artigos-de-literatura/5827201 (originalmente de 2006, republicado neste link em 2016).

Eu-tradutor sou eu menos inspirado. Eu-cientista sou eu em crise.

Pour résumer, on peut dire que: 1. les linguistes disent – voici ce qu’il faut faire! 2. les littéraires disent – voilà ce que nous avons fait! et 3. les philosophes disent – comment diable pouvez-vous faire?”

Resumindo, pode-se dizer que: 1. Os lingüistas dizem – eis o que se deve fazer! 2. Os literatos dizem: eis o que nós fizemos! 3. E os filósofos dizem: como diabos podeis fazê-lo?

A VERDADEIRA REVOLUÇÃO UNIVERSAL (Altivez, loquacidade e dignidade): Alexander F. Tytler – Essay on the Principles of Translation (1791)

deux courants de traducteurs: les «fidèles» (sans doute proches des linguistes) et les auteurs de «belles infidèles» (plus proches des littéraires).”

En effet, la plupart des textes de traductologie prennent des exemples «nobles»:traduction de philosophes ou de grands auteurs comme Shakespeare, Cervantès, Corneille,etc. Je n’ai pas trouvé d’auteurs «mineurs» ou d’auteurs de best-sellers (comme, par exempleP.L. Sulitzer qui affirme dans l’un de ses livres que la Tchéka était la police secrète du tsar,qui nomme son héros polonais Taddeuz, alors que l’orthographe correcte est Tadeusz, etc).Le style des «grands écrivains» n’est pas critiquable: nous n’avons pas le droit de les juger,nous devons nous en inspirer, éventuellement les imiter – en tout cas, les respecter. Dans lestextes de traductologie, les exemples «non nobles» sont considérés froidement: ce sont destechnolectes ou des sociolectes, déviant par rapport à la langue standard mais respectablesen eux-mêmes. C’est là qu’on trouve le problème du discours politique, souvent réduit à sonaspect purement terminologique (voir à ce propos J.B. Neveux, La traduction du vocabulairepolitique, dans La traduction, 1979).

Or, il y a des textes littéraires «de moindre importance» et des textes ni littéraires ni techniques,c’est-à-dire le texte journalistique, le reportage et surtout les Mémoires et entretiens de toutesorte qu’on trouve en abondance dans les librairies – ce qu’on peut appeler la littérature de témoignage.Que faire, par exemple, avec un texte où un personnage déclare tout à fait sérieusementque «les liens» qui le lient à une certaine organisation sont «éteints»? Si on applique à lalettre les principes de Tytler, à mauvais texte en langue-source doit correspondre un mauvaistexte en langue-cible. Ou bien faut-il améliorer? C’était le point de vue de la plupart des traducteursdu XVIIème siècle, mais on en a aussi de nombreux exemples dans les traductions plusrécentes. Le discours traductologique du XXème siècle a tendance à critiquer ces améliorationsqui sont, en fait, de véritables déformations du texte.”

A maior parte dos textos de Tradutologia utiliza exemplos <nobres>: tradução de filósofos ou de grandes autores como Shakespeare, Cervantes, Corneille, etc. Não encontro, neles, os chamados <autores menores> ou de best-sellers (como, p.ex., P.L. Sulitzer, que afirma em um de seus livros que a Tcheka era a polícia secreta do czar, e batiza seu herói polonês de Taddeuz, ao passo que a grafia correta seria Tadeusz, etc.). O estilo dos <grandes escritores> não é criticável, evidentemente: não temos o direito de julgá-los, devemos sim nos inspirar neles, eventualmente imitá-los – em todo caso, respeitá-los. Nos textos de Tradutologia, exemplos <plebeus> são olhados com desconfiança: estes são classificáveis como tecnoletos ou socioletos, desvios da língua-padrão ainda respeitáveis em si mesmo, regulares o bastante, porém não têm um <estilo>, portanto não merecem grande atenção.

Daí deriva o conhecido problema do discurso político, com frequência reduzido a seu aspecto puramente terminológico (ver, a respeito, J.B. Neveux, La traduction, capítulo <A tradução do vocabulário político>, 1979).

Ademais, há sempre os textos literários <de menor importância> e os textos que não são tampouco literários ou técnicos, i.e., textos jornalísticos, a reportagem, memórias e entrevistas de todo gênero, encontrados em abundância nas bibliotecas e livrarias – o que se passou a denominar literatura de testemunho ou biográfica. O que fazer, p.ex., dum texto onde o personagem declara, de forma séria, que <les liens> (as relações) que o ligam a uma determinada organização são <éteints> (apagadas, nulas, opacas – termo difícil de traduzir)? Se se aplicam à letra os princípios de Tytler, aos textos mal-feitos da língua de partida deveria corresponder um mau texto na língua de chegada. Ou seria lícito melhorá-lo? O auge deste ponto de vista foi no século XVII, mas essa tendência nunca esmoreceu de verdade entre os tradutores (sendo aliás a obsessão por excelência dos editores). Nos discursos tradutológicos do século XX vemos uma pronunciada tendência à crítica desses <melhoramentos>, que são considerados agora deformações do texto original.”

Qui est traducteur (je ne prends en considération que les traducteurs littéraires et je n’aborderaidonc pas les problèmes des traducteurs jurés, techniques ou interprétes dont la traduction estla principale source de revenus)? A priori, toute personne connaissant bien une langue étrangèreet sa langue maternelle, sans être nécessairement «parfaitement bilingue» – les dictionnairesle sont suffisamment – peut être traductrice.Cependant, le traducteur est avant tout um lecteur: sans goût pour la littérature (ou même simplement la chose écrite), il est peu probableque quelqu’un se mette à traduire, puisque cet acte nécessite une première lecture (en termeslinguistiques: un premier décodage). Le nombre des traducteurs est tout de même inférieur aunombre de lecteurs connaissant plus d’une langue, car en plus, il faut savoir écrire (être capablede faire le ré-encodage) – c’est-à-dire avoir au moins un peu de talent littéraire, ainsi que le remarquefort justement G. Karski et même le structuraliste Z. Klemensiewicz qui parle de congénialité:la traduction ne doit être «ni une réécriture, ni une transécriture, mais une co-écriture». C’est d’ailleurs un métier qui ne s’enseigne pas: les écoles de traducteurs forment des interprèteset des traducteurs techniques, non des traducteurs littéraires.”

ANATOMIA DO TRADUTOR – Quem é tradutor? (Daqui para a frente, me eximo da responsabilidade de considerar os tradutores não-literários, isto é, NÃO ABORDAREMOS EM ABSOLUTO OS PROBLEMAS DAS TRADUÇÕES JURAMENTADAS, TÉCNICAS OU DE INTÉRPRETES, PROFISSÕES BASICAMENTE DE DEDICAÇÃO EXCLUSIVA)

RESPOSTA: A priori, qualquer bom conhecedor de ao menos uma língua estrangeira e da própria língua materna, sem ser necessariamente <um bilíngue perfeito> – de modo que os dicionários já lhe são ajuda suficiente.

Acima de tudo, o tradutor é um leitor. Sem tesão pela literatura (ou simplesmente pela <coisa escrita>), é muito pouco provável que qualquer um se meta a traduzir. Trata-se dum ato que exige no mínimo uma primeira leitura (o que na Lingüística se chamaria de primeira decodificação). Segunda implicação: o número de tradutores é sempre inferior ao de leitores conhecedores de mais de um idioma, porque, afora a <decodificação inicial>, é preciso saber fazer a re-codificação (em termos leigos, saber (re)escrever).

O que é esse <saber ler-reescrever>? Possuir um mínimo de talento literário (este mínimo não é <mensurável>), o que lingüistas como Karski e Klemensiewicz definem como a posse da cogenialidade, isto é, menos que a genialidade mas mais do que a banalidade, além de ser sempre uma espécie de <parceria diacrônica> com um outro co-gênio que precede ao tradutor.¹ Resumindo, é uma atividade impassível de ensino: as escolas de tradutores formam intérpretes e tradutores técnicos, não tradutores literários.”

¹ Matizes kardecistas, até!

Os vilões do meu universo encastelado: os assessores, os sociólogos não-marxianos, os pré-existencialistas e, finalmente, os tradutores juramentados ou leigos que solicitam ou falam em “tradução livre” (verdadeira abominação em forma de binômio). Trocando em miúdos, estes são os péssimos profissionais das minhas áreas ou ex-áreas de atuação (respectivamente, Jornalismo, Sociologia, Filosofia, Letras), tudo que eu jamais seria ou jamais tomaria como modelo.

Rares sont les traducteurs littéraires dont la traduction est la principale (ou seule) source derevenus: la plupart du temps, ils exercent des métiers intellectuels, sont souvent des universitaires- mais rarement des écrivains. Il suffit de consulter les bibliographies d’auteurs pour levoir: les écrivains écrivent «pour leur propre compte». Quant aux traducteurs, s’ils ont assez detalent pour traduire, il leur en manque pour créer. Remarquons toutefois que le travail de traductionest ingrat : il demande un effort considérable, est plus ou moins bien rémunéré – mais lestraducteurs passés à la postérité sont rares, si l’on excepte les premiers traducteurs de la Bible.Comme le remarque I. Géher, on ne lit jamais un texte parce qu’il a été traduit par X, mais parcequ’il a été écrit par Y. Les grands traducteurs sont donc peu nombreux: en France, Baudelairen’est un traducteur célèbre que parce qu’il était par ailleurs un immense poète, en Pologne TadeuszBoy-Zelenski n’est célèbre que parce qu’il a, à lui seul, traduit énormément de littératurefrançaise (dont Montaigne, Descartes, Pascal, Rabelais, tout Molière, Chateaubriand, Stendhal,Proust, Gide, tout Balzac, etc.) alors que lui-même n’était qu’un écrivain-créateur médiocre.

Donc, les écrivains ne sont pas des traducteurs – sauf les poètes. Cependant, il est remarquableque les poètes signent quelquefois des traductions de langues qu’ils ne connaissent pas. En fait, ils ne sont pas traducteurs, mais «poétisateurs» de textes précédemment traduits par destraducteurs non poètes (dans la terminologie de H. Meschonnic, l’un parle «langue» et l’autreparle «texte». L’auteur s’insurge avec raison, contre cette pratique qui pose des problèmesphilosophiques et méthodologiques sur lesquels je ne m’attarderai pas).”


Raros são os tradutores literários para quem traduzir é a principal (ou única) fonte de renda: a maior parte do tempo, eles exercem qualquer outra função intelectual, comumente nas universidades – salvo que raramente são escritores. Basta consultar as bibliografias dos autores para atestá-lo: os escritores <escrevem por conta própria>. Quanto aos tradutores, malgrado tenham o talento imprescindível à tradução, falta-lhes o talento para criar. Observemos quão ingrato é o ofício do tradutor: traduções demandam um esforço considerável e são mais ou menos bem-remuneradas, dependendo do contexto – mas o notável da carreira é quão poucos dentre os tradutores gravam seu nome na posteridade. As maiores exceções foram os primeiros tradutores da Bíblia, por motivos óbvios. Como lembra Géher, ninguém lê um livro <porque foi traduzido por Fulano>, mas sim <porque foi escrito por Cicrano>. Os grandes tradutores são, desta feita, pouco numerosos: na França, Baudelaire só se tornou um tradutor de renome porque além de traduzir era também um enorme poeta; na Polônia, Tadeusz Boy-Zelenski só atingiu fama imortal por ter sido quem traduziu sozinho quase toda a Literatura francesa que realmente interessa: Montaigne, Descartes, Pascal, Rabelais, Molière (a obra completa), Chateaubriand, Stendhal, Proust, Gide, Balzac (a obra completa), e ainda outros! Fora isso, o próprio Tadeusz nada era senão um escritor autoral medíocre.

Sendo assim, os escritores não são tradutores – isto é, com a exceção dos poetas. O insólito da situação do poeta é que ele assina traduções de línguas que não conhece (conhece muito mal, comparado com os tradutores por vocação). Na verdade, quando poetas se aventuram a traduzir, não são tradutores, são <poetizadores> de textos anteriormente traduzidos por tradutores não-poetas (na terminologia de Meschonnic, o poeta fala uma língua, o tradutor fala um texto). O autor (escritor) se insurge (com razão?) contra esta prática, que encerra uma vasta gama de problemas filosóficos e metodológicos, os quais por si só já mereceriam livros e mais livros.”

Tudo já foi escrito” é a desculpa esfarrapada do primeiro dos últimos pós-modernos!

Já traduzi até Heine… Não sei nem mais que(m) sou…







Quem queimou

Quem queimou meu queijo?



E quem disse que o filósofo é mais escritor do que poeta e tradutor?

Qual é o TAMANHO da sua escrita? Imortal e milenar ou 500 páginas sem margens e espaçamento 1?

Le traducteur est doublement dépendant: en amont, de l’auteur, en aval de l’éditeur.”

L’éditeur est une invention récente que toutefois on trouve à l’état embryonnaire dès l’invention de l’imprimerie. Avant, chaque livre était unique et le copiste devait posséder un savoir (la lecture et l’écriture) et maîtriser une technique (la calligraphie). L’imprimerie introduit une technique lourde et extérieure au copiste et donc, qui plus est, à l’auteur. L’imprimeur devient l’intermédiaire obligatoire (monopolistique) entre auteur et lecteur. Cette situation dure très longtemps: l’éditeur, c’est l’imprimeur, c’est-à-dire un technicien qui se double rapidement d’un commerçant (dans des cas extrêmes, l’imprimeur peut être analphabète, comme le père Séchard dans les Illusions perdues de Balzac). Voulant connaître la nature de sa marchandise, il se met à lire et à juger ce qu’il imprime, pour décider peut-être de ne pas le faire, et devient éditeur à proprement parler. Le statut de l’éditeur est ambigu: il est à la fois connaisseur littéraire et commerçant. Suivant le cas, c’est l’une ou l’autre facette qui l’emporte. Son double jugement (littéraire et/ou commercial) n’est pas infaillible, loin de là. Actuellement, l’éditeur délègue les travaux d’impression (le côté technique) et assume les rôles de commerçant et de juge, quitte, bien sûr, à s’entourer de «commerciaux» et d’un «comité de lecture».”

Lorsqu’un auteur propose (soumet) um texte à un éditeur et que ce dernier accepte de le publier, il accepte par là-même de faire un investissement correspondant aux frais d’impression, de diffusion et éventuellement de publicité. Les revenus de l’auteur dépendent alors étroitement de ceux de l’éditeur. La démarche du traducteur est différente, encore qu’il faille distinguer deux cas de figure: 1. le traducteur propose un texte à l’éditeur, 2. l’éditeur commande une traduction. La différence entre les deux s’inscrit dans la durée. Dans le second cas, le traducteur reçoit un travail pour lequel il sera rétribué. Il n’a donc aucune démarche – au sens propre du terme – à accomplir. Dans le premier cas, le traducteur commence en général par convaincre longuement l’éditeur de l’intérêt littéraire d’un texte, échantillon à l’appui. En cas de refus, il aura travaillé pour rien. Dans les deux cas de figure, si l’éditeur accepte de publier la traduction, son investissement est important: il doit racheter les droits d’auteurs s’ils n’appartiennent pas encore au domaine public, il doit payer le traducteur et, bien sûr, veiller à l’impression, etc.

Le contrat de traduction est signé et, quelques temps après, le manuscrit (ou plutôt le «tapuscrit») est remis à l’éditeur qui va le lire, ou le faire lire. Ce lecteur (qu’il soit l’éditeur lui-même ou une personne tierce, on l’appellera le correcteur) ne connaît pas nécessairement le milieu-source: il ne fera donc que veiller au respect du 3ème principe de Tytler, c’est-à-dire la lisibilité. L’intermédiaire du correcteur est une bonne chose en soi: quel traducteur n’a pas remarqué une baisse affligeante de sa compétence linguistique en langue-cible, qui est en général sa langue maternelle, pendant l’acte de traduction? Les relectures que l’on fait «à froid» sont nécessaires pour se débarrasser du modèle contraignant de la langue-source, mais même là, il arrive que des phrases sonnent juste seulement pour le traducteur, hélas! C’est ce qu’exprime clairement G. Mounin (cité par J.R. Ladmiral), quand il parle de la «richesse merveilleuse de toutes les langues de départ, pauvreté incurable de toutes les langues d’arrivée». Encore faut-il que le correcteur soit effectivement compétent…

C’est là que se pose le problème du «mauvais» texte de départ, ou, si l’on préfere, des maladresses stylistiques qui peuvent s’y trouver. Si on applique le principe de fidélité, à mauvais original doit correspondre mauvais texte en traduction (et ce sera justement cela la bonne traduction) – la première réaction du correcteur sera de considérer que la traduction est mauvaise, et non le texte original, et il se dépêchera de corriger, d’améliorer le texte en langue-cible, pratique autrefois courante, aujourd’hui plutôt critiquée. Il faut cependant faire une distinction entre «petites» et «grosses» maladresses. Voyons un exemple de petite maladresse.

Dans La légende de Pendragon, Antal Szerb répète très souvent le mot különös, quelquefois à l’intérieur d’un même paragraphe. Ce mot signifie «singulier, bizarre, étrange». La stricte fidélité à l’original demanderait de choisir l’un de ces adjectifs – de préférence «singulier» – et de l’employer systématiquement, comme un terme technique. Or, pour la traduction, nous avons choisi de varier les équivalents français pour éviter des répétitions qui, tout en alourdissant le style, n’apportent pas d’information particulière et – surtout – nous auraient fait passer pour de mauvais traducteurs… Nous avons donc prévenu les critiques du correcteur, d’autant plus qu’il s’agissait effectivement d’une maladresse de la part d’Antal Szerb: c’était un éminent historien de la littérature qui écrivait des romans en dilettante, vite et sûrement sans se relire, ce que le lecteur français ne sait pas, alors que le personnage de Szerb est très connu en Hongrie. On a ici un problème non de langue, mais de milieu. Ce roman est passionnant de bout en bout – il n’en est pas pour autant exempt de ce type de maladresses qu’on peut corriger sans porter atteinte au texte.”

Escrita, a anti-bosta: quanto mais mexe, menos fede?! Há um momento, no entanto, em que ela petrifica, para o bem ou para o mal…

Il arrive cependant que la «maladresse» (en particulier, la répétition) soit voulue et significative. C’est le cas du roman du Polonais Julian Kawalec intitulé W sloncu où la répétition de mots ou de membres de phrase crée un effet lancinant comparable à la poésie de Gertrude Stein. Dans ce cas, il faut conserver cet aspect de l’original – et il ne sera guère aisé de convaincre l’éditeur qu’il doit en être ainsi. L’éditeur est un être soupçonneux: il met en doute les compétences linguistiques du traducteur aussi bien en langue-source qu’en langue-cible – ce qui n’est d’ailleurs qu’une manifestation de son souci du lecteur.”

¹ E mais uma vez o dia foi salvo graças ao poder deveras oportuno da… NOTA DE RODAPÉ!!!

Prancha de salvação que leva direto aos tubarões. Conversas off-topic gravadas. Quando a nota é do editor, o “tradutor venceu” a guerra, e o Ed. se vinga. Quando a nota é do tradutor, o “editor venceu” a guerra, e o Trad. quita dalgum modo a dívida e restabelece o equilíbrio. Isso supondo que não se trate só de mea culpas baratas…

Remarquons que la plupart des «notes du traducteur» sont des informations portant sur le milieu-source.”

Quelle frustration de voir écrit en bas de page «calembour intraduisible». La responsabilité repose entièrement sur les épaules du traducteur; et comme la plupart des calembours sont intraduisibles, le traducteur essaie de compenser comme il peut, éventuellement en plaçant un bon mot à un autre endroit du texte. Ces deux types d’exemples sont peu importants – même s’ils donnent quelquefois des nuits blanches aux traducteurs – si l’on pense qu’ils ne concernent la plupart du temps que des mots et expressions éparpillés dans un texte par ailleurs normalement traduisible. Le problème se pose plus gravement quand c’est le texte tout entier qui nécessite une note du traducteur – qui alors peut choisir de se taire ou de se manifester par une introduction. Je ne citerai qu’un seul exemple: l’introduction à la traduction française de Trans-Atlantique de W. Gombrowicz. Il s’agit d’une longue introduction historico-littéraire ainsi que traductologique. C. Jelenski & G. Serreau, les traducteurs, expliquent que le roman, écrit en 1948, s’inscrit dans une convention littéraire du XVIIIème siècle – j’en ai parlé au début, à propos du «voyage dans le temps». La traduction est stylisée, archaïsée au point qu’elle crée une impression aussi étrange et grotesque que l’original. On a un «style fonctionnellement équivalent» (Taber). De ce point de vue, et du point de vue des libraires aussi, c’est une réussite et pourtant… Le texte français est beaucoup plus long que l’original polonais. On observe, pour employer la terminologie de J.R. Ladmiral une incrémentialisation et une péri-paraphrase généralisées – en d’autres termes, c’est une traduction explicative.”

Mais C. Jelenski n’a-t-il pas dit lui-même à propos de ce travail qu’on ne comprenait vraiment une oeuvre qu’en la traduisant? Cette traduction illustre l’application stricte du second principe de Tytler, au détriment du premier – à cela près, qu’il n’y a pas déperdition, mais excès. Ce phénomène est constant dans tout le roman – en fait de traduction, on a presque une adaptation.”

HAHA: “adaptation, appelée quelquefois traduction libre (…) L’apparition des notions de propriété littéraire et de plagiat oblige l’adaptateur à citer son modèle – quitte à se faire passer pour un traducteur.” Bom menino-mau: Em nome da Honra – Chapeuzinho Vermelho; O Orfanato & O Senhor-Robô – Dalá-gonu Borô Zeta; Do Caos ao Barro, da Lama ao Caos: Lisboa, 1755 – Moonspell & Nação Zumbi & Chico Science… O Andarilho Triclope… …. ….. Sofrimentos do Jovem Ed…itor

* * *

Trechos de Marianne Lederer, “La traduction aujourd’hui”

Même à un stade très avancé de l’acquisition d’une langue étrangère, on entend encore des étudiants demander comment traduire tel mot ou tel mot. Comment dit-on <préposé> en anglais? ou <pronouncement> en français? Ils espèrent une réponse qui ferait apparaître une forme sonore différente dans uns signification inchangée.”

Les mots anglais <control>, <region>, <opportunity> ont tout d’abord été compris au sens français de <contrôle> (vérification), <région> (partie d’un pays), <opportunité> (qui vient à propos). (…) Aujourd’hui <contrôle> a perdu en grande partie sa signification initiale pour prendre le sens anglais de <maîtriser>, <commander>, <diriger>; <région> englobe plusieurs pays et <opportunités> remplace de plus en plus <occasion>. Les déformations sémantiques de <global>, <rampant>, <attractif>, etc., ont suivi ce processus à des degrés divers. <Global>, à l’instar de l’anglais, signifie aujourd’hui <universel> en plus de sa signification de <entier>, <total>. <Rampant> a gardé sa signification française mais est utilisé avec une fréquence qui lui vient de l’anglais. <Attractif> a la forme de l’anglais tout en gardant la signification de <attrayant>, <attirant>, etc.”

La stylistique comparée du français et de l’anglais, cependant, malgré toutes ses qualités, n’est pas une méthode de traduction des textes, contrairement à ce que laisse entendre son sous-titre, <Méthode de traduction>. Elle ne peut l’être car, observant les désignations différentes de situations identiques, elle ne va pas, sauf pour en analyser le résultat, jusqu’à expliquer la traduction par équivalences.”

J. Delisle écrit: L’analyse de la langue que pratiquent les stylisticiens comparatistes reste en deçà de l’analyse du discours sur lequel se fonde toute vraie traduction.

Les 7 procédés techniques si célèbres de La stylistique comparée (…) (l’emprunt, le calque, la traduction littérale, la transposition, la modulation, l’équivalence, l’adaptation) ne peuvent contribuer à la traduction, qui est essentiellement un exercice d’interprétation car, ne facilitant ni l’analyse d’un message ni sa restitution, ils ne peuvent pas avoir valeur de règles pratiques de traduction.”

La stylistique (et d’autres <manuels de traduction>) peuvent rendre de grands services aux étudiants dans leur auto-perfectionnement linguistique. L’apprenant peut puiser à la source du comparatisme pour perfectionner ses connaissances.”

* * *

La polémique “Cibliste vs. Sourciste”.

Trechos de Pierre Baccheretti, “Traduire ou interpréter”, in: La traduction: problèmes théoriques et pratiques

Dans la pluplart de cas, c’est la réalité décrite qui se refuse à la traduction, pour la simples raison qu’elle n’a point d’équivalent dans le pays où est parlée l’autre langue. Se pose alors le problème, bien connu, de la traduction des <réalia>.”

Nous traduirons donc filosofija trëx vesëlyx kombinatorov P’enikle. Nous soulignerons, en qualifiant cette philosophie de mudrënaja et en recourant à un verbe noble:

A brotik Pol’, zabrosiv azbuku, po veceram, lëza v krovatke, vnikal v mudrenuju filosofiju <Trëx vesëlyx Kombinatorov P’enikle>”

E meu irmão Paulinho, em sua cama, penetrava nos segredos da sábia filosofia dos três fanfarrões vigaristas Pieds Nickelés, menos três patetas que uma espécie de Cebolinha arquitetando um de seus Planos Infalíveis…

Um dia só é bom quando o próximo é um feriado.

le français montagne se verra-t-il attribuer comme équivalent le russe gora. C’est du moins ce que recommandent, à l’unanimité, tous les dictionnaires bilingues. Et, pourtant, un examen, même superficiel, des emplois de gora en russe montre à l’évidence que la réalité recouverte ressemble souvent, à s’y méprendre, à une simple colline de Provence.”

Il est évident que l’imagination des parents ne connaît point de bornes lorsqu’il s’agit de toruver un nom zoologique gentil à ces chers petits, et, dans l’intimité du nid familial, tout est permis. Mais les assimilations être humain/animal sont loin d’avoir une valeur universelle immuable, et dans le domaine de la traduction, il est, sans aucun doute, souhaitable d’éviter des équivalences au mot à mot qui, dans la langue d’arrivée, risquent d’avoir une valeur comique qui n’était certainement pas recherchée au départ.”

Je frappai le mulet sous le ventre […] tandis que le paysan l’appelait: <carcan, carogne> et l’accusait de se nourrir d’excréments.

Pagnol fait là allusion à une injure fort prisée dans le Midi et dont le sens laisserait à supposer que votre interlocuteur, pour se sustentar, mange autre chose que de la fougasse et des olives. Malgré la richesse de son vocabulaire dans ce domaine, le russe ne possède pas d’équivalent terme à terme qui soit couramment utilisé. Et, difficulté supplémentaire, tout cet aspect de la langue parlée est totalement tabou dans la langue écrite: le bon citoyen russe peut être, dans la vie de chaque jour, tout aussi mal embouché que le plus grossier des charretiers de France, mais l’usage littéraire jette un voile pudique sur les expressions qui sortent des sentiers battus, et les dictionnaires – à l’exception d’un ouvrage anglais (Beyond the Russian dictionary, 1973, London, Flegon Press) restent étrangement muets sur le sujet.”

Le grossier personnage n’hésitera pas à compléter nos points de suspension en recourant à un verbe précis que conférera à la phrase le sens approximatif de tu sais ce qu’on lui fait à ta mère? L’injure est à ce point vivante en russe que la langue en arrive à renoncer à employer à l’accusatif le mot mat’ précedé du possessif, de façon à éviter toute réminiscence mal venue.”

ryba, le poisson, est, en russe, de genre féminin”

De la même façon, dans la traduction du Petit Prince, le traducteur soviétique a été amené à traduire le renard et la Fleur respectivement pas lis, masculin, quasiment inemployé en russe, à côté du très courant lisa de genre féminin, et roza (la rose, et non la fleur cvetok masculin) de façon à respecter la répartition féminin/masculin, essentielle dans le texte original.”

En effet, alors qu’en français, le mâle donne habituellement son non à l’espèce (un chat, une chatte, le chat), le russe préférera d’ordinaire la forme féminine pour désigner l’espèce (kot, koska). Le canard sera ainsi utka de genre féminin, ce qui saurait convenir à un exemplaire, défini comme le vieux père canard, et, plus loin dans le texte, le vieux dur-à-cuire.”

Le locuteur français (qui dit ) reste, en quelque sorte, à distance, immobile, considère le mouvement d’un point fixe, depuis l’endroit d’où il observe, et il n’est qu’observateur. Le locuteur russe (qui dit ici) se déplace en même temps que son personnage, participe au mouvement, est, d’une certaine façon, acteur de la scène.”

On pourrait expliquer l’implicite du français par le fait d’une capacité d’abstraction plus grande, le contexte étant suffisamment clair pour donner à comprendre la succession chronologique de divers mouvements sous-entendus.”

Jacques entra dans le café, avisa une table libre à l’écart, et commanda une bière.


Zak vosël v kafe, primetil svobodnyj stolik v storone, sel i zakazal pivo


Jacques entra dans le café, avisa une table libre à l’écart, s’assit et commanda une bière.

Là oú le locuteur français, du seul fait du cheminement de la logique interne de l’énoncé, distingue sans ambiguïté les divers personnages, tous nommés <il>, le russe ne reconnait pour <il> (on) que la personne qui était déjà le sujet de la proposition précédente, et si la personne, sujet de la nouvelle proposition, est autre, doit impérativement la nommer, ou recourir au démonstratif tot qui désigne la personne ou l’objet éloigné, par opposition à étot réservé à l’objet de la personne proche.”

nous avions la triste impression de lire un autre livre qui parlait la même chose, mais ne disait rien.”

il n’y a qu’un pas entre l’abattoir, skotobojnja, et bojnja, la tuerie, la boucherie, la guerre.”

En effet, on peut constater dans l’usage russe une tendance marquée à préciser ce que le français se contentait de suggérer, et, sur un certain nombre de points, la langue dispose d’une série de moyens techniques pour le faire, moyens que le français, soit ne possède pas, soit répugne à utiliser”

En français, le contexte éclaire la mimique, donne leur signification aux gestes, alors qu’en russe ce sont les gestes qui contribuent à créer le contexte.”

Ainsi l’expression zadrav nos, littéralement <le nez en l’air> marque, en russe, l’attitude hautaine, l’air conquérant de celui qui est trop content de soi, et non, comme en français, une certaine insouciance, un manque évident d’attention.”

Cabeça na lua, nariz empinado, olhando sempre pra baixo, boca tesa, ouvido surdo concentrado, pêlos eriçados, cabelo sem viço, derrubado.

O russo precisa incluir muitos travessões num diálogo, certo, Dosto?

…dit ma mère, répliqua vivement mon père, précisa tante Rose, dit, dubitatif, mon pére, etc. Bien entendu, tous ces verbes auraient été possibles dans le texte français, mais telle ne semble pas être la tendance de la langue.”

Le verbe de parole en fraçais répond essentiellement à la question: qui parle? Le russe va, souvent, plus loin: qui parle, et comment?

c’est la vi(ll)e désertes amis

Trechos de Françoise Flamant, “Pour en venir au texte lui-même”, in: La traduction: problèmes théoriques et pratiques

O artigo de Pierre Baccheretti Traduire ou interpréter, que se funda sobre uma prática assídua da tradução, incita com naturalidade todo tradutor a refletir sobre sua própria prática. Constatamos imediatamente que os tradutores, que se comprazem, em geral, em debater e confrontar pares, repugnam, o mais das vezes, comunicar suas experiências por escrito. Esta repugnância – ou essa negligência – (que o próprio P. Baccheretti decerto não reprova em alguns contextos) não seria reveladora da inquietude que acompanha o tradutor incontinenti ao longo da elaboração de seu texto, e desse resíduo de insatisfação que persiste nele ao contemplar o resultado de seu trabalho? Angústia e insatisfação que não são sanadas pela leitura de nenhuma obra teórica sobre tradução. Com efeito, a atividade do tradutor não se caracteriza como uma posta em prática de teorias e princípios, quaisquer que sejam, estabelecidos pelo tradutor mesmo ou consagrados muito antes dele – se caracteriza, sim, como uma tensão irredutível entre dois pólos: duma parte a convicção de que a estrangeiridade dum texto compõe um de seus atributos primordiais; doutra, a necessidade imperiosa de comunicar essa estrangeiridade, i.e., esse algo insólito e inefável, convertendo-o nalgo familiar para o receptor, e, afinal, redigido na língua natal deste último! A tradução se realiza num vaivém permanente entre estes 2 pólos, percorrendo uma infinidade de escolhas, uma mais insatisfatória que a outra, caso fossem examinadas em separado, mas que tendem a se equilibrar, se compensar, consideradas como um todo mais que a soma das partes.”

O tradutor moderno perdeu a tranqüila confiança de seus predecessores franceses do século passado, intimamente convencidos da supremacia de sua própria língua vernacular e de sua civilização. (…) Viardot alcançava o denominador comum (do gosto francês) entre a prosa de um Cervantes e a de um Turgueniev.”

<tradutor de Arte> (é assim que os russos denominam o <tradutor literário>)”

Veja-se o exemplo da palavra muzik, transcrita geralmente como moujik em francês (definição: <camponês russo>). Em sua obra Tolstoï et Dostoïevski (1901), o escritor e filósofo Mérejkovski consagra um capítulo à religião de Dostoïevski, para a qual duas palavras diferentes conotam o <camponês> a depender da situação: muzik ou krest’janin. Mérejkovski defende a idéia de que o apego de Dostoïevski a um cristianismo do terror que ele associa intimamente ao camponês russo (o krest’janin) teve sua origem num episódio da infância do escritor, contado aliás por ele próprio: aterrorizado pelo uivo dum lobo, Dostoïevski-criança sai correndo e se joga nos braços fortes e protetores do camponês (muzik) Maréï, que trabalha nos campos das proximidades de sua casa, o que o conforta e o alivia de sua crise. O sentido do <texto em si mesmo> indica aqui, ao tradutor, que deve se servir da palavra moujik toda vez que fizer referência ao <moujik Maréï>, e da palavra paysan [a tradução literal, i.e., camponês, o pobre, o povo, e não mujique, dicionarizada em português, inclusive] sempre que a questão for traduzir krest’janin. A palavra muzik, formação diminutiva pela qual se auto-designava o camponês-servo na sociedade feudal russa, é a que Dostoïevski aplica em seu relato da lembrança de infância. Ao conservar a denominação, o tradutor permite ao leitor francês identificar a citação – tão rapidamente quanto o próprio leitor russo. Ao traduzir o camponês médio ou o camponês em geral pela outra palavra, krest’janin, distingue-se, na prática, o evento-concreto fundador (de feição particular, historicamente datado, de caráter patriarcal, a relação, em suma, do <jovem mestre> com um de seus servos) do conceito universal ressignificado ulteriormente na visão teológica de Dostoïevski que gira em torno do arquétipo do camponês (o krest’janin).

A mesma palavra no plural, Muziki, é o título de uma longa novela de Tchékhov datada de 1897, cujo enredo se passa no mesmo ano. A tradução de um título é sempre perigosa: sua formulação geralmente lacônica (o mais lacônica possível, aliás) tem como meta representar, ou ao menos sugerir, a idéia primordial contida na obra. Mas, ao mesmo tempo, um título deve ser chamativo, despertar a vontade de ler. Daí que não nos pareça recomendável traduzir a obra como Les moujiks: a estranheza da palavra – estranheza que, em si mesma, não impede a palavra de ser utilizada, e até pode ser um critério para preferi-la, como já indicamos – não ajuda em tornar o título atrativo para o potencial leitor de ficção (muito embora o caráter de estranho possa ser sempre atrativo para aficionados em relatos de viagens, por exemplo). E, ademais, a palavra muziki passa longe de ser neutra, uma vez que designa os camponeses russos do fim do séc. XIX aproximadamente 40 anos após a abolição da servidão. Em que pese esse período coincidir com a infância de Dostoïevski, não podemos assinalá-la como bom sinônimo de krest’jane. Na verdade quem não lê a novela obviamente não pode entender o sentido do título Muziki: a estória da decadência inelutável duma família camponesa e de toda uma vila, em meio a uma sociedade que não libertou os camponeses senão para abandoná-los a eles mesmos, figuras ontologicamente irresponsáveis pela própria existência. Sendo assim, Muziki aqui é um misto de termo carregado de compaixão com leve depreciação ou crítica nuançada. Agora, em nosso tempo, essa palavra, ainda empregada, se tornou muito mais – abertamente – pejorativa. Quanto à melhor sugestão de tradução, seria Paysans, sem artigo, preferível a Les Paysans, que vem a ser a escolha mais freqüente.”

a neutralidade estilística está para o texto como o silêncio está para a peça musical e o plano de fundo para a pintura.”

* * *

L’autre forme de l’interprétation de conférence est l’interprétation simultanée, introduite dans la pratique professionnelle à partir du procès de Nuremberg: l’interprète est isolé dans une cabine vitrée qui lui permet de voir les participants. Il reçoit le son grâce à des écouteurs et traduit ainsi dans un micro les propos entendus, non pas simultanément, mais avec un léger décalage dont la durée varie en fonction de la nature du discours. C’est à Marianne Lederer (op. cit.), ancienne directrice de l’EST, que la traductologie doit l’ouvrage majeur sur l’interprétation simultanée: La traduction simultanée, expérience et théorie, paru en 1981. Les recherches de Seleskovitch se poursuivent par toute una série d’articles qui élargissent peu à peu le champ de son étude de l’interprétation à la traduction en général. Le texte qui suit retrace le cheminement de son analyse et ses notions clés”

Trechos de Colette Laplace, Théorie du langage et théorie de la traduction

on pense mieux en parlant qu’au stade de la pensée non formulée. Toute parole est donc en même temps expression de la pensée et génératrice de pensée.” Selesk.

Selon l’interprète, la langue signale par le pluriel même auquel elle se prête (les langues), qu’elle a un caractère instrumental” “L’impression retirée de la lecture de L’interprète dans les conférences internationales se trouve immédiatement confirmée: en 20 ans de recherche, Seleskovitch ne s’est jamais lancée dans une étude analytique de la langue, elle s’est toujours tenue volontairement à l’écart des grands courants de la linguistique contemporaine, distributionnalisme bloomfieldien, strucuturalisme saussurien, glossématique de Hjelmslev, fonctionnalisme d’un Jakobson ou d’un Martinet, etc.” “Quel musicologue se contenterait d’étudier le bois dont est fait un stradivarius pour s’expliquer une musique? Ainsi les recherches d’un Chomsky sur la structure profonde ne sauraient trouver grâce à ses yeux, car elles ne permettent pas de <sortir de la langue>.”

Les idées doivent se couler dans les catégories que leur impose la langue, mais elles ne se confondent pas plus avec ces catégories qu’elles ne se confondent avec la langue.

Toute conception de la langue de Seleskovitch est dans cette phrase et ses différentes publications fourmillent d’illustrations de cette thèse.”

O KEYHOLE PRINCIPLE DE SELESK.: “un Anglais et un Français ont certainement la même représentation mentale, le même concept, d’un trou de serrure [buraco de fechadura, ‘lock-hole’], pourtant l’un utilise le terme <trou de serrure> et l’autre celui de <keyhole> (trou pour la clef).”

L’anglais dit outlet, le français dit prise (de courant)” Uma queima de estoque ligada no 220V!

a língua não diz, ela permite dizer”

Le vouloir-dire est la cause du discours, le sens en est la finalité.”

Dans les conférences internationales, les orateurs se succèdent, abordant des sujets politiques, écnonomiques, techniques ou scientifiques, que leurs auditeurs, délégués de même langue ou interprètes, sont supposés comprendre à la vitesse du débit oral, sans jamais disposer de la possibilité d’opérer un retour en arrière, alors que le lecteur a, lui, toujours loisir de le faire. C’est donc la situation idéale pour observer le jeu des mécanismes de compréhension, sans que rien ne le fausse.”

Il est certes plus difficile de dégager le sens d’un poème d’Hölderlin ou de René Char que d’un discours de Margaret Thatcher, et le travail d’exégèse n’est sans doute pas encore achevé mais il n’en reste pas moins que ce sens a une entité objective.”

The chickens are ready to eat! est ambiguë car nul ne peut opter à partir de la seule signification de la phrase: Les poulets sont cuits à point ou plutôt pour on peut maintenant donner à manger aux poulets.”

Nul besoin d’aller chercher des mots comme Gemüt et Schadenfreude pour affirmer que certains mots sont intraduisibles.”

on conserve le mot étranger come on l’a fait pour l’isba des romans russes ou pour le software des ensembles électroniques ou bien l’on crée un mot nouveau comme on l’a fait pour cybernétique, ou une acception nouvelle comme satellite qui a vite perdu son épithète d’artificiel.”

Bread pour l’Américain c’est une matière spongieuse, coupée en tranches et enveloppée de cellophane; pour le Français, le pain c’est une longue baguette croustillante et dorée” “nous serions tentée de demander si le soleil est bien la même chose pour un esquimo qui, pendant une partie de l’année seulement voit un astre pâle décrire une courbe molle au-dessus de l’horizon en difusant de la lumière 24 heures sur 24 et pour un Africain, qui identifie le soleil à une pluie de feu qui tombe du ciel et contre laquelle il convient de se protéger.”

«Ainsi les chiffres qui sont traduisibles par excellence puisqu’il y a une parfaite correspondance entre le référent et les signifiés des différentes langues, peuvent dans certaines circonstances devenir contextuels. Seleskovitch cite l’exemple des <15 jours> en français qui se traduisent par <14 Tage> en allemand. On pourrait également citer la signification attachée au chiffre 13 dans certains pays occidentaux (signification de malheur) qui se traduirait dans certains pays asiatiques par le chiffre 4.»

«Pour nous en convaincre, il suffit d’ouvrir le dictionnaire bilingue au hasard. Voici ce que propose le dictionnaire bilingue français-allemand de Sachs et Villatte: Kern: noyau, pépin, amande, coeur, puis des expressions diverses telles que der Kern der Sache: le vif do sujet; des Pudels Kern: le fin mot de l’affaire. Nous constatons que le terme allemand a un champ sémantique très large, plus large serait-on tenté de dire que celui de ces correspondants français. Mais est-ce bien vrai? Vérifions maintenant les équivalents proposés pour l’un des termes français. Coeur: Herz, Gefühl, Gemüt, Mut, etc. et d’innonbrables expressions: par coeur: auswendig; loin des yeux, loin du coeur: aus den Augen aus dem Sinn; faire à contre coeur: widerwillig machen; coeur d’un arbre: Kern, etc. Nous constatons que le champ sémantique du terme français est lui aussi très vaste, mais qu’il n’est nullement superposable au champ sémantique du terme allemand.»

Can you give me a lift? : Tu es en voiture? / Tu peux me déposer quelque part? / Vous êtes motorisé?

Trechos de Philippe Forget, Il faut bien traduire

«ces représentantes du vouloir-dire, de la parole vivante, de la conscience maîtresse du sens sont ici en train de pratiquer le spiritisme: elles convoquent le sens, donc l‘esprit, le font apparaître en dehors de sa forme matérielle pour, identifique à lui-même (insensible aux contextes, donc) le rematérialiser ensuite!»

* * *


Trechos de Ladmiral (op. cit.)

«D’un point de vue historique, le concept de connotation a été remis à l’honneur par la linguistique américaine, dans le sillage de Bloomfield, avant d’être repris ensuite et thématisé surtout par les linguistes européens (cf. Mounin, 1963). Au-delà de l’héritage bloomfieldien, c’est donc essentiellement à l’apport de linguistes européens comme Martinet, Mounin, Guiraud, Lyons, Hjelmslev, voire Barthes… que nous serons conduit à faire réferérence.»

«On trouve le mot déjà chez Littré, qui consacre à la notion 3 entrées dans son dictionnaire – où connotation est définie comme ‘l’idée particulière que comporte un terme abstrait à côté du sens général’, où connoter signifie ‘faire une connotation, c’est-à-dire, indiquer, en même temps que l’idée principale, une idée secondaire qui s’y rattache’, et où connotatif a aussi une adresse qui luit est propre.»

* * *


«C’est ici que se situe la grande majorité des cas. Notons que ces termes relèvent souvent de sphères où le français faisait jadis figure de langue de communication internationale: les lettres et les arts: esej, rezime, portret, revija, feljton, vodvilj, gvas; la politique: portfelj, revans, alijansa; les sciences et techniques: emalj, rezervoar, freza; la médecine: celulit; les finances: financije, akreditirati, garancija; l’art militaire: kampanja, bajuneta; la mode: dekolte, drapirati; l’art culinaire: blansirati, rulada, desert, fondan, frikase, et puis le savoureux frape, qu’en bon français nous préférons appeler milk-shake.

(…) interpolacija [interpolação] (…) bizuterija – désignant uniquement les bijoux de pacotille; frizura – la coiffure en général [cabelo frisado]; bombonijera – désignant une boîte de bonbons ou bien une confiserie [confeito]); soit avec una acception très pointue du mot source (apartman – qui le plus souvent désigne un logement locatif dans un lieu de villégiature); soit, et c’est beaucoup plus rare, avec une notion plus large que dans la langue d’origine (goblen, à partir de Gobelins, aboutit à l’idée de tapisserie en général).»

«avantura, butik, degutantan, dekadansa, impozantan»


Trechos de Inês Oseki-Dépré, Théories et pratiques de la traduction littéraire

«‘La Traduction-Allusion se propose seulement d’ébranler l’imagination du lecteur qui n’aura qu’à achever l’esquisse.’ Ainsi, selon Etkind, ‘n’est-il pas rare de voir les traducteurs ne faire rimer que les 4 ou les 8 premiers vers comme dans l’original, comme pour orienter l’esprit du lecteur dans la bonne direction’»

«recréer un poème dans son indivisible unité, dans sa totalité est un miracle qui ne serait accessible qu’à un poète.»

O que aconteceria se se esperasse de uma tradução poética que atendesse à lei formal das traduções, que é serem mais longas que o original?

« les Allemands et les Russes ont admirablement traduit dans leurs langues Homère, Eschyle, Sapho, Alcée, Virgile, Catulle, Horace, Juvénal. Il y a, entre la versification russe, tonique, et la versification polonaise, syllabique, une différence de principe fondamentale: elle n’a pas empêché Julian Tuwim de faire une excellente tradution d’Eugéne Onéguine de Pouchkine, ni Severin Pollack de recréer, de manière trèssatisfaisante, la poésie d’Anna Akmatova, de Maldelstam, de Tsvetaieva, de Pasternak.

De leur côté, la différence entre le système syllabique et le système tonique n’a pas empêché les poètes russes de traduire André Chénier, Évariste Parny (Pouchhine[?]), Auguste Barbier (Benediktov, Antokolski), Baudelaire, Verlaine, Rimbaud. »

«Le vers classique croule sous le poids des connotations livresques: impossible d’écrire une ligne, et encore moins une phrase, sans qu’aussitôt se présentent à l’esprit de longues séries de réminiscences scolaires, de citations et de commentaires transmis de génération en génération. Cet héritage s’est accumulé pendant plus de 4 siècles: on est fatigué par tant de liens culturels, la réalité vivante en est occultée. Libérer la vie des alluvions culturelles qui la recouvrent, telle est l’aspiration essentielle du vers libre. Paul Valéry, qui y avait tenu sa part, évoque ce refus total de l’ancienne tradition classique à partir des années 1890.»

* * *


BALLARD, Michel. Qu’est-ce que la traductologie?, 2006.

BENJAMIN, Walter. La tâche du traducteur in: Oeuvres I.

ECO, Umberto. Dire presque la même chose.

LADMIRAL, Théorèmes pour la traduction.

TYTLER, op. cit.

AMERICAN NERVOUSNESS: ITS CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES (A supplement to “Nervous exhaustion: Neurasthenia”) – George Beard, 1881.

-Um glamouroso retrato da decadência ocidental, embora ingenuamente otimista quanto a ele e de um ultimado chauvinismo ianque!-

Nervousness is strictly deficiency or lack of nerve-force. This condition, together with all the symptoms of diseases that are evolved from it, has developed mainly within the 19th century, and is especially frequent and severe in the Northern and Eastern portions of the United States. Nervousness, in the sense here used, is to be distinguished rigidly and systematically from simple excess of emotion and from organic disease.”

The sign and type of functional nervous diseases that are evolved out of this general nerve sensitiveness is neurasthenia (nervous exhaustion), which is in close and constant relation with such functional nerve maladies as certain physical forms of hysteria, hay-fever [rinite alérgica], sick-headache, inebriety, and some phases of insanity; is, indeed, a branch whence at early or later stages of growth these diseases may take their origin.”

The greater prevalence of nervousness in America is a complex resultant of a number of influences, the chief of which are dryness of the air, extremes of heat and cold, civil and religious liberty, and the great mental activity made necessary and possible in a new and productive country under such climatic conditions.

A new crop of diseases has sprung up in America, of which Great Britain until lately knew nothing, or but little. A class of functional diseases of the nervous system, now beginning to be known everywhere in civilization, seem to have first taken root under an American sky, whence their seed is being distributed.

All this is modern, and originally American; and no age, no country, and no form of civilization, not Greece, nor Rome, nor Spain, nor the Netherlands, in the days of their glory, possessed such maladies.” Not in their glories, that is.

to solve it in all its interlacings, to unfold its marvellous phenomena and trace them back to their sources and forward to their future developments, is to solve the problem of sociology itself.” [!!!]

Among the signs of American nervousness specially worthy of attention are the following: The nervous diathesis [degenerescência genética, i.e., uma suposta maior vulnerabilidade a doenças dos nervos decorrente da debilidade dos progenitores]; susceptibility to stimulants and narcotics and various drugs, and consequent necessity of temperance¹ [e ainda chama essa abordagem de sociológica sem levar em conta o fator cultural?]; increase of the nervous diseases inebriety [alcoolismo ou uma ligeira variação deste – suscetibilidade exagerada –, que o autor diferenciará no segundo capítulo] and neurasthenia (nervous exhaustion), hay-fever, neuralgia [dor crônica nas terminações nervosas], nervous dyspepsia [indigestão], asthenopia [fadiga ocular e dores de cabeça derivadas] and allied diseases and symptoms [bem específico…]; early and rapid decay of teeth [já fez seu Amil Dental?]; premature baldness; sensitiveness to cold and heat; increase of diseases not exclusively nervous, as diabetes and certain forms of Bright’s disease of the kidneys and chronic catarrhs; unprecedented beauty of American women; frequency of trance and muscle-reading [a tênue linha entre a paranormalidade e simples efeitos de indução eletromagnética]; the strain of dentition, puberty, and change of life; American oratory, humor [haha!], speech, and language; change in type of disease during the past half-century, and the greater intensity of animal life on this continent. [???]

¹ Ah, obviamente Sêneca e Epicuro concordariam contigo!

longevity has increased, and in all ages brain-workers have, on the average, been long-lived, the very greatest geniuses being the longest-lived of all.” “the law of the relation of age to work, by which it is shown that original brain-work is done mostly in youth and early and middle life, the latter decades being reserved for work requiring simply experience and routine.” Pequena confusão entre decaimento fisiológico e e incorporação da experiência como forma de reduzir o esforço mental!

Poetas românticos não usavam a cabeça? Pois sua efemeridade é mais-que-popular…

in all our cyclopedias of medicine, the terms hysteria, somnambulism, ecstasy, catalepsy, mimicry of disease, spinal congestion, incipient ataxy, epilepsy, spasms and congestions, anemias and hyperemias, alcoholism, spinal irritation, spinal exhaustion, cerebral paresis, cerebral exhaustion and irritation, nervousness and imagination [!] are thrown together recklessly, confusedly, hopelessly as in a witches cauldron; and in all, and through all, one shall look vainly—save here and there, for an intelligent and differential description of neurasthenia, the most frequent, the most important, the most interesting nervous disease of our time, or of any time

still our medical graduates, after years spent in listening to lectures, must wait for their diploma before they are even ready to begin the study of this side of the nervous system. Meantime the literature of ataxia [desarranjo da coordenação motora], which is but an atom compared with the world of functional nervous diseases, has risen and is yet rising with infinite repetitions and revolutions to volumes and volumes.”

So far as I know, there has been no hostile criticism of this philosophy in Germany, but in England, even now, these views are not unanimously sustained.” Nazistas retesados.


Trance, with its numerous, interesting and intricate phenomena, a condition that has been known in all ages, and among almost all people, is not nervousness, albeit nervous people are sometimes subject to it. See my work on Trance [não muito interessado, mas obrigado assim mesmo!], in which this distinction between physiology and psychology is discussed more fully and variously illustrated.” “This interesting survival of the Middle Ages that we have right here with us today, is the most forcible single illustration that I know of, of the distinction between unbalanced mental organization and nervousness. These Jumpers are precious curiosities, relics or antiques that the 14th century has, as it were, dropped right into the middle of the 19th. The phenomena of the Jumpers are as interesting, scientifically, as any phenomena can be, but they aren’t contributions to American nervousness.

Brainlessness (excess of emotion over intellect) is, indeed, to nervousness, what idiocy is to insanity”

Nervousness is not passionateness. A person who easily gets excited or angry, is often called nervous. One of the signs, and in some cases, one of the first signs of real nervousness, is mental irritability, a disposition to become fretted over trifles; but in a majority of instances, passionate persons are healthy—their exhibitions of anger are the expression of normal emotions, and not in any sense evidences of disease, although they may be made worse by disease, either functional or organic. Nervousness is nervelessness—a lack of nerve-force.” “In medical science we are forced to retain terminology that is in the last degree unscientific, for the same reason that we retain our orthography, which in the English language is, as all know, very bad indeed.” <Febre da grama> realmente não é muito literal!

fear of lightning, or fear of responsibility, of open places or of closed places, fear of society, fear of being alone, fear of fears, fear of contamination, fear of everything, deficient mental control, lack of decision in trifling matters, hopelessness, deficient thirst and capacity for assimilating fluids, abnormalities of the secretions, salivation, tenderness of the spine, and of the whole body, sensitiveness to cold or hot water, sensitiveness to changes in the weather, coccyodynia, pains in the back, heaviness of the loins and limbs, shooting pains simulating those of ataxia, cold hands and feet, pain in the feet, localized peripheral numbness and hypersesthesia, tremulous and variable pulse and palpitation of the heart, special idiosyncrasies in regard to food, medicines, and external irritants, local spasms of muscles, difficulty of swallowing, convulsive movements, especially on going to sleep, cramps [cãibras ou cólicas], a feeling of profound exhaustion unaccompanied by positive pain, coming and going, ticklishness [hiperdelicadeza ou sensibilidade; em sentido mais estrito, facilidade para sentir comichão ou cócegas], vague pains and flying neuralgias, general or local itching, general and local chills and flashes of heat [calafrios e ondas de calor esporádicos], attacks of temporary paralysis, pain in the perineum, involuntary emissions, partial or complete impotence, irritability of the prostatic urethra, certain functional diseases of women [vague!], excessive gaping and yawning [bocejar exagerado], rapid decay and irregularities of the teeth, oxalates, urates, phosphates and spermatozoa in the urine, vertigo or dizziness, explosions in the brain at the back of the neck [?!], dribbling and incontinence of urine [incontinência urinária e seu reverso, alternados], frequent urination, choreic movements of different parts of the body, trembling of the muscles or portions of the muscles in different parts of the body, exhaustion after defecation and urination, dryness of the hair, falling away of the hair and beard, slow reaction of the skin, etc. Dr. Neisser, of Breslau, while translating my work on Nervous Exhaustion into German, wrote me that the list of symptoms was not exhaustive. This criticism is at once accepted, and was long ago anticipated. An absolutely exhaustive catalogue of the manifestations of the nervously exhausted state cannot be prepared, since every case differs somewhat from every other case.”

There are millionnaires of nerve-force—those who never know what it is to be tired out, or feel that their energies are expended, who can write, preach, or work with their hands many hours, without ever becoming fatigued, who do not know by personal experience what the term <exhaustion> means; and there are those—and their numbers are increasing daily—who, without being absolutely sick, without being, perhaps for a lifetime, ever confined to the bed a day with acute disorder, are yet very poor in nerve-force; their inheritance is small, and they have been able to increase it but slightly, if at all; and if from overtoil, or sorrow, or injury, they overdraw their little surplus, they may find that it will require months or perhaps years to make up the deficiency, if, indeed they ever accomplish the task. The man with a small income is really rich, as long as there is no overdraft on the account; so the nervous man may be really well and in fair working order as long as he does not draw on his limited store of nerve-force. But a slight mental disturbance, unwonted toil or exposure, anything out of and beyond his usual routine, even a sleepless night, may sweep away that narrow margin, and leave him in nervous bankruptcy, from which he finds it as hard to rise as from financial bankruptcy.”

Hence we see that neurasthenics who can pursue without any special difficulty the callings of their lives, even those callings requiring great and prolonged activity, amid perhaps very considerable excitement, as that of statesmanship, politics, business, commercial life, or in overworked professions, are prostrated at once when they are called upon to do something outside of their line, where their force must travel by paths that have never been opened and in which the obstructions are numerous and can only be overcome by greater energy than they can supply.” The purpose of treatment in cases of nervous exhaustion is of a two-fold character— to widen the margin of nerve-force, and to teach the patient how to keep from slipping over the edge.”

Our title is justified by this, that if once we understand the causes and consequences of American nervousness, the problems connected with the nervousness of other lands speedily solve themselves.” The philosophy of Germany has penetrated to all civilized nations; in all directions we are becoming Germanized. Similarly, the nervousness of America is extending over Europe, which, in certain countries, at least, is becoming rapidly Americanized. Just as it is impossible to treat of German thought without intelligent reference to the thought of other nationalities, ancient or modern, so is it impossible to solve the problem of American nervousness without taking into our estimate the nervousness of other lands and ages. [Acaba de contradizer o grifado em verde!]”


Indeed, nervousness, in its extreme manifestations, seems to save one from these organic incurable diseases of the brain and of the cord; with some exceptions here and there, the neurasthenic does not go into or die of nervous disease.” They may become insane—some of them do; they may become bed-confined invalids; they may be forced, as they often are, to resign their occupations, but they do not, as rule, develop the structural maladies to which here refer.” nervousness is a physical not a mental state, and its phenomena do not come from emotional excess or excitability or from organic disease but from nervous debility and irritability.”


No one dies of spinal irritation; no one dies of cerebral irritation; no one dies of hay-fever; rarely one dies of hysteria; no one dies of general neuralgia; no one dies of sick-headache; no one dies of nervous dyspepsia; quite rarely does one die of nervous exhaustion; and even when these conditions are the cause of death they are not noted as such in the tables of mortality” Nervousness of constitution is, indeed, an aid to longevity, and in various ways; it compels caution, makes imperative the avoidance of evil habits, and early warns us of the approach of peril.” Wickedness was solemnly assigned as the cause of the increase of nervous diseases, as though wickedness were a modern discovery.” nervous diathesis—an evolution of the nervous temperament.” “It includes those temperaments, commonly designated as nervous, in whom there exists a predisposition to neuralgia, dyspepsia, chorea, sick-headache, functional paralysis, hysteria, hypochondriasis, insanity, or other of the many symptoms of disease of the central or peripheral nervous system.”

A fine organization. The fine organization is distinguished from the coarse by fine, soft hair, delicate skin, nicely chiselled features [bem-cinzelada ou esculpida – somos belos!], small bones, tapering extremities [membros pontiagudos, i.e., que se afunilam nas mãos e nos pés, na canela e no antebraço!], and frequently by a muscular system comparatively small and feeble. It is frequently associated with superior intellect, and with a strong and active emotional nature.” “It is the organization of the civilized, refined, and educated, rather than of the barbarous and low-born and untrained”

The nervous diathesis appears, within certain limits, to protect the system against attacks of fever and inflammation.” Isso explicaria porque só tive febre uma vez desde a idade adulta.

The tuberculous diathesis frequently accompanies a fine organization; but fine organizations only in a certain proportion of cases have a tuberculous diathesis. The nervous diathesis is frequently not only not susceptible to tuberculosis, but apparently much less so than the average, and sometimes, indeed, seems to be antagonistic to it, for there are many nervous patients in whom no amount of exposure or hardship or imprudence seems to be able to develop phthisis [tísica]” Devo acrescentar alguma imunidade ao câncer?

Among Americans of the higher orders, those who live in-doors, drinking is becoming a lost art; among these classes drinking customs are now historic, must be searched for, read or talked about, like extinct or dying-away species.” There is, perhaps, no single fact in sociology more instructive and far reaching than this, and this is but a fraction of the general and sweeping fact that the heightened sensitiveness of Americans forces them to abstain entirely, or to use in incredible and amusing moderation, not only the stronger alcoholic liquors, whether pure or impure, but also the milder wines, ales, and beers, and even tea and coffee.”

I replied that there were very few nervous patients who were not injured by it, and very few who would not find it out without the aid of any physician. Our fathers could smoke, our mothers could smoke, but their children must oft-times be cautious; and chewing is very rapidly going out of custom, and will soon, like snuff-taking, become a historic curiosity; while cigars give way to cigarettes. From the cradle to the grave the Chinese empire smokes, and when a sick man in China has grown so weak that he no longer asks for his pipe, they give up hope, and expect him to die. Savage tribes without number drink most of the time when not sleeping or fighting, and without suffering alcoholism, or without ever becoming inebriates [!]” But 50 years ago opium produced sleep; now the same dose keeps us awake, like coffee or tea—susceptibility to this drug has been revolutionized.” Thus the united forces of climate and civilization are pressing us back from one stimulant to another, until, like babes, we find no safe retreat save in chocolate and milk and water.”

Reprove an Angola negro for being drunk and he will reply, <My mother is dead,> as though that were excuse enough. Even as recently as the beginning of the present century, the custom of drinking at funerals yet survived with our fathers. At the present time both culture and conscience are opposed to such habits.”

It is through the alcohol, and not the adulterations, that excessive drinking injures.” This functional malady of the nervous system which we call inebriety, as distinguished from the vice or habit of drunkenness, may be said to have been born in America, has here developed sooner and far more rapidly than elsewhere, and here also has received earlier and more successful attention from men of science.” For those individuals who inherit a tendency to inebriety, the only safe course is absolute abstinence, especially in early life; and in certain cases treatment of the nervous system, on the exhaustion of which the inebriety depends.”

AQUILO QUE NENHUMA REVISTA DE NUTRIÇÃO DIRÁ: “we so often find not only epileptics, but neurasthenics and nervous persons with other symptoms, are free and sometimes excessive eaters. They say their food does not give them strength, and it does not, for the same reason that the acid poured into the impure fluid of the battery does not give us electric force. There are those who all their lives are habitually small eaters and yet are great workers, and there are those who, though all their lives great eaters, are never strong; their food is either not digested or thoroughly assimilated, and so a much smaller fraction than should be is converted into nerve-force.”

In all the great cities of the East, among the brain-working classes of our large cities everywhere, pork, in all its varieties and preparations, has taken a subordinate place among the meats upon our tables, for the reason that the stomach of the brain-worker cannot digest it.”

Four and 5 meals a day is, or has been, the English and, notably, the German custom. Foreigners have greatly surpassed us in the taking of solid as well as liquid food.”

The eyes also are good barometers of our nervous civilization. The increase of asthenopia and short-sightedness [miopia], and, in general, of the functional disorders of the eye, are demonstrated facts and are most instructive. The great skill and great number of our oculists are constant proof and suggestions of the nervousness of our age. The savage can usually see well; myopia is a measure of civilization.” “near-sightedness increases in schools” Macnamara declares that he took every opportunity of examining the eyes of Southall aborigines of Bengal, for the purpose of discovering whether near-sightedness and diseases of like character existed among them, and he asserts that he never saw a young Southall whose eyes were not perfect.”

at the age of 20, 26% of Americans are near-sighted. In Russia, 42%, and in Germany, 62%.” A nação mais intelectual do mundo.

American dentists are the best in the world, because American teeth are the worst in the world.”

Irregularities of teeth, like their decay, are the product primarily of civilization, secondarily of climate. These are rarely found among the Indians or the Chinese; and, according to Dr. Kingsley, are rare even in idiots”

It is probable that negroes are troubled earlier than Indians. The popular impression that negroes always have good teeth is erroneous—the contrast between the whiteness of the teeth and the blackness of the face tending not a little to flatter them.”

Coarse races and peoples, and coarse individuals can go with teeth badly broken down without being aware of it from any pain; whereas, in a finely organized constitution, the very slightest decay in the teeth excites pain which renders filling or extracting imperative. The coarse races and coarse individuals are less disturbed by the bites of mosquitoes, by the presence of flies or of dirt on the body, than those in whom the nervous diathesis prevails”

It is said, for example, of the negroes of the South, that they rarely if ever sneeze.”

Special explanations without number have been offered for this long-observed phenomenon—the early and rapid decay of American teeth—such as the use of sweets, the use of acids, neglect of cleanliness, and the use of food that requires little mastication. But they who urge these special facts to account for the decay of teeth of our civilization would, by proper inquiry, learn that the savages and negroes, and semi-barbarians everywhere, in many cases use sweets far more than we, and never clean their mouths, and never suffer, except in old age.”

the only races that have poor teeth are those who clean them.” Quando o remédio vem mais tarde que a doença.

Among savages in all parts of the earth baldness is unusual, except in extreme age, and gray hairs come much later than with us. So common is baldness in our large cities that what was once a deformity and exception is now almost the rule, and an element of beauty.”

Increased sensitiveness to both heat and cold is a noteworthy sign of nervousness.”

Cold bathing is not borne as well as formerly.” “Water treatment is as good for some forms of nervous disease as it ever was; but it must be adapted to the constitution of the patient, and adapted also to the peculiar needs of each case.”

The disease, state, or condition to which the term neurasthenia is applied is subdivisible, just as insanity is subdivided into general paresis or general paralysis of the insane, epileptic insanity, hysterical, climatic, and puerperal insanity; just as the disease or condition that we call trance is subdivided into clinical varieties, such as intellectual trance, induced trance, cataleptic trance, somnambulistic trance, emotional trance, ecstatic trance, etc.

That diabetes is largely if not mainly a nervous disease is becoming more and more the conviction of all medical thinkers, and that, like Bright’s disease, it has increased of late, can be proved by statistics that in this respect are in harmony with observation.”

A ERA DA RINITE E DAS ALERGIAS: “A single branch of our neurological tree, hay-fever, has in it the material for years of study; he who understands that, understands the whole problem. In the history of nervous disease I know not where to look for anything as extraordinary or instructive as the rise and growth of hay-fever in the USA.”

Catarrh of the nose and nasal pharyngeal states — so-called nasal and pharyngeal catarrh — is not a nervous disease, in the strict sense of the term, but there is often a nervous element in it; and in the marked and obstinate forms it is, like decay and irregularities of the teeth, one of the signs or one of the nerve-symptoms of impairment of nutrition and decrease of vital force which make us unable to resist change of climate and extremes of temperature.”

The phenomenal beauty of the American girl of the highest type, is a subject of the greatest interest both to the psychologist and the sociologist, since it has no precedent, in recorded history, at least; and it is very instructive in its relation to the character and the diseases of America.”

The same climatic peculiarities that make us nervous also make us handsome”

In no other country are the daughters pushed forward so rapidly, so early sent to school, so quickly admitted into society; the yoke of social observance (if it may be called such), must be borne by them much sooner than by their transatlantic sisters — long before marriage they have had much experience in conversation and in entertainment, and have served as queens in social life, and assumed many of the responsibilities and activities connected therewith. Their mental faculties in the middle range being thus drawn upon, constantly from childhood, they develop rapidly a cerebral activity both of an emotional and an intellectual nature, that speaks in the eyes and forms the countenance; thus, fineness of organization, the first element of beauty, is supplemented by expressiveness of features — which is its second element”

Handsome women are found here and there in Great Britain, and rarely in Germany; more frequently in France and in Austria, in Italy and Spain”

One cause, perhaps, of the almost universal homeliness of female faces among European works of art is the fact that the best of the masters never saw a handsome woman.” Esqueceu da relatividade histórica do tipo belo!

If Raphael had been wont to see everyday in Rome or Naples what he would now see everyday in New York, Baltimore, or Chicago, it would seem probable that, in his Sistine Madonna he would have preferred a face of, at least, moderate beauty, to the neurasthenic and anemic type that is there represented. [?]”

To the first and inevitable objection that will be made to all here said — namely, that beauty is a relative thing, the standard of which varies with age, race, and individual — the answer is found in the fact that the American type is today more adored in Europe than in America; that American girls are more in demand for foreign marriages than any other nationality; and that the professional beauties of London that stand highest are those who, in appearance and in character have come nearest the American type.” Isso se chama cultura hegemônica, e não um argumento de defesa – e um pouco de chauvinismo também…

The ruddiness or freshness, the health-suggesting and health-sustaining face of the English girl seem incomparable when partially veiled, or when a few rods away” HAHA. Uma obra não muito recomendável na parte estética… Beleza EXÓTICA!

The European woman steps with a firmer tread than the American, and with not so much lightness, pliancy, and grace. In a multitude, where both nations are represented, this difference is impressive.”

The grasp of the European woman is firmer and harder, as though on account of greater strength and firmness of muscle. In the touch of the hand of the American woman there is a nicety and tenderness that the English woman destroys by the force of the impact.”


Punctuality is a greater thief of nervous force than is procrastination of time. We are under constant strain, mostly unconscious, often-times in sleeping as well as in waking hours, to get somewhere or do something at some definite moment.”

In Constantinople indolence is the ideal, as work is the ideal in London and New York”

There are those who prefer, or fancy they prefer, the sensations of movement and activity to the sensations of repose”

The telegraph is a cause of nervousness the potency of which is little understood. (…) prices fluctuated far less rapidly, and the fluctuations which now are transmitted instantaneously over the world were only known then by the slow communication of sailing vessels or steamships” “every cut in prices in wholesale lines in the smallest of any of the Western cities, becomes known in less than an hour all over the Union; thus competition is both diffused and intensified.”

Rhythmical, melodious, musical sounds are not only agreeable, but when not too long maintained are beneficial, and may be ranked among our therapeutical agencies.”

The experiments, inventions, and discoveries of Edison alone have made and are now making constant and exhausting draughts on the nervous forces of America and Europe, and have multiplied in very many ways, and made more complex and extensive, the tasks and agonies not only of practical men, but of professors and teachers and students everywhere” Um tanto utópico e nostálgico para um “médico pragmático”…

On the mercantile or practical side the promised discoveries and inventions of this one man have kept millions of capital and thousand of capitalists in suspense and distress on both sides of the sea.”

the commerce of the Greeks, of which classical histories talk so much, was more like play — like our summer yachting trips”

The gambler risks usually all that he has; while the stock buyer risks very much more than he has. The stock buyer usually has a certain commercial, social, and religious position, which is thrown into the risk, in all his ventures”

as the civilized man is constantly kept in check by the inhibitory power of the intellect, he appears to be far less emotional than the savage, who, as a rule, with some exceptions, acts out his feelings with comparatively little restraint.”

Love, even when gratified, is a costly emotion; when disappointed, as it is so often likely to be, it costs still more, drawing largely, in the growing years of both sexes, on the margin of nerve-force, and thus becomes the channel through which not a few are carried on to neurasthenia, hysteria, epilepsy, or insanity.”

A modern philosopher of the most liberal school states that he hates to hear one laugh aloud, regarding the habit, as he declares, a survival of barbarism.”

There are two institutions that are almost distinctively American — political elections and religious revivals”

My friend, presidents and politicians are chips and foam on the surface of the sea; they are not the sea; tossed up by the tide and left on the shore, but they are not the tide; fold your arms and go to bed, and most of the evils of this world will correct themselves, and, of those that remain, few will be modified by anything that you or I can do.”

The experiment attempted on this continent of making every man, every child, and every woman an expert in politics and theology is one of the costliest of experiments with living human beings, and has been drawing on our surplus energies with cruel extravagance for 100 years.” Agora, 250…

Protestantism, with the subdivision into sects which has sprung from it, is an element in the causation of the nervous diseases of our time. No Catholic country is very nervous, and partly for this—that in a Catholic nation the burden of religion is carried by the church.” Coitado do Brasil, trocando o certo pelo duvidoso assim…

The difference between Canadians and Americans is observed as soon as we cross the border, the Catholic church and a limited monarchy acting as antidotes to neurasthenia and allied affections. Protestant England has imitated Catholicism, in a measure, by concentrating the machinery of religion and taking away the burden from the people. It is stated —although it is supposed that this kind of statistics are unreliable— that in Italy insanity has been on the increase during these few years in which there has been civil and religious liberty in that country.”

The anxieties about the future, family, property, etc., are certainly so wearing on the negro, that some of them, without doubt, have expressed a wish to return to slavery.”

advances in science are not usually made by committees—indeed, are almost never made by them, least of all by government committees”

The people of this country have been pressed constantly with these 3 questions: How shall we keep from starving? Who is to be the next president? And where shall we go when we die? In a limited, narrow way, other nations have met these questions; at least two of them, that of starvation and that of the future life; but nowhere in ancient or modern civilization have these 3 questions been agitated so severely or brought up with such energy as here.”

Those who have acquired or have inherited wealth, are saved an important percentage of this forecasting and fore-worry”

The barbarian cares nothing for the great problems of life; seeks no solution — thinks of no solution of the mysteries of nature, and, after the manner of many reasoners in modern delusions, dismisses what he cannot at once comprehend as supernatural, and leaves it unsatisfactorily solved for himself, for others, and for all time”

Little account has been made of the fact that the old world is small geographically. The ancient Greeks knew only of Greece and the few outside barbarians who tried to destroy them. The discovery of America, like the invention of printing, prepared the way for modern nervousness; and, in connection with the telegraph, the railway, and the periodical press increased a hundred-fold the distresses of humanity.” The burning of Chicago—a city less than half a century old, on a continent whose existence was unknown a few centuries ago—becomes in a few hours the property of both hemispheres, and makes heavy drafts on the vitality not only of Boston and New York, but of London, Paris, and Vienna.”

Letter-writing is an index of nervousness; those nations who writes the most letters being the most nervous, and those who write scarcely at all, as the Turks and Russians, knowing nothing or but very little of it.”

The education of the Athenian boy consisted in play and games and songs, and repetitions of poems, and physical feats in the open air. His life was a long vacation, in which, as a rule, he rarely toiled as hard as the American lad in the intervals of his toil. (…) What they called work, gymnastics, competition games, and conversations on art and letters, is to us recreation.”

Up to a certain point work develops capacity for work; through endurance is evolved the power of greater endurance; force becomes the parent of force. But here, as in all animate nature, there are limitations of development which cannot be passed. The capacity of the nervous system for sustained work and worry has not increased in proportion to the demands for work and worry that are made upon it.”

GREEN COMMENT LAND: “Continuous and uniform cold as in Greenland, like continuous and uniform heat as on the Amazon, produces enervation and languor; but repeated alternations of the cold of Greenland and the heat of the Amazon produce energy, restlessness, and nervousness.”

The element of dryness of the air, peculiar of our climate as distinguished from that of Europe, both in Great Britain and on the Continent, is of the highest scientific and practical interest.” “On the nervous system this unusual dryness and thinness of the air have a many-sided influence; such as increase of headaches, neuralgias, and diminished capacity for sustaining cerebral toil.” The organs, pianos, and violins of America are superior to those made in Europe at the present time. This superiority is the result, not so much of greater skill, ingenuity, or experience, but—so far as I can learn, from conversing with experts in this line—from the greater dryness of the air, which causes the wood to season better than in the moist atmosphere of Europe.”

Moisture conducts electricity, and an atmosphere well charged with moisture, other conditions being the same, will tend to keep the electricity in a state of equilibrium, since it allows free and ready conduction at all times and in all directions.” In regions where the atmosphere is excessively dry, as in the Rocky Mountains, human beings—indeed all animals, become constantly acting lightning-rods, liable at any moment to be made a convenient pathway through which electricity going to or from the earth seeks an equilibrium.”

in the East our neuralgic and rheumatic patients, just before thunder-storms, are suddenly attacked by exquisite pains that at once disappear with the fair weather. There are those so sensitive that for 100 miles, and for a full day in advance, as Dr. Mitchell has shown, they can predict the approach of a storm.”

Dryness of the air, whether external or internal, likewise excites nervousness by heightening the rapidity of the processes of waste and repair in the organism, so that we live faster than in a moist atmosphere.”

one of the Manchester mill owners asserted that, during a season of dry weather, there was, in weaving alone, a loss of 5%, in quantity, and another loss of 5%, in quality; in spinning, also, an equal loss is claimed. To maintain moisture in mills, sundry devices have been tried, which have met, I believe, with partial success in practice.”

Even in our perfect Octobers, on days that are pictures of beauty and ideals of climate — just warm enough to be agreeable and stimulating enough not to be depressing, we yet remain in the house far more than Europeans are wont to do even in rainy or ugly seasons.” So what, Mr. Productive Media?

The English know nothing of summer, as we know of it — they have no days when it is dangerous, and scarcely any days when it is painful to walk or ride in the direct rays of the sun; and in winter, spring, and fall there are few hours when one cannot by proper clothing keep warm while moderately exercising.”

The Kuro Siwo stream of the Pacific, with its circuit of 18,000 miles, carries the warm water of the tropics towards the poles, and regulates in a manner the climate of Japan. Mr. Croll estimates that if the Gulf Stream were to stop, the annual temperature of London would fall 30 degrees [Farenheit], and England would become as cold as Nova Zembla. It is the influence of the Gulf Stream that causes London, that is 11° farther north than New York, to have an annual mean temperature but 2° lower.”

According to Miss Isabella Bird, who has recently published a work entitled Unbeaten Tracks in Japan, which is not only the very best work ever written on Japan, but one of the most remarkable works of travel ever written by man or woman, it seems that the Japanese suffer both from extremes of heat and cold, from deep snows and ice, and from the many weeks of sultriness such as oppress us in the US. The atmosphere of Japan is though far more moist than that of America, in that respect resembling some of the British Isles”

Our Meteorological Bureau has justified its existence and labors by demonstrating and popularizing the fact that our waves of extreme heat and of extreme cold and severe climatic perturbations of various kinds are born in or pass from the Pacific through these mountains and travel eastward, and hence their paths can be followed and their coming can be predicted with a measure of certainty.”

in the latter part of the winter and early spring—or what passes for spring, which is really a part of winter, and sometimes its worse part—there is more suffering from cold, more liability to disease, by taking cold, and more debility from long confinement in dry and overheated air than in early and mid-winter”

the strong races, like the Hebrews and Anglo-Saxons, succeed in nearly all climates, and are dominant wherever they go; but in unlimited or very extended time, race is a result of climate and environment.”

Savages may go to the most furious excesses without developing any nervous disease; they may gorge themselves, or they may go without eating for a week, they may rest in camp or they may go upon laborious campaigns, and yet never have nervous dyspepsia, sick-headache, hay-fever, or neuralgia.”

No people in the world are so careful of their diet, the quality and quantity of their food, and in regard to their habits of drinking, as the very class of Americans who suffer most from these neuroses.”

Alcohol only produces inebriety when it acts on a nervous system previously made sensitive. Alcoholism and inebriety are the products not of alcohol, but of alcohol plus a certain grade of nerve degeneration.”

But bad air, that is, air simply made impure by the presence of human beings, without any special contagion, seems powerless to produce disease of any kind, unless the system be prepared for it. Not only bad air, but bad air and filth combined, the Chinese of the lower orders endure both in this country and their own, and are not demonstrably harmed thereby (…) but impure air, plus a constitution drawn upon and weakened by civilization, is an exciting cause of nervous disease of immense force.”

The philosophy of the causation of American nervousness may be expressed in algebraic formula as follows: civilization in general + American civilization in particular (young and rapidly growing nation, with civil, religious, and social liberty) + exhausting climate (extremes of heat and cold, and dryness) + the nervous diathesis (itself a result of previously named factors) + overwork or overworry, or excessive indulgence of appetites or passions = an attack of neurasthenia or nervous exhaustion.”

Dr. Habsch, the chief oculist in Constantinople, says that the effect of tobacco upon the eyes is very problematical; that everybody smokes from morning to night, the men a great deal, the women a little less than the men, and the children smoke from the age of 7 and 8 years. He states that the number of cases of amaurosis [cegueira] is very limited. If expert oculists would examine the eyes of the Chinese, who smoke quite as much as the Turks, if not more, and smoke opium as well as tobacco, they would unquestionably confirm the conclusion of Dr. Habsch among the Turks. Dr. Habsch believes that in persons with a very delicate skin and conjunctiva [membrana mucosa que liga as pálpabras com o tecido ocular propriamente dito] among the Turks, smoking frequently causes chronic irritation, local congestion, profuse lachrymation, blepharitis ciliaris [inflamação dos cílios], and more or less intense redness of the eyelids. (cf. Dr. Webster on Amblyopia [Perda de visão] from the Use of Tobacco) [livro inexistente na web]”

The Hollanders, according to a most expert traveller, Edmondo De Amicis, are the greatest smokers of Europe; on entering a house, with the first greeting you are offered a cigar, and when you leave another is handed to you; many retire with a pipe in their mouth, re-light it if they awake during the night; they measure distances by smoke – to such a place by not so many miles but by so many pipes.” “Says one Hollander, smoke is our second breath; says another, the cigar is the 6th finger of the hand.”

Opium eating in China does not work in the way that the same habit does in the white races.” “when it is said of a Chinaman that he smokes opium, it is meant that he smokes to excess and has a morbid craving for it, just as with us the expression a man drinks means that he drinks too much”

It is clear that the habit of taking opium does not necessarily impair fertility, since large families are known among those who use opium, even to excess.”

Among my nervous patients I find very many who cannot digest vegetables, but must use them with much caution; but all China lives on vegetables, and indigestion is not a national disease. Many of the Chinese live in undrained grounds, in conditions favorable to ague and various fevers, but they do not suffer from these diseases, nor from diseases of the lungs and bronchial tubes, to the same extent as foreign residents there who do not use opium.”

I have been twice favored with the chance to study Africa in America. On the sea islands of the South, between Charleston and Savannah, there are thousands of negroes, once slaves, most of whom were born on those islands, who there will die, and who at no time have been brought into relation with our civilization, except so far as it is exhibited in a very few white inhabitants in the vicinity. Intellectually, they can be not very much in advance of their African ancestors; in looks and manners they remind me of the Zulus now exhibiting in America; for although since emancipation they have been taught by philanthropists, part of the time under governmental supervision, some of the elements of common school teaching, yet none of them have made, or are soon likely to make, any very important progress beyond those elements, and few, if any of them, even care to exercise the art of reading after it is taught them. Here, then, is a bit of barbarism at our door-steps; here, with our own eyes, and with the aid of those who live near them and employ them, I have sought for the facts of comparative neurology. There is almost no insanity among these negroes; there is no functional nervous disease or symptoms among them of any name or phase; to suggest spinal irritation, or hysteria of the physical form, or hay-fever, or nervous dyspepsia among these people is but to joke.” These primitive people can go, when required, for weeks and months sleeping but 1 or 2 hours out of the 24; they can labor for all day, or for 2 days, eating nothing or but little; hog and hominy and lish, all the year round, they can eat without getting dyspepsia; indulgence of passions several-fold greater, at least, than is the habit of the whites, either there or here, never injures them either permanently or temporarily; if you would find a virgin among them, it is said you must go to the cradle; alcohol, when they can get it, they drink with freedom, and become intoxicated like the whites, but rarely, indeed, manifest the symptoms of delirium-tremens, and never of chronic alcoholism”

These blacks cannot summon as much energy for a moment in an emergency as the whites, since they have less control over their energies, but in holding-on power, in sustained, continuous, unbroken muscular endurance, for hours and days, they surpass the whites.”

The West is where the East was a quarter of a century ago—passing more rapidly, as it would appear, through the same successive stages of development.”


Without civilization there can be no nervousness; there is no race, no climate, no environment that can make nervousness and nervous disease possible and common save when reenforced by brain-work and worry and in-door life. This is the dark and, so far as it goes, truthful side of our theme; the brighter side is to be drawn in the present chapter.

Thomas Hughes, in his Life of Alfred the Great, makes a statement that <the world’s hardest workers and noblest benefactors have rarely been long-lived>. That any intelligent writer of the present day should make a statement so untrue shows how hard it is to destroy an old superstition.

The remark is based on the belief which has been held for centuries that the mind can be used only at the injurious expense of the body. This belief has been something more than a mere popular prejudice; it has been a professional dogma, and has inspired nearly all the writers on hygiene since medicine has been a science; and intellectual and promising youth have thereby been dissuaded from entering brain-working professions; and thus, much of the choicest genius has been lost to civilization; students in college have abandoned plans of life to which their tastes inclined, and gone to the farm or workshop; authors, scientists, and investigators in the several professions have thrown away the accumulated experience of the better half of life, and retired to pursuits as uncongenial as they were profitless. The delusion has, therefore, in 2 ways, wrought evil, specifically by depriving the world of the services of some of its best endowed natures, and generally by fostering a habit of accepting statement for demonstration.

Between 1864 and 1866 I obtained statistics on the general subject of the relation of occupation to health and longevity that convinced me of the error of the accepted teachings in regard to the effect of mental labor.”

The views I then advocated, and which I enforced by statistical evidence were:

1st. That the brain-working classes—clergymen, lawyers, physicians, merchants, scientists, and men of letters, lived much longer than the muscle-working classes.

2nd. That those who followed occupations that called both muscle and brain into exercise, were longer-lived than those who lived in occupations that were purely manual.

3rd. That the greatest and hardest brain-workers of history have lived longer on the average than brain-workers of ordinary ability and industry.

4th. That clergymen were longer-lived than any other great class of brain-workers. [QUE PRAGA!]

5th. That longevity increased very greatly with the advance of civilization; and that this increase was too marked to be explained merely by improved sanitary knowledge.

6th. That although nervous diseases increased with the increase of culture, and although the unequal and excessive excitements and anxieties attendant on mental occupations of a high civilization were so far both prejudicial to health and longevity, yet these incidental evils were more than counter-balanced by the fact that fatal inflammatory diseases have diminished in frequency and violence in proportion as nervous diseases have increased; an also that brain-work is, per se, healthful and conducive to longevity.”

the greater majority of those who die in any one of the three great professions — law, theology, and medicine — have, all their lives, from 21 upwards, followed that profession in which they died.”

I have ascertained the longevity of 500 of the greatest men in history. The list I prepared includes a large proportion of the most eminent names in all the departments of thought and activity. (…) the average age of those I have mentioned, I found to be 64.2. (…) the greatest men of the world have lived longer on the average than men of ordinary ability in the different occupations by 14 years” The value of this comparison is enforced by the consideration that longevity has increased with the progress of civilization, while the list I prepared represents every age of recorded history.” “I am sure that any chronology comprising from 100 to 500 of the most eminent personages in history, at any cycle, will furnish an average longevity of from 64 to 70 years. Madden, in his very interesting work The Infirmities of Genius, gives a list of 240 illustrious names, with their ages at death.”

IV comparative longevity of brain-workers

The full explanation of the superior longevity of the brain-working classes would require a treatise on the science of sociology, and particularly of the relation of civilization to health. The leading factors, accounting for the long life of those who live by brain-labor, are:


In the successful brain-worker worry is transferred into work; in the muscle-worker work too often degrades into worry.” “To the happy brain-worker life is a long vacation; while the muscle-worker often finds no joy in his daily toil, and very little in the intervals.”

Longevity is the daughter of comfort. Of the many elements that make up happiness, mental organization, physical health, fancy, friends, and money—the last is, for the average man, greater than any other, except the first.”

for a large number, sleep is a luxury of which they never have sufficient for real recuperation”

The nervous temperament, which usually predominates in brain-workers, is antagonistic to fatal, acute, inflammatory disease, and favorable to long life.”

Nervous people, if not too feeble, may die everyday. They do not die; they talk of death, and each day expect it, and yet they live. Many of the most annoying nervous diseases, especially of the functional, and some even of the structural varieties, do not rapidly destroy life, and are, indeed, consistent with great longevity.”

the nervous man can expose himself to malaria, to cold and dampness, with less danger of disease, and with less danger of death if he should contract disease, than his tough and hardy brother.”

In the conflict with fevers and inflammations, strength is often weakness, and weakness becomes strength—we are saved through debility.”

Still further, my studies have shown that, of distinctively nervous diseases, those which have the worst pathology and are the most hopeless, such as locomotor ataxia, progressive muscular atrophy, apoplexy with hemiplegia, and so on, are more common and more severe, and more fatal among the comparatively vigorous and strong, than among the most delicate and finely organized. Cancer, even, goes hardest with the hardy, and is most relievable in the nervous.”

Women, with all their nervousness—and in civilized lands, women are more nervous, immeasurably, than men, and suffer more from general and special nervous diseases—yet live quite as long as men, if not somewhat longer; their greater nervousness and far greater liability to functional diseases of the nervous system being compensated for by their smaller liability to certain acute and inflammatory disorders, and various organic nervous diseases, likewise, such as the general paralysis of insanity.”

Brain-workers can adapt their labor to their moods and hours and periods of greatest capacity for labor better than muscle-workers. In nearly all intellectual employments there is large liberty; literary and professional men especially, are so far masters of their time that they can select the hours and days for their most exacting and important work; and when from any cause indisposed to hard thinking, can rest and recreate, or limit themselves to mechanical details.”

Forced labor, against the grain of one’s nature, is always as expensive as it is unsatisfactory”

Even coarser natures have their moods, and the choicest spirits are governed by them; and they who worship their moods do most wisely; and those who are able to do so are the fortunate ones of the earth.”

Again, brain-workers do their best work between the ages of 25-45; before that period they are preparing to work; after that period, work, however extensive it may be, becomes largely accumulation and routine.” “It is as hard to lay a stone wall after one has been laying it 50 years as during the first year. The range of muscular growth and development is narrow, compared with the range of mental growth; the day-laborer soon reaches the maximum of his strength. The literary or scientific worker goes on from strength to strength, until what at 25 was impossible, and at 30 difficult, at 35 becomes easy, and at 40 a past-time.”

The number of illustrious names of history is by no means so great as is currently believed; for, as the visible stars of the firmament, which at a glance appear infinite in number, on careful estimate are reduced to a few thousands, so the galaxy of genius, which appears interminable on a comprehensive estimate, presents but few lights of immortal fame. Mr. Galton, in his Hereditary Genius, states that there have not been more than 400 great men in history.”

obscurity is no sure evidence of demerit, but only a probability of such”

Only in rare instances is special or general talent so allied with influence, or favor, or fortune, or energy that commands circumstances, that it can develop its full functions; <things are in the saddle and ride mankind>, environment commands the environed.”

The stars we see in the sky are but mites compared with the infinite orbs that shall never be seen; but no star is a delusion—each one means a world, the light of which very well corresponds to its size and distance from the earth and sun.” “Routine and imitation work can no more confer the fame that comes from work that is original and creative than the moon can take the place of the sun.”

It is this confounding of force with the results of force, of fame with the work by which fame is attained that causes philosophers to dispute, deny, or doubt, or to puzzle over the law of the relation of age to work, as here announced.

When the lightning flashes along the sky, we expect a discharge will soon follow, since light travels faster than sound; so some kinds of fame are more rapidly diffused than others, and are more nearly contemporaneous with their origin; but as a law, there is an interval — varying from years to hundreds of years — between the doing of any original work and the appreciation of that work by any considerable number of mankind that we call fame.

The great men that we know are old men; but they did the work that has made them great when they were young; in loneliness, in poverty, often, as well as under discouragement, and in neglected or despised youth has been achieved all that has advanced, all that is likely to advance mankind.”

In the man of genius, the idea starts where, in the man of routine, it leaves off.”

Original work—that done by geniuses who have thereby attained immortal fame, is the only kind of work that can be used as the measure of cerebral force in all our search for this law of the relation of work to the time of life at which work is done for the two-fold reason—first, that it is the highest and best measure of cerebral force; and, secondly, because it is the only kind of work that gives earthly immortality.”

Men do not long remember, nor do they earnestly reverence those who have done only what everybody can do. We never look up, unless the object at which we look is higher than ourselves; the forces that control the rise and fall of reputation are as inevitable and as remorseless as heat, light, and gravity; if a great man looms up from afar, it is because he is taller than the average man; else, he would pass below the horizon as we receded from him; factitious fame is as impossible as factitious heat, light, or gravity; if there be force, there must have been, somewhere, and at some time, a source whence that force was evolved.”

the strength of a man is his strength at his strongest point—what he can do in any one direction, at his very best. However weak and even puerile, immature, and non-expert one may be in all other directions except one, be gains an immortality of fame if, in that one direction he develops a phenomenal power; weaknesses and wickednesses, serious immoralities and waywardnesses are soon forgotten by the world, which is, indeed, blinded to all these defects in the face of the strong illumination of genius. Judged by their defects, the non-expert side of their character, moral or intellectual, men like Burns,¹ Shakespeare, Socrates, Cicero, Caesar, Napoleon, Beethoven, Mozart, Byron, Dickens, etc., are but as babes or lunatics, and far, very far below the standard of their fellows.”

¹ Poeta escocês, 1759-96.

SOBRE A PRECOCIDADE E “GASTO DA ENERGIA MENTAL”: “Men to whom these truths are repelling put their eyes on those in high positions and in the decline of life, like Disraeli or Gladstone, forgetting that we have no proof that either of these men have ever originated a new thought during the past 25 years, and that in all their contributions to letters during that time there is nothing to survive, or worthy to survive, their authors.

They point to Darwin, the occupation of whose old age has been to gather into form the thoughts and labors of his manhood and youth, and whose only immortal book was the product of his silver and golden decade.”

IV the relation of age to original work

The lives of some great men are not sufficiently defined to differentiate the period, much less the decade or the year of their greatest productive force. Such lives are either rejected, or only the time of death and the time of first becoming famous are noted; very many authors have never told the world when they thought-out or even wrote their masterpieces, and the season of publication is the only date that we can employ. These classes of facts, it will be seen, tell in favor of old rather than of young men, and will make the year of maximum production later rather than earlier, and cannot, therefore, be objected to by those who may doubt my conclusions.”

For those who have died young, and have worked in original lines up to the year of their death, the date of death has sometimes been regarded as sufficient. Great difficulty has been found in proving the dates of the labors of the great names of antiquity, and, therefore, many of them are necessarily excluded from consideration, but in an extended comparison between ancient and modern brain-workers, so far as history makes possible, there was but little or no difference.”

This second or supplementary list was analyzed in the same way as the primary list, and it was found that the law was true of these, as of those of greater distinction. The conclusion is just, scientific, and inevitable, that if we should go down through all the grades of cerebral force, we should find this law prevailing among medium and inferior natures, that the obscure, the dull, and the unaspiring accomplished the little they did in the direction of relatively original work in the brazen and golden decades.” Tenho 8 anos pela frente.

These researches were originally made as far back as 1870, and were first made public in lectures delivered by me before the Long Island Historical Society. The titles of the lectures were, Young Men in History, and the Decline of Moral Principle in Old Age.”

Finally, it should be remarked that the list has been prepared with absolute impartiality, and no name and no date has been included or omitted to prove any theory. The men who have done original or important work in advanced age, such as Dryden,¹ Radetzky,² Moltke,³ Thiers,4 De Foe,5 have all been noted, and are embraced in the average.”

¹ Poeta inglês, 1631-1700.

² Marechal, militar estrategista alemão que combateu inclusive Napoleão, vivendo ativo até uma idade avançada (1766-1858).

³ Provavelmente o Conde Adam Moltke (1710-1792), diplomata dinamarquês. Seu filho foi primeiro-ministro.

4 Marie Adolph –, político e escritor francês, 1797-1877, foi presidente eleito na França após a queda dos Bourbon.

5 Daniel Defoe viveu 71 anos e também foi ensaísta e publicou obras de não-ficção, além de seu maior sucesso.

The golden decade alone represents nearly 1/3 of the original work of the world. (…) The year of maximum productiveness is 39.”

All the athletes with whom I have conversed on this subject, the guides and lumbermen in the woods — those who have always lived solely by muscle — agree substantially to this: that their staying power is better between the ages of 35 and 45, than either before or after. To get the best soldiers, we must rob neither the cradle nor the grave; but select from those decades when the best brain-work of the world is done.”

Original work requires enthusiasm; routine work, experience.” “Unconsciously the people recognize this distinction between the work that demands enthusiasm and that which demands experience, for they prefer old doctors and lawyers, while in the clerical profession, where success depends on the ability to constantly originate and express thought, young men are the more popular, and old men, even of great ability, passed by. In the editorial profession original work is demanded, and most of the editorials of our daily press are written by young men. In the life of every old man there comes a point, sooner or later, when experience ceases to have any educating power; and when, in the language of Wall St., he becomes a bear; in the language of politics, a Bourbon.”

some of the greatest poets, painters, and sculptors, such as Dryden, Richardson, Cowper, Young, De Foe, Titian, Christopher Wren, and Michael Angelo, have done a part of their very best work in advanced life. The imagery both of Bacon and of Burke seemed to increase in richness as they grew older.

In the realm of reason, philosophic thought, invention and discovery, the exceptions are very rare. Nearly all the great systems of theology, metaphysics, and philosophy are the result of work done between 20 and 50.”

Michael Angelo and Sir Christopher Wren could wait for a quarter or even half a century before expressing their thoughts in St. Peter’s or St. Paul’s; but the time of the conception of those thoughts — long delayed in their artistic expression — was the time when their cerebral force touched its highest mark.

In the old age of literary artists, as Carlyle, Dickens, George Elliot, or Tennyson, the form may be most excellent; but from the purely scientific side the work though it may be good, is old; a repetition often-times, in a new form, of what they have said many times before.”

The philosophy of Bacon can never be written but once; to re-write it, to present it a 2nd time, in a different dress, would indicate weakness, would seem almost grotesque; but to statuary and painting we return again and again; we allow the artist to re-portray his thought, no matter how many times; we visit in succession a hundred cathedrals, all very much alike; and a delicious melody grows more pleasing with repetition; whence it is that in poetry — the queen of the arts — old age has wrought little, or not at all, since the essence of poetry is creative thought, and old age is unable to think; whence, also, in acting — the oldest of all the arts, the servant of all — the best experts are often at their best, or not far below their best, save for the acquisition of new characters, in the iron and wooden decades.”

Similarly with the art of writing—the style, the dress, the use of words, the art of expressing thoughts, and not of thinking. Men who have done their best thinking before 40 have done their best writing after that period.” it is thought, and not the language of thought, that best tests the creative faculties.”

The conversation of old men of ability, before they have passed into the stage of imbecility, is usually richer and more instructive than the conversation of the young; for in conversation we simply distribute the treasures of memory, as a store hoarded during long years of thought and experience. He who thinks as he converses is a poor companion, as he who must earn his money before he spends any is a poor man. When an aged millionnaire makes a liberal donation it costs him nothing; he but gives out of abundance that has resulted by natural accumulation from the labors of his youth and middle life.”

An amount of work not inconsiderable is done before 25 and a vast amount is done after 40; but at neither period is it usually of the original or creative sort that best measures the mental forces.” “In early youth we follow others; in old age we follow ourselves.”

The same law applies to animals. Horses live to be about 25, and are at their best from 8 to 14” “Dogs live 9 or 10 years, and are fittest for the hunt between 2 and 6.”

Children born of parents one or both of whom are between 25 and 40, are, on the average, stronger and smarter than those born of parents one or both of whom are very much younger or older than this.” “we are most productive when we are most reproductive [18-26??].”

In an interesting paper entitled When Women Grow Old, Mrs. Blake has brought facts to show that the fascinating power of the sex is often-times retained much longer than is generally assumed.

She tells us of Aspasia, who, between the ages of 30 and 50 was the strongest intellectual force in Athens; of Cleopatra, whose golden decade for power and beauty was between 30 and 40; of Livia, who was not far from 30 when she gained the heart of Octavius; of Anne of Austria, who at 38 was thought to be the most beautiful queen in Europe; of Catherine II of Russia, who, even at the silver decade was both beautiful and imposing; of Mademoiselle Mars, the actress, whose beauty increased with years, and culminated between 30 and 45; of Madame Recamier, who, between 25 and 40, and even later, was the reigning beauty in Europe; of Ninon de I’Enclos, whose own son — brought up without knowledge of his parentage — fell passionately in love with her when she was at the age of 37, and who even on her 60th birthday received an adorer young enough to be her grandson.

The voice of our great prima donnas is at its very best between 27 and 35; but still some retains, in a degree, its strength and sweetness even in the silver decade. The voice is an index of the body in all its functions, but the decay of other functions is not so readily noted.”

As a lad of 16, Lord Bacon began to think independently on great matters; at 44, published his great work on The Advancement of Learning; at 36, published 12 of his Essays; and at 60 collected the thoughts of his life in his Organum. His old age was devoted to scientific investigation.

At the age of 29, Descartes began to map out his system of philosophy, and at 41 began its publication, and at 54 he died.

Schelling, as a boy, studied philosophy, and at 24 was a brilliant and independent lecturer, and at 27 had published many important works; at 28 was professor of philosophy and arts, and wrote his best works before 50.

Dryden, one of the exceptions to the average, did his best work when comparatively old; his Absalom was written at 50, and his Alexander’s Feast when he was nearly 70.

Dean Swift wrote his Tale of a Tub at 35, and his Gulliver’s Travels at 59.”

Charles Dickens wrote Pickwick at 25, Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby before 27, Christmas Chimes at 31, David Copperfield at 38, and Dombey and Son at 35. Thus we see that nearly all his greatest works were written before he was 40; and it is amazing how little all the writings of the last 20 years of his life took hold of the popular heart, in comparison with Pickwick and David Copperfield, and how little effect the most enormous advertising and the cumulative power of a great reputation really have to give a permanent popularity to writings that do not deserve it. If Dickens had died at 40 his claim to immortality would have been as great as now, and the world of letters would have been little, if any, the loser. The excessive methodical activity of his mature and advanced life could turn off works with fair rapidity; but all his vast experience and all his earnest striving failed utterly to reach the standard of his reckless boyhood. His later works were more perfect, perhaps, judged by some canons, but the genius of Pickwick was not in them.”

Edison with his 300 patents, is not the only young inventor. All inventors are young. Colt was a boy of 21 when he invented the famous weapon that bears his name; and Goodyear began his experiments in rubber while a young man of 24, and made his first success at 38, and at 43 had brought his discovery to approximate perfection.”

The name of Bichat is one of the greatest in science, and he died at 32.”

Handel at 19 was director of the opera at Hamburg; at 20 composed his first opera; at 35 was appointed manager of the Royal Theatre at London; at 25 composed Messiah and Jephtha, and in old age and blindness his intellect was clear and his power of performance remarkable.”

Luther early displayed eloquence, and at 20 began to study Aristotle;¹ at 29 was doctor of divinity, and when he would refuse it, it was said to him that <he must suffer himself to be dignified, for that God intended to bring about great things in the church by his name>; at 34 he opposed the Indulgencies, and set up his 95 propositions; at 37 he publicly burned the Pope’s bull; at 47 he had completed his great task.”

¹ Realmente é impossível derivar prazer de ler Aristóteles antes dessa idade, senão uma ainda mais avançada!

Von Moltke between 65 and 70 directed the operation of the great war of Prussia against Austria and France. But that war was but a conclusion and consummation of military study and organization that had been going on for a quarter of a century.”

Jenner at 21 began his investigation into the difference between cow-pox and small-pox. His attention was called to the subject by the remark of a country girl, who said in his hearing that she could not have the small-pox, because she had had the cow-pox.” Varíola e varíola bovina. Bom… realmente existem ovos de Colombo!

old men, like nations, can show their treasures of art long after they have begun to die; this, indeed, is one of the sweetest and most refreshing compensations for age”

A contemporary deader in science (Huxley) has asserted that it would be well if all men of science could be strangled at the age of 60, since after that age their disposition — with possible exceptions here and there — is to become reactionary and obstructionists”

Se um homem não é belo aos 20, forte aos 30, experiente aos 40 e rico aos 50, ele jamais será belo, forte, experiente ou rico neste mundo.” Lutero

Só começamos a contar nossos anos quando já não há nada mais a ser contado” Emerson

Procrastinamos nossos trabalhos literários até termos experiência e habilidade o bastante, até um dia descobrirmos que nosso talento literário era uma efervescência juvenil que finalmente perdemos.” E.

Quem em nada tem razão aos 30, nunca terá.”

Revoluções não são feitas por homens de óculos, assim como sussurros contendo verdades novas nunca são ouvidos por quem já entrou na idade da surdez” Oliver Holmes

Como pode ser que “o povo da minha rua” seja, para tantos indivíduos, a gente mais burra de toda a Terra? E, pior ainda, que todos que o dizem pareçam estar com a razão?!

Dizem que os jovens são os únicos que não escutam a voz da razão na discussão sobre a verdadeira idade da razão ser a juventude, e não a velhice. Ou eles estão errados ou eles estão errados.

It is not in ambitious human nature to be content with what we have been enabled to achieve up to the age of 40. (…) Happiness may augment with years, because of better external conditions; and yet the highest happiness is obtained through work itself more than through the reward of work”

a wise man declared that he would like to be forever 35, and another, on being asked his age, replied that it was of little account provided that it was anywhere between 25 and 40.”

$$$: “Capacity for original work age does not have, but in compensation it has almost everything else. The querulousness of age, the irritability, the avarice are the resultants partly of habit and partly of organic and functional changes in the brain. Increasing avarice is at once the tragedy and the comedy of age; as we near the end of our voyage we become more chary of our provisions, as though the ocean and not the harbor were before us.” “our intellectual ruin very often dates from the hour when we begin to save money.” A do meu pai começou quando criança.

PORQUE SIM, PORQUE EU MANDEI – POR QUE VOCÊ É ASSIM? NÃO RESPEITA SEU PAI, NÃO? POR QUE NÃO FAZ UM DOUTORADO? POR QUE NÃO COMPRA UM CARRO? “Moral courage is rare in old age; sensitiveness to criticism and fear of opposition take the place, in the iron and wooden decades, of delight in criticism and love of opposition of the brazen and golden decades” Nostalgic UnB times…

fame like wealth makes us cautious, conservative, cowardly, since it implies the possibility of loss.”

when the intellect declines the man is obliged to be virtuous. Physical health is also needed for indulgence in many of the vices”

The decline of the moral faculties in old age may be illustrated by studying the lives of the following historic characters: Demosthenes, Cicero, Sylla, Charles V, Louis XIV, Frederic of Prussia, Napoleon (prematurely old), Voltaire, Jeffries, Dr. Johnson, Cromwell, Burke, Sheridan, Pope, Newton, Ruskin, Carlyle, Dean Swift, Chateaubriand, Rousseau, Milton, Bacon, Earl Pussell, Marlborough and Daniel Webster. In some of these cases the decline was purely physiological, in others pathological; in the majority it was a combination of both.

Very few decline in all the moral faculties. One becomes peevish, another avaricious, another misanthropic, another mean and tyrannical, another exacting and ugly, another sensual, another cold and cruelly conservative, another excessively vain and ambitious, others simply lose their moral enthusiasm and their capacity for resisting disappointment and temptation.”

There are men who in extreme age preserve their teeth sound, their hair unchanged, their complexion fresh, their appetite sharp and digestion strong and sure, and their repose sweet and refreshing, and who can walk and work to a degree that makes their children and grandchildren feel very humble; but these observed exceptions in no way invalidate the general law, which no one will dispute, that the physical powers reach their maximum between 20 and 40, and that the average man at 70 is less muscular and less capable of endurance than the average man at 40.”

For age hath opportunity no less

Than youth itself, though in another dress;

And as the evening twilight fades away,

The sky is filled with stars invisible by day.”


To age is granted in increasing richness the treasures of memory and the delights of recognition which most usually come from those who, at the time of the deeds whose value they recognize, were infants or unborn; only those who bury their contemporaries, can obtain, during their own lifetime, the supremacy of fame.”

POR QUE CRIANÇAS PRODÍGIO SÃO A MAIOR FALSIFICAÇÃO POSSÍVEL: “Mrs. Carlyle, when congratulated on the honors given to her husband on the delivery of his Edinburgh address, replied with a certain disdain, as though he should have been honored before; but only by a reversal of the laws of the evolution of fame shall the manifestation of genius and the recognition of genius be simultaneous.”

The high praise of contemporaries is almost insulting, since it implies that he whom they honor is but little better than themselves. Permanent fame, even in this rapid age [!!], is a plant of slow growth—first the blade; then, after a time, the ear; then, after many, many years, the full corn in the ear”

MEU COPYDESK E EU DE 2015 PARA CÁ SENTIMO-NOS ASSIM: “while the higher power of creating is disappearing, the lower, but for many the more needful, and with contemporaries more quickly appreciated, power of imitation, repetition, and routine, is increasing; we can work without working, and enjoy without striving”

O TRABALHO MATA AOS POUCOS: “An investigation made more recently by a Berlin physician into the facts and data relating to human longevity shows the average age of clergymen to be 65; of merchants, 63; clerks and farmers, 61; military men, 59; lawyers, 58; artists, 57; and medical men, 56 [!]. Statistics are given showing that medical men in England stand high in the scale of longevity. Thus, the united ages of 28 physicians who died there last year, amount to 2,354 years, giving an average of more the 84 years to each [!]. The youngest of the number was 80; the oldest, 93; 2 others were 92 and 89, respectively; 3 were 87, and 4 were 86 each; and there were also more than 50 who averaged from 74 to 75 years.”

That precocity predicts short life, and is therefore a symptom greatly to be feared by parents, has, I believe, never been questioned. (…) plants that are soon to bloom are soon to fade”

APOSTO MINHA VIDA QUE MORREREI ANTES DE A.: “It is probable that, of two individuals with precisely similar organizations and under similar circumstances, the one that develops earlier will be the first to die.”

MINHA ‘GENÉTICA’ NÃO AJUDA: “millionnaires in intellect as well as in money, who can afford to expend enormous means without becoming impoverished.”

Investigating the records of the past two centuries, Winterburn finds 213 recorded cases of acknowledged musical prodigies. None of them died before their 15th year, some attained the age of 103 — and the average duration of life was 58 — showing that, with all their abnormal precocity, they exceed the ordinary longevity by about 6%.”

an almost irresistible impulse to the art in which they are destined to excel manifests itself in future virtuosi— in poets, painters, etc., from their earliest youth.” Wieland

Uma idéia de filme bem ruim: O ESCRITOR NOVATO DE 40 ANOS!

A infância revela o homem, como a manhã revela o dia.” Milton

Madden – Infirmities of Genius (downloads)

MEMENTO À “PROFESSORA SORRISO”: “The stupidity attributed to men of genius may be really the stupidity of their parents, guardians, and biographers.”

Music and drawing appeal to the senses, attract attention, and are therefore appreciated, or at least observed by the most stupid parents, and noted even in the most superficial biographies. Philosophic and scientific thought, on the contrary, does not at once, perhaps may never, reveal itself to the senses—it is locked up in the cerebral cells; in the brain of that dull, pale youth, who is kicked for his stupidity and laughed at for his absent-mindedness, grand thoughts may be silently growing”

Newton, according to his own account, was very inattentive to his studies and low in his class, but a great adept at kite-flying, with paper lanterns attached to them, to terrify the country people, of a dark night, with the appearance of comets; and when sent to market with the produce of his mother’s farm, was apt to neglect his business, and to ruminate at an inn, over the laws of Kepler.”

This belief is strengthened by the consideration that many, perhaps the majority, of the greatest thinkers of the world seemed dull, inane, and stupid to their neighbors, not only in childhood but through their whole lives.”

It is probable, however, that nearly all cases of apparent stupidity in young geniuses are to be explained by the want of circumstances favorable to the display of their peculiar powers, or to a lack of appreciation or discernment on the part of their friends.”

As compared with the world, the most liberal curriculum is narrow; to one avenue of distinction that college opens, the world opens ten.”

GREAT precocity, like GREAT genius, is rare.”

O GÊNIO & O GENIOSO: “There is in some children a petty and morbid smartness that is sometimes mistaken for precocity, but which in truth does not deserve that distinction.”

A DOENÇA DE STEWIE: “Petty smartness is often-times a morbid symptom; it comes from a diseased brain, or from a brain in which a grave predisposition to disease exists; such children may die young, whether they do or do not early exhibit unusual quickness.”

A AMEBA SUPREMACISTA: “M.D. Delaunay has addressed to the Societé de Biologie a communication in which he takes the ground that precocity indicates biological inferiority. To prove this he states that the lower species develop more rapidly than those of a higher order; man is the slowest of all in developing and reaching maturity, and the lower orders are more precocious than the higher. As proof of this he speaks of the children of the Esquimaux, negroes, Cochin Chinese, Japanese, Arabs, etc. (…) He also states that women are more precocious than men”

THE RECURRING THEME: “The highest genius, as here and elsewhere seen, never repeats itself; very great men never have very great children; and in biological analysis, geniuses who are very precocious may be looked upon as the last of their race or of their branch—from them degeneracy is developed; and this precocity, despite their genius, may be regarded as the forerunner of that degeneracy.”

Leibniz, at 12 understood Latin authors well, and wrote a remarkable production; Gassendi, <the little doctor>, preached at 4; and at 10 wrote an important discourse; Goethe, before 10, wrote in several languages; Meyerbeer, at 5, played remarkably well on the piano; Niebuhr, at 7, was a prodigy, and at 12 had mastered 18 languages [QUÊ?!]; Michael Angelo at 19 had attained a very high reputation; at 20 Calvin was a fully-fledged reformer, and at 24 published great works on theology that have changed the destiny of the world; Jonathan Edwards, at 10, wrote a paper refuting the materiality of the soul, and at 12 was so amazingly precocious that it was predicted of him that he would become another Aristotle; at 20 Melanchthon was so learned that Erasmus exclaimed: <My God! What expectations does not Philip Melanchthon create!>.”

In order that a great man shall appear, a double line of more or less vigorous fathers and mothers must fight through the battles for existence and come out triumphant. However feeble the genius may be, his parents or grandparents are usually strong; or if not especially strong, are long-lived. Great men may have nervous if not insane relatives; but the nervous temperament holds to life longer than any other temperament. (…) in him, indeed, the branch of the race to which he belongs may reach its consummation, but the stock out of which he is evolved must be vigorous, and usually contains latent if not active genius.”

The cerebral and muscular forces are often correlated; the brain is a part of the body. This view, though hostile to the popular faith, is yet sound and supportable; a large and powerful brain in a small and feeble body is a monstrosity.”

a hundred great geniuses, chosen by chance, will be larger than a hundred dunces anywhere — will be broader, taller, and more weighty.”

In any band of workmen on a railway, you shall pick out the <boss> by his size alone: and be right 4 times out of 5.”

In certain of the arts extraordinary gifts may lift their possessor into fame with but little effort of his own, but the choicest seats in the temples of art are given only to those who have earned them by the excellence that comes from consecutive effort, which everywhere test the vital power of the man.”

One does not need to practice medicine long to learn that men die that might just as well live if they had resolved to live and that many who are invalids could become strong if they had the native or acquired will to vow that they would do so. Those who have no other quality favorable to life, whose bodily organs are nearly all diseased, to whom each day is a day of pain, who are beset by life-shortening influences, yet do live by the determination to live alone.”

the pluck of the Anglo-Saxon is shown as much on the sick-bed as in Wall Street or on the battlefield.” “When the negro feels the hand of disease pressing upon him, however gently, all his spirit leaves him.”

INNER VOW: “they live, for the same reason that they become famous; they obtain fame because they will not be obscure; they live because they will not die.”

it is the essence of genius to be automatic and spontaneous. Many a huckster or corner tradesman expends each day more force in work or fretting than a Stewart or a Vanderbilt.”

As small print most tires the eyes, so do little affairs the most disturb us” “the nearer our cares come to us the greater the friction; it is easier to govern an empire than to train a family.”

Great genius is usually industrious, for it is its nature to be active; but its movements are easy, frictionless, melodious. There are probably many school-boys who have exhausted themselves more over a prize composition than Shakespeare over Hamlet, or Milton over the noblest passages in Paradise Lost.”

So much has been said of the pernicious effects of mental labor, of the ill-health of brain-workers of all classes, and especially of clergymen, that very few were prepared to accept the statement that the clergy of this country and of England lived longer than any other class, except farmers; and very naturally a lurking fallacy was suspected. Other observers, who have since given special attention to the subject, have more than confirmed this conclusion, and have shown that clergymen are longer lived than farmers.” “A list of 10,000 is sufficient and more than sufficient for a generalization; for the second 5,000 did nothing more than confirm the result obtained by the first. It is fair and necessary to infer that if the list were extended to 10,000, 20,000, or even 100,000, the average would be found about the same.” “In their manifold duties their whole nature is exercised — not only brain and muscle in general, but all, or nearly all, the faculties of the brain — the religious, moral, and emotional nature, as well as the reason. Public speaking, when not carried to the extreme of exhaustion, is the best form of gymnastics that is known; it exercises every inch of a man, from the highest regions of the brain to the smallest muscle.” “The average income of the clergymen of the leading denominations of this country in active service as pastors of churches (including salary, house rent, wedding fees, donations, etc.), is between $800 and $1000, which is probably not very much smaller than the net income of all other professional classes. Furthermore, the income of clergymen in active service is collected and paid with greater certainty and regularity, and less labor of collection on their part, than the income of any other class except, perhaps, government officials; then, again, their earnings, whether small or great, come at once, as soon as they enter their profession, and is not, as with other callings, built up by slow growth.” “Merchants now make, always have made, and probably always will make, most of the money of the world; but business is attended with so much risk and uncertainty, and consequent anxiety, that merchants die sooner than clergymen, and several years sooner than physicians and lawyers.” “During the past 15 years, there has been a tendency, which is now rapidly increasing, for the best endowed and best cultured minds of our colleges to enter other professions, and the ministry has been losing, while medicine, business, and science have been gaining.”

There are those who come into life thus weighted down, not by disease, not by transmitted poison in the blood, but by the tendency to disease, by a sensitiveness to evil and enfeebling forces that seems to make almost every external influence a means of torture; as soon as they are born, debility puts its terrible bond upon them, and will not let them go, but plays the tyrant with them until they die. Such persons in infancy are often on the point of dying, though they may not die; in childhood numberless physical ills attack them and hold them down, and, though not confining them to home, yet deprive them, perhaps, of many childish delights; in early maturity an army of abnormal nervous sensations is waiting for them, the gauntlet of which they must run if they can; and throughout life every function seems to be an enemy.

The compensations of this type of organization are quite important and suggestive, and are most consolatory to sufferers. Among these compensations, this perhaps is worthy of first mention — that this very fineness of temperament, which is the source of nervousness, is also the source of exquisite pleasure. Highly sensitive natures respond to good as well as evil factors in their environment, salutary as well as pernicious stimuli are ever operating upon them, and their capacity for receiving, for retaining, and for multiplying the pleasures derived from external stimuli is proportionally greater than that of cold and stolid organizations: if they are plunged into a deeper hell, they also rise to a brighter heaven (…) art, literature, travel, social life, and solitude, pour out on them their selected treasures; they live not one life but many lives, and all joy is for them variously multiplied. To such temperaments the bare consciousness of living, when life is not attended by excessive exhaustion or by pain, or when one’s capacity for mental or muscular toil is not too closely tethered, is often-times a supreme felicity. The true psychology of happiness is gratification of faculties, and when the nervous are able to indulge even moderately and with studied caution and watchful anxiety their controlling desires of the nobler order, they may experience an exquisiteness of enjoyment that serves, in a measure, to reward them for their frequent distresses.”

The physician who collects his fee before his patient has quite recovered, does a wise thing, since it will be paid more promptly and more gratefully than after the recovery is complete.”

Nervous organizations are rarely without reminders of trouble that they escape — their occasional wakefulness and indigestion, their headaches and backaches and neuralgias, their disagreeable susceptibility to all evil influences that may act on the constitution, keep them ever in sight of the possibility of wliat they might have been, and suggest to them sufferings that others endure, but from which they are spared.”

While it is true that pain is more painful than its absence is agreeable, so that we think more of what is evil than of what is good in our environment, and dwell longer on the curses than the blessings of our lot, and fancy all others happier than ourselves, yet it is true likewise that our curses make the blessings more blissful by contrast”

There are those who though never well are yet never sick, always in bondage to debility and pain, from which absolute escape is impossible, yet not without large liberty of labor and of thought” “Such persons may be exposed to every manner of poison, may travel far and carelessly with recklessness, even may disregard many of the prized rules of health; may wait upon and mingle with the sick, and breathe for long periods the air of hospitals or of fever-infested dwellings, and come out apparently unharmed.”

This recuperative tendency of the nervous system is stronger, often-times, than the accumulating poison of disease, and overmasters the baneful effects of unwise medication and hygiene. Between the ages of 25 and 35, especially, the constitution often consolidates as well as grows, acquires power as well as size, and throws off, by a slow and invisible evolution, the subtile habits of nervous disease, over which treatment the most judicious and persistent seems to have little or no influence. There would appear to be organizations which at certain times of life must needs pass through the dark valley of nervous depression, and who cannot be saved therefrom by any manner of skill or prevision; who must not only enter into this valley, but, having once entered, cannot turn back: the painful, and treacherous, and agonizing horror, wisdom can but little shorten, and ordinary misdoing cannot make perpetual; they are as sure to come out as to go in; health and disease move in rhythm; the tides in the constitution are as demonstrable as the tides of the ocean, and are sometimes but little more under human control.” It is an important consolation for those who are in the midst of an attack of sick-headache, for example, that the natural history of the disease is in their favor. In a few days at the utmost, in a few hours frequently, the storm will be spent, and again the sky will be clear, and perhaps far clearer than before the storm arose.” nearly all severe pain is periodic, intermittent, rhythmical: the violent neuralgias are never constant, but come and go by throbs, and spasms, and fiercely-darting agonies, the intervals of which are absolute relief. After the exertion expended in attacks of pain, the tired nerve-atoms must need repose. Sometimes the cycles of debility, alternating with strength, extend through long years — a decade of exhaustion being followed by a decade of vigor.”

There are those who pass through an infancy of weakness and suffering and much pain, and through a childhood and early manhood in which the game of life seems to be a losing one, to a healthy and happy maturity; all that is best in their organizations seems to be kept in reserve, as though to test their faith, and make the boon of strength more grateful when it comes.”

Perfect health is by no means the necessary condition of long life; in many ways, indeed, it may shorten life; grave febrile and inflammatory diseases are invited and fostered by it, and made fatal, and the self-guarding care, without which great longevity is almost impossible, is not enforced or even suggested.” “Headaches, and backaches, and neuralgias, are safety-valves through which nerve-perturbations escape, and which otherwise might become centres of accumulated force, and break forth with destruction beyond remedy. The liability to sudden attacks of any form of pain, or distress, or discomfort, under overtoil or from disregard of natural law, is, so far forth, a blessing to its possessor, making imperative the need of foresight and practical wisdom in the management of health, and warning us in time to avoid irreparable disaster. The nervous man hears the roar of the breakers from afar, while the strong and phlegmatic steers boldly, blindly on, until he is cast upon the shore, often-times a hopeless wreck.”

A neurastenia também tem o nome de “cãibra do escritor”. No trecho a seguir, a referida “cãibra” está mais próxima de um surto neurastênico agudo, do qual, defende Beard, o ‘nervoso típico’ está protegido: “Those who are sensitive, and nervous, and delicate, whom every external or internal irritation injures, and who appreciate physical injury instantly, as soon as the exciting cause begins to act, cannot write long enough to get writer’s cramp; they are warned by uneasiness or pain, by weariness, local or general, and are forced to interrupt their labors before there has been time to receive a fixed or persistent disease.” “had they been feeble they would have been unable to persevere in the use of the pen so as to invite permanent nervous disorder.” Without such warnings they might have continued in a life of excessive friction and exhausting worry, and never have suspected that permanent invalidism was in waiting for them, until too late to save themselves either by hygiene or medication. When a man is prostrated nervously, all the forces of nature rush to his rescue; but the strong man, once fully fallen, rallies with difficulty, and the health-evolving powers may find a task to which, aided or unaided, they are inadequate.”

The history of the world’s progress from savagery to barbarism, from barbarism to civilization, and, in civilization, from the lower degrees towards the higher, is the history of increase in average longevity, corresponding to and accompanied by increase of nervousness. Mankind has grown to be at once more delicate and more enduring, more sensitive to weariness and yet more patient of toil, impressible but capable of bearing powerful irritation: we are woven of finer fibre, which, though apparently frail, yet outlasts the coarser, as rich and costly garments often-times wear better than those of rougher workmanship.”

Among our educated classes there are nervous invalids in large numbers, who have never known by experience what it is to be perfectly well or severely ill, whose lives have been not unlike a march through a land infested by hostile tribes, that ceaselessly annoy in front and on flank, without ever coming to a decisive conflict, and who, in advanced age, seem to have gained wariness, and toughness, and elasticity, by the long discipline of caution, of courage, and of endurance; and, after having seen nearly all their companions, whose strength they envied, struck down by disease, are themselves spared to enjoy, it may be, their best days, at a time when, to the majority, the grasshopper becomes a burden, and life each day a visibly losing conflict with death.” “the irritability, the sensitiveness, the capriciousness of the constitution, between the ages of 15 and 45, have, in a degree, disappeared, and the system has acquired a certain solidity, steadiness, and power; and thus, after a long voyage against opposing winds and fretting currents, they enter the harbor in calmness and peace.”

MEU SÉCULO ME IMPEDE DE COMPARTILHAR DESTE OTIMISMO: “It may be doubted whether, in the history of disease of any kind, there has been made so decided and so satisfactory an advance as has been made within the last quarter of a century, in the treatment of nervousness in its various manifestations.” “One great factor in the modern treatment of these functional nervous diseases is individualization, no two cases being treated precisely alike, but each one being studied by itself alone. Among wise physicians, the day for wholesale treatment of nervous diseases can never return. The result of all this progress is, that thousands who formerly would have suffered all their lives, and with no other relief except that which comes from the habitual addiction to narcotics, can now be cured, or permanently relieved, or at least put into working order where they are most useful and happy.” if all new modes of action of nerve-force are to be so many added pathways to sorrow,—if each fresh discovery or invention is to be matched by some new malady of the nerves,—if insanity and epilepsy and neurasthenia, with their retinue of neuroses, through the cruel law of inheritance, are to be organized in families, descending in fiery streams throught the generations, we yet have this assurance,—that science, with keen eyes and steps that are not slow, is seeking and is finding means of prevention and of relief.”

5. PHYSICAL FUTURE OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE [epílogo cagado e ‘poliânico’ totalmente desnecessário]

This increase of neuroses cannot be arrested suddenly; it must yet go on for at least 25 or 50 years, when all of these disorders shall be both more numerous and more heterogenous than at present. But side by side with these are already developing signs of improved health and vigor that cannot be mistaken; and the time must come—not unlikely in the first half of the 20th century—when there will be a halt or retrograde movement in the march of nervous diseases, and while the absolute number of them may be great, relatively to the population, they will be less frequent than now; the evolution of health, and the evolution of nervousness, shall go on side by side.”

Health is the offspring of relative wealth.” “febrile and inflammatory disorders, plagues, epidemics, great accidents and catastrophes even, visit first and last and remain longest with those who have no money.” the absence of all but forced vacations—the result, and one of the worst results, of poverty—added to the corroding force of envy, and the friction of useless struggle,—all these factors that make up or attend upon simple want of money, are in every feature antagonistic to health and longevity. Only when the poor become absolute paupers, and the burden of life is taken from them and put upon the State or public charity, are they in a condition of assured health and long life.” “The inmates of our public institutions of charity of the modern kind are often the happiest of men, blessed with an environment, on the whole, far more salubrious than that to which they have been accustomed, and favorably settled for a serene longevity.” “For the same reasons, well-regulated jails are healthier than many homes, and one of the best prescriptions for the broken-down and distressed is for them to commit some crime.”

A fat bank account tends to make a fat man; in all countries, amid all stages of civilization and semi-barbarism, the wealthy classes have been larger and heavier than the poor.” “In India this coincidence of corpulence and opulence has been so long observed that it is instinctively assumed; and certain Brahmins, it is said, in order to obtain the reputation of wealth, studiously cultivate a diet adapted to make them fat.”

The majority of our Pilgrim Fathers in New England, and of the primitive settlers in the Southern and Middle States, really knew but little of poverty in the sense in which the term is here used. They were an eminently thrifty people, and brought with them both the habits and the results of thrift to their homes in the New World. Poverty as here described is of a later evolution, following in this country, as in all others, the pathway of a high civilization.”

the best of all antidotes and means of relief for nervous disease is found in philosophy.” Thus it is in part that Germany, which in scientific and philosophic discovery does the thinking for all nations, and which has added more to the world’s stock of purely original ideas than any other country, Greece alone excepted, is less nervous than any other nation; thus it is also that America, which in the same department has but fed on the crumbs that fall from Germany’s table, has developed a larger variety and number of functional nervous diseases than all other nations combined.”

The capacity for growth in any given direction, physical or mental, is always limited; no special gift of body or mind can be cultivated beyond a certain point, however great the tenderness and care bestowed upon it.”

In man, that higher operation of the faculties which we call genius is hereditary, transmissible, running through and in families as demonstrably as pride or hay-fever, the gifts as well as the sins of the fathers being visited upon the children and the children’s children; general talent, or some special talent, in one or both parents rises and expands in immediate or remote offspring, and ultimately flowers out into a Socrates, a Shakespeare, a Napoleon, and then falls to the ground”

That a single family may rise to enduring prominence and power, it is needful that through long generations scores of families shall endure poverty and pain and struggle with cruel surroundings”

The America of the future, as the America of the present, must be a nation where riches and culture are restricted to the few—to a body, however, the personnel of which is constantly changing.”

Inebriety being a type of the nervous diseases of the family to which it belongs, may properly be here defined and differentiated from the vice and habit of drinking with which it is confounded. The functional nervous disease inebriety, or dipsomania, differs from the simple vice of drinking to excess in these respects:


The simple habit of drinking even to an extreme degree may be broken up by pledges or by word promises or by quiet resolution, but the disease inebriety can be no more cured in this way than can neuralgia or sick-headache, or neurasthenia, or hay-fever, or any of the family of diseases to which it belongs.


Of the nervous symptoms that precede, or accompany, or follow inebriety, are tremors, hallucinations, insomnia, mental depressions, and attacks of trance, to which I give the term alcoholic trance.


even drunkenness in a parent or grandparent may develop in children epilepsy or insanity, or neurasthenia or inebriety.


The attacks of inebriety may be periodical; they may appear once a month, and with the same regularity as chills and fever or sick-headache, and far more regularly than epilepsy, and quite independent of any external temptation or invitation to drink, and oftentimes are as irresistible and beyond the control of will as spasms of epilepsy or the pains of neuralgia or the delusions of insanity. Inebriety is not so frequent among the classes that drink excessively as among those who drink but moderately, although their ancestors may have been intemperate; it is most frequent in the nervous and highly organized classes, among the brain-workers, those who have lived indoors; there is more excessive drinking West and South than in the East, but more inebriety in the East.”

probably no country outside of China uses, in proportion to population, so much opium as America, and as the pains and nervousness and debility that tempt to the opium habit are on the increase, the habit must inevitably develop more rapidly in the future than in the past; of hay-fever there must, in a not very distant time, be at least 100,000 cases in America, and in the 20th century hundreds of thousands of insane and neurasthenics.”

There must be, also, an increasing number of people who cannot bear severe physical exercise. Few facts relating to this subject are more instructive than this — the way in which horseback-riding is borne by many in modern times. In our country, I meet with large numbers who cannot bear the fatigue of horseback-riding, which used to be looked upon — possibly is looked upon to-day — as one of the best forms of exercise, and one that is recommended as a routine by physicians who are not discriminating in dealing with nervously-exhausted patients.” The greatest possible care and the best judgment are required in prescribing and adapting horseback-riding to nervous individuals of either sex; it is necessary to begin cautiously, to go on a walk for a few moments; and even after long training excess is followed by injury, in many cases.”

ANTIRRUBENISMO: “If either extreme is to be chosen, it is well, on the whole, to err on the side of rest rather than on the side of excess of physical exertion.”

Why Education is behind other Sciences and Arts? Schools and colleges everywhere are the sanctuaries of medievalism, since their aim and their powers are more for retaining what has been discovered than for making new discoveries; consequently we cannot look to institutions or organizations of education for the reconstruction of that system by which they enslave the world and are themselves enslaved. It is claimed by students of Chinese character that that great nation has been kept stationary through its educational policy — anchored for centuries to competitive examinations which their strong nerves can bear while they make no progress. In a milder way, and in divers and fluctuating degrees, all civilized nations take their inspiration from China, since it is the office and life of teaching to look backward rather than forward; in the relations of men as in physics, force answers to force, and as the first, like the second childhood is always reactionary, a class of youths tend by their collective power to bring the teacher down more than he can lift them up. Only conservative natures are fond of teaching; organizations are always in the path of their own reconstruction; mediocrity begets mediocrity, attracts it, and is attracted by it. Whence all our institutions become undying centres of conservatism. The force that reconstructs an organization must come from outside the body that is to be reconstructed.”

The Gospel of Rest. The gospel of work must make way for the gospel of rest. The children of the past generation were forced, driven, stimulated to work, and in forms most repulsive, the philosophy being that utility is proportioned to pain; that to be happy is to be doing wrong, hence it is needful that studies should not only be useless but repelling, and should be pursued by those methods which, on trial, proved the most distressing, wearisome, and saddening. That this philosophy has its roots in a certain truth psychology allows, but the highest wisdom points also to another truth, the need of the agreeable; our children must be driven from study and all toil, and in many instances coaxed, petted, and hired to be idle; we must drive them away from schools as our fathers drove them towards the schools; one must be each moment awake and alive and active, to keep a child from stealthily learning to read; our cleverest offspring loves books more than play, and truancies [matar aula] and physical punishments are far rarer than half a century ago.”

From investigations at Darmstadt, Paris, and Neuremburg, Dr. Treichler concludes that one-third of the pupils suffer more or less from some form of headache. It is not probable that these headaches in children are the result purely of intellectual exertion, but of intellectual exertion combined with bad air, with the annoyances and excitements and worries, the wasting and rasping anxieties of school life.”

Even studies that are agreeable and in harmony with the organs, and to which tastes and talents are irresistibly inclined, are pursued at an expenditure of force which is far too great for many nervously organized temperaments. I have lately had under my care a newly married lady who for some years has been in a state of neurasthenia of a severe character, and of which the exciting cause was devotion to music at home; long hours at the piano, acting on a neurasthenic temperament, given to her by inheritance, had developed morbid fears and all the array of nervous symptoms that cluster around them, so that despite her fondness for a favorite art she was forced to abandon it, and from that time was dated her improvement, though at the time that I was called in to see her she had yet a long way to travel before she would reach even approximate health.”

The reconstruction of the principles of evidence, the primary need of all philosophy, which cannot much longer be delayed, is to turn nearly all that we call history into myth, and destroy and overthrow beyond chance of resurrection all but a microscopic fraction of the world’s reasoning. Of the trifle that is saved, the higher wisdom of coming generations will know and act upon the knowledge that a still smaller fraction is worthy of being taught, or even remembered by any human being.” A tragédia é que uma filosofia do conhecimento só pode vir depois da burra e didática memorização de fatos tão lineares quanto sem nexo. Ou seja: chega-se ao ideal da educação quando ela já está finalizada ou, antes, só se chega ao suposto ideal, descobrindo-se que o começo devera ter sido diferente, quando o começo se sedimentou. Pode-se ensinar certo, mas não se pode aprender certo!

The fact that anything is known, and true and important for some is of itself no reason why all should know or attempt to know it”

Our children are coaxed, cajoled, persuaded, enticed, bluffed, bullied, and driven into the study of ancient and modern tongues; though the greatest men in all languages, whose writings are the inspiration to the study of languages themselves knew no language but their own; and, in all the loftiest realms of human creative power the best work has been done, and is done today, by those who are mostly content with the language in which they were cradled.” “of all accomplishments, the ability to speak and write in many tongues is the poorest barometer of intellectual force, and the least satisfactory for happiness and practical use”

Shakespeare, drilled in modern gymnasia and universities, might have made a fair school-master, but would have kept the world out of Hamlet and Othello.”

Of the sciences multiplying everyday, but few are to be known by any one individual; he who has studied enough of the systematized knowledge of men, and looked far enough in various directions in which it leads to know which his tastes and environment best adapt him to follow, and who resolutely obeys his tastes, even in opposition to all teachers,(*) philosophers, and scholars, has won the battle of life” Mementos: Jabur, Edsono (um representante dos jornalistas e um dos pseudossociofiloepistemólogos)

the study of the art of thinking, of the philosophy of reasoning, in mathematics, poetry, science, literature, or language, is the best exercise for those who would gain this mental discipline”

O coach está para para o acadêmico de hoje como os sofistas estavam para os filósofos jônicos e eleatas da Grécia Antiga: é um sintoma da crise e insustentabilidade desse modo de conhecimento, mas tampouco chega a lugar algum. Prenuncia um tipo de Sócrates que vem aí?

In all spheres of thought, the most hospitable of intellects, the most generous in their welcome to new truths or dreams of truth are those who have once learned the great secret of life—how to forget.”

GUSMÓN: “Conscientious professors in colleges often-times exhort their graduates to keep up some of the studies of college life during the activity of years — if those graduates are ever to do much in the world, it is by doing precisely NOT what they are thus advised to do.”

ESPECIALISTA AGRAMATICAL: “The details of geography, of mathematics, and of languages, ancient as well as modern, of most of the sciences, ought, and fortunately are, forgotten almost as soon as learned, save by those who become life-experts in these special branches”

The systems of Froebel and Pestalozzi, and the philosophy of Rousseau in his Émile, analyzed and formulated in physiological language is, in substance, that it costs less force and is more natural and easy to get into a house through the doors, than to break down the walls, or come through the roof, or climb up from the cellar. Modern education is burglary; we force ideas into the brain through any other pathway and every other way except the doors and windows, and then we are astonished that they are unwelcome and so quickly expelled.”

they see with the mind’s eye, though we close their eyelids.”

Medicine has been taught in all our schools in a way the most unphilosophical, and despite all the modifications and improvements of late years, by bedside teaching and operations and demonstrations, the system of medical education is in need of reconstruction from the foundation; it begins where it should end; it feeds the tree through the leaves and branches instead of through the roots; physiology itself is taught unphysiologically; the conventional, hereditary, orthodox style is, for the student to take systematic text-books, go through them systematically from beginning to end, and attend systematic lectures, reserving study at the bedside for the middle and later years of his study; the didactic instruction coming first, and the practical instruction and individual observation coming last. Psychology and experience require that this should be reversed; the first years of the medical student’s life should be given to the bedside, the laboratory and dissecting room, and the principles of systematic instruction should be kept for the last years, and then used very sparingly. The human mind does not work systematically, and all new truths enter most easily and are best retained when they enter in psychological order. System in text-books is a tax on the nerve-force, costly both of time and of energy, and it is only by forgetting what has been taught them in the schools that men even attain eminence in the practice of medicine.

The first lesson and the first hour of medical study should be at the bedside of the sick man; before reading a book or hearing a lecture, or even knowing of the existence of a disease, the student should see the disease, and then, after having seen it and been instructed in reference to it, his reading will be a thousand-fold more profitable than it would had he read first and seen the case afterwards. Every practitioner with any power of analyzing his own mental operations knows that his reading of disease is always more intelligent after he has had a case, or while he has a case under treatment under his own eyes, and he knows also that all his reading of abstract, systematic books is of but little worth to him when he meets his first case, unless he re-read, and if he do so, he will find that he has forgotten all he has read before, and he will find, also, that he never understood what he read, and perhaps thoroughly and accurately recited on examination. By this method one shall learn more what is worth learning of medicine in one month, than now we learn in a year, under the common system, and what is learned will be in hand and usable, and will be obtained at incommensurably less cost of energy, as well as of time. So-called <systematic instruction> is the most extravagant form of instruction and is really no instruction, since the information which it professes to give does not enter the brain of the student, though the words in which it is expressed may be retained, and recited or written out on examination. I read the other day an opening lecture by a professor in one of our chief medical schools. I noticed that the professor apologized for being obliged to begin with what was dry and uninteresting, but stated that in a systematic course it was necessary to do so. It will not be his fault only, but rather the fault of the machinery of which he is one of the wheels, if the students who listen to and take notes of and worry over his lecture, never know what he means; 5 minutes study of a case of rheumatism or an inflamed joint, under the aid of an expert instructor, will give a person more knowledge of inflammation, in relation to the practice of medicine, than a year of lectures on that subject.

I make particular reference to medical education, not because it is the leading offender, but because it has made greater progress, perhaps, than almost any other kind of modern education.” and the time will come when men shall read with amusement and horror of intelligent, human, and responsible young men beginning a medical course by listening to systematic abstract lectures.” 140 anos e nada…

In theological seminaries, students are warned about preaching, or speaking, or lecturing during their 1st or 2nd year, and tied and chained down to lectures and homiletics, and theology and history” Nothing David (or Solomon) would be good at…

Aside from the study of language, which is a separate matter, the first day’s work in a theological school should be the writing or preparing a sermon, and homiletics should follow — not precede.”

All languages should be learned as we learn our own language — not through grammars or dictionaries, but through conversation and reading, the grammars and dictionaries being reserved for a more advanced stage of investigation and for reference, just as in the language in which we were born.”

I applaud the English because they boast of their ignorance of American geography; of what worth to them, of what worth to most of us whether Montana be in California, or Alaska be or be not the capital of Arizona?”

The Harvard professor who says that when students enter his room his desire is, not to find out what they knew, but what they did not know, ought to have been born in the 20th century, and possibly in the 30th, for his philosophy is so sound and so well grounded psychology that he cannot hope to have it either received or comprehended in his lifetime; and the innovation that Harvard has just promised, of having the teacher recite and the pupils ask the questions, is one of the few gleams of light in the great darkness by which this whole subject of education has been enveloped.”

EDSONO’S EXQUISITE CLASS OF TORTURE (2009): Lectures, except they be of a clinical sort [belo troca-trilho!], in which appeals are made to the senses, cost so much in nerve-force, in those that listen to them, that the world cannot much longer afford to indulge in them and the information they give is of a most unsatisfactory sort, since questioning, and interruption, and repetition, and reviewing are scarcely possible (…) The human brain is too feeble and limited an organ to catch a new idea when first stated, and if the idea be not new it is useless to state it.”

ServIce on dem and us

dire dim straits

a threat!

One of the pleasantest memories in my life, is that, during my medical education, I did not attend one lecture out of 12 — save those of a clinical sort — that were delivered (brilliant and able as some of them were) in the college where I studied, and my regret is that the poverty of medical literature at that time compelled me to attend even those. All the long lectures in my academical course at the college were useful to me — and I think were useful to all my classmates — only by enforcing the necessity, and inspiring the habit of enduring passively and patiently what we know to be in all respects painful and pernicious, providing we have no remedy.”

Original thinkers and discoverers, and writers are objects of increasing worry on the part of their relatives and friends lest they break down from overwork; whereas, it is not so much these great thinkers as the young school-girl or bank clerk that needs our sympathy.”

In England during the last summer, I attempted, without any human beings on whom to experiment, to explain some of the theories and philosophies of trance before an audience composed of the very best physiologists and psychologists of Europe, and with no hetter success than at home. If I had had but one out of the 20 or 30 cases on whom I have lately experimented, to illustrate and enforce my views, there would have been, I am sure, no difficulty in making clear not only the facts, but what is of chief importance, the interpretation of the facts.”

Modern competitive examinations are but slightly in advance of the system of recitations and lectures. They seem to have been invented by someone who wished to torture rather than benefit mankind, and whose philosophy was: whatever is disagreeable is useful, and that the temporary accumulation of facts is true wisdom, and an accurate measure of cerebral force.”

Knowing by heart is not knowing at all” Montaigne

the greatest fool may often pass the best examination [Exemplo contemporâneo: ‘Patrick Damascenos’ se tornando médicos diplomados por universidades federais – no mínimo os minions esquecem o que aprendem em História após 30 dias (‘conteúdo inútil’, etc.), embora apostilas do Sigma ou Galois nunca fossem lá muito confiáveis, para início de conversa…]; no wise man can always tell what he knows; ideas come by suggestion rather than by order; you must wait for their appearing at their own time and not at ours” “he who can always tell what he knows, knows little worth knowing.”

The first signs of ascension, as of declension, in nations are seen in women.”

palace cars and elevators and sewing machines are types of recent improvements that help to diminish the friction of modern life. Formerly [!!!] inventors increased the friction of our lives and made us nervous.” E que diabos eram palace cars?

The Germanization of America — by which I mean the introduction through very extensive immigration, of German habits and character — is a phenomenon which can now be observed, even by the dullest and nearest-sighted, in the large cities of the Northern portion of our country.” O nazismo foi o último a chegar.

tending to displace pernicious whiskey by less pernicious beer and wine, setting the example of coolness and calmness, which the nervously exhausted American very much needs.”

Tempos em que valia a pena se conservar: “We have been all English in our conservatism, a quality which has increased in proportion as we have gained anything of wealth or character or any manifestation of force whatsoever, that is worth preserving.” Hoje os americanos são azeitonas vencidas em conserva.

after such a vacation one needed a vacation.”

The nervousness of the third generation of Germans [?] is a fact that comes to my professional notice more and more.”

Not only are the <ha, ha’s> [RONALDINHO SOCCER!], of which so much [mundial] SPORT was once made, heard much less frequently than formerly in public meetings, but there is a positive ease and attractiveness to very many of the English speakers in and out of Parliament, in the pulpit and on the platform, that is thoroughly American” it was proved that if all the [congress] speakers continued to speak as often and as elaborately as they had been speaking, a number of years would be required before they could adjourn [se significa entrar em recesso ou perder a próxima eleição, deixo a critério do leitor de criptas!].”

the forces that renovate and save are mightier far than the forces that emasculate and destroy.”

Não sei se chamo o comentário de genial ou estúpido: “The American race, it is said, is dying out; but there is no American race. Americans are the union of European races and peoples, as lakes are fed by many streams, and can only disappear with the exhaustion of its sources. Europe must die before America. In sections of America, as in New England, and in large cities, the number of children to a family in certain classes is too small for increase of population.” Uma eterna sucessão de sins e nãos no melhor estilo Cleber Machado!

Felizmente o Deus Europeu-Ocidental morreu e a Ásia com seu rostinho de beldade imortal de 20 aninhos vem aí…

DANIEL DEFOE, JONATHAN SWIFT & UM PANORAMA DA LITERATURA INGLESA DOS XVIII // OU AINDA: UMA CRÍTICA DA CLASSE MÉDIA E, AINDA, ALGUMAS CONSIDERAÇÕES PROTOFEMINISTAS – Excertos traduzidos de um capítulo de livro de Terry Eagleton, crítico literário britânico, intitulado “Daniel Defoe and Jonathan Swift”

Os excertos giram em torno de dois autores contemporâneos, talvez os dois mais conhecidos hoje fora da Inglaterra em termos de literatura clássica daquele país – As Viagens de Gulliver veio ao mundo menos de quinze anos depois d’As Aventuras de Robinson Crusoe. São duas obras espantosamente similares e divergentes ao mesmo tempo. Duas narrativas, eu diria, de restless wanderers, viajantes incansáveis, espécies de maníacos tragicamente involuntários por navegar o mundo, sem propósito claro em mente…

Assim como o novelista e ex-condenado Jeffrey Archer, a carreira de Daniel Defoe abrangeu dívidas e alta política, a profissão de escritor e o cárcere. Cronologicamente falando, a arte imitou a vida com Defoe, uma vez que ele começou a escrever maior parte de suas obras enquanto ativista. De outro ângulo, entretanto, sua vida imitou, sim, a arte, pois sua trajetória foi sensacionalista o bastante para que pudesse figurar tranquilamente como o protagonista de suas próprias novelas tumultuadas. Em diversos momentos ele se dedicou ao comércio de vestuário, vinho e tabaco, foi dono de uma fábrica de tijolos, um político vira-casaca, uma espécie de espião do submundo e dos bastidores da política, agente secreto oficial do governo, espécie de diplomata e assessor do império britânico por meio de suas publicações jornalísticas (o que na época chamavam de publicista). Não bastasse todo esse cartel, tomou parte ativa em uma rebelião armada contra Jaime II, excursionou incansavelmente pela Europa e teve um papel crucial nas históricas negociações da unificação política dos reinos da Inglaterra e da Escócia.

Defoe faliu mais de uma vez, foi preso por débitos e até exposto no pelourinho num processo de sedição após publicar um panfleto satírico. Mesmo depois dessa experiência, ele viria a publicar um Hino ao Pelourinho (Hymn to the Pillory), bem como um Hino às Massas (Hymn to the Mob), em que, escandalosamente para a época, enaltecia o povo de extrato inferior por sua extrema lucidez de julgamento. É difícil imaginar outro grande autor inglês fazendo a mesma coisa na mesma época. Entre suas obras, está também Uma História Política do Demônio (A Political History of the Devil), um estudo sobre fantasmas, motivado pela Grande Praga de Londres, um surto da peste bubônica que eclodiu em 1665 e durou até o biblicamente simbólico ano seguinte. Defoe publicou também uma apologia irrestrita da instituição do casamento intitulada Indecência Conjugal; ou da Prostituição Marital. Um tratado sobre a Utilidade e a Inconveniência da Cama de Casal (Conjugal Lewdness; or Matrimonial Whoredom. A Treatise Concerning the Use and Abuse of the Marriage Bed). De modo algum ele seria um ‘novelista’ no puro senso da palavra (o próprio termo em voga criou sua acepção muito mais tarde), muito embora ele tenha atacado os ‘Romances’ (o gênero pré-novelístico por excelência), que para ele eram estórias que não informavam, apenas entretinham (e isso era necessariamente ruim naquela Inglaterra). Suas obras mais consagradas, Moll Flanders e Robinson Crusoe, são ‘novelas’ apenas em retrospecto. Defoe só escrevia aquilo com que pensava poder lucrar, sendo uma espécie de autor oportunista altamente prolífico que ‘atirava para todos os lados’ no mercado literário em ebulição de seus dias. A imprensa da época não discriminava entre gêneros, muito menos Defoe o faria.

Escrever, para Defoe, pois, não passava de commodity, como ele próprio retrata o mundo em suas ‘novelas’, que podemos resumir como ‘uma série de coisas a que se dá um preço de alto a baixo’. Tampouco era Defoe um ‘homem literário’: ao contrário, sua escrita é apressada, não pesa as palavras, e é transparente demais. Um ‘grau zero’ do estilo como se sempre fosse um jornalista ou historiador relatando fatos que tendia a apagar as próprias pegadas, negando seu próprio status de escritor e, portanto, de criador de realidades. O próprio Defoe batizava seu estilo de ‘cáustico’ ou ‘abjeto’ (mean), pretensamente desprovido de conscienciosidade e ignorante dos próprios artifícios. Na linguagem lacônica e um tanto caseira e pré-fabricada de Defoe sentimos, quase pela primeira vez na Literatura, o idioma dos comuns. Linguagem despida de textura e densidade, que permite ao leitor atravessar as palavras e ver as coisas de frente e em si mesmas. ‘O conhecimento das coisas, não das palavras, molda o erudito’, comentou Daniel Defoe no Compleat English Gentleman.¹ Uma profusão de aventuras e incidentes tem forçosamente de compensar as narrativas de Defoe, devido à crueza de textura. A suprema fertilidade de sua técnica é de fato impressionante. Defoe quase não se preocupa com o sentir das coisas, não mais do que um merceeiro passaria o dia acariciando e apalpando seus queijos, que são apenas seu ganha-pão. Defoe é o utilitarista-padrão: mais interessado no valor de troca dos objetos, não em suas qualidades sensuais ou sensórias. Há sem dúvida sensualidade em Defoe, principalmente nas obras de protagonistas mulheres (Moll Flanders e Roxana), mas não sensualismo, voluptuosidade. O realismo defoeniano é um realismo das coisas, enquanto que o de Richardson, por exemplo, é um das pessoas e sentimentos.”

¹ Uma espécie de enciclopédia de seu tempo, hoje de domínio público: https://ia800900.us.archive.org/29/items/compleatenglishg00deforich/compleatenglishg00deforich.pdf. Manuscritos descobertos no séc. XIX, tudo indica que fossem anotações diversas do escritor que ele tinha a intenção de completar e publicar.

Depois de um bom tempo exercendo seu ofício errático, pau-pra-toda-obra, escrevendo meramente para sobreviver, Defoe morreu enquanto se ocultava ou fugia de seus credores, autodeterminado, quem sabe, a acabar da mesma maneira que havia começado, ignorando outros estilos de vida. Foi um Dissidente (um imoralista) numa época em que ser Dissidente (assim, com letra maiúscula mesmo) era o mesmo que não possuir direitos civis. Como muitos de seus compatriotas novelistas, provinha da classe-média baixa econômica mas que possuía um status de pequena-burguesia, devido ao fator da formação intelectual: ilustrado, completou sua educação formal, cultivava ambições de ascensão e em seu meio os jovens eram politicamente articulados. No seu Journal of the Plague Year, ou Jornal do Ano da Peste, ele tripudia de algumas superstições do povão enquanto dá crédito irrestrito a outras. Muito parecido com William Blake em sua origem social, a rebeldia de Defoe afirmava a radical igualdade entre homens e mulheres, sustentando que o handicap feminino não passava do resultado de convenções. Desigualdades sexuais eram puramente culturais, nada naturais. O que distingue suas personagens Roxana e Moll Flanders, como outras tantas prostitutas vigaristas (seja as de luxo ou as que trabalhavam em espeluncas) e objetificadas da literatura de então, é que havia a afirmação premente, em todo o livro: elas não são propriedade de homem algum, elas não são de ninguém. No mundo de Defoe, nenhuma relação é permanente, aliás.”

Quando Moll Flanders diz levianamente que está grata por ter se livrado de seu filho na barriga, todo leitor de época se sentia escandalizado e ao mesmo tempo representado. Roxana é a comerciante-mulher, que embora seja a própria mercadoria é a dona do negócio: recusa o casamento, mesmo com um bom nobre, pois isso seria a ruína total de sua independência financeira. Ser esposa, para Roxana, era o mesmo que ser escrava. Os puritanos da geração de Defoe prezavam tanto a felicidade doméstica quanto o individualismo econômico; o único problema era a completa incompatibilidade de ambos. Sobretudo no caso das mulheres, que em quaisquer das esferas, isoladamente consideradas, estavam de todo modo alijadas da autonomia. Isso não significa que não fosse também uma questão masculina: na prática o individualismo econômico significava uma castração, compelindo à afabilidade, afeição, lealdade e companheirismo que o pai de família devia simbolizar.

Para complementar as credenciais progressistas de Defoe, ele militava pela absoluta soberania do plebeu, cujo direito de não se curvar a uma soberania injusta era, ele pregava, inalienável. Ele defendia os quakers e já então propagava os méritos de uma sociedade etnicamente miscigenada. Estrangeiros, segundo ele, eram um precioso acréscimo para a nação. Defoe troçava das mitologias chauvinistas dos bretões em poemas como O Inglês Puro-Sangue (The True-Born Englishman), cujos versos não hesitam em caracterizar a raça britânica justamente pela sua alta mestiçagem, desdenhando a noção aristocrática de pureza de sangue e ridicularizando a própria idéia-título do ‘puro-sangue’ com suprema ironia: mera ficção e, aliás, contradição. Não é irrelevante para essa polêmica (à época) que Guilherme III, sob quem Defoe exerceu seus trabalhos panfletários, fosse um holandês.”

“‘O que significam as capacidades naturais de qualquer criança sem a educação?’, o autor questiona no Compleat English Gentleman. Apenas tories absolutamente reacionários como Henry Fielding seriam capazes de enaltecer só o lado das qualidades inatas. Defoe não se mostrava pudico em politizar a questão: por trás dessa doutrina pedagógica ‘inocente’ havia toda uma tentativa de impedir as reformas pedagógico-sociais necessárias à Inglaterra, mediante o argumento dos talentos e habilidades congênitos e inalteráveis, que sempre legitimariam só as crianças da nobreza.”

O homem não é rico porque é honesto, mas é honesto porque é rico.

Essa é uma doutrina escandalosamente materialista avant-la-lettre, muito mais típica de um Bertolt Brecht do que de um ardoroso cristão dos Setecentos. Valores morais são o simples reflexo das condições materiais. Os ricos são apenas privilegiados o bastante para não terem de roubar. A moralidade é para aqueles que podem cultivá-la. Ideais calham muito bem a quem tem de sobra o que comer. Defoe também exigia leis que reconhecessem a condição dos miseráveis, ao invés da replicagem de um sistema que, em primeiro lugar, criou a miséria, para depois enforcar os miseráveis por serem eles o que são.”

Se a classe média preza tanto pelo eu autônomo na teoria, como pode ser que viole tanto essa doutrina na prática? Quer ela de fato a independência de todos os seus servos, assalariados que tem tão pouco poder de barganha que são menos do que cidadãos e pouco mais que escravos, sem falar dos colonizados além-mar? Não seria preferível para o pequeno-burguês, secretamente, é claro, preferir a liberdade irrestrita para si e a negativa para todos os competidores no mercado? A pequena-burguesia acredita na autodeterminação da população; mas ao mesmo tempo seus membros, homens e mulheres, não passam de títeres de forças econômicas impessoais. Os protagonistas de Defoe – Moll, Crusoe, Roxana, Coronel Jack – estão todos enleados nessa contradição. Se eles são, num sentido, forjadores de seu próprio destino, são, inegavelmente, vítimas desafortunadas da Providência, das leis do livre comércio e de seus próprios apetites.

No ensaio A Divindade da Troca (The Divinity of Trade), Defoe vê a Natureza como um tipo de capitalista, que – em sua infinita e inapreensível sabedoria burguesa – criou corpos capazes de flutuar sobre as águas, para que se pudessem construir navios e fomentar o comércio; criou as estrelas para nortear os navegadores; e até escavou rios no seio dos continentes que levam as embarcações direto para os recursos espoliáveis de outros países. Animais foram feitos dóceis e submissos deliberadamente para que o homem os explorasse como instrumentos e também como matéria-prima; linhas costeiras pedregosas foram criadas possibilitando a construção de fortalezas; matéria-prima conveniente foi distribuída ao longo de todo o planeta para que cada nação tivesse algo para vender e algo para comprar. Ainda que estejamos falando de um período muito aquém dos oceanos de Coca-Cola e da produção da necessidade quase que instintiva de calçar um Nike, a Natureza, para Defoe, não perdia e não perdeu nada de vista.”

Ora, se o homem era divinizado e elevado de forma sem precedentes nessa nova ordem social, temos em contrapartida a desvantagem de que qualquer indivíduo é indiferentemente intercambiável. Parceiros comerciais, sexuais ou maritais em Defoe vêm e vão, às vezes com tanta individualidade quanto numa coletividade de coelhos. Mas o maior conflito se dá entre as práticas amorais de uma cultura plutocêntrica e autocentrada em excesso e os altos ideais morais que essa própria cultura insiste em pregar.”

O escritor John Dunton, também do séc. XVIII, que teve ligeiro contato com Defoe, geria um jornal mensal devotado à prostituição, ou antes a denegrir a prática da prostituição ao invés de servir como Classificados do corpo humano alheio, o Night Walker: or, Evening Rambles in Search after Lewd Women (O Caminhante Noturno [/o Homem da Noite]: ou Aventuras do Entardecer em Busca de Mulheres Lascivas). Mesmo sendo vanguardista para a época, impossível que fosse um jornal politicamente correto para nossa concepção. A novela naturalista do século XIX procedia a expedientes parecidos, num meio-termo entre a objetificação degradante e gratuita da mulher da noite e a exposição de uma espécie de mal burguês: essas escapadelas maritais tinham um odor sensual e fatalista, havia um certo prazer mórbido no retrato de becos sujos e miseráveis em que todo moralista jogava a moral fora, e a mulher podia ser vista como a vítima de uma (des)ordem social; o século XIX foi cada vez mais inquirindo sobre esta questão de forma científica, menos sensacionalista, mas Defoe não chegou a testemunhar essa evolução.”

A família, para um puritano devoto como Defoe, é um domínio sagrado, como sugere seu panfleto de costumes O Instrutor da Família (The Family Instructor). Ao mesmo tempo, ele advoga, sem constrangimento, que tais laços podem e devem ser cortados quando se tornam mais maus do que bons: quando forem sinônimo de uma degradação do casamento, quando forem sinônimo do aviltamento das relações sangüíneas, acaba sendo a conduta mais autêntica e virtuosa o corte destes laços, ignorados ou tratados como meros meios para outros fins.”

Em Crusoe, é como se o colonialista frio e moderado desse o tom do enredo. Ele (o narrador em primeira pessoa) também é aquele que dá o matiz exótico ao objeto (cenário) em questão, isto é, sua colônia involuntária no meio dos trópicos. Essas narrativas sem adornos e sem culpa de consciência não chegam a destruir os vasos capilares do decoro ideológico da Inglaterra pós-elizabetana, mas são um primeiro desnudamento de sua lógica imperialista. Não são narrativas de uma veia polêmica, ainda, são mais cândidas que outra coisa. Não há sentimentalismo, porque sentimentos não podem ser quantificados, e nesta literatura em que só o que é quantificável é real eles ainda não aparecem. Nesta atmosfera intermediária de amoralismo, o relato é fidedignamente subversivo ou subversivamente fidedigno espelhando a existência social daquelas décadas; as relações são o que são, não o que deveram ser. Não obstante, a pura e simples descrição do fato e da matéria bruta não deixa de ser explosivo em si mesmo, ou conducente à explosão da dinamite próxima. O realismo se torna de grau em grau Política.”

Moll Flanders termina sua história contando como prosperou e chegou ao sucesso após uma vida de crimes, mas acrescentando, com alguma urgência, em tom de confissão compungida, que ela se arrepende sinceramente de todo seu passado. A moral da história – o crime não compensa – é explicitamente contradita pelo final efetivo. O contraste é tão desconcertante que alguns críticos passaram seu tempo imaginando se Defoe foi ou não abertamente sarcástico. Quando o náufrago Crusoe considera a inutilidade de todo o ouro que conseguira trazer do navio até a ilha, mas, no fim, decide levá-lo consigo assim mesmo – isso é uma tirada irônica do autor ou humor involuntário? Quando Crusoe, testemunhando Sexta-Feira que escapa de seus ex-irmãos canibais para não ser comido, reflete acerca da utilidade de levar consigo um servo, sendo este acréscimo a seu ‘patrimônio’ coincidente com um suposto chamado da Providência para salvar um desgraçado, seria essa harmonia entre interesse capitalista e revelação divina um artifício do autor para produzir o riso do leitor? Defoe está ou não depreciando sua heroína Roxana quando ela declara que deve manter seu próprio dinheiro separado do de seu amo e marido, para não misturar seus ganhos ilícitos com o suado e honesto capital do cônjuge?”

Porque se essa for a opinião fática do Defoe o Realista literário e Materialista radical, dificilmente seria também o credo de sua metade dissidente e religiosa. Defoe o Cristão estabelece a moral e a religião como realidades autossuficientes e inquestionáveis. Mas autossuficientes e inquestionáveis até que ponto, cara pálida? Se esses valores transcendentais existem numa esfera própria, eles pouco impactam na conduta efetiva dos personagens. Moll sente pena de uma de suas vítimas mesmo durante o ato de roubá-la, mas sua tristeza nada impede na concretização do ato. Como o Coronel Jack, que pode muito bem ser um perfeito larápio e viver com a consciência remoída. No século XVIII, piedade e nariz empinado não eram estranhos um ao outro. E não se distinguiam muito bem. Ou a moral falha porque está muito mesclada com o mundo material, ou falha porque está, justamente, dele apartada. Defoe reconhece esta última condição quando escreve: ‘Lágrimas e orações não fazem revoluções / Não derrubam tiranos, não quebram grilhões’.”

A moralidade em Defoe é geralmente retrospectiva. Uma vez que você tenha pilhado, pode finalmente ser penitente. Como demonstra o narrador de si próprio em Crusoe, é só ao escrever seus atos que você pode julgar sua vida como um todo. Enquanto tenta entender a própria vida ao vivo, você anda ocupado demais mantendo o nariz acima do nível d’água para levar a termo qualquer reflexão, quanto mais sentir remorso. Só há dois desfechos: continuar ou se afogar. Correr e ainda assim não ganhar nenhum terreno, continuar na condição em que já estava; ou simplesmente perecer. Não é fácil se embrenhar em considerações metafísicas enquanto a necessidade imediata é fugir dos credores ou lidar com seu atual marido. A narrativa sempre ziguezagueia num passo tão frenético que um evento vai borrando o outro num contínuo. Nenhum da horda de personagens da novela Moll Flanders chega a ter um intercurso mais que casual com a heroína – a interação típica entre cosmopolitas, mas impensável na comunidade rural dos livros de uma Jane Austen ou George Eliot. As figuras que interagem com Moll entram e saem de sua vida e das páginas de sua vida como meros transeuntes cruzam pela Piccadilly. A pergunta mais premente na cabeça do leitor que atravessa este processo metonímico virtualmente infindável é: o que vem a seguir? Sentido e relato não são concordes.

Assim como um parvo, diz-se, é incapaz de mascar chiclete e caminhar ao mesmo tempo, os personagens de Defoe só podem agir ou refletir, mas nunca os dois juntos. A ação moralmente informada é rara; a reflexão moral só vem bem depois. É essa a razão da coexistência de dois formatos literários consideravelmente diferentes sob a capa do Robinson Crusoe: a história aventuresca e a autobiografia espiritual. De todos os personagens de Daniel Defoe, Crusoe é o mais feliz na combinação dessa ação racional com a reflexão moral. Mas isso se dá, em parte, por causa das circunstâncias excepcionais: Crusoe está sozinho numa ilha, tem algum trabalho a executar, mas também muito tempo ocioso para meditar.”

Como a vida é terrivelmente material mas também uma sucessão ininterrupta e agitada de eventos, cada ato parece simultaneamente vívido e sem substância. Essas novelas são tornadas artigos fascinantes pelo processo de criação em si mesmo, pelo valor de troca, e não pelo valor de uso (intenção final). Não há uma lógica conclusiva para a narrativa de Defoe, é uma narrativa pura e simples. Não há um momento do livro em que o fechamento seria mais natural que em qualquer outro fecho de capítulo. O eu-lírico apenas prossegue acumulando narrativa(s), como um capitalista jamais cessa de acumular capital. Um pedaço de enredo, como um investimento particular, acaba levando ao próximo. Crusoe mal volta à terra natal e já está em alto-mar de novo, ainda acumulando aventuras, que serão obviamente narradas e contarão com o desejo do eu-lírico de formular um propósito. A sede de narrativa é insaciável. A acumulação de capital parece ter um propósito, mas é pura aparência. Secretamente, pelo menos no mercantilismo defoeniano, subjaz a verdade de que o único fim da acumulação é a própria acumulação. Uma novela de Defoe não tem o epílogo de facto, como têm as novelas de Fielding. Todos os finais são arbitrários, e todos poderiam ser apenas novos começos, se se quisesse.¹ O viajante inquieto só repousa a fim de se preparar para a próxima viagem…”

¹ A maior prova disso é que AS AVENTURAS DE ROBINSON CRUSOE são continuadas pelas NOVAS AVENTURAS DE ROBINSON CRUSOE, por mim panoramicamente traduzidas em https://seclusao.art.blog/2018/08/25/as-novas-aventuras-de-robinson-crusoe-sendo-a-segunda-e-ultima-parte-de-sua-vida-e-contando-as-estranhezas-e-surpresas-de-suas-viagens-por-tres-cantos-do-mundo-versao-co/. O autor escolheu convenientemente que o primeiro livro é a primeira metade da vida de Crusoe, e depois veio a 2ª. Mas nada o impediria de estabelecer uma tripartição, ou uma divisão em 4. Exemplos literários correlatos é o que não falta!

E devido a essa narratividade pura poucos eventos em Defoe são fruídos com densidade o bastante para deixar uma impressão permanente ou recordação intacta. Personagens como Moll ou Roxana vivem premidas pelo pão de cada dia, contando apenas consigo próprias, flutuando conforme a maré, dançando conforme a dança, apostando tudo ou nada a cada momento. Em perfeita adaptação com o mundo altamente mutante que encontram, esses sujeitos sincopam seu ritmo. Ou seja: não há um núcleo central da personalidade, tampouco, porque memórias e aprendizados estarão sempre se acumulando sem uma síntese definitiva. A identidade é uma improvisação, um cálculo, uma estratégia de passagem. Trata-se de uma cadeia de reações possíveis para cada ação promovida pelo ambiente. Os impulsos humanos – avareza, egoísmo, autopreservação – são fixos e imutáveis, é verdade, mas para sempre alcançá-los cada personagem é obrigado a ser flexível a ponto de se converter em metamorfo. A perspicácia e cautela necessárias para lidar com o tema da epidemia no Jornal do Ano da Peste seriam versões escandalosas e exageradas das próprias exigências do cotidiano para o leitor-padrão.”

O Coronel Jack se casa quatro vezes, a despeito de poder passar tranqüilamente sem mulheres, e rompe com uma delas porque ela dilapida sua fortuna. Na veia mais hobbesiana e pragmática possível, o interesse burguês é muito mais fundamental que a o altruísmo iluminista. Só mesmo caçar para comer seria mais premente que caçar para lucrar.”

O eu-narrador deslinda a trama com ar imperturbável que sugere um presente consideravelmente distanciado do passado em que o eu-narrado aparece (anos de intervalo, com toda a certeza). Este último não se pode dar ao luxo dessa parcimônia glacial do primeiro. Há uma tensão constante entre as duas dimensões temporais.”

Embora ‘Deus não esteja morto’, pareceria, a essa altura, para o bom Protestante, que Ele se recolheu deste mundo. Essa é uma das razões para as especulações de Defoe sobre a Providência ecoarem com um quê de vacilação. Ora, lembra o autor em The True-Born Englishman: ‘O que vem da Providência, consiste no interesse de todo o universo.’. Se tomarmos a frase ao pé-da-letra, estariam justificados o estupro, o assassinato, o canibalismo. Cada um desses pecados teria seu papel na manutenção da harmonia do cosmo. Defoe declama piamente no prefácio do Crusoe como devemos honrar a sabedoria da Providência e suas obras, ‘sucedam como sucedam’; mas o protagonista, muito longe de se resignar ao destino, é hiperativo e incansável na tentativa de forjar seus próprios porquês.”

De nossa perspectiva, se Crusoe devera ser punido, não seria por ter vivido a primeira metade da vida como um pagão, mas sim por vender Xury, seu servo, à escravidão brutal e por gerir uma plantation no Brasil movida a mais trabalho escravo. Na verdade, quando naufraga, ele estava justamente prestes a comprar mais mão-de-obra escrava numa expedição clandestina para abastecer seu engenho. Mas nem o personagem nem o autor conseguiriam ver tais ações como pecaminosas, ainda que Crusoe se indigne com as condições do imperialismo espanhol nas Américas. Como com o narrador de O Coração das Trevas de Joseph Conrad, o ‘imperialismo dos outros’ é sempre mais repreensível que o nosso. O Coronel Jack defende o castigo físico dos escravos, e não há qualquer indicativo de que Defoe pensasse diferente. A liberdade era para os ingleses, não para os africanos! Como zeloso puritano, Defoe decerto cria que os ‘selvagens’ estavam condenados irremediavelmente à bestialidade nesta terra, e ao tormento eterno no além. Seu radicalismo (progressismo de vanguarda na política) tinha seus claros limites.”

A Natureza não é mais um livro aberto, mas um texto obscuro a ser decifrado com imensa dificuldade. O Protestante tateia avidamente no escuro atrás de qualquer signo ambíguo de sua própria salvação. Mas o fato é que, num universo secularizado, tudo está entregue à própria contingência, isto é, nada no mundo visível quer dizer alguma coisa nem dá qualquer pista de nada.”

Signos, nesse mundo dessacralizado, como também numa profusão de textos modernistas (dali a duzentos anos), são a priori e incontornavelmente ambíguos. Essa é a razão por que o crente nunca pode parar de trabalhar, porque se não se tem certeza da salvação agora, cada dia seu de labuta pode ser o fiel na balança para a absolvição no dia do Juízo. Ilhas tropicais, é bom lembrar, estão geralmente associadas à indolência, mas não no caso de Crusoe. Ele está sempre ocupado em melhorar e estender sua ‘propriedade paradisíaca’. ‘Eu realmente gostaria de um estábulo maior.’ Tanto é assim que o próprio Crusoe responde a si mesmo, vendo o quão ilógica é essa vontade: ‘Para quê?’. Crusoe não é um capitalista de verdade – é só um de mentirinha, sem mão-de-obra como Outro, sem mercado, consumidor, produto nem competidores ou divisão de trabalho. Mas, ainda que não tenha concorrentes, ele age como se os tivesse…”

A ilha de Crusoe é menos a utopia da pequena-burguesia numa dimensão paralela do que uma versão piorada ou distópica da situação pequeno-burguesa inglesa. Ou, antes, o que uma classe sofre no mundo, Crusoe sofre na sua ilha. Sua solidão é uma versão exponencial da solidão de todos os indivíduos da cidade moderna. Sendo absolutamente dependente num sentido, é verdade que é possível ser absolutamente autodeterminado num outro. Quão enérgico e engenhoso pode-se chegar a ser na administração de seu próprio império seria um índice de sua inclusão entre a minoria eleita. Assim poder-se-ia resolver o conflito aparente entre ser o joguete de Deus e, pelo próprio suor, pregar, no melhor estilo puritano, que o sucesso no trabalho é o melhor sinal que o mundo poderá dar de que você achou favor aos olhos da divindade.”

UM PROBLEMA ISENTO DE QUAISQUER “MEMÓRIAS PÓSTUMAS”: “A narrativa está sempre precariamente ancorada no presente que é um fio de navalha, em que a sorte do personagem é indefinida e o futuro absolutamente duvidoso; mas tudo isso é contado com um tal desassossego e afastamento, fechando um passado, que empresta certa autoridade. Supomos então que o narrador sobreviveu, nem que apenas pelo fato de estar agora, com a maior das calmas, falando de si mesmo na época em que corria perigo. Ansiedade e segurança se acoplam perfeitamente na escrita.”

E assim Defoe continua a insistir que sua estória existe com um fundo moral, embora isso seja obviamente uma farsa. O realismo, no sentido de uma atenção dedicada ao mundo material por si e nele mesmo, não está ainda avalizado neste período literário, embora se encontre em visível ascensão; embora a sociedade em que ele cresce e ascende demande-o cada vez mais, e encoraje-o mais que à moralidade, pois as pessoas passam a acreditar somente no que podem cheirar, tocar, provar. Samuel Johnson argumentava que o fato de um personagem ou evento ser fidedigno à natureza não servia de desculpa para incluí-lo num enredo ou obra de arte. Na teoria, essa colisão entre o moral e o real pode ser resolvida por justificações do autor, no estilo tabloide. Quão mais gráfica e escandalosa uma estória, mais fácil transmitir uma mensagem, poder-se-ia astuciosamente argumentar. Defoe escreve no prefácio para Roxana: ‘Se há qualquer parte da história, no relato de uma má ação, que pareça descrever as coisas de forma muito direta e impudica, todo o cuidado imaginável foi tomado para purificar o trabalho de todas as indecências e indecorosidades…’. Essas linhas, ao que parece, produziam, já naquele tempo, o mesmo efeito que hoje os avisos solenes, prévios a um audiovisual, acerca da presença de sexo e violência nos minutos que seguem: são só um chamariz a mais para a audiência (‘o que é proibido é melhor’), engenhosamente acrescentado pelo autor, sem transgredir nenhuma regra.

A novela realista se torna popular num marco da história em que o cotidiano banal começa a se tornar atrativo por si mesmo. Essa mescla do ordinário e exótico é a síntese do trabalho de Defoe. Parte do prazer extraído da leitura emana da excitação que deriva do puramente mundano. Defoe viveu em tempos turbulentos, e ninguém pode dizer que ele não viveu esses tempos intensa e perigosamente. Em épocas revolucionárias, a teatralidade adquire maior importância, mesmo fora da arte. Como a nova arte imita a vida, o teatral tem de despontar também na arte. Por último: Defoe também sabia o que era sofrer uma bancarrota, ser trancafiado nas galés e embarcar em expedições insólitas das quais não se sabia se se ia voltar.”

James Joyce, que, para nossa surpresa, enumera Defoe entre seus autores prediletos, escreveu do Crusoe que ele encarna ‘todo o espírito anglo-saxão … a independência masculina; a crueldade inconsciente; a persistência; a inteligência devagar mas eficaz; a apatia sexual; a religiosidade prática e metódica; a taciturnidade calculada’. Poderíamos dizer que essa é exatamente a visão que Sexta-Feira tem de Crusoe: Joyce é um súdito colonial da coroa britânica, e com certeza, quando alistado para a guerra, combateu muitos soldados com este perfil, em Dublin. Um ou dois assim são vistos no Ulisses. A passagem acima, que Joyce redigiu enquanto no exílio italiano, tem ainda algo do genial vislumbre do caráter imperial, que era meio-compatível com Joyce (colonizado, mas ao mesmo tempo da elite, ou seja, colonizador pela ótica dos subalternos, das massas irlandesas): outro materialista, o irlandês devia apreciar a fisicalidade intensa de Defoe. Uma vez o dublinense se descreveu como tendo a mente de um verdureiro. Defoe, por sua vez, destila em sua obra o autêntico espírito de uma nação de sapateiros.”

Quem é ele, ele se pergunta no mesmo estilo hipocondríaco do devoto liberal ou do pós-modernista, para interferir com a prática do canibalismo num povo primitivo? Mas o fato de maior parte da novela tratar justamente do know-how do homem civilizado e prático empresta lentes peculiares à tese do universalismo. A racionalidade ortodoxa, no sentido de ensinar quando o importante é se preservar, como não cair de um precipício, por exemplo, é mais plausível como universalidade de todos os povos do que qualquer outro tipo de raciocínio utilitário. É por isso que Sexta-Feira pode ajudar Crusoe nos trabalhos braçais muito antes de poder falar Inglês, porque a lógica do mundo material é comum a todas as culturas. Pedras caem em ambas (a ocidental e a autótocne) porque obedecem à gravidade, seja no Haiti ou em Huddersfield; quatro mãos aplicadas sempre trabalham melhor que duas para carregar objetos pesados; alguém pode jogar-lhe uma corda para evitar que você se afogue ainda que no sistema cultural de quem jogou a corda a água simbolize algo totalmente diferente do que você aprendeu em seus dogmas e valores. A racionalidade prática é, nesse aspecto, o epítome do Anglicismo: se o gentleman chegar de fato aos céus, está na cara que examinarão o lugar com bastante escrutínio, para tirarem o melhor proveito do que ele terá a oferecer. Mas eis um tipo de comportamento, senão onipresente, pelo menos atemporal.”

Não é escassa a literatura da tradição do comerciante-criminoso e vice-versa, dos vigaristas de John Gay em A Ópera do Vagabundo ao Vautrin de Balzac e o Mr. Merdle de Dickens. Como Bertolt Brecht disse: ‘O que é roubar um banco comparado com abrir um?’. A cozinha dos ladrões é a companhia de comércio sem a ideologia da respeitabilidade. O Coronel Jack começa como um ladrão de meia-tigela e termina como um bem-sucedido capitalista na Virgínia, sem nenhum talento a mais do que quando começara sua ‘carreira’. O mestre do crime de Fielding, Jonathan Wild, é um retrato satírico do político Robert Walpole, que funde em sua figura o mundo da alta política e da contravenção chic ou do colarinho branco. A idéia de ir parar numa terra virgem e construir do zero uma civilização deve constituir uma das fantasias mais intensas para a classe média. Sem dúvida isso ajuda a justificar a permanência de Crusoe como clássico sem o menor sinal de que vá ceder o posto tão cedo.”

Ao desafiar a influência do gentil-homem e da nobreza, era necessário, para lograr êxito, desacreditar o poder da antiguidade no processo. Defoe é sardônico sobre a obsessão aristocrática com a pureza de sangue e o matrimônio: Por que – ele pergunta no Compleat English Gentleman – os nobres permitem de boa vontade que amas-de-leite plebéias amamentem seus filhos, já que, ironicamente, elas lhes estão repassando, conforme a própria teoria eugênica dos sangue-azul, um sangue degenerado? N’O Inglês Puro-Sangue ele admite explicitamente a irrelevância do tópico da ancestralidade. Destarte, é uma fantasia muito benquista pelo homem branco imaginar-se num território virgem, poder desfazer toda a história até suas origens, recomeçando-a melhor, já com a ‘classe média’ no poder.”

O MESMO EFEITO DA ESTÁTUA DA LIBERDADE NO PRIMEIRO LONGA DE PLANETA DOS MACACOS: “O que nos deixa derrotados em Robinson Crusoe, e um dos momentos mais insólitos da literatura universal, é aquela misteriosa única pegada encontrada na areia.”

Ainda assim, Robinson Crusoe segue muitos anos sem preocupações em sua ilha; O Gulliver, de Jonathan Swift, não tem a mesma sorte.”

Como Defoe, Swift escreve numa prosa prática, transparente, célere, com o perdão do trocadilho,¹ sem muita textura ou ressonância. Seu texto não possui, como um crítico bem apontou, recessos ou raízes e ramificações mil. Há uma alarmante ausência de metáforas. É um estilo da superfície, sem muita profundeza nem interioridade.² Swift desconfia de toda reflexividade textual como de toda metafísica ou especulação abstrusa. Essa indiferença à verdade filosófica nos conta algo sobre o clero do século XVIII, do qual Swift fazia parte. É quase como um ladrão de banco ser indiferente ao dinheiro. Um aristocrata tory da época de Swift era necessariamente um amador, não um especialista: acreditava num certo número necessário de princípios básicos que o século do Iluminismo vinha tornar acessíveis a todos. Swift não poderia entender, ainda que sobrevivesse a sua época, a era da prosa de gêneros especializada. As Viagens de Gulliver não são, no sentido hodierno da palavra, uma obra ‘literária’, e não teriam saído do papel se o autor pensasse em escrever uma novela. A linguagem de Swift, como a de Defoe, tenta apagar a si mesma desdobrando o real no real, e na época não havia palavra para batizar esse zero fictício. As palavras perdem o valor e privilegiam os objetos, que ocupam o centro do palco. A própria linguagem ideal que o autor imaginou – uma língua que abole a língua – é a transparência do modelo. Isso acontece entre os laputianos gramáticos que, ao invés de conversar entre si usando as cordas vocais e convenções aceitas unicamente pelo seu povo, carregam para um e outro lado uma sacola com diversos objetos que eventualmente precisem comunicar, e vão-nos mostrando ao interlocutor, desempenhando uma caricata ‘linguagem de Babel’. A verdade é que a linguagem humana é este saco, mas sem fundo e diáfano, uma forma de levar o mundo conosco sem carregar peso algum (ainda que com a inconveniência de cada povo ter a sua língua). Os Houyhnhnms evitam elaborações verbais e mantêm uma perfeita correspondência entre palavra e coisa – a tal ponto, aliás, que são incapazes de mentir. Perfeitos como são em sua representação do mundo, se houvera dentre eles um escritor, seria este capaz de produzir uma bela novela realista!”

¹ Swift em inglês é ágil, veloz.

² Sublinhei em verde porque não posso estar minimamente de acordo com Eagleton neste trecho!

As Viagens de Gulliver, muito ao contrário do Crusoe, é um libelo do ‘anti-progressismo’ em que um protagonista amnesíaco parece não aprender nada ou aprender muito pouco em cada uma de suas jornadas; assim que ele parte para uma nova aventura, volta a aparentar ser uma tabula rasa. De fato as viagens de Gulliver são mais entrecortadas que as de Crusoe. Estas, mesmo que possam ser segmentadas pelo autor em capítulos e tomos, parecem bem-costuradas narrativamente. Gulliver vive literalmente episódios desconexos um do outro. Não em vão fala-se d’As Viagens como a suprema paródia do livro de viagem, gênero literário¹ usualmente otimista e cheio de ‘lições e aprendizados’.”

¹ O leitor de minha tradução deve ter percebido que em seu afã descritivo o crítico costuma se contradizer bastante. Aqui, vemos que na verdade o europeu do século XVIII contemporâneo de Defoe e Swift já reconhecia, senão o realismo ou o romantismo, pelo menos certos gêneros literários…

O tory Swift, ao contrário do whiggiano Defoe,¹ nada quer ter a ver com indivíduos. Sua única descrição é a de uma verdade universal, enquanto Gulliver e os personagens secundários servem apenas como meios para ilustrá-la. Gulliver não passa de um dispositivo narrativo bem conveniente, não é um ‘personagem’ propriamente dito, não é possível se identificar resolutamente com ele. Crusoe é bem diferente e vai crescendo em nossa concepção conforme avançam as páginas. Gulliver apenas ‘pede’ que observemos e julguemos os lugares que ele visitou.”

¹ Ver tabelas no final.

Os lilliputianos são cruéis, gananciosos e sectários, como se fossem réplicas em miniatura dos políticos de Westminster. Esse retrato da raça humana como corrupta e imutável é típica do conservantismo anglicano swiftiano. Ele desdenha a possibilidade de qualquer progresso dramático e mudança revolucionária para melhor no campo social, e logo se vê que a tal verdade universal que ele tenta mostrar é uma só: já conhecíamos essa verdade antes de viajarmos. Deus nos deu tudo de que precisávamos logo de partida, e velejar a esmo tropeçando em criaturinhas de uma polegada ou esbarrando no tornozelo de gigantes pouco importa nesse quadro. Talvez todos os indivíduos exóticos que encontramos não passem de distrações válidas unicamente para o momento.”

Mas só sabemos que os lilliputianos são diferentes de nós porque conservamos com eles a identidade do conceito de tamanho. Chamamos tarântulas de tarântulas e não de humanos porque usamos a linguagem, pela qual descrevemos e nomeamos as tarântulas, e elas não. Se as tarântulas fossem tão alienígenas assim à espécie humana, não seria esse o caso. Não se pode falar da diferença sem a comparação e o diagnóstico de algo igual. Os únicos diferentes reais de nós são aqueles que passam invisíveis, de cócoras, bem diante do nosso nariz, e que jamais percebemos.”

A escrita de uma viagem é, mais do que antes, como se vê, um gênero muito duvidoso para um tory se engajar naquele tempo. De um livro como esse esperam-se sobretudo novidades, que são indesejáveis para os conservadores. Defoe escreveu cedo na vida um Ensaio sobre Projetos (Essay on Projects), que era o perfeito contraponto dessa ânsia de imobilismo do tory: exibia grande entusiasmo quanto às reformas técnico-científicas. Crusoe rejeita implicitamente, ao querer sair de casa, os valores benquistos pela aristocracia (o lar, a coroa, a nação). Toda essa sede mercantilista de Crusoe não parece mais do que a pornografia do progresso para muitas mentes mais estreitas ou mais clássicas. Fantasiar com monstros desconhecidos é indecoroso; tudo que não é verossímil só pode nublar nosso julgamento. Crusoe encoraja caprichos tolos e emoções extravagantes que são péssimos para a lei e a ordem. Fora que, quanto mais viaja, mais Crusoe se sente um relativista cultural, algo igualmente insidioso para um tory. Pode ser perigoso para o viajante chegar a se tornar tão sonhador e apegado a coisas estrangeiras, a ponto de bradar, por exemplo, que se deparou com selvagens que, eles sim, são felizes e vivem em harmonia com a natureza. Isso seria negar o pecado original e inspirar nas gentes utopias cândidas e pueris, coisa contra a qual se deve lutar. Além do mais, de que vale, se o aventureiro acabaria sempre voltando ao solo inglês, muito longe dessas tais utopias inúteis? As alusões anti-monárquicas e anti-establishment de tais peregrinações pareceram, em todos os tempos, muito grosseiras aos tories.

Muito do debate em curso no século XVIII girava em torno de um consenso político que pudesse superar as terríveis dissensões do século anterior, mais animoso, de guerras civis e de queda e restauração da monarquia. Swift se referiu em vida a Defoe com toda a prepotência de um patrício: ‘Aquele sujeito que foi exibido no pelourinho – esqueci o nome dele…’. Mas não podemos deixar de observar em Swift o mesmo entusiasmo pelo comércio que em Defoe. Swift é irlandês e a Irlanda estava sempre em posição mais combalida que a metrópole. Além disso, Swift também não dava crédito à teoria da pureza da raça, e gostava de se ver como um burguês em que tudo de seus antepassados já se diluíra há muito tempo, a ponto de torná-lo irreconhecível para estes. Swift foi um tory, mas um tory radical, um exemplar do animal oximorônico que muito enriqueceu a cultura inglesa se formos considerar outros escritores tories e radicais ao mesmo tempo, como William Cobbett e John Ruskin.

Defoe era ‘progressista’ e rebelde, mas chegava a delírios de esnobeza episódicos tão altaneiros que chegou a alterar seu nome de Daniel Foe para Daniel De Foe, e que hoje escrevemos Defoe. A conjunção ‘de’ implica origem nobre. Swift e autores como Pope viam a sociedade britânica como desprovida desde os primórdios de mérito congênito, uma raça venal que além de tudo foi muito corrompida pelo poder e pelo dinheiro com o passar do tempo, atributos que eles viam encarnados pelo odioso primeiro-ministro whig Robert Walpole (já comentado). Mas Defoe não deixava, idem, de criticar a obsessão cega e sem qualquer pano de fundo pelo dinheiro.

Poderíamos ver os mesmos entrelaçamentos complementares e/ou contraditórios em pares como Henry Fielding e Samuel Richardson. Richardson era filho de um carpinteiro de Derbyshire, não completou a escola básica e se tornou impressor, enquanto Fielding era um egresso do colégio de Eton repleto de conexões com figurões. Richardson tinha estilo agressivo, era um campeão das classes médias, e afirmava que o ofício do comércio ‘é infinitamente de mais conseqüência, e devia ser muito mais estimulado que qualquer outra posição ou ranking social, sobretudo as dos títulos inócuos típicas da Inglaterra’. E não obstante Richardson se punha estupefato diante da quantidade de personalidades decrépitas e mesquinhas das novelas de Fielding: chegou a afirmar que se não soubesse quem Fielding era, pensaria se tratar de um cavalariço. Fielding rebatia. Disse uma vez que Pamela de Richardson encorajava jovens aristocratas a se casarem com as camareiras de suas mamães, e que não conseguiria por nada pôr-se no lugar dos nobres de suas novelas. Com efeito, em vez de casar-se com a empregada de sua mãe, Henry Fielding casou-se, no segundo matrimônio, com a empregada de sua primeira esposa!” HA-HA-HA-HA!

O nome Gulliver está muito bem-dado, por sinal.¹ Sua credulidade é o mais das vezes seu ponto fraco. Ele de alguma forma se sente pateticamente (afetivamente) ligado a pessoas que conhece em suas viagens um tanto rápido demais, sem muito senso crítico. Em Lilliput, vangloria-se de seu título de Nardac, espécie de análogo a cavaleiro da rainha, lança-se como líder militar, envolve-se em intrigas as mais pavonescas, tendo de enfrentar um processo para provar que não cometeu fornicação com uma lilliputiana. A impossibilidade física do ato sexual entre seu corpo descomunal perto de um lilliputiano não parece ter passado ora alguma pela cabeça do réu que tentava, afobado, se defender. (…) De herói a vilão da pátria, Gulliver parece ser sempre o mesmo, tanto num pólo como noutro, levado unicamente pelas circunstâncias e vilezas dos outros personagens.”

¹ “Gullible” é bobo, ingênuo.

E a despeito do inconveniente de ser um inglês e de explorar terras tão remotas, ele é um ótimo aluno de idiomas, aprendendo rápido a falar como os nativos em suas jornadas, apesar de que isso soa mais como recurso estilístico para justificar a comunicação de Gulliver nessas praças do que uma característica que Swift gostaria de ter dado sem mais a seu protagonista. Se essa parte da personalidade de Gulliver se mostra tão expedita para se adaptar aos costumes forasteiros, sua outra metade é a de um inglês chauvinista cabeça oca, complacente e cego quanto aos defeitos dos seus conterrâneos. Seu relato visivelmente galante da história do reino britânico ao rei Brobdingnag logo produz um efeito contrário ao esperado, horrorizando-o, a ponto deste rei considerar que, se Gulliver fala mesmo a verdade, todos os bretões não passam de uns vermes.”

Ou ele é um imperialista ou um relativista cultural, sem meio-termo. A questão é que a novela serve para demonstrar a secreta afinidade entre os dois extremos. Não há tanta diferença entre defender acriticamente a Coroa inglesa ou o poder soberano de Lilliput. Se devêramos simpatizar com outras culturas, se isso fosse um imperativo, então por que não simpatizar com a própria civilização? Se devemos desculpar os canibais, por que não as grandes multinacionais que poluem a atmosfera? Se todas as culturas estão em ordem e seguem na supracitada ‘harmonia cósmica’, então na realidade não há nada o quê escolher, e nenhum indício de que os brobdingnaguianos seriam superiores, em qualquer sentido, aos ingleses.”

Swift com certeza conhecia o que era preconceito: difamador dos bons, satirista vituperador altamente imaginativo e polemista de vocação, capaz de ignorar a verdade só para terminar com a razão, acabava inadvertidamente por levantar a bandeira da intolerância política e religiosa. Se a sátira de Fielding é genial, a de Swift é tão brusca e amalucada em contraste que parece até semipatológica. Ele era misógino, autoritário, troçador da canalha, e acima de tudo um representante da Irlanda de seu tempo, isto é, a colônia inglesa que era quase um pária e que, caso houvesse uma corrida entre todos os povos colonizados pela Inglaterra decerto não chegaria em primeiro lugar, no juízo inglês. Eis aqui, outra vez, o incômodo e involuntário papel ambíguo de diplomata e capataz, exercido, como vimos, por James Joyce.”

Enfim, o que As Viagens parece querer ensinar? Que você deveria apreciar todas as culturas humanas em sua parcialidade, sem ser um Gulliver, mas também sem recair no niilismo. Homens e mulheres precisam cultivar ideais, como as virtudes plácidas e racionais dos Houyhnhnms, caso queiram ser mais do que reles materialistas. O problema é deixar que esses ideais exerçam um papel predatório na própria consciência. Isso seria ser tão ao revés de um materialista que representaria a negação do próprio corpo, tão ruim quanto a falta de ideais. Não se deve chegar a esse ponto, o de perceber-se com desgosto por causa do Outro. Não se conformar inteiramente com o próprio corpo, é certo, mas nem por isso chegar a reprimi-lo.”

Se não fosse por terem 4 patas e cauda, os Houyhnhnms talvez não estivessem totalmente fora do lugar num salão janeausteniano, tomando chá com Mr. Knightley. Mas convenhamos que este é o ponto: os Houyhnhnms são menos uma possibilidade humana do que, como um ensaísta bem colocou, uma impossibilidade insultante.”

Qual perspectiva é a correta? Difícil responder na época em que inventaram o microscópio. Quão distanciado ou aproximado dos fatos você precisa estar para vê-lo ‘direito’? O que se vê na lente de um microscópio é a verdade ou a distorção da verdade?”

Os novelistas do Dezoito, tendo estabelecido uma distância do mundo romanesco, estão a maior parte das vezes cônscios de que a crença no fato nu e cru é tão mítica quando o próprio ideal do Romance. A novela, sendo a forma literária que é, nada pode fazer no tocante a decidir qual perspectiva é mais ‘verdadeira’, embora exerça um importante papel na definição do ‘mundo real’. Gulliver é um empiricista ultimado ou crente no fato bruto, um ponto de vista que anda de mãos dadas com seu interesse ‘progressista’ nos problemas técnicos e mecânicos (em contraponto ao próprio Swift, parecendo-se, desse ângulo, uma reedição de Crusoe). Ele é um exemplar do ‘novo homem’: cabeça-dura, ou melhor, obstinado, pragmático, aposta todas as suas fichas na religião chamada progresso, é fascinado por esquemas quiméricos e projetos de reforma social, ansioso por galardoar sua narrativa em primeira pessoa com mapas e provas documentais que para ele atestam a veracidade absoluta do que observa nas nações forasteiras.”

Mas Swift não nos brinda com uma solução ao dilema fundamental. Ele desaparece de vista e dá espaço para o leitor lidar com as contradições postas. É da natureza de sua sátira deixar de propor qualquer resposta construtiva – em parte porque um gentleman não carece de se envolver com esses problemas, ninharia de pequeno-burguês; e em parte porque qualquer solução logo se denunciaria como parcial.”

Swift e Defoe escrevem ambos numa sociedade que acredita na verdade, na razão e na justiça teóricas, mas cuja conduta contumaz se tornou tão falsa, injusta e irracional que já não é possível acreditar em nenhum indivíduo na prática.”

Se ‘primitivos’ como os irlandeses (que não são civilizados como os ingleses, ainda) e os aborígenes do Pacífico Sul forem realmente Yahoos, parece que isso justificaria o imperialismo britânico. Mas se os Yahoos são a humanidade inteira, então os colonizadores são (metaforicamente) bestiais e vivem também cobertos de fezes, o que suprime qualquer direito de soberania que tanto se arrogam. Por esta via, o colonialismo se torna uma questão de um bando de selvagens hipócritas liderando outros selvagens, não-hipócritas. Os mestres seriam tão imprestáveis quanto os súditos – uma opinião que, n’O Coração das Trevas, desautoriza qualquer colonialismo mas confirma, ainda, alguns de seus preconceitos (sim, os nativos são mesmo uns imprestáveis).”

Yahhoo boss (Quintanilla)
O chefe Yahoo

No fim, o que cavalos pensam de nós não é o suficiente para nos rotular como Houyhnhnms nem Yahoos – exceto, talvez, para os antepassados dos nobres anglo-irlandeses, para quem era regra amar um cavalo mais do que seus entes queridos, quem dirá o povão.”

comparison gulliver vs crusoe
comparison swift vs defoe

PROJECTING THE TRANSMISSION DYNAMICS OF SARS-COV-2 [COVID19] THROUGH THE POST-PANDEMIC PERIOD – Kissler, Tedijanto, Goldstein, Grad, Lipsitch, Science Magazine, 14/04

For social distancing to have reversed the epidemic in China, the effective reproduction number must have declined by at least 50-60%, assuming a baseline R0 [taxa de transmissibilidade do vírus – per capita] between 2 and 2.5. Through intensive control measures, Shenzhen was able to reduce the effective reproduction number by an estimated 85%. However, it is unclear how well these declines in R0 might generalize to other settings: recent data from Seattle suggests that the basic reproduction number has only declined to about 1.4, or by about 30-45% assuming a baseline R0 between 2 and 2.5. Furthermore, social distancing measures may need to last for months to effectively control transmission and mitigate the possibility of resurgence.”

We used data from the United States to model betacoronavirus transmission in temperate regions and to project the possible dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 infection through the year 2025.”

According to the best-fit model parameters, the R0 for HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-HKU1 varies between 1.7 in the summer and 2.2 in the winter and peaks in the 2nd week of January, consistent with the seasonal spline estimated from the data. Also in agreement with the findings of the regression model, the duration of immunity for both strains in the best-fit SEIRS model is about 45 weeks, and each strain induces cross-immunity against the other, though the cross-immunity that HCoV-OC43 infection induces against HCoV-HKU1 is stronger than the reverse.”

Next, we incorporated a third betacoronavirus into the dynamic transmission model to represent SARS-CoV-2. We assumed a latent period of 4.6 days, and an infectious period of 5 days, informed by the best-fit values for the other betacoronaviruses. We allowed the cross immunities, duration of immunity, maximum R0, and degree of seasonal variation in R0 to vary. We assumed an establishment time of sustained transmission on 11 March 2020, when the World Health Organization declared the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak a pandemic and we varied the establishment time in a sensitivity analysis. For a representative set of parameter values, we measured annual SARS-CoV-2 infections and the peak annual SARS-CoV-2 prevalence through 2025. We summarized the post-pandemic SARS-CoV-2 dynamics into the categories of annual outbreaks, biennial outbreaks, sporadic outbreaks, or virtual elimination. Overall, shorter durations of immunity and smaller degrees of cross-immunity from the other betacoronaviruses were associated with greater total incidence of infection due to SARS-CoV-2, and autumn establishments and smaller seasonal fluctuations in transmissibility were associated with larger pandemic peak sizes.”

SARS-CoV-2 can proliferate at any time of year”

If immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is not permanent, it will likely enter into regular circulation

Much like pandemic influenza, many scenarios lead to SARS-CoV-2 entering into long-term circulation alongside the other human betacoronaviruses, possibly in annual, biennial, or sporadic patterns over the next five years.”

High seasonal variation in transmission leads to smaller peak incidence during the initial pandemic wave but larger recurrent wintertime outbreaks”

The R0 for influenza in New York declines in the summer by about 40%, while in Florida the decline is closer to 20%, which aligns with the estimated decline in R0 for HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-HKU1. A 40% summertime decline in R0 would reduce the unmitigated peak incidence of the initial SARS-CoV-2 pandemic wave. However, stronger seasonal forcing leads to a greater accumulation of susceptible individuals during periods of low transmission in the summer, leading to recurrent outbreaks with higher peaks in the post-pandemic period.”

If immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is permanent, the virus could disappear for five or more years after causing a major outbreak”

Low levels of cross immunity from the other betacoronaviruses against SARS-CoV-2 could make SARS-CoV-2 appear to die out, only to resurge after a few years”

Pharmaceutical treatments and vaccines may require months to years to develop and test, leaving non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) as the only immediate means of curbing SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Social distancing measures have been adopted in many countries with widespread SARS-CoV-2 transmission. The necessary duration and intensity of these measures has yet to be characterized. To address this, we adapted the SEIRS transmission model to capture moderate/mild/asymptomatic infections (95.6% of infections), infections that lead to hospitalization but not critical care (3.08% of infections), and infections that require critical care (1.32% of infections). We assumed the worst-case scenario of no cross-immunity from HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-HKU1 against SARS-CoV-2, which makes the SARS-CoV-2 model unaffected by the transmission dynamics of those viruses. Informed by the transmission model fits, we assumed a latent period of 4.6 days and an infectious period of 5 days, in agreement with estimates from other studies. The mean duration of non-critical hospital stay was 8 days for those not requiring critical care and 6 days for those requiring critical care, and the mean duration of critical care was 10 days. We varied the peak (wintertime) R0 between 2.2 and 2.6 and allowed the summertime R0 to vary between 60% (i.e. relatively strong seasonality) and 100% (i.e. no seasonality) of the wintertime R0, guided by the inferred seasonal forcing for HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-HKU1.”

In the case of a 20-week period of social distancing with 60% reduction in R0, for example, the resurgence peak size was nearly the same as the peak size of the uncontrolled epidemic: the social distancing was so effective that virtually no population immunity was built.”

Strong social distancing maintained a high proportion of susceptible individuals in the population, leading to an intense epidemic when R0 rises in the late autumn and winter. None of the one-time interventions was effective in maintaining the prevalence of critical cases below the critical care capacity.

Intermittent social distancing could prevent critical care capacity from being exceeded). Due to the natural history of infection, there is an approximately 3-week lag between the start of social distancing and the peak critical care demand. When transmission is seasonally forced, summertime social distancing can be less frequent than when R0 remains constant at its maximal wintertime value throughout the year. The length of time between distancing measures increases as the epidemic continues, as the accumulation of immunity in the population slows the resurgence of infection. Under current critical care capacities, however, the overall duration of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic could last into 2022, requiring social distancing measures to be in place between 25% (for wintertime R0 = 2 and seasonality) and 75% (for wintertime R0= 2.6 and no seasonality) of that time. When the latent, infectious, and hospitalization periods are gamma-distributed [segundo uma constante, e não exponencialmente], incidence rises more quickly, requiring a lower threshold for implementing distancing measures (25 cases per 10,000 individuals for R0 = 2.2 in our model) and more frequent interventions.”

SERIAM NECESSÁRIOS MUITO MAIS DO QUE APENAS HOSPITAIS E LEITOS DE CAMPANHA: “Increasing critical care capacity allowed population immunity to be accumulated more rapidly, reducing the overall duration of the epidemic and the total length of social distancing measures.”

The observation that strong, temporary social distancing can lead to especially large resurgences agrees with data from the 1918 influenza pandemic in the United States, in which the size of the autumn 1918 peak of infection was inversely associated with that of a subsequent winter peak after interventions were no longer in place.”

Although disease dynamics may differ by age, we did not have sufficient data to parameterize an age-structured model. We also did not directly model any effect from the opening of schools, which could lead to an additional boost in transmission strength in the early autumn. The transmission model is deterministic, so it cannot capture the possibility of SARS-CoV-2 extinction. It also does not incorporate geographic structure, so the possibility of spatially heterogeneous transmission cannot be assessed. The construction of spatially explicit models will become more feasible as more data on SARS-CoV-2 incidence becomes available; these will help determine whether there are differences in seasonal forcing between geographic locations, as for influenza, and will also help to assess the possibility of epidemic extinction while accounting for re-introductions.”

In a recent study, an estimated 4% of individuals with coronavirus sought medical care, and only a fraction of these were tested.”

Our findings generalize only to temperate regions, comprising 60% of the world’s population, and the size and intensity of outbreaks could be further modulated by differences in average interpersonal contact rates by location and the timing and effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical and pharmaceutical interventions. The transmission dynamics of respiratory illnesses in tropical regions can be much more complex. However, we expect that if post-pandemic transmission of SARS-CoV-2 does take hold in temperate regions, there will also be continued transmission in tropical regions seeded by the seasonal outbreaks to the north and south. With such reseeding, long-term disappearance of any strain becomes less likely, but according to our model the effective reproductive number of SARS-CoV-2 remains below 1 during most of each period when that strain disappears, meaning that reseeding would shorten these disappearances only modestly.”

While long-lasting immunity would lead to lower overall incidence of infection, it would also complicate vaccine efficacy trials by contributing to low case numbers when those trials are conducted, as occurred with Zika virus. In our assessment of control measures in the initial pandemic period, we assumed that SARS-CoV-2 infection induces immunity that lasts for at least 2 years, but social distancing measures may need to be extended if SARS-CoV-2 immunity wanes more rapidly. In addition, if serological data reveals the existence of many undocumented asymptomatic infections that lead to immunity, less social distancing may be required. Serology could also indicate whether cross-immunity exists between SARS-CoV-2, HCoV-OC43, and HCoV-HKU1, which could affect the post-pandemic transmission of SARS-CoV-2. We anticipate that such cross-immunity would lessen the intensity of SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks, though some speculate that antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) induced by prior coronavirus infection may increase susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 and exacerbate the severity of infection.”

A vaccine would accelerate the accumulation of immunity in the population, reducing the overall length of the epidemic and averting infections that might have resulted in a need for critical care. Furthermore, if there have been many undocumented immunizing infections, the herd immunity threshold may be reached sooner than our models suggest. Still, SARS-CoV-2 has demonstrated an ability to challenge robust healthcare systems, and the development and widespread adoption of pharmaceutical interventions will take months at best, so a period of sustained or intermittent social distancing will almost certainly be necessary.”

Less effective one-time distancing efforts may result in a prolonged single-peak epidemic, with the extent of strain on the healthcare system and the required duration of distancing depending on the effectiveness. Intermittent distancing may be required into 2022 unless critical care capacity is increased substantially or a treatment or vaccine becomes available.”


Trad. Carlos Manzano (1973, 1975)


capellone: (it.): cabeludo

engreimiento: presunção

gagà (it.): presumida


El problema de la preferencia (o de la proairesis para los griegos) es un problema candente, por el cual se suele mostrar demasiado poco interés.” Em síntese, o problema monumental para o qual as massas não estão maduras (talvez jamais estejam): a relatividade e o absoluto envolvidos no <gosto>.


A supostamente utópica ou impossível DISCUSSÃO DO GOSTO após a Metafísica.

Até que ponto e mediante que meios é possível determinar as razões primordiais que me permitem considerar algo como preferível e atribuir um significado a tal preferência?”

Superioridade intrínseca e escala de valores.


mosaico de opções”

Que peso tem a preferência do indivíduo contra a das massas?”

Se não se pode discutir a arte, não se pode discutir mais nada.

Hume (Of the standard of taste), ensaísta e crítico do lado de lá (metafísico): a moral bíblico-alcorânica e o drama sanguinolento são inaceitáveis.

Zeitgeist da aletheia e do Belo.

SEMÂNTICA AUTOGENÉTICA: Fragmentação pós-moderna. Morte da Zeitgeist. Coabitação virtual de todas as Zeitgeister no mesmo indivíduo. Fim de um ciclo milenar e início do IMPÉRIO DA ESQUIZOFRENIA, que não sabemos quanto tempo durará.

a necessidade de restabelecer, com critérios diferentes, um critério valorativo [valor dos valores] para aplicação aos fenômenos da vida, da arte e da sociedade.”

as enquetes de Kinsey, método contestável”

Vejamos alguns exemplos de vanguardas artísticas consideradas escandalosas quando apareceram: 1) numa galeria romana, o pintor Kounellis apresentou o quadro de uma mulher grávida, nua, por cujo ventre passeavam algumas baratas; 2) o artista americano Acconci, em NY, apresentava-se confinado em uma cabine estreita de madeira dentro da qual se entregava à masturbação; 3) na exposição Documenta de Kassel (1972), o romano Vettor Pisani expôs uma mulher nua (que vinha a ser sua irmã), cujo pescoço tinha uma argola metálica, e Pisani lhe aplicava uma <tortura simulada>, cutucando uma ferida falsa pintada na perna da modelo; 4) a escultora polaca Alina Szapocznikow expunha em Paris (1970) alguns <tumores>, modelados em plástico, hiperrealistas; 5) o artista austríaco Herman Nitsch alugou um castelo nos arredores de Viena (1968-72) para representar seu <teatro das orgias e dos mistérios> (Orgien und Mysterien Theater): tratavam-se de matanças <rituais> de cordeiros e bezerros, com cujo sangue e tripas os expectadores eram banhados; para isso, Nitsch usava condutos especialmente concebidos, que derramavam o sangue e pedaços dos intestinos sobre o público; o roteiro incluía a participação dos expectadores, que deviam, além de receber os restos mortais dos animais, besuntar-se a si mesmos e aos seus vizinhos com seus próprios excrementos; havia uma série de outros <jogos> sado-masoquistas na exposição, como a celebração de missas hereges e a crucificação simbólica de algumas das ovelhas. Aos interessados, uma descrição detalhada e explicação crítica deste evento figuram em PETER GORSEN, Das Prinzip Obszön, Rowohlt Verlag, Hamburgo, 1969,(*) pp. 114-5, que transcreve também um comunicado da polícia austríaca proibindo esse gênero de <espetáculo aberrante>. Segundo Nitsch, em carta ao próprio Gorsen, o cordeiro crucificado representa simultaneamente o Pai, o Rei, a autoridade política, o ídolo estatal, a divindade. Em suma, tratava-se de uma revivificação dos cultos dionisíacos (<A revolução é um fenômeno dionisíaco>, diz Nitsch), conducentes à liberação do homem de seus tabus religiosos e políticos. (…) É típico de nossa época pretender ressuscitar cultos e práticas iniciáticos ou pseudo-mágicos pertencentes a culturas antigas, em que ditas práticas possuíam ou podiam possuir um valor autêntico; hoje sua <imitação> – seja mediante a astrologia, alucinógenos, ritos budistas, mistérios dionisíaco-órficos como neste caso, ginástica iogue, etc. – tende a ser daninha e contraproducente a despeito da intenção autoral.

(*) Até o momento, o volume-resenha mais completo sobre as relações entre arte, pornografia e sociedade.”

Exemplos como os acima multiplicam-se em outros segmentos: já pude discorrer em outra obra sobre o caso do musicólogo que gravou em fita magnética os últimos gemidos de um homem agonizante após um acidente de trânsito; bastante conhecido é ainda o caso do cineasta japonês que filmou o transcurso dos últimos instantes da vida de seu pai moribundo de câncer.”

um deslizamento (contínuo) do significado por debaixo do significanteLacan

Conceito de ASSIMETRIA ESTÉTICA por VON WRIGHT (ou mais bem uma primeira lei da assimetria): “Assimetria significa que se um estado é preferido em relação a outro, necessariamente o segundo estado não é preferido em detrimento do primeiro; i.e., pelo mesmo sujeito na mesma ocasião” Relação subsumida na fórmula-função (pPq) ~(qPp), p≠q.

O assimétrico é a premissa de qualquer proairesis.” “O simétrico se identifica com a geometrização mórbida da esquizofrenia.” Paradoxo: a ERA DA ASSIMETRIA é a ERA DA ESQUIZOFRENIA. Que seja apenas um estágio transitório entre duas eras mais autênticas, não destrói-se a contradição inerente. Resta saber se ficaremos indefinidamente presos a uma simulação indefinida desta mesma condição, como diz Baudrillard, ou se essa dialética deixa de ser estéril e se torna propulsora da superação em algum momento. Em suma, se o “novo elemento” vitorioso será ou seguirá sendo a esquizofrenia, em seu sentido pejorativo, ou a assimetria. Em busca de uma nova simetria, de um novo pathos normal.

moral corrente: contradição em termos! moral petrificada



belief is nothing but a strong and lively idea derived from a present impression (perception) related to it” HUME, A Treatise of Human Nature, 1739

A maioria das vezes, os lingüistas realizam o estudo dessas modificações [de significante-significado] exclusivamente por zelo científico e erudito, sem ter em conta adequadamente as premissas socioantropológicas que as originam (ou, se se quer, invertendo os termos da proposição no sentido de Whorf, até que se vejam as próprias premissas socioantropológicas determinadas por tais modificações!).”

Quando, p.ex., um termo como o italiano testa (para nos atermos a um dos exemplos oferecidos por Guiraud, La sémantique), originariamente uma metáfora estilística nascida da associação da cabeça (caput) com o vaso de terracota (latim testa), passou a significar cabeça, com o que se semantizou de outro modo, enquanto que – acrescentaria eu – em outras línguas românicas adquiriu um significado mais parcial e setorial: testa em português = <frente> ou, inclusive, permaneceu unido ao lexema antigo (cabeza em espanhol = caput), etc., encontramo-nos perante um exemplo fácil do difícil que resulta <prognosticar> a evolução semântica de um termo – do difícil que resulta a previsão de um significado –, mas ao mesmo tempo da importância que pode ter para os efeitos denotativos e conotativos de uma língua o fato de que se produzam semelhantes transformações.

Outro exemplo: a palavra italiana finestra – em espanhol ventana, em português janela – apresenta, ainda considerando só estes 3 idiomas, conotações completamente diferentes, relacionadas com as condições de <abertura ao exterior> (finestra e também no caso do alemão fenster), de <proteção contra o vento> (ventana e também no caso do inglês window) ou de <porta pequena> (janela, de janua).”

Our ideia of necessity and causation arises entirely from the uniformity observable in the operations of Nature.” Hume

Max Müller, para quem a própria interpretação falsa ou aberrante de algumas normas é a que abre caminho para muitas interpretações míticas destinadas a se consolidar depois com o hábito e a adquirir valor de norma. Müller explica as razões do mito de Deucalião e Pirra, que fazem nascer os homens das pedras, pela analogia entre as expressões laoi e laas; e o mito de Dafne, transformada em planta de laurel, pelo fato de que a palavra dafne tem a mesma raiz sânscrita ahana, que significa aurora, etc.” “Pouco tempo depois Cassirer viria a refutar tal teoria, detalhadamente.”

Segundo Julius Schwabe (em seu riquíssimo volume sobre os signos do zodíaco, Archetyp und Tierkreis. Grundlinien einer kosmischen Symbolik und Mythologie, 1951), a constelação de Gêmeos conotava no passado um elemento masculino em Pólux e outro feminino (ou fracamente masculino) em Cástor. Prova-o o fato de que entre os romanos os homens <juravam a Pólux> e as mulheres a Cástor. Outra prova desta masculinidade duvidosa de um dos gêmeos da constelação seria seu próprio nome, que apresenta um evidente significado castratório, como, além do mais, a própria lenda sobre o animal castor. De acordo com a lenda, esse animal, quando caçado, preferia autocastrar-se antes que ver-se privado de seus testículos pelo caçador: segundo os antigos, nestes órgãos encontrava-se uma substância utilíssima para o preparo de medicamentos contra a histeria, o tifo e outras doenças.”

Segundo a concepção da alternância de grandes ciclos temporais (que alguns chamam de <grande ano platônico>), à medida que avançam as diferentes constelações no céu, entra-se ou sai-se de uma era determinada. Cada grande era <cósmica> pertenceria a uma constelação zodiacal determinada e se veria influenciada por ela. Pois bem: podemos comprovar então que o nascimento de Cristo se produziu ou coincidiu com a passagem do sol da constelação de Áries para a de Peixes (e temos de sobra exemplos e conotações, não só astrológicos, como geofísicos, geográficos e lingüísticos para a sucessão dos <anos platônicos>), o que nos levaria a reconhecer uma razão muito mais profunda e <oculta> para o uso do nome e da imagem do peixe como símbolo de Cristo, além da aparição do nome peixe em grego para se referir algumas vezes a Jesus Cristo no Novo Testamento. A passagem da Era de Áries à Era de Touro, e desta à de Peixes (que coincide precisamente com o cristianismo e, portanto, com nossa era), à qual sucederá a de Aquário, aparece agora ilustrada com muitos dados inéditos a respeito dos já conhecidos à época de Schwabe. A propósito da denominação das <eras cósmicas> a partir dos signos do zodíaco, consultar o referido autor.”

Ist es nötig noch darauf hinzuweisen, dass die Urchristen, als sie das uralte Fischsymbol aufgriffen, sich damit eben als eine Gemeinschaft kennzeichnen wollten, die an Wiedergeburt im Geiste, Auferstehung, und Unsterblichkeit glaubte? Sie knüpften damit an die orphischpythagoreische Vorstellung der delphinischen Menschenseele an.” Schwabe “Is it necessary to point out that when the original Christians picked up the ancient fish symbol, they were trying to identify themselves as a community that believed in rebirth in the spirit, resurrection, and immortality? In doing so, they followed up on the Orphic-Pythagorean concept of the Dolphinic human soul.”

Quanto à relação entre peixe e golfinho, considerado como animal fundamental, veja-se KARL KERÉNYI, Einführung in das Wesen der Mythologie.”

as discussões sobre a importância que esses deslocamentos das constelações no firmamento poderiam ter para a confecção do horóscopo, segundo se tenha ou não em conta a posição astronômica e real do sol com respeito ao zodíaco, foram e seguem sendo numerosíssimas e encarniçadas: alguns astrólogos sustentam que o horóscopo não deveria considerar deslocamentos puramente físicos; outros afirmam que tais modificações contam também para fins astrológicos. Vemos que até o possível aspecto premonitório, presente nas práticas astrológicas, se encontra subordinado a um aspecto puramente semiótico, ou pelo menos se discute a partir dele – algo no mínimo curioso para uma crença esotérica!”

Só a arte está em condições de propor os invólucros vazios de um significado ainda não exposto à luz do dia.”

Por lo demás, estudios recientes sobre el factor tiempo, sobre su base fisiológica, biológica, patológica, han demostrado de sobra la posibilidad de una dilatación o de una restricción de lo <vivido> temporal y la posibilidad de obtener (mediante drogas, medicamentos y ejercicios especiales del tipo del Yoga, como el <training autógeno> de J.H. Schultz) las modificaciones más variadas de la temporalidad.”


Mucho más evidente es el aspecto simbolizador del tiempo en la categoría limítrofe del arte óptico-cinético (op art) en la que nos encontramos con obras inmóviles en realidad, pero que <sugieren> el movimiento (Bridget Riley, Alviani, Soto, Cruz Díez, etc.). En dichas obras – que hace unos 10 años [1962] aproximadamente estuvieron muy en boga – el tiempo existe <potencialmente>”

Por que o ritmo é tão importante para nossa existência e por que uma alteração daquele se reflete num mal-estar profundo?”

No me parece que haya otra forma de explicar la razón por la que muchas creaciones de nuestros días – basadas en tiempos alterados (en sentido psicodélico, en sentido musical-aleatorio, en sentido poético, etc.) – conducen a otras tantas situaciones de malestar físico y psíquico.”

Así, pues, esa sensación de ligereza y de <ausencia de tiempo> que se puede experimentar en un rápido vuelo transoceánico (en el que la única sensación experimentada es, no la de la velocidad, sino la de la lentitud, dado que así se nos aparece el movimiento del avión frente a la vastedad y a la inmovilidad del paisaje de nubes y del océano situado debajo) corresponde a la ausencia de tiempo de muchos ejemplos de música moderna y de algunas situaciones de las artes visuales que hoy utilizan la dimensión temporal para expresarse.”

la obsolescencia de la obra (de arte o producida por la industria) – hoy tan aguda, tan paradigmática – demuestra tangiblemente la invasión y la acción de la <consunción> [destruição lenta mas progressiva], del factor temporal, sobre las obras del hombre y la necesidad de su simbolización por parte de las diferentes artes”

la marcada separación entre mentalidad y comportamiento juvenil y senil encuentra una contrapartida en una diversificación igualmente marcada en la mentalidad y en las actitudes de quienes tienen 16, 25, 30 años. Así, pues, existe una diferenciación destacada entre grados que todavía pueden referirse a una edad juvenil, cosa que no me parece sucediera con igual relieve hace 20 o 40 años.” [!]

En mi opinión, ese hecho significa que se está produciendo una aceleración del tiempo <existencial> con respecto al fisio-patológico. El tiempo – como símbolo de un devenir que no se detiene – ha invadido estructuras todavía ayer sólidas y consistentes.”

la sensación de una <amenaza temporal>, propensa a resquebrajar la seguridad de la existencia, está presente por todas partes y la simbolizan los aspectos artísticos y pseudoartísticos a los que he aludido”

O conceito de tempo “SAE (Standard Average European” de Whorf.

No hay duda de que el fenómeno de la progresiva desaparición o atrofiamiento del pretérito indefinido en lenguas como el italiano (a excepción del toscano) y el francés (y NO en el español), o como la eficacia cada vez menor del futuro (en lenguas que lo presentan, p.ej., en forma compuesta exclusivamente: alemán, griego moderno, croata, esloveno) o <asimilado> al presente (como el ruso y otras lenguas eslavas, cuando utilizan el presente del aspecto perfectivo para indicar el futuro) o recurren a construcciones complejas en lugar de utilizar la forma originaria del futuro (como el francés: je vais faire, el español: voy a hacer, y el propio italiano: conto di fare, sto per fare, mi accingo a fare, por no hablar del futuro japonés, que muchas veces se puede identificar con el presente), demuestra que la actitud del hablante tiende la mayoría de las veces a eludir las situaciones temporales <definitivas> o bien definidas y a adoptar otras más desdibujadas y ambiguas.”


El abismo que separa a 2 Weltanschauungen – o, mejor, a dos Kunstanschauungen – a sólo pocos años de distancia parece insalvable.”

¿Por qué kitsch? Porque el cielo es demasiado azul, la vegetación demasiado verde, la superficie de la figura demasiado translúcida; y, en consecuencia, el conjunto aparece ya manipulado en gran medida y preparado para que se lo comercialice y se lo ofrezca a los turistas, para uso del <delfín burgués>, que pasará en este lugar vacaciones suficientemente prestigiosas como para que sirvan de status symbol de cara a los amigos y a los conocidos.”

la presentación más o menos exacta, más o menos magnificada, de la realidad, ya sea la fotográfica, ya sea – con mayor razón aún – la impresionista o la enteramente abstracta, resulta estar superada.”

Aquí quisiera limitarme a precisar el porqué de la aparición de una clase de preferencia por el aspecto conceptual en el arte visual, tal como se ha ido revelando en el último decenio, porque me parece uno de los temas en que la separación entre la época actual y la que acaba de transcurrir resulta más marcada, en que resulta más sintomática la afirmación de un tipo de preferencia hasta hace poco inimaginable.”

dadá, el surrealismo, fueron las consecuencias extremas de un persiflage de la presentación naturalista del mundo exterior. El informalismo señaló un regreso inútil a una especie de impresionismo pictórico, sin <contenidos>, pero no sine materia; e incluso la pintura-objeto, que desembocó, por un lado, en el pop-art y, por otro, en el arte programado y cinético (me excuso por la rapidez telegráfica y por la aproximación de estas definiciones), seguía recurriendo, a pesar de todo, a la tangibilidad densa y manipulable de la obra.”

Por lo demás, no es casualidad que un movimiento tan vasto y, en definitiva, tan <incómodo> como el del conceptualismo se haya revelado precisamente en estos últimos años (de 1965 en adelante): años que han visto el surgimiento de las sublevaciones estudiantiles de 66-8 y su decadencia, la extensión y continuación de la guerra en Vietnam y de las guerrillas en tantas partes del mundo, la difusión de la droga, la decadencia de los movimientos de vanguardia en el cine y en el teatro underground, la crisis de la novela y de la música dodecafónica y, después, de la aleatoria”

un nihilismo diferente del dadaísta, porque carece de fermentos irónicos y humorísticos, un nihilismo ya no propio de Duchamp, con frecuencia macabro, a veces irritante, otras masoquista o sádico.”

hace 20 años [1952], la única o más importante tarea del crítico comprometido, del estetólogo, era la de defender la vanguardia, de intentar hacer de mediador entre el universo circunscrito, circunspecto, del artista y el obtuso, cargado de anteojos culturales y morales, del público.”

la temporada de los happenings fue de corta duración, y en muchos casos se vio <comercializada> mediante la reproducción cinematográfica.”

nuestra época ha llegado a un punto en que la escisión entre arte <puro> y arte utilitario es cada vez más clara y cruel. El primer sector se va alejando cada día más de la comprensión y del interés del gran público (incluso de un público relativamente culto), más aún de lo que ocurría con el arte abstracto de los años 30, con el op y el pop de los años 60; el segundo sector se acerca cada vez más al producto del diseño industrial y se une a la gran familia del kitsch.”

El público se alimenta constantemente, de um modo que ya otras veces he definido como absurdo, de <sonidos musicales>, casi siempre carentes de interés artístico alguno, sin propósito renovador alguno, con una función de <relleno sonoro> exclusivamente, ni más ni menos que la del ruido que sube de la calle o del <gorjeo de los pájaros> de los tiempos remotos.” Aqui, muita coisa mudou!

el llamado público de conciertos, los viejos ambientes de los aficionados a la <música clásica>, incluso gran parte de los profesionales (directores de orquestra, profesores de conservatorio, etc.) desarrollan sólo programas a base de música del pasado, sin interés ni comprensión algunos por la música de nuestros días (me refiero a la de Stockhausen, Schnebel, Berio, Cage, Donatoni, etc.). Las obras de los músicos contemporáneos están destinadas a pocos centenares de personas dispersas por el mundo, todavía menos que las que se interesan por el arte conceptual, por el land art, por el arte pobre.”

Algunos de esos conceptos (como los de tesaurización y analidad aplicados al coleccionismo) surgieron en una discusión con el neurofisiólogo y psicoanalista Mauro Mancia.”

CONCEITO DE ANALIDADE POBREMENTE APLICADO AO COLECIONADOR: “Para muitos colecionadores, o fato de entrar em posse do quadro, da estátua, é por si mesmo fonte de gozo, de igual modo que o é o entesouramento [retenção] de suas próprias fezes pela criança.”

Muchas veces, las casas de los coleccionistas tienen pocos muebles y objetos, están mal conservadas, con mobiliario anticuado y desmesuradamente moderno, incluso de gusto dudoso. Las obras están amontonadas en las paredes, una junto a otra, sin ningún respeto por su naturaleza particular, sin ninguna preocupación por ese <espacio vital> que cada una necesitaría ni por su convivencia recíproca.”

En realidad, poetas concretos tradicionales como Ferdinand Kriwet, Rot, De Campos, etc., siguen ateniéndose, como por lo demás, Gominger (quizás el más riguroso y más imaginativo de los concretistas), al aspecto semántico del lenguaje verbal”

En definitiva: muchos artistas conceptuales han tenido que someterse al deseo de los aficionados. Han tenido que encontrar el modo de saciar el apetito voraz de los <objetos>, siempre renovado, de aquéllos; han tenido que renunciar a sus sueños de pureza, de transitoriedade, de pobreza.”


Nenhum outro setor da atividade e da criatividade humana é mais representativo que a moda para uma investigação de caráter proairético [que versa sobre as preferências estéticas do público].” “a moda encarna, quase em estado puro, a preferencialidade, que, ressaltamos, não é a <superioridade> de determinada situação.” Sendo assim, a moda não é uma arte. Ou quem sabe seja o que vem depois do fim da arte.

Quando dizemos hoje: <a lingüística, o estruturalismo, a psicanálise, o marxismo, a fenomenologia, etc., estão na moda>, no fundo reconhecemos que essas doutrinas poderosas, que essas solenes correntes do pensamentos, podem-se reduzir, no final, a simples momentos efêmeros de preferência, e que, portanto, depois de saboreadas o suficiente, destrinchadas e ostentadas, acabarão rápida e afortunadamente sendo substituídas por outras.”

A palavra alemã Genuss, que os dicionários costumam traduzir por: gozo, posse, desfrute, uso, etc., significa na realidade: saboreio unido a gozo de uma substância ou situação determinada, e não me parece que exista uma palavra em nossa língua com a qual se a possa substituir. Fala-se de um Genuss pelo café, pelo álcool, pela droga, etc.”

Estilo X Styling (kitsch)

(passado – séc. XIX X séc. XX)

ex: Estilo Império, estilo Luís XVI, rococó, estilo Rainha Ana…

Havia um sincronismo e validades universais (ditados pela aristocracia).

Bastaria recordar os numerosos trabalhos de Wölfflin, Dvorak, Panofsky, para se dar conta de que muitas de suas análises já não se podem aplicar às formas artísticas de nossos dias. Mas hoje – dado que nossa análise é predominantemente sincrônica – já nem podemos falar de estilo a propósito de certos móveis dinamarqueses, ou eletrodomésticos italianos, senão, sobretudo, de moda e de styling. É um fato – e muitos o afirmaram com razão – que o Art Nouveau, o Jugendstil, constituiu-se como o último estilo autêntico de nossa época.”

A moda do kitsch e o kitsch da moda.

El propio hecho de haber considerado que se pudieran aplicar esquemas estructuralistas a la moda (como ha hecho Barthes en su Système de la mode), pero limitando en realidad su análisis al aspecto <verbal>, de nomenclatura, relacionado con ella, ha hecho que muchos prediquen la necesidad, o la oportunidad, de incluir la moda dentro de un aspecto lingüístico-estructuralista, como tantos otros sectores de la sociedad y de las ciencias humanas en general. Y la cosa no presentaría dificultad, si no se diera en este caso una eventualidad que no me parece se haya considerado: la de una institucionalización a priori, y no a posteriori, de los elementos lingüísticos relativos a dicho supuesto código.”

Con frecuencia se afirma que la moda es un fenómeno vinculado a la sociedad capitalista y desconocido, o poco conocido, en los países socialistas y revolucionarios; no resulta muy difícil demostrar la falsedad de esa hipótesis.”

A redundância: tudo é um invólucro teatral e barroco da propriedade doméstica: a mesa é coberta por uma toalha de mesa, ela mesma protegida por uma outra toalha de plástico. Cortinas e cortinas duplas às janelas. Tapetes, capas, revestimentos, abajures…” Baudrillard

se o fato de trajar mangas de jaqueta excessivamente largas ou calças excessivamente apertadas (nos períodos em que <é moda>) deve ser considerado de mau gosto – kitsch –, podíamos também ampliar este juízo a outros setores para além da moda. Sempre voltará a época da lâmpada com luz oblíqua, talheres escandinavos, louça de aço inox, etc.”

Mesmo no cinema, apenas em casos excepcionais – Potemkin, Greta Garbo, Buster Keaton, O vampiro de Düsseldorf (para citar 4 exemplos bem distintos entre si) – as imensas qualidades artísticas conseguem <vencer> o desgaste estilístico devido a uma questão de moda, que predomina nos longas bons mas não <ótimos>. O modo de se mover dos personagens, as frases pronunciadas, a entonação das vozes, certas atitudes românticas ou passionais hoje completamente defasadas e consideradas ingenuamente românticas, ou ridiculamente licenciosas, acabam contaminando mesmo as cenas que eram (e seriam ainda) de qualidade estética e técnica.”

observar os rostos carrancudos e truculentos ou então inexpressivos, severos e carnavalescos dos diferentes hierarcas nazifascistas é – para todos, hoje – um espetáculo grotesco, ainda mais cômico que propriamente penoso e entristecedor. Como justificar o fato, senão pensando que um grande componente de moda interveio para dar àquela época o trato que ela merece?”

De praxe, consideramos a toilette (a higiene, os hábitos e estilo) de nossos pais mais ridícula e démodé que a de nossos avós ou bisavós.”

Na música, teatro, poesia não se adverte esse envelhecimento estético tão veloz decorrente da passagem da moda, uma vez que conseguimos substituir instintivamente com nosso modo de ser e de nos comportarmos aquilo que está descrito na novela ou indicado na peça. No cinema e na fotografia (meios <realistas>) isso é impossível. (…) Uma possível fonte de retroalimentação, que pode ser causa, ainda que também efeito de um espírito de época, desse estado de coisas efêmero é o fato de que no passado não era possível apresentar aos próprios descendentes, documentalmente, e com absoluta fidelidade, uma dada moda, sendo assim imperceptível, senão menos evidente e estridente, o contraste entre o ontem e o hoje.”

Está ligeiramente out (fora de moda) quem ostenta nas paredes de seu chalé ou casa de verão uma pintura informal (em 1972), como também o está quem usa como música de fundo para receber seus amigos um Respighi¹ ou Pfitzner², embora o mesmo não se possa dizer de quem opta pelo jazz de vanguarda mais recente ou uma marcha de Bach.”

¹ Compositor italiano do XIX-XX, já ele mesmo um nostálgico de períodos ainda mais remotos (sécs. XVI ao XVIII).

² Praticamente o mesmo se pode dizer deste segundo compositor alemão, incluindo o período em que viveu e exerceu sua influência e seu gosto nostálgico, particularmente entusiasta de Palestrina.

…e as coisas estão mudando enquanto escrevo”

na Itália, basta seguir um automóvel para observar um exemplo perfeito dessa veemência gesticulatória do povo (não só abundante como até excessiva), com freqüência a causa de acidentes de trânsito, graves até: a maioria das vezes ambas as mãos do motorista abandonam o volante para que ele possa comunicar a seu companheiro a profundidade de seu pensamento de maneira apropriada (que o <co-piloto> decerto não vê, ocupado em vigiar o tráfego!).” “um baixo contínuo que acompanha a palavra”

o V de vitória com a mão era quase desconhecido, antes de Churchill popularizar o gesto”

A saudação de punho cerrado de tipo comunista está, talvez, em fase de decadência, como muitos gestos indicativos de <ter fome>, <enganar>, <vou dormir>. A saudação fascista, que esteve em voga, desgraçadamente, por muitos anos, seguiu, depois, existindo com um valor de saudação <normal>, desde que fosse executada com menor elevação do braço e com menos vigor (perdendo assim seu ar <romano>).”

O ciao ou adeus italiano na estação de trem, p.ex., antes de uma larga viagem, era vertical ou frontal (oscilações do braço entre a pessoa que saúda e a direção do viajante); com o tempo, passaram a usar o tchau que hoje conhecemos: oscilações laterais, à moda anglo-saxã ou germânica. Mais curioso ainda: em poucos anos, usos gestuais passaram por transformações importantes: antes mexiam-se os dedos das mãos no adeus, e a palma ficava imóvel; depois, os dedos ficavam juntos e sem se mexerem, e a mão adquiriu dinamismo.

a passagem do tabaco da aspiração ao fumo se deveu a um aperfeiçoamento do gosto, ou <mudança de moda>. Não se pode dizer que amanhã não se voltará à moda de aspirar o tabaco ou de fumar o café ou mascar o chá.” Congelamento!

é provável que num futuro próximo (quando, como é verossímil, se tenha liberado a maconha e substâncias semelhantes) o período atual pareça fortemente condicionado: primeiro, pelo proibicionismo; depois, pela liberação; e, finalmente, pela provável decadência do uso de tais substâncias.”

Isso é o que não me parece admissível: buscar refúgio numa abolição ou atenuação da própria atividade consciente mediante fármacos que a embotam (ou a exaltam, mas desfigurando-a, desegotizando-a) é contrário a todos os princípios a que se dirigiu a civilização ocidental; é ainda adverso buscar refúgio ou auxílio em tentativas mecânicas de vidência ou de visões supressensíveis (práticas iogues, p.ex.).”

conhecida é a relação entre sexualidade e iniciação no budismo clássico, como na prática do despertar do Chakra” “métodos ocultos que não são apropriados para nossa época”

Um tal Timothy Leary, psicólogo doidão, prescrevia o cogumelo Teonanacatl, tradicional entre aborígenes mexicanos, a seus pacientes nos anos 70. O Dalai-Lama rebateu este “profissional” em 1971: “O que mais falta aos próprios usuários desses narcóticos é o que poderia ser benéfico em seu uso – a Claridade, a Pureza e a Liberdade.”


Joseph Gabel, em seu La conciencia falsa, que segue sendo indubitavelmente o melhor estudo dum aspecto patológico-político ou, se se quer, psicanalítico-marxista da ideologia, analizou bastante bem este <ponto fraco> do fanatismo ideológico.”

Segundo Dévreux, se podemos considerar o período nazi como o estabelecimento de uma forma esquizofrênica, poderíamos, igualmente, considerar a sociedade européia de finais do séc. XIX como tendencialmente <histérica>.”

Talvez não se possa dizer o mesmo da Itália em sua relação com o fascismo o mesmo da Alemanha em sua relação com o nazismo; a <cura> italiana não se produziu com o mesmo vigor.”

Um caso de paranóia política poderia ser o de Israel: o enlace com pontos de partida ético-religiosos, que remontam a milhares de anos; a incrível firmeza na perseguição de um ideal construído sobre um conceito de <nação>, totalmente teórico; o fato de ter ressuscitado uma língua morta há vários séculos…”

É sabido que a ignorância das funções mais elementares relacionados com o sexo era (até há pouco, se bem que segue sendo em parte) enorme, como também é conhecida a razão para isso: religião ou confissão (catolicismo), falso moralismo (vitoriano) ou alegações puritanas de virtude hipócritas (quakers, calvinistas e protestantes no geral).”


Croata – vrijeme (clima); goda, rok (devir)

Eslovaco – cas (devir)

Esloveno – vreme (clima); ura (devir)

Polaco – cas (devir)

Russo – vremja (raiz ambivalente); pogoda (clima); cas (devir)

Tcheco – cas (devir)



A arte (pintura e escultura, mas inclusive a poesia) deixou-se implicar nessa <glorificação do objeto> (a partir do surrealismo, percorrendo a pop art e a op art) de tal modo que não consegue mais livrar-se dessa objetualização dominante.”

O sutil mal-estar, o sentimento de frustração que experimenta hoje um homem que tenha vivido sua infância no tempo pré-guerras, especialmente nas zonas densamente industrializadas, talvez passem batidos ao jovem nascido no pós-guerras, quando o estrondo das motos, a concentração de fumaça, o estrépito do tráfego, a poluição dos mares eram já uma realidade. E é igualmente possível imaginar que o homem de um futuro próximo esteja já imunizado, ainda mais que o jovem contemporâneo [1972!], contra o barulho e o ar poluído e cinzento onipresentes.”

Numa praia contaminada nos arredores de Roma tive a ocasião de presenciar um filho perguntar ao pai se podia encher seu baldinho de água do mar: estava o menino tão impregnado da noção de contaminação que não podia deixar de considerar a água do mar como uma espécie de veneno, que se deveria evitar ao máximo.”

Expressões como “o céu azul” e “os eternos cumes nevados da montanha” já se tornaram tão kitsch quanto “amor à pátria” ou “lar doce lar” ou “a moral cristã”, “o seio materno”, “o espírito do corpo” e por aí vai…

Seria hoje absurdo seguir falando de construção e urbanismo nos termos caros a um Le Corbusier ou um Lúcio Costa há não mais de 20 anos, ou a um Gropius, por exemplo.”


a indiferença quase total quanto à contribuição e à missão das <artes visuais> em integração com o meio ambiente tem feito com que o que se chama de arquitetura perca quase toda conexão com sua matriz expressiva primária.”

RECADO A LÚCIO COSTA: “A utopia do Bauhaus, que creu poder predicar e pôr em prática a identificação absoluta entre <utilidade> e <beleza> chegou ao fim.”

Em lugar de almejar colonizar montes de pedra sem atmosfera como os da Lua (meta de aventuras recentes, já nada empolgantes, uma vez que nem as crianças assistem mais os programas dedicados aos vôos lunares na TV [1972!]), seria melhor que o homem tentasse não arruinar em definitivo o belíssimo planeta no qual teve a ventura de nascer.”

Em primeiro lugar, é necessário livrar-se de formulações estéticas antiquadas que se obstinam em considerar a arquitetura como uma arte plástica, irmã da pintura e da escultura, como se fôra uma espécie de superdecoração em escala de cidade.”

Se bem que em algumas artes (música e poesia) se possa apontar os equivalentes das partículas elementares da fala (morfemas, lexemas, sintagmas), no caso da arquitetura e urbanismo isso é muito mais problemático.”

De um ponto de vista semiótico-territorial serão mais aceitáveis as tristíssimas favelas brasileiras, ou tugúrios colombianos, que as villas miseria argentinas. Talvez esta afirmação necessite um esclarecimento: significará, então, o que eu disse que não se pode identificar o aspecto semiológico com o sociológico? Se nos dispusermos a aceitar as abomináveis favelas, por se integrarem de modo mais <orgânico> à cidade do Rio, somos por isso insensíveis às conotações sociais que esta preferência supõe? Aí está o núcleo do problema: também na antiguidade romana, babilônica, grega, pré-colombiana, existiram as injustiças sociais mais inacreditáveis, mas não monstruosidades urbanístico-arquitetônicas como nas atuais Milan, Roma e Buenos Aires.”

Os centros das cidades-satélites suecas não são nada senão shopping centers de tipo americano, enquanto que, na contra-mão, o <não-centro> das grandes cidades ianques (Cleveland, Atlanta, Houston) – excluindo-se talvez Manhattan, Boston e São Francisco da conta – já deixaram de existir, degradaram-se até se converter em setor de negócios ou mera sede administrativo-bancário-política, onde ninguém vive, onde a vida cessa quando cessa o expediente. E esse fenômeno começa a prevalecer em algumas cidades alemãs de design <americanizado>.”


Alvin Toffler contaba cómo en 70 de las mayores ciudades americanas el tiempo de residencia media en el mismo lugar era menos de 4 años. El desarraigo con respecto al hábitat propio no sería grave por sí mismo, si condujese a la reconstrucción en otro lugar de otro Heimat; pero eso es precisamente lo que ya no sucede a causa del carácter provisional del empleo, de la familia, que provocan el desinterés afectivo por el suelo urbano o por el natural.”


a arquitetura industralizada (ou pré-fabricada, como com freqüência se diz, erroneamente) constitui um dos pontos delicados da exposição, que reaparece sempre que se fala de originalidade dos edifícios, de fantasia construtiva, da tão necessária luta contra o descenso do nível inventivo, contra a uniformização e a homogeneização das construções arquitetônicas de nossos dias.”


Por mi parte, estoy convencido de que antes que nada hay que considerar la lingüística como una de las ramas de la semiótica, y no al revés (…) (como sostienen con frecuencia algunos autores franceses).” “En el caso de la arquitectura es evidente que no se puede hablar de una división en fonemas, sino, si acaso, sólo en <morfemas> (o sea, en partículas morfológicamente significativas, ¡ya que el elemento fonético está ausente!)” Um capítulo que não faz o menor sentido (como quase toda a segunda parte do livro)!

Desgraçado do edifício que se disfarça sob o aspecto de outro, como – desgraçadamente – ocorre com freqüência: igreja com aparência de night club; estádio com a de templo; escola com a de açougue [!!!] (a menos que não seja incomum alguns prédios constituírem uma espécie de curiosidade <agradável>, conquanto isso parece ter sido moda passageira dos 1800)!”

si una partitura de Bussotti puede considerarse con el mismo criterio que una pintura o un diseño moderno, también algunas notaciones arquitectónicas (croquis, proyectos, etc.), modernas y antiguas, tienen ya de por sí un gran valor artístico: basta con pensar en los célebres esbozos de Mendelssohn, en los de Haering o, sobre todo, en los de Scharoun, y, en el pasado, en algunos proyectos, realizados o no, de Ammannati, de Leonardo, de Miguel Angel, de Leon Battista Alberti. El valor artístico de dichos proyectos – prescindiendo de su <colocación semiótica> – es notable, y sería muy difícil decidir hasta qué punto se trata de obras de diseño, de maqueta, o equiparables a las realizaciones arquitectónicas auténticas. Como es sabido, según algunos, el croquis y el proyecto, si se desarrollaran y profundizaran lo suficiente, equivaldrían perfectamente a la obra ya realizada. (Y en cierto sentido lo vimos, cuando, durante la última guerra, se pudieron reconstruir algunas arquitecturas de la antigüedad sobre la base y con la ayuda de diseños de la época conservados y, por tanto, realizables.)”

La lectura de la partitura, aunque informa, incluso de forma muy precisa, sobre determinado fragmento musical, no por ello deja de ser una lectura-no-musical (o, por lo menos, no sonora); según la opinión de algunos músicos (Stockhausen, Castaldi) no es otra cosa que el registro mediante un código muy perfeccionado de un objeto sonoro cuyo auténtico disfrute sólo puede producirse a través del órgano del oído. Stockhausen, p.ej., afirma que el tipo de <goce> que le produce el recorrer rápidamente una partitura (incluso saltando de un ponto a otro de la composición) es totalmente diferente al de la audición del mismo fragmento.” Cf. STOCKHAUSEN, Texte zur elektronischen und instrumentale Musik, 1963.


en la Weltanschauung zen y taoísta predomina la tendencia a lo asimétrico, y algunos conceptos como los de wabí y de sabi podrían aproximarse al de asimetría.”

Parece impossível, mas minha criada de quarto não admite que eu coloque minhas coisas na cômoda de forma assimétrica; quando limpa minha casa se apressa em <colocar simetricamente>, de acordo com um esquema fixo seu, todos os objetos que eu havia colocado de propósito fora do lugar.” Léger

Podemos antecipar o começo do fenômeno, se pensamos na marcada tendência nessa direção que se pode advertir a partir dos últimos anos do séc. XIX com o florescimento do simbolismo na França e ainda antes, com o do pré-rafaelismo na Inglaterra: pintores e decoradores como Gustave Moreau, D.G. Rossetti, Burnes Jones, Odilon Redon, Khnopff, Puvis de Chavanne e, à geração seguinte, os austríacos da Secessão: Klimt, Schiele, etc., são todos tendencialmente assimétricos, pois começam a olhar com simpatia para o Extremo Oriente” “a adoração pelo número áureo, derivada dos círculos renascentistas, teria de ceder e ver-se invertida por novos módulos estéticos.”

por que o coração está à esquerda e o fígado à direita? por que é mais comum ser destro? por que a mãe costuma segurar o recém-nascido pelo lado esquerdo?”

O rosto esquerdo revela o lado oculto ou noturno (sinistro) da vida.” Werner Wolff

…ao passo que a metade direita – precisamente por <depender> do hemisfério cerebral esquerdo, sede dos processos de criação de idéias mais racionalizados – parece ser o <espelho> da personalidade humana mais socializada e consciente.”

normalmente o homem entrelaça as mãos de com o polegar direito superposto ao esquerdo, e a mulher ao contrário”

e como pode ser que o laevus latino não se conservou no italiano (enquanto que se conservou no left inglês, no link alemão, no lijevo esloveno e croata e no lievyi russo?)”

derecho droit destro direito

izquierdo gauche sinistro esquerdo

Se consideramos alguns esquemas urbanísticos clássicos – dos hipodâmicos aos estelares (tipo Palmanova), aos de L’Enfant (tipo Washington) ou Haussmann (tipo Paris) ou inclusive à aparente heterodoxia de Lúcio Costa no caso de Brasília –, vemos facilmente que em quase todos predomina um princípio de euritmia e equilíbrio, i.e., de obtenção do máximo de equilíbrio baseando-se numa simetria <dinâmica>, numa pseudo-assimetria, à la Hambidge. Hoje (1972!), até esse tipo de equilíbrio me parece pouco aceitável rumo a uma evolução da ordenação territorial e do <caráter distributivo> de nossos edifícios.”

Na linguagem e no pensamento a assimetria está em todo lugar ou, para ser assimétrico, em quase todo lugar: podemos considerar simétricas as manobras analogizantes ensaiadas – de forma muitas vezes ingênua, mecânica – por um Lévi-Strauss? Sim, sem dúvida; mas isso seria pertencente à exceção: uma tentativa ou mania de assimilar códigos diferentes (sociológicos, alimentares, musicais, etnológicos!) sobretudo dum ponto de vista meramente sintático e sem levar em conta, salvo superficialmente, os autênticos aspectos semânticos e axiológicos que se interrelacionam. Mas, continuando, o fato de considerar como analógicas as metáforas propriamente ditas conduzirá à descoberta dum aspecto assimétrico também nelas, i.e., porque unem dois signifiés diferentes por meio dum signifiant único.”




YASUICHI ARAKAWA, Die malerei des Zen-Buddhismus. Pinselstriche des Unendlichen, 1970

JEAN BAUDRILLARD, Le système des objets, 1968

MARIO BUNGE, The Place of the Causal Principle in Modern Science, 1963


Revista “Noigandres” (São Paulo), sobre a vertente mais séria da dita poesia concreta de origem germano-suíço-brasileira

GILLO DORFLES, Il Kitsch, antologia del cattuvi gusto, 1969 (1972) / El kitsch, antología del mal gusto, 1973

LUDWIG GIESZ, Phänomenologie des Kitsches, 1960 / Fenomenología del kitsh, 1973

HECAEN, La Symétrie en Neuropsychologie, 1970

EUGÈNE MINKOWSKI, Les conséquences psychopatologiques de la guerre et du nazisme, 1948

ALEXANDER MITSCHERLICH, La inhospitalidad de nuestras ciudades, 1969

EDWIN SCHUR, The Family and the Sexual Revolution, 1964

DAISETZ SUZUKI, Zen and Japanese Culture, 1959

VÁRIOS AUTORES, Psicología del vestir, 1975

HERMANN WEYL, Symmetry, 1952

IVOR DE WOLFE, Civilia, Architectural Press, Londres, 1972


Ainda kantiano, demasiado kantiano

Nous choisissons cette place pour remarquer que, s’il y a toute chance pour que cette édition, qui s’annonce elle-même comme « définitive », soit menée à bonne fin, il n’y a pas encore en français d’édition des oeuvres complètes de Kant, non plus que de Freud. Il est vrai qu’il eût fallu que fût poursuivie une traduction systématique de ces oeuvres. Une telle entreprise eût semblé s’imposer pour Kant dans un pays où tant de jeunes forces se qualifient par l’enseignement de la philosophie. Sa carence à beaucoup près laisse à réfléchir sur la direction assurée aux travaux par les cadres responsables.”

Ici SADE est le pas inaugural d’une subversion, dont, si piquant que cela semble au regard de la froideur de l’homme, KANT est le point tournant, et jamais repéré [diagnosticado, reconhecido] – que nous sachions – comme tel.

La Philosophie dans le boudoir vient 8 ans après la Critique de la raison pratique.”

Todo diabo é fundado por um beato.

La recherche du bien serait donc une impasse, s’il ne renaissait, das Gute, le bien qui est l’objet de la loi morale. Il nous est indiqué par l’expérience que nous faisons d’entendre au-dedans de nous des commandements, dont l’impératif se présente comme catégorique, autrement dit inconditionnel.”

padecer o pai descer

pas d’être

Retenons le paradoxe que ce soit au moment où ce sujet n’a plus en face de lui aucun objet, qu’il rencontre une loi, laquelle n’a d’autre phénomène que quelque chose de signifiant déjà, qu’on obtient d’une voix dans la conscience, et qui, à s’y articuler en maxime, y propose l’ordre d’une raison purement pratique ou volonté.”

« J’ai le droit de jouir de ton corps, peut me dire quiconque, et ce droit je l’exercerai sans qu’aucune limite m’arrête dans le caprice des exactions que j’aie le goût d’y assouvir »

entre deux l’impudeur de l’un à elle seule faisant le viol de la pudeur de l’autre.”

Tels phénomènes de la voix, nommément ceux de la psychose, ont bien cet aspect de l’objet. Et la psychanalyse n’était pas loin en son aurore d’y référer la voix de la conscience.”

Assurément le christianisme a éduqué les hommes à être peu regardants du côté de la jouissance de Dieu, et c’est en quoi KANT fait passer son volontarisme de la Loi pour la Loi, lequel en remet, peut-on dire, sur l’ataraxie de l’expérience stoïcienne.”

Quand la jouissance s’y pétrifie, il devient le fétiche noir, où se reconnaît la forme bel et bien offerte en tel temps et lieu, et de nos jours encore, pour qu’on y adore la Présence de Dieu.”

Le désir, qui est le suppôt de cette refente du sujet, s’accommoderait sans doute de se dire volonté de jouissance. Mais cette appellation ne le rendrait pas plus digne de la volonté qu’il invoque chez l’Autre en la tentant jusqu’à l’extrême de sa division d’avec son pathos, car pour ce faire, il part battu, promis à l’impuissance. Puisqu’il part soumis au plaisir, dont c’est la loi de le faire tourner en sa visée toujours trop court. Homéostase toujours trop vite retrouvée du vivant au seuil le plus bas de la tension dont il vivote.”

L’expérience physiologique démontre que la douleur est d’un cycle plus long à tous égards que le plaisir, puisqu’une stimulation la provoque au point où le plaisir finit. Si prolongée qu’on la suppose, elle a pourtant comme le plaisir son terme: dans l’évanouissement du sujet.”

Une structure quadripartite est depuis l’inconscient toujours exigible dans la construction d’une ordonnance subjective. Ce à quoi satisfont nos schémas didactiques.”

la peu croyable survie dont SADE dote les victimes des sévices et tribulations qu’il leur inflige en sa fable.”

Unique (Justine) ou multiple, la victime a la monotonie de la relation du sujet au signifiant”

L’exigence dans la figure des victimes d’une beauté toujours classée incomparable (et d’ailleurs inaltérable, cf. plus haut) est une autre affaire, dont on ne saurait s’acquitter avec quelques postulats banaux, bientôt controuvés, sur l’attrait sexuel. On y verra plutôt la grimace de ce que nous avons démontré dans la tragédie, de la fonction de la beauté: barrière extrême à interdire l’accès à une horreur fondamentale.”

On le voit bien au paradoxe que constitue dans SADE sa position à l’endroit de l’enfer. “L’idée de l’enfer, cent fois réfutée par lui et maudite comme moyen de sujétion de la tyrannie religieuse, revient curieusement motiver les gestes d’un de ses héros, pourtant des plus férus de la subversion libertine dans sa forme raisonnante, nommément le hideux SAINT-FOND. Les pratiques, dont il impose à ses victimes le supplice dernier, se fondent sur la croyance qu’il peut en rendre pour elles dans l’au-delà le tourment éternel.

Cette incohérence dans SADE, négligée par les sadistes, un peu hagiographes eux aussi, s’éclairerait à relever sous sa plume le terme formellement exprimé de la seconde mort. Dont l’assurance qu’il en attend contre l’affreuse routine de la nature (celle qu’à l’entendre ailleurs, le crime a la fonction de rompre) exigerait qu’elle allât à une extrémité où se redouble l’évanouissement du sujet: avec lequel il symbolise dans le voeu que les éléments décomposés de notre corps, pour ne pas s’assembler à nouveau, soient eux-mêmes anéantis.”

pulsão de quase nada

Ni recueilli un de ces rêves dont le rêveur reste bouleversé, d’avoir dans la condition ressentie d’une renaissance intarissable, été au fond de la douleur d’exister?”

…la relation de réversion qui unirait le sadisme à un masochisme dont on imagine mal au dehors le pêle-mêle qu’elle supporte. Mieux vaut d’y trouver le prix d’une historiette, fameuse, sur l’exploitation de l’homme par l’homme: définition du capitalisme on le sait.

Et le socialisme alors? C’est le contraire…”

Ótima piada!

L’objet, nous l’avons montré dans l’expérience freudienne, l’objet du désir là où il se propose nu, n’est que la scorie d’un fantasme où le sujet ne revient pas de sa syncope. C’est un cas de nécrophilie.”

le moraliste nous paraît toujours plus impudent encore qu’imprudent.”

Il n’y a de fourgon que de la police, laquelle peut bien être l’État comme on le dit du côté de HEGEL, mais la loi est autre chose comme on le sait depuis ANTIGONE.”

Treize ans de Charenton pour SADE en sont en effet de ce pas – mais ce n’était pas sa place – tout est là. C’est cela même qui l’y mène. Car pour sa place, tout ce qui pense est d’accord là-dessus, elle [sa <folie>] était ailleurs. Mais voilà: ceux qui pensent bien, pensent qu’elle était dehors, et les bien-pensants, depuis ROYER-COLLARD qui le réclama à l’époque, le voudraient au bagne, voire sur l’échafaud.”

Si le bonheur est agrément sans rupture du sujet à sa vie, comme le définit très classiquement la Critique, il est clair qu’il se refuse à qui ne renonce pas à la voie du désir. Ce renoncement peut être voulu, mais au prix de la vérité de l’homme, ce qui est assez clair par la réprobation qu’ont encourue devant l’idéal commun les épicuriens, voire les stoïciens. Leur ataraxie destitue leur sagesse.”

Que le bonheur soit devenu un facteur de la politique est une proposition impropre. Il l’a toujours été et ramènera le sceptre et l’encensoir qui s’en accommodent fort bien.”

La tête de SAINT-JUST, fût-elle restée habitée des fantasmes d’Organt, il eût peut-être fait de Thermidor son triomphe.”

Nous voilà enfin en demeure d’interroger le « Sade, mon prochain », dont nous devons l’invocation à l’extrême perspicacité de Pierre KLOSSOWSKI. Disons que c’est la seule contribution de notre temps à la question sadienne qui ne nous paraisse pas entachée des tics du « bel esprit ».”

Nous croyons que SADE n’est pas assez voisin de sa propre méchanceté, pour y rencontrer son prochain. Trait qu’il partage avec beaucoup et avec FREUD notamment.” Homo tempranus

Chez SADE, nous en voyons le test, à nos yeux crucial, dans son refus de la peine de mort, dont l’histoire suffirait à prouver – sinon la logique – qu’elle est un des corrélats de la Charité.”

Nenhum personagem sádico infringiu o C.d.E.

THE NAKED THERAPIST – Sheldon Kopp em “kopperação” com outros terapeutas

“This is not the first time my writing has been informed by my dreaming self. By now I am wise enough to trust such experiences even before I can make sense of them.”

Acceptance and praise foster a feeling of well-being in the child. They encourage confidence, spontaneity, hope, and a sense of being worthwhile. Punishment and threat induce guilt feelings, moralistic self-restriction, and pressure to atone. Guilt is the anxiety that accompanies transgressions, carrying with it the feeling of having done bad things and the fear of the parents’ angry retaliation. In the interests of self-protection, the child learns to deal with this anticipated punishment preemptively by turning it into an internalized threat against himself. § Disapproval and contempt make a child feel ashamed of not being a worthwhile person. The implied danger of abandonment may make him shy, avoidant, and ever anxious about making mistakes, appearing foolish, and being open to further ridicule.” “Aceitação e elogios alimentam na criança uma sensação de bem-estar e conforto. Encorajam a confiança, espontaneidade, esperança, um senso de capacidade e de cumprir o seu papel. Punição e ameaças induzem sentimentos de culpa, auto-restrições morais, pressão corretiva. A culpa é a ansiedade que acompanha transgressões, carregando consigo o sentimento de ter feito coisas ruins e o medo da retaliação furiosa dos pais. Com a auto-preservação em vista, a criança aprende a lidar com esse castigo iminente de modo preventivo, internalizando a ameaça contra si mesma. § Desaprovação e desdém fazem a criança se sentir envergonhada por não ser uma pessoa valorosa. O perigo implicado no sentir-se abandonado é o desenvolvimento de uma personalidade tímida, esquiva, evitativa, constantemente ansiosa ou apreensiva quanto ao cometimento de erros, com medo de acabar parecendo um tolo ou de estar vulnerável ao ridículo dos outros.”

A ANTIGA SÍNDROME DE RENAN: Medo de ser expulso de casa. Medo de dar muitas despesas. Medo de ser um mero mortal.

<Look how foolish you are, how clumsy, how stupid! What will other people think of you when they see that you can’t seem to do anything right? You should be ashamed of yourself acting like that. If only you really cared, if only you wanted to act right, if only you would try harder, then you could be the kind of child we want you to be.> Repeated exposure to such abuse calls forth an inner echo of self-contempt. § Eventually the child learns to say of himself, <What an idiot I am, what a fool, what an awful person! I never do anything right. I have no self-control. I just don’t try hard enough. If I did, surely they would be satisfied.>” “<Olha quão tolo você é, desajeitado, estúpido! O que vão pensar de você, se você não consegue fazer nada direito? Você devia sentir vergonha de si mesmo agindo desse jeito. Se apenas você se importasse, se você só quisesse agir adequadamente, se você apenas tentasse mais, aí então você seria o tipo de criança que queríamos que você fosse.> A exposição repetida a tal tipo de discurso leva a uma internalização dum eco de auto-desprezo; uma voz interna passa a repetir as mesmas coisas antes faladas pelos seus superiores. § Eventualmente, chega-se ao ponto em que a própria criança dirá, diante de cada nova decepção: <Que idiota que eu sou, que imbecil, que péssima pessoa! Nunca faço nada certo. Não tenho sequer auto-controle. E eu nunca tento o bastante. Se eu tentasse, com certeza satisfaria a vontade dos outros.>”

“My own mother often told me: <I love you, but I don’t like you.> It was clear that this meant that she loved me because she was a good mother, but that she did not like me because I was an unsatisfactory child.”

“The experience of being seen as momentarily not yet able to cope is a natural part of growth. It is also natural to experience the embarrassment that accompanies making mistakes, stumbling, blundering, or fucking-up.”

“Some parents are too hard on their children because of their own personal problems, others because of harsh cultural standards. Some cultures make excessive demands for precocious maturing of the child. In such settings, shaming inculcates the feeling that other people will not like the child unless he lives up to their expectations. § When shaming arises out of the pathology of neurotic parents, the child may be expected to take care of the parents. Such a child may never learn that the natural order of things is quite the reverse. He is discouraged from ever realizing that it is the parents who are supposed to take care of the child. § Even more insidious is the impact of the parent who unconsciously needs to have an unsatisfactory child. Such a parent will never be satisfied, no matter how hard the child tries, no matter how much he accomplishes. Anything less than perfection is unacceptable. If the child gets a grade of 95 on an examination, he will be asked why he didn’t get 100. If he gets 100, he will be asked what took him so long to get a satisfactory grade. Told that he should have been getting 100 all along, he may become afraid to do well lest perfect grades be demanded of him all the time from then on. If he happens to be a chronic straight-A student, then he may be asked, <If you’re so damn smart, how come you can’t keep your room clean?>” “This can lead to his spending a lifetime vainly seeking the approval of others in the hope that he may someday be validated at last. § My own parents shamed me needlessly and often. They made it clear that it was my clumsiness, my inadequacies, and my failures that made them unhappy. Even my successes and accomplishments were made to reveal how inferior and insufficient I was.”

“<Enough,> she stilled me. <A boy doesn’t interrupt when a father is talking, a father who sweats in the city all week long for him.>”

“Those who have been shamed can some day learn to overcome feeling unworthy. Embarrassment, in contrast, is a natural reaction that is inevitable in certain social situations.”

quavering speech [fala tremida] or breaking of the voice, sweating, blanching [empalidecimento], blinking, tremor of the hand, hesitating or vacillating movement, absent-mindedness” Goffman, Interaction Ritual: Essays on Face-to-Face Behavior, 1967

“The medical term for less-than-normal breathing capacity, for instance, is respiratory embarrassment.”

“Some unexpected physical clumsiness, breach of etiquette, or interpersonal insensitivity may leave a person open to criticism for being more crude or coarse than he claims to be. But this is an issue of manners, not of morals. It may make for a temporary change of social status, but never carries with it the self-threatening sanctions of shame, with its implications of abandonment, loss of love, and ultimate emotional starvation.”

“For a moment all bets are off. Trust of myself and others is in jeopardy. All values are once again in question. First there is the question of trust in myself. Am I an adequate human being or a fool? What can I expect of myself? Do I really know what I am doing?” “It is a time for the exotic flowering of my paranoia. At such times I may mistakenly expect contempt and ridicule from loving friends and neutral strangers. It is just as though they would turn from me in disgust as my parents did when I did not meet their impossible standards.”

Where is my floor?

Please open that door

Shut those windows

Cracked room and mind

of a sweet-salty boy

Sing along and refrain

from hiding.

There seems to be no way for any of us to get through the day without making a careless error, doing something foolish, committing a gaffe or faux pas.” Gof., op. cit.

“After hitting the lamppost I sat on the curb and cried as little as possible. I was really worried. Now it was time to go home and face my mother. Instead of seeing this mishap as an unfortunate accident around which I could feel sorry for myself and expect some sympathy, I knew that I had let my parents down again. I headed home and climbed the stairs to our apartment, skates over my shoulder.”

“Still, echoes of this grotesque situation can be heard at times from out of my unsettled and unworthy depths. I remember just a couple of years ago when I learned that I had to undergo a second bout of neurosurgery.”

“At such times my mother’s explicit instructions were: <Don’t fight, but never, never deny that you are a Jew.> She seemed to want me to be well-behaved, but did little to help me to avoid occasions of sin.”

“One afternoon after school Charlie started beating on me in front of a girl I had a crush on. For the first time in my unhappy marriage to Charlie Hooko, my own fear of being seen as a shamefully brutal, lower-class street fighter was overcome. The fear of being humiliated in the eyes of this girl was even more shameful. And so in the midst of the fight I punched Charlie right in the mouth. He couldn’t believe it. I could hardly believe it myself. § Charlie stopped the play at once. He took me down to the park and we both washed our faces at the fountain. Charlie announced to everyone around that I was a tough guy, that he admired me, and that we would be friends from then on. That ended months of regularly scheduled defeat.”

Punch like a girlish girl

Yea, just feel the flow

“As an early teenager I did eventually graduate to becoming a marginal member of a fighting street gang. I pretended that I was a better and more enthusiastic fighter than I ever really was.”

“As my children grew, being creatures of their age they moved toward the freak culture. Part of this involved their being the first kids in our neighborhood to let their hair grow long. So it was that another macho incident came about. One of our neighbors, strong both of will and of muscle, flew the Confederate flag.”

“What proof did he have, I demanded? His only answer was that my kids had long hair. He believed vandalism occurred only in the ghetto. Ghetto kids had long hair and they broke windows, he insisted. My kids had long hair. And so he concluded that it must have been one of them who had broken his window.”

Ironically, the blunderer often unwittingly reveals the discomfort of his predicament by the very means by which he tries to hide it: <the fixed smile, the nervous hollow laugh, the busy hands, the downward glance that conceals the expression of the eyes.>” “Ironicamente, o atabalhoado freqüente e inadvertidamente expõe seu desconforto situacional pela própria tática utilizada para disfarçá-lo: <o sorriso fixo, a risada nervosa despropositada, as mãos hiper-ativas, a vista caída que esconde a expressão dos olhos.>”

“Essa necessidade social salutar de ocultar-se o embaraço é enfatizada nas pessoas que foram excessivamente submetidas a vexames na infância. Potencialmente, o indivíduo virá a desenvolver um estilo de conduta de tipo neurótico, agindo timidamente a maior parte do tempo e preferindo evitar que outros venham a percebê-lo ou a conhecê-lo.”

“Tendo tantas dificuldades de interação, não é raro que a pessoa acredite que sua abertura para o constrangimento e a vivência de situações ridículas [pois socialmente é impossível fugir de tais ocasiões] é realmente singular. Ela pode desenvolver a crença que outras pessoas não têm a mesma tendência de <se passarem por tolas> de tempos em tempos, como ela tem.”

“Sua própria conscienciosidade de seu problema age como um efeito bola de neve: a apreensão pela sua hiper-sensibilidade eleva seu senso de isolamento, peculiaridade, solidão, enfim. Que trágico que a pessoa deva sempre sentir-se como um desajustado! Basicamente, não diferimos uns dos outros. Ninguém é capaz de lidar o tempo todo com as demandas sociais, sempre excessivas. Mas é que o comportamento tímido-neurótico é sempre desproporcional, alimentando a convicção íntima de que <há algo muito errado consigo>.”

“As maneiras reservadas do introvertido <clássico> (não-mórbido) são parte, provavelmente, de sua orientação psicológica inata; e ele estará sempre mais inclinado ao mundo interior das experiências privadas, que lhe é bem mais confortável. Certo nível de acanhamento da personalidade é mesmo, senão natural, incentivado socialmente. Algumas pessoas (como o próprio que escreve) escondem sua timidez crônica debaixo de um véu de arrogância simulada.”

“When he does try to express himself, he is likely to be hesitant, needlessly soft-spoken, ingratiating, and apologetic. Whenever possible, he simply will try to avoid contact with other people.”

A person who is not neurotically shy understands that it is the external situation that contributes to embarrassment, rather than some defect in his own character. Unlike the shy neurotic, he has come to learn that these anxieties are triggered by his reaction to particular people and situations.” “Uma pessoa que não é neuroticamente tímida compreende que é o contexto exterior que contribui para seu embaraço, em vez de qualquer defeito de seu próprio caráter. Ao contrário do tímido neurótico, aquela pessoa aprendeu a ver que essas angústias são acionadas pela sua reação a pessoas e eventos particulares.”



The shy neurotic cannot get anywhere in overcoming his excessive shyness without first revealing to himself that what he truly fears most is not rejection but acceptance, not failure but success. He begins to go after what he wants out of life.” “O tímido neurótico não chegará a lugar algum, enquanto tenta superar ou minorar sua timidez, caso não admita para si mesmo que o que ele realmente mais teme NÃO é a rejeição mas a aceitação, NÃO é o fracasso, e sim o próprio sucesso! É aí que ele começa a alcançar seus verdadeiros objetivos de vida.”

we’re all looped, leaked, sinking, seeking and not finding, just overwhelmed by our own hopes’ weights… what if…

a head dive in a pool of danger

“Feeling undeserving of such unfamiliar achievement and acceptance, he has unwittingly learned to discredit these pleasureable experiences. A poignant early expression of this self-defeating attitude occurs during the first phase of psychotherapy.”

Anything that makes him feel worthwhile calls forth the echo of his mother’s voice, demanding that he question his presumption. It is as though he can almost hear her demanding, <Just who do you think you are?> Believing even for a moment that he is satisfactory as a human being evokes the underlying shameful feeling that he has presumed too much.” “Qualquer coisa que o faça sentir-se valorizado evoca o eco da voz de sua mãe, mandando que baixe a bola. É como se realmente pudesse ouvir, <Vem cá, quem você pensa que é?>. Acreditar por um só momento que ele é um ser humano completamente satisfatório é o suficiente para ter sua paz de espírito quebrada por pensamentos de culpa de que ele agiu presunçosamente.”

O supremo oposto do vaidoso dos vaidosos – e o que isso trouxe? Mais ódio dos ‘cristãos’ sobre sua cabecinha…

“So it is that each moment of decision is followed by a moment of revision. A minute later, he has reversed his thrust forward, retiring once more into his customary shyness.”

“His life is not what he meant it to be at all. It’s just not it at all.”

Evitar a confrontação é como comprar à prestação!

Guy de Maupassant’s short story, The Diamond Necklace, is a classic example of the high price of false pride. It is the story of Matilda, a woman tortured and angered by having to live a shamefully ordinary life because she does not possess the luxuries and delicacies which she insists befit her station.”

“It was my parents who started me off down my own painful path of shame and false pride. My parents are no longer responsible for this trip that I sometimes continue to make. Now the enemy is within. It is only my own overblown ego that shames me. It is only I, still sometimes arrogantly insisting on having higher standards for myself than I would impose on others. How much easier to accept the flaws in others than in myself. To the extent that I cling to being special in this way, I remain stuck with the tediously painful life of the perfectionistic striver. I must get everything right, all the time, or suffer shame. It is far too heavy a price to pay for maintaining the illusion that I might be able to rise above human frailty.”

“I give up being satisfied with myself as a pretty decent, usually competent sort of guy who, like everyone else, sometimes makes mistakes, fucks up, and plays the fool. Instead I insist that if only I tried harder, really cared, truly wanted to, I could become that wonderful person who could make my long-dead parents happy. Then they would approve of me. I would be the best. Everyone would love me.”

Guilt and shame originate from different kinds of faulty parenting. Guilt arises out of a certain kind of bad fathering, shame out of bad mothering.¹ Either parent may elicit one or the other depending on the particular parent’s role and attitude rather than on his or her gender alone.

Excessive authoritarian fathering creates guilty anticipation of punishment for transgression against the lawful order of things. Overly demanding mothering breeds shame.”

¹ Kleiniano demais…

“Paradoxically, too much shaming often produces defiance rather than propriety. No longer able to bear the overwhelming burden of shame, a child may develop a secret determination to misbehave. He comes to wear a mask of spite and shamelessness.

“We were studying Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. At the beginning of one week, the English teacher announced that we were to memorize Marc Antony’s eulogy. I protested loudly. Memorizing materials that needlessly cluttered up my head was both a waste of my time and an intrusive violation of my mind. No arbitrary school system had any right to do that to me.”

<Ma, how come you always talk funny when you come to see a teacher?> This was one of my rare opportunities to shame her”

Straight people were simply not prepared for coping with those of us who shamelessly stepped outside of the system, acted with contempt for the rules, and covertly shamed them for the arbitrariness of their principles.”

“At times my shameless behavior has gotten me into trouble. But so long as it sometimes gets results like that, who am I not to be tempted to continue to be outrageous?”

“More privately, I had developed the false pride of perfectionism to hide my shame and worthlessness from my own eyes. I had to avoid risking further failures and more mistakes. I had to be able to change my image so that I might escape without looking like I was running away or hiding out.”


“No longer would I be the fumbling incompetent who was too timid to go to parties because he never knew how to go about making friends. Instead I became a <heavy> intellectual. With such profoundly developed sensitivity, I could no longer be expected to be bothered devoting my precious energies to the pursuit of the mundane social goals that somehow seemed to excite almost everyone else I knew.

Even armoring as exquisite as this was not enough. Somewhere inside I knew I was just too damn lonely. I still needed to be needed. Acting obsequious, or even <being nice>, was an unthinkable solution. Instead I began to advertise myself as ever ready to rush into the gap whenever a task presented itself that ordinary folk found too unrewarding to mess with.”

“For the first few years of my career as a therapist I worked in impossibly archaic monolithic custodial institutions such as state mental hospitals and prisons. Though allegedly established and maintained as society’s attempt to care for and rehabilitate its social deviates, these institutions turned out to be punitive warehouses for those undesirables about whom the rest of us wished to forget. I cast myself as the champion of the oppressed.¹ Doggedly and unsuccessfully I fought the administrative powers, hoping to attain decent care, effective treatment, and eventual release for the inmates.”

¹ Incrivelmente similar a minha loucura de querer me tornar professor!

“Now I had a new problem. There were no bad parents to fight. How was I to define my role in this more benevolent situation?”

“I do not usually shake hands with a new patient unless the patient gives some indication that this is part of where he starts out in social relationships, in which case I respond.”

“His opening lines were: How long have you been a therapist? Don’t you know that phobic patients can’t stand to be touched? You insist on shaking hands with me knowing that I am too compliant to refuse. It could only make me anxious. The demands you make on me!

“Should he awaken during the night and need to go to the bathroom to urinate, he must simply suffer through the hours until dawn. He was not able to risk disturbing his dog by getting out of bed. His feeling of friendship with the dog was substantiated by his bringing him along to the treatment sessions.”

“There he asked to be deported to Russia for asylum. Surely he would get better treatment under Communism than he had from the barbaric democratic psychiatric services in America’s capital.” “I described my own experience, and I pointed out that the patient was crazy. He had made me crazy. I warned this man that he would make him crazy, too, unless we all understood that just because the patient claimed that something difficult needed to be done did not mean that we had to do it. The patient was all heat and no light. We were vulnerable to his unrealistic outcries because of our own needs to meet every challenge heroically, no matter how nutty it might be. If we thought it over for a minute, we would realize that there wasn’t much in the way of disastrous consequence in this for anyone but the patient himself. That was unfortunate for him, but that was the way it had to be. Happily, the perspective I offered was sufficient to relieve the Congressional Counsel of his own anxiety.”

“The patient was an attractive woman in her early twenties whose birth defects included having no feet and only rudimentary hands. She managed to get about with a combination of prosthetic devices and monumental denial.” “Focusing on her frustrated wishes to become a star in the public eye allowed her to avoid her anxiety and despair about the oppressive difficulties that she encountered in everyday living. My own parallel defensiveness led me to join her, supporting her crazy longings with my own denial of shame-filled helplessness. She made her own contribution by avoiding my tentative therapeutic interventions. There was just no way she could hear my timid suggestions that this whole show business preoccupation was an avoidance of dealing with the day-to-day quality of her life.”

“Unattended snot ran out of her nostrils and down her face (her measure of how much messiness I could tolerate?). I listened and sympathized as if my mere presence would heal her.” “For some reason, which I still do not understand, after about a year of this circus she let me in on her <secret>. All during this time she had been seeing me on Thursday afternoons, and now she confessed that she had also been in therapy on Monday mornings at another clinic with another crazy therapist.”

“This new challenge’s chart described her as a borderline psychotic, a part-time alcoholic, an unhappy, aggressive woman with preoccupying sexual hangups and several previous unsatisfying bouts of psychotherapy. When I went out to the waiting room to invite her in for our first therapy session she struck me as a slight, timid waif of a woman. She looked more like an emaciated 12-year-old than a life-hardened 32-year-old.”

Oh, now I get it, the old color symbolism test. A male therapist with a red shirt, and now I’m supposed to tell you that I’m sometimes gay, and you probably are, too!” “You’re the therapist I’ve been looking for all of my life. I’m never, never going to leave you. I know that you’ll be able to accept whatever I do without ever making me feel bad or throwing me out.” “My relief and sense of well-being was immediately transformed. I got the sinking feeling that I had just made a lifetime contract with an albatross.”


“By then I was off balance, but I knew the direction in which I must go. I told her that alcoholic beverages were not permitted in the clinic. If she opened the beer here in my office that would be the end of treatment. As in the first session, she seemed relieved rather than upset by my setting some limits on her acting out.”

“She had gone to visit her dentist to have a tooth extracted. He knew that she had bad reactions to the usual anesthetics that he used. Therefore he had brought a bottle of whiskey and insisted that she have a couple of straight shots to prepare her for the extraction. She described herself as having been rather uncertain. Still she yielded to his encouragement to have one, two, and then another couple of shots. She claimed that soon she was so high that she could not resist his insistence that she perform fellatio.”

* * *

Albert Ellis


“While I have the floor, let me also disagree with Shelly’s [Sheldon’s] (and almost all other therapists’) allegation or implication that shame largely stems from early childhood experiences. Shit, no! If anything, early childhood experiences largely arise out of our innate predispositions toward inventing <shameful> conditions and actions and consequently idiotically making ourselves—and I mean making ourselves—unduly embarrassed about our inventions.” “Because Shelly’s feelings of shame in regard to the incident with his parents have a high degree of correlation with his feelings of shame today, he mistakenly assumes that the former caused the latter.” “Shelly’s parents indubitably taught him various standards of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’—including the standard, ‘You act rightly when you stubbornly refuse to imagine yourself letting either of your parents drown and wrongly when you even consider saving only one of them from drowning.’ Given such standards, and having the human tendency to adopt them, Shelly will assuredly believe that he acts ‘rightly’ when he tells his parents that under no conditions would he let either of them drown and ‘wrongly’ when he tells them that he would choose one over the other. Granted.”

A person’s history therefore has relatively little to do with present feelings of shame or self-downing. Shelly may have learned his standards of good and bad behavior from his parents (and others), but he decided to take them seriously and he still decides to do so if he feels ashamed of anything he does today.”

“I had a female client who had serious feelings of inadequacy about herself, especially in her relations with men, and whom I helped considerably to overcome some of these feelings. She had an attractive female friend to whom she talked about me and the way I had helped her, and who got somewhat turned on to me. This friend, in her own manipulative way, managed to meet me at a series of lectures I gave and suggested that we date.

Now I knew that I’d better not do this. Not only have I refused from my first days as a therapist to have social relations with my clients—for although this may have some advantages, I recognize that it tends to lead to more harm than good—but I also have refused to maintain close relations with any of their intimates. (…) A good idea, and I invariably—or almost invariably—stick with it. But not this time! The friend of my client seemed so charming and attractive that I decided to break my self-imposed rule and to date her. I saw her a few times, got intimate with her socially and sexually, and then decided to stop seeing her because I found her much less charming and interesting than I previously had thought. In the course of my fairly brief relations with her, I deliberately mentioned nothing about my client, since I knew that they had a somewhat close relationship, and I didn’t want to give away any confidences.

Nothing happened for several weeks; and then, after I and my client’s female friend no longer saw each other, all hell suddenly broke loose. My client, Josephine, came in one day terribly upset and said that she had discovered that I had seen her friend socially. She found this most distressing for several reasons. She thought that I might have revealed some things about her to her friend. She felt constrained, now, in telling me certain feelings that she had about this woman. She confessed a sexual interest in me and said that she felt jealous that I had shown no inclination to have sex with her while I had obviously had it with Sarah. She hated Sarah for having seduced me and then having boasted about it. Most of all, curiously enough, she felt upset because I had stupidly allowed myself to get taken in by Sarah, who, according to Josephine, had no interest in me other than as a conquest, who had fooled me into thinking she had more intelligence than she actually had, and whose inherent nastiness I had presumably entirely failed to perceive.” “I, like Josephine, at first upset myself more about my mistaken diagnosis of Sarah than about anything else.” “Her interest in me stemmed mainly from her belief that I might help her with her own personal problems and from the ego boost she experienced from telling others that she had a well-known psychotherapist interested in her. Although I had told her very specifically not to mention our association to Josephine, whom I guessed would upset herself about it, she had not only told all to her friend but had also lyingly stated that she had given me up and that I still had a great interest in resuming relations with her.” “I took a chance that my relationship with Sarah would never get back to her. I really had preferred Sarah over her, and perhaps some of this preference had come through in my relationship to Josephine. I had given her an opportunity to see some of my diagnostic weaknesses—and thereby helped remove some of her confidence in me as therapist. When she had shown an overt sexual interest in me, I had quite ethically but perhaps too brusquely repulsed her, partly because at the time I already had established a sexual relationship with Sarah, and Josephine did not seem half so attractive to me. If I had never gone with Sarah, I might well have handled rebuffing Josephine in a more tactful and more therapeutic way.” “She seemed to accept the fact that I had not deliberately done anything to hurt her and had only made some understandable errors.” “Fortuitously, she got involved with a well-known psychiatrist who treated her with a dishonesty similar to Sarah’s treatment of me, and I helped her considerably in accepting herself with her gullibility [naiveness] and in breaking away from him without feeling terribly hurt.”

“I set a few more rigorous rules for myself about socializing with the friends and relatives of my clients, and eventually I mainly forgot about the entire incident.”

“If I down ‘me’, ‘myself’, or my totality for my errors, I essentially take myself out of the human condition and view myself as a subhuman. Falsely! For, as a human, I cannot very well attain superhumanness or subhumanness except by a miracle!”

As far as I can see, you do not really admit the true wrongness of your acts if you don’t make yourself feel very guilty about them. And, even if you do acknowledge their badness, you do not motivate yourself strongly enough to change them and keep yourself from recommitting them in the future. Poppycock [Baboseira]!” “As a person who admits his own irresponsibility but who doesn’t down himself totally for having it, I save myself immense amounts of time and energy that I otherwise would spend dwelling on my poor actions, obsessively showing myself how wrongly I did them, and savagely berating myself for having such fallibility.”

“I try not to make myself guilty about making myself guilty, nor to make myself feel ashamed of making myself ashamed. I don’t find it easy! I keep slipping. My goddamned fallibility clearly remains.”

Gerald Bauman

“I felt the role of therapist to be an artificial one requiring that I adopt a facade that made me feel like the newly clothed emperor. I think I persisted in this unpleasant exercise partly because doing therapy was then the wave of the future for young clinicians, partly because I was assured by colleagues and supervisors that I was reasonably competent and talented, and partly because I tend to become stubborn under duress.”

“The most difficult <incident> of all lasted about two years. In the course of some very significant changes in my life, I was subject to severe anxiety attacks while working with clients (and at other times as well). The awful feeling would gradually well up in a great surge that might last for several minutes and then gradually subside. The experience was particularly frightening because I never felt certain how <high> the surge would go. While working, for example, I felt as though if it went much further, I might fall out of my chair or flee the room (these never happened). Though appearing to occur at random, these <attacks> themselves seemed to become more intense over about two years; then I gradually became able to overcome them and resolve the underlying issues.”


  • “Minimize (or eliminate) pretense in self-presentation. This is especially relevant to, and difficult for, beginning therapists.”;
  • Buscar uma espécie de “acordo tácito” com o paciente sobre o nível de nudez ideal que o terapeuta e o “tratando” desejam para a terapia;
  • Sempre ter em mente flexibilidade nas regras de resolução de problemas meta-terapêuticos – incluindo seguir ou não, conforme o caso, até mesmo ESTA regra!

Howard Fink


O INSEGURO ESTEIO MORAL DA NAÇÃO: “He began to wonder if his suspicious attitude toward his wife was some sort of an illusion he had to maintain to give him the upper hand in the relationship, to be the constant moral superior.”

“The subject of his wife and I forming some sort of a conspiratorial love pair against him was never again mentioned without a lot of genuine humor associated with it. In fact, as if to further discount the possibility, he once said that he never thought I could lose enough weight anyway to be called slim or skinny by anybody.”

Arthur Colman


“While I have known her, she has worked as a topless and bottomless dancer, a masseuse in a parlor catering to conventioneers, and now nude encounter. She has been only partially successful at these jobs. She turns off as she undresses.”

“When she worked as a masseuse, she did not like to touch men’s genitals and do <a local>. It was formally against the policy of the club, although she admitted that to <jerk a customer off> got you a larger tip.”

“Here she was, earning twenty dollars a half hour (exactly my fee, dollar for minute) by sitting nude talking to men who chose their state of dress. No touching, no closeness, no real intimacy. She didn’t admit to seeing the analogies in our situations, probably because she was frightened of exploring their meaning. Her fear protected me from the full impact of the miming that she portrayed as the naked therapist.”

“Being embarrassed about experiencing a particular feeling is just the beginning of the cycle. Confronting the need to keep the feelings hidden increases its potency. Deciding to risk the uncovering process by telling the patient what has been happening inside of me can momentarily increase the embarrassment until it is released in a rush as the communication is finally made.”

O velho dilema de se apaixonar durante as sessões.

“My wife and I have written a book, Love and Ecstasy, about merger experiences in the solitary, dyadic, and group orientations.”

“I remember one patient that I worked with in the Kopp/Colman office. Yvonne was an exquisite, delicate 18-year-old rebel. Her father was a wealthy member of the State Department, her mother the dependent matron of a colonial mansion. Yvonne worked at shattering all family hypocrisy. She attacked with reckless competence, trying everything, flagrantly, desperately, and always self-destructively. She came to Shelly through some of her friends. He represented a bearded refuge for her, an adult who might understand. He sent her to me.

Her name should have been Jezebel. At that point in my life she represented impulse, license, sensuality, limitless possibilities. (…) Falling in love with her would be a lot simpler solution to my malaise than reclaiming the lost parts of my own spirit.”

“I knew I was clever enough to translate what was happening inside of me into words and actions that would facilitate her therapeutic work with me, but I wasn’t sure that I had the courage to risk such an intimate and painful personal statement, with its unknown repercussions for both of us.”

“It is not unusual now for me to feel love in a variety of forms for men and women with whom I work.” “Fantasies from therapy (in the case of Yvonne) invaded my sexual relationship with my wife and my paternal relationship with my daughter, just as those relationships entered my therapy relationship with her.” “She described her evaluation session with me and noted that she was sure I had had an erection during some of the hour. Triumphantly she proclaimed that she was positive of that fact as I got up to escort her out of the room at the end of the hour. She wondered about my ability to work in such a state and about my designs on her. She also wondered about the quality of my marriage and my sex life.” “I remembered being sexually aroused by Susan. My response had been prompted largely by the provocative role she had assumed during the hour rather than from a personal attraction. She could be very sexy, but most often used it as a weapon and a defense. I knew that precisely because of my reaction to her—arousal without great interest.” “I said I got sexually excited by many of my patients, female and male. I tried to use all my responses to an individual in my work, those of my body (including my penis) in all its states, and of my mind, with all its fantasies. I certainly did not plan to cut off parts of myself in the therapy encounter. Integrating that openness in the special setting of therapy with my family and other personal life was difficult and a challenge.”

QUANDO DOIS JUNGUIANOS SÃO CASADOS: Libby knows me and herself well enough to assume that we could experience other people sexually and still focus our most intimate sexual expressions in each other, that she as Every-woman could become a repository for all my sexual fantasies just as I could for hers.”

Arthur Reisel


Verdade e vitória são contraditórias.

Meu analista tem uma voz paciente, e eu ouvidos doutorais!

Arthur, it takes ten years before a therapist begins to know what he’s doing.”


“Thinking that a straightforward discussion of the pot experience might ease some of this mother’s extreme fears, I asked the girls what it was like for them to smoke pot. Their replies were cautious and evasive. As I should have anticipated, they hit the ball smartly back into my court, asking me if I had smoked pot and if so, why didn’t I describe how it felt? Being a more skilled player than the girls, I could have used a therapeutic trick shot to put the ball back in their court. Yet something told me that the truth was called for here even if the shocked mother were to decide that a therapist who smoked pot was not for her family. Fortunately, it turned out well. Despite her innocence the mother is an open-minded woman who accepts differences in others.”

“Used with Karen’s permission, excerpts from her letters to me will amplify and enrich my presentation.”

I think you protest too strongly and judge too harshly of a previous generation; but the protesting quite vehemently part interests me the most because I have seen it come out before with Carolyn; it wasn’t what you said as much as the intensity with which it was said. You see, on occasion I am also interested in getting into other people’s lives even though I do not get paid for it. I am interested in what makes them tick, and I try to remain as receptive as I can to subtle, non-verbal clues.”

you are very, very far from being an open book. In other words, there is much about you that I do not know. I don’t really know how it makes you feel. I know at one point in the therapy I felt like I was naked, and you were a rapist, and you called me a beggar, and it hurt, and I thought: I’d rather be a beggar than a rapist. It just seemed that you kept taking and taking”


you can’t beat them; you never beat them; all it accomplishes in the long run is letting them beat you. I don’t think either one of us would think that was a life well spent.” deixar-se levar é como ir para o inferno, pois não existe paraíso sem esforço. se isso significa que você “tem de dar valor”? Hoho, chega, descanse os nervos, o inferno não deve ser tão ruim… Me chama que eu vou!

I did not tell you my complete reaction to your giving away one of your pictures. My initial feeling was a tinge of jealousy that you thought enough of one of your other female patients to give her a picture you liked very much. What felt like a little child in me yelled out: What are you doing? Don’t you know? I’m supposed to be the most important one! You’re not supposed to give your favorite picture to someone else! On that same level, I’m still not exactly bouncing off the walls about it; a little of the same feeling came back when you brought it up today. However, I feel it is so ridiculous, and childish, and unrealistic that I don’t even know if I completely allow myself to feel it, much less express it.”


She wasn’t going to think you had designs on her, was she? You didn’t, did you? Then, what’s to feel uneasy about? It was a very nice thing. People should do it more often. I’m glad you did, a little jealous, but pleased.”


I get the very strong impression from you that you like doing things according to schedule, and that you really do not take deviations too gracefully. It is too bad that people’s needs do not run according to schedule also, or maybe most of your patients can program them for their hour or whatever.”


Fuck your schedule; it might have fucked our lives. We should have gone elsewhere, but you didn’t have to worry about that because I was already too attached to you for that, and I’m sure you didn’t lose any sleep over it. I have resented it; I didn’t realize I resented it so much.”

“She then sent a brief note to apologize for blaming me for fucking up her and her husband’s lives. Karen knew they were responsible for their own lives, and she felt badly about hitting below the belt over the issue of my schedule.” Below the belt, but not too much…

Quantos anos de serviço contribuídos como “terapendo”?

Jacqulyn S. Clements


Alan, in his 5th year of hospitalization, had been recalling the days when he was an airplane mechanic. He concluded with the comment, <That’s why I can’t ever get married; I’m a mechanic.>

You may be noting the symbolism. What I said was, <Well, I don’t know about that. I’ve known a number of mechanics and most of them were married.>

Alan pondered this thoughtfully. Then with a twinkle in his eyes, he leaned close to me and said, <But were they schizophrenic?>

“Telling these stories is vaguely embarrassing, but, as lived, they were really good experiences for me and for the clients. My response in each case was a silent but clear <Touché!>. I don’t recommend dumb comments; but if you’ve got a Bobby or an Alan, you can learn a lot and enjoy each other.

An incident from my practice that illustrates a negative feeling of goofing and embarrassment occurred on the day I handed Mrs. B the A-child’s appointment card. My comments made it obvious that I thought she was married to Mr. A, who was also seated in the waiting room. These weren’t new people; I’d interviewed each with their real spouses. When Mrs. B pointed out my error, I wished I could disappear into a hole in the floor, and my right arm flew up in the air. I used it to touch my hair and said, <Oh, my, where is my head today?> Then, taking the A-child back to the therapy room, I quipped, <I almost got you a new mother today—ha ha.> As far as I know this had no big effect on therapeutic progress, although I certainly wouldn’t call it a confidence builder.”

“Sophisticated clients know what Gestalters and such are like; they probably saw their 6th Fritz Perls film just last week.” Um dos fundadores de um dos ramos da Gestalt (que não é monolítica): Perls, F., Hefferline, R., & Goodman, P., Gestalt Therapy: Excitement and Growth in the Human Personality (1951).

“I went to all those miscellaneous workshops and training institutes like everybody else, but I never did manage to come home a recognizable anything. I tell them I’m a Jackie-therapist, and this means, of course, my confidence rests almost solely on results. Yes, this has bothered me some. I’ve never felt ashamed not to be a walking encyclopedia on psychoanalytic theory, but often when another therapist is visiting the premises, I feel tempted to ask my client to please get down on the floor and scream like he’s having an avant-garde breakthrough.”

“I’ve had a few clients with outstanding embarrassment records. Cindy, age 14, recalled her 1st date: She spilled Coke in the boy’s lap, bowled [derrubou] a 16, and then left his car door open, resulting in $70 worth of damage. In such award-winning-goofers I also plant seeds to the effect that they’ve hit bottom, so what’s left to fear?”

“It’s amazing how many children I’ve seen who won’t run on a dropped ball. Little princesses just pose and posture the whole game—any game. The strikeout freezers can usually stay on the team if their batting average is high enough. But princesses are eventually ridiculed and chosen last.”

NÓ CEGO: “My other chronic childhood embarrassment worry had to do with body functions. In grade school about the worst thing I could imagine was wetting my pants in class. However, I was also too embarrassed to ask to be excused to go to the restroom. Would this qualify as a double bind? I am probably one of the few people in existence who neither asked to go nor went anyway.”

“It wasn’t until this very year that I got blood on my skirt in public. I was seeing a teenage boy for therapy when it happened. I laughed.” Quando crescemos e aprendemos que dar aquela freada ou mijada na rua não é nada de mais. “Now I’ll ruin the story a little bit: The teenage boy had gone before I realized it had happened, and then I laughed.”

“Life’s traumas, goofs, negative embarrassments and such should be stored lightly. If they’re off in the warehouse, they’re hard to get at when you need them and could do something constructive with them. But even sending the empty storage cabinet to the warehouse is ill advised. Then you wouldn’t have anything to put these memories in. They’d be laying around in sight too much. There are times for getting them out, but really nobody wants to see or hear that stuff all the time, even your best friends. And how about your own probable concentration on them? That’s called negative feedback overload. To avoid repression or indiscriminate hang-out, better get those storage cabinets out of storage!” O que está sempre exposto passa a ser ignorado (como certos livros na prateleira, que estão na sua frente mas você não os vê mais).

The hypothesis was born: Be they orthodox or atheists, Jews have one foot stuck on the wailing wall. This was a hunch, not a put-down.” “A hipótese havia nascido: Fossem ortodoxos ou ateus, os judeus têm um pé fincado no Muro das Lamentações. Isso era um palpite, não uma afirmação ou acusação.”

IDENTIFICAÇÃO ESPIRITUAL, NO NEED FOR SHOWING (wallpaper de estrela de Davi e correlatos): “My fantasies went even further. I pondered the possible effects of Jewish Depression on the theory and practice of psychotherapy. Since nearly all the geniuses and heroes in this field really are you-know-whats, there might be an accidental bias that could be labeled the J.D. factor. Non-Jewish therapists would pick it up by identification and introjection. By now, almost everybody probably has J.D. This means things may not be as bad as they look.” Ser antissemita é ser antiocidental como um todo, mas não significa ser pró-oriental. Na verdade o Oriente desconhece o pânico anti-judaico; isso é uma doença exclusiva do homem moderno autocastrador. Ser antissemita seria negar nossas mais vincadas raízes pagãs. Ser antissemita é ser um destruidor dos próprios antepassados, nobres e elevados (recado a Varg & simplórios desta era).

Wailing Wall. To wail is to cry. A wall is a block. A crying block? Crying because of a block?” Trocadilho impossível em Português.

“Note that Adam and Eve had no neurotic human parents and did not live in an uptight culture. They didn’t even have any childhood memories. Archetypal shame may be rather far removed from psychological theories regarding its derivatives. Note also that Adam and Eve were not Jewish; they were everybody. There was a wailing wall long before the one in Jerusalem. The latter is likely a modern intensification, or reenactment.”

“For many years, as an adult, I had frequent repeats of two rather common dream themes. In one I was to be in some play. It was opening night, and the curtain was soon to rise. I couldn’t remember any of my lines. I couldn’t recall ever having been to rehearsals. I couldn’t even find a script to refresh my memory or to take, hidden, on stage with me. In the other dream it was time to go take some school exam. I hadn’t been going to class. I’d forgotten I’d even enrolled in the course. If I’d ever had the textbook, I didn’t know where it was.

Despite years of individual therapy, group encounters, and hundreds of psychological theory and how-to books, these dreams continued unchanged. Then last year I had breakthrough dreams for both of them and have not had either one since.

In the breakthrough play dream, the curtain actually goes up and I step on stage. I not only have to improvise my lines, but I’m not dressed like the others. Six women glide by in beautiful satin gowns, and I’m standing there in a terrycloth robe with a Kotex [absorvente] sticking out of one pocket. Everybody laughs. In the school dream, I go to the room, take the exam, and presumably flunk.”

All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) is a commentary on general goodness, not just what we call self-righteousness. As such, it always sounded like a real bummer to me. Maybe the frequency of righteousness wasn’t high, but what a slam on quality. I once thought: Now there’s a good recipe for neurosis.”

“Of course, the righteousness insight didn’t really pop out of nowhere. I’ve been on a gradually emerging spiritual journey for 3 or 4 years now. Sometime during this period the following dialogue probably took place, although I’m surely still working on the last line of it.”

Donald D. Lathrop


<I have never had a failure in psychotherapy!> My out-bragging the braggart was so incredible that it shut him up. What a blessing for me! The rationalizations that would have poured out of my mouth in justification for my clearly unreal claim humiliate me even now as I think of them. Evidently he recognized at that point that I was crazy. He never attended another supervisory session.”

“The type of therapy—the goals, the expectations, the method—defines failure. In psychoanalysis, the best studied of the therapies, failure has two important faces. One is the therapy that never ends, the <interminable analysis>. The other is the therapy that ends without a full completion of one of the technical dimensions of (psychoanalytic) treatment, namely the resolution of the transference neurosis.” “In most psychotherapies, the transference neurosis is left almost totally untouched. Good results are achieved by minimizing its development.”

“We talked about Arlene Mildred and her father. There were parallels. Arlene had been suicidal for months and was perpetually rejected by her parents. Yet if she killed herself, there is no question that her father would be on the phone screaming threats at me.”

“I feel better (as always) when I work, when I do the work that is my calling. It’s hard to concentrate, but there is relief for me in involving myself with the immediate problems of the living. Now there is something new. I am now haunted by the reality that no one in my care, not my patients, not my family, not myself, is safe from death through my unawareness. The only relief for me is talking into my machine, blindly recording for what purpose I do not know.”

“I recalled today that Mildred had had an illegitimate child and that her parents had condemned her for it; they had disinherited her, had left her with the feeling that in no way could she redeem herself. Now that she is gone, they are going to punish me.”

“But maybe not! Sometime in the late afternoon, sometime after the first woman had comforted me, I began to permit myself to think that maybe they would not sue me. Even now this goes back and forth, now one way, now the other. I know that I will just be waiting, waiting for however long it will be before the letter comes, before the papers are served, waiting and scared and at the same time a little defiant. They are not going to destroy me. I am not going to destroy myself.”

“That’s another strange quirk in this. I can no longer take comfort, as I have for so many years, in fantasies of committing suicide myself. Some recent realizations have convinced me that not only is suicide no longer a possibility for me, but comforting myself with fantasies of suicide is no longer acceptable. How strange, how ironic, that at the same time this door is closed to me, I have experienced the first suicide in my professional career.”

“These are all games. Nothing changes the reality. Mildred is dead. The games I now play to keep other men from judging me, from punishing me for my unconsciousness, for my carelessness, for whatever part is my fault, these games do not seem to me to have much to do with Mildred and me.”

“Tonight Mildred’s parents are busy making the plans and carrying out the procedure of burying their daughter. When they are through, they will come to bury me.”

“She told me that she was responsible for all of the evil in the world. I told her she did not frighten me; I told her, as I have told lots of crazy people, that I would expose myself to her and then we would see whether she was indeed the overseer of all evil. Now she is laughing. I just wish she wasn’t angry. Of all the helpers, all the professionals who have been involved with this young woman over 6 years of suicidal behavior, she saved her act of murder for me. I can stand the laughter, but the contempt, the anger, the hurt to my therapist’s arrogance, that really digs in hard.

Strange that this poor woman and I came together. We were brought together by the impersonal forces of the State. She was covered for her psychiatric care by welfare. I was and am obliged to make much of my living by treating these people. Like many such patients, she did not even pick me. I was picked for her by the good-hearted woman who runs the boarding house where Mildred was sent after her release from the state hospital. This totally untrained person gets the horribly sick, broken souls after they are hastily patched up and discharged from the state hospital. She is understandably anxious to find some professional to take care of her boarders. Many of them are as severely disturbed as any patient I have ever seen in the backward of a state hospital.

From the first time she came to my office, Mildred did not want to see me. In fact, for her first appointment, she refused to come in. I was glad. I didn’t need any more patients. I didn’t need to convince this unattractive young woman that I could help her. So I let her go. But the lady with the burden of taking care of her day in and day out was insistent, and a reappointment was made. Second try: I got her into the office. It was at this time she told me that she was the carrier of all evil. I found something to like in her. Her arrogance regarding evil stimulated my own in a competitive sort of way. I’ve known since I was a kid that no one is <badder> than I am. After that beginning, it was a succession of broken appointments, my happily giving up on her because she was stuck in a hospital in another part of the state, getting her back, working within totally unrealistic limitations of time and money imposed by welfare regulations, step by step to the final miserable result.”

“I was aware, as dawn broke this morning during my run on the beach, of Mildred’s blind eyes that do not see this sunrise. My dream last night was that I was working with some other  people, trying to finish a job. Although I was working hard and felt the importance of finishing the job, I was not frantic. Then I was relaxing with some people, perhaps having cocktails, and a young woman asked me whether I would be giving a language course. I replied, Who, me? Parlez-vous ze Deutsch? Everyone laughed, for I had demonstrated that language was my very weakest subject.

I did not understand this seemingly light-hearted and trivial dream in response to Mildred’s death. Then I went to consult my friend, my guide, Max Zeller (our relationship was called Jungian analysis, or psychotherapy, and I was the patient). Max suggested that we consult the I Ching. This was a beautiful idea. It was the very sort of objective statement that I would be willing to accept. I certainly did not want any more comforting.

I asked the I Ching about the nature of my involvement with Mildred, the meaning of this experience. The answer was hexagram 28, <The Preponderance of the Great>. In this ancient Chinese symbolism was revealed a union of solidness, steadfastness, and joy. My light-hearted dream of last night now makes sense to me. As a student, much less a teacher of the language of the unconscious, I am a rank beginner. My life is the task that must be completed. As the dream says, I no longer work frantically at the task, imagining that I will thus impress the gods or get the job done, i.e., reach perfection. The hexagram also comforts me in my experience of inner peace, my lack of grief. I had feared that this was merely denial on my part, the refusal to feel the expected emotions. But the ancient book of Chinese wisdom suggests that grief and breast-beating are simply not part of this experience.”

“Now it is years later. I never heard another word from Mildred’s parents. The boyfriend who had encouraged her to sign herself out of the hospital against my advice called a couple of times. He mainly wanted to share his feeling that all of us had been bound together by a cosmic experience. I could agree—since he made no further demand on me. I was satisfied that he had forgiven himself as I had myself.

My failure, as I now see it, was in not being aware of the purpose of my treatment of Mildred. This young woman had been in agony for years, convinced that she was personally responsible for all of the evil in the world. She had tried repeatedly to solve both her own excruciating pain and the world’s unnecessary suffering by killing herself. However, she had always been too disorganized, too fragmented to succeed. I had treated her with medication and with psychotherapy so that she finally had the necessary ego resources to carry through a definite act of self-annihilation. My job was to cure her so she could kill herself! My failure was in remaining unconscious, in not being willing to be fully responsible for my part of the therapeutic contract.

I had known for years before this incident that the danger of suicide is greatest during the recovery phase. I knew that I could have legally detained her for a while longer. It would have been a lot of trouble, but it could have been done. The fact is, I just didn’t care enough about Mildred. That’s what was lethal.

I don’t want to slip into moralizing. That has no place in a world that is moving slowly but surely away from judgment, away from manipulation through guilt. I am convinced that my own refusal of guilt in Mildred’s death was the key to my not being punished by society. If we permit guilt to take over, we communicate to others their right to take vengeance on us. Meu satânico erro em quase todos os períodos turbulentos da minha vida: ser cristão demais! Jussara, Maria das Graças, veteranos bobiólogos, até mesmo indivíduos estranhos, conhecidos na véspera… sempre se aproveitaram dessa faceta, tantos rostos descarnados disponíveis para umas pancadinhas, impunemente… Felizmente minha língua e meus dedos, embora em efeito retardado, isso lá é verdade, não seguem ordens ou ditames do “corpo típico” (o que me lembra TÍSICO), se é que se me entende. Aloprados e mais sinceros do que idiotas e bons, eles procedem à vendeta; “fora de contexto” não existe na perspectiva dessas duas instâncias, verdadeiras guias desta carne que transpira. Uma vez, em que não importa quanto veneno a serpente inoculasse eu jamais reconheceria qualquer porcentagem de culpa: Isabel the Unimportant Nóia, leprosa que se filia com os tipos mais tortos e mendicantes, desajustados, dessa Brasília imunda (e por isso me conhece!), não tinha nenhuma razão, mas, ainda pior, nenhuma chance de, com razão ou não, me convencer de minha responsabilidade no incidente que precipitou meu divórcio. Isto não é dizer que esse tipo de pessoa sem conhecimento causal algum tem qualquer ciência socrática de que nada sabe: pelo contrário, uma Unimportant Bell é sempre e perigosamente a “personalidade forte” que carrega uma fé cega, uma autoconfiança ilimitada nos próprios métodos, a pura contingência e falta de método, a vida informe e tosca, não-lixada, torpe como madeira matéria-prima. Estas pessoas são tão fanáticas em seu niilismo inócuo quanto qualquer dogmático tentando reinjetar, atavicamente, tabus e ritos milenares já superados na nossa sociedade protestantemente laica (faz parte do jogo de cena a impressão de que os evangélicos nunca foram tão poderosos, mas é uma força de castelo de açúcar, com dilúvios à vista…). Não temos rigidez e teimosia para levar adiante nenhum propósito que não tenha nascido ontem mesmo, enquanto civilização brasileira pós-moderna. Os mais doidos e inconseqüentes que já conheço há anos, mesmo que sem qualquer padrão real, são os únicos que posso descrever com precisão em seu martelar psicológico entediante.

ATENÇÃO, FIÉIS! NOSSOS PLANOS FORAM ANTECIPADOS PARA ONTEM: “All of my life I have failed. All of my life, I have suffered depression as a consequence. But I would far rather take my punishment as depression than project the responsibility for punishing me out onto the world. Others are not likely to be as merciful to me as my own educated inner Judge. I had a revelation once: There is no judgment on Judgment Day.

Vin Rosenthal


“Unlike Joseph K. in Kafka’s The Trial, I know what I am guilty of”

“I am so nervous! I take some Thorazine. (Why Thorazine! Especially when I’ve never taken any psychotropic drug—not even marijuana.)”

“(And now I know what my patients are talking about when they tell of their anxiety.)” Weird. Sempre achei que a descoberta antecedia a profissão!

Were you aware that a contract with a ‘schizophrenic’ often has little binding power?”


“The Tribunal gets really hot when it suspects sexual misconduct on my part. The judges are terribly suspicious of anything that looks the slightest bit sexual. (This sometimes is a hard one because they don’t always agree among themselves about what is sexual and about the rules of common practice and the behavior of the hypothetical <reasonable therapist.>) The Tribunal casts its confronting eyes over my writings and challenges me about such statements as follows:

She says: If it hadn’t been for your response to me, your holding me, I don’t think I would ever have come to believe anyone could find me sexually desirable; no matter how long we had just talked about it.


I’m amazed and overjoyed. I had picked up her message that she genuinely desired to have me-as-a-person act warmly, lovingly, intimately, with her-as-a-person, but I was uncertain whether I should risk it. Now I can see that by limiting my risk I would have seriously limited her possibilities.


My judges are especially wary whenever I Hold a patient.” “they often are skeptical and insist on reading between the lines and beyond what I have written.”

If I sense the person is feeling sexual as a child, I let him know he is safe. If I sense the person is sexualizing to avoid, I try to encourage his getting to his child; if he does not, we sit up and work on it. This is also true if I sense that I am sexualizing the situation. I do not continue TO HOLD a patient if I stay with my sexual feelings”


“The Age of Aquarius enables me to avoid detection; no one looks that closely, and whoever does is ridiculed for being <uptight>.”

“What would you have me do? What kind of job would you permit me to hold that would enable me to retain my humanity, use my skills and talents and develop my potential? Remember, my peers are no better than me. The few unflawed noble souls are, wisely, going about their business in an unpublic way; they couldn’t care less. I have to live somewhere, someone has to share my company—otherwise that would be too inhuman a punishment to fit my misdemeanors. Reforming seems like such a difficult, even impossible task. Disappearing feels easier, yet, I’d have to take myself along. I suppose I’ll just go along as I have and hope that nothing happens.”

Lora Price


why not just a few?


“In the social work profession, close, intensive working together with clients toward personality shifts and problem-solving is called <counseling>. This is a term that suggests <telling> someone what to do as a way to be helpful.” “It is the social worker—the woman—whom the public mind most often identifies as the offerer of the <concrete> service. The intangibles, the profundities, are within the male preserve.” “Sigmund Freud and Otto Rank supplied the educational approaches that dominate the field. When I was in graduate school the faculty was overwhelmingly female. The course in psychological theory was the only one not taught by a social worker. Instead, the instructor was a male psychiatrist with a faculty appointment as <consultant>.”

“Even those social work agencies most heavily invested in offering counseling rather than concrete services rely upon regularly scheduled psychiatric consultations to determine and consolidate diagnosis and the direction of treatment. When I was a caseworker in a family service agency, it was a male psychiatrist who was hired to offer his expert opinion on a weekly, one-hour consultant schedule. There were only one or two caseworkers who could <present> within this frame.”

“Mistakes or therapeutic errors (although they were not so designated) were to be kept <in house>. This was a familiar and oft-taught lesson.” “The case supervisor, my supervisor, and I would all sit there chatting amiably, awaiting the arrival of the psychiatrist. He always came late because his schedule was so busy. All four of us would then engage in seeming accord as if there was only one way to work with my clients, one direction for me to follow. Because my submitted materials reflected only that I knew exactly what to do, we could then all bask in the aura of certain knowledge and perfection.”

“Making one’s way is equated with manipulation and control. Although the kernel of this truth first became evident in my work in a social work unit (a family service agency), it was even more glaringly so when I began working in mental health facilities. Ironically, these are considered the apex of clinical social work placements because of the opportunity they offer to do counseling—or therapy—without the impediment of the concrete service traditionally found in social work agencies. I had decided to go this route because of my wish to work with clients more intensively and knowledgeably.”

“When I applied for the job I wanted, I was turned down by the woman who was the Chief Social Worker. She said I was too inexperienced and would make too many mistakes. Besides that, I had been trained as a Rankian and obviously would not fit in with the Freudian approach of that particular clinic. She knew that my being there would <embarrass> the social workers who needed to keep up with (if not be better than) the medical staff. The chief of the service was a male psychiatrist. I saw him next. He was pleased to maintain his position in the ongoing struggle by overruling her and hiring me. In any case, he could not conceive that anything I would do could be that important. He knew that it was the doctors who ran that clinic.”

“the <family> was considered to be my area of expertise. The people I saw were labeled <clients> in deference to their secondary standing in the treatment matrix.”

“In my mind, women were less likely to be accepted into medical school than men, and girls were not as skilled as boys in dealing with prerequisite subjects such as science and mathematics. Also, becoming a social worker consumes less time and less money. Clearly, expending less energy befits a profession which is only of secondary importance.”

“Away from my clients I wept copiously. With them, I insisted on appearing intact and untroubled. I feel embarrassed now by my complicity in perpetuating their assurances that I could be perfect”

Arthur L. Kovacs


Presented at the symposium Critical Failure Experiences in Psychotherapy, Division 29 Midwinter Meeting, 1972.”


“I now know that this formulation is nonsense. What we do with our patients— whether we do so deviously and cunningly or overtly and brashly—is to affirm our own identities in the struggle with their struggles. We use them, for better or worse, to secure precious nourishments, to preserve our sanity, to make our lives possible, and to reassure ourselves in the face of that ineffable dread that lurks always beyond the margins of our awareness and can be heard as a very quiet electric hum emanating from the depths of our souls when everything is silent.”

“In this way, we can use our training to utter comfortable lies to ourselves and to avoid looking at the processes by which the persons we are either catalyze or defeat those who move in communion with us.”

“…what? Disaster? Chaos? Stalemate? I do not even know the right word to describe the outcome.”

“Part of me needed a persecutor, and Gwen supplied the potential to play the part.” “When I no longer needed to be persecuted, we somehow parted.”

“subjective time is always more important than objective time”

“Gwen came to see me because she had begun to experience severe anxiety attacks in school. Most of these were evoked by encounters with her psychology instructor, a married, middle-aged man. She was convinced, in her own paranoid fashion (to which I was unutterably blind in the beginning), that he was making seductive, obscene, and shaming gestures toward her continually. When he discussed masturbation in his lectures, she believed he was shaming her before the whole class, accusing her and revealing that she was a masturbator. She would blush, feel terrified, and have to leave class. Gwen was frequently aware of his genitals bulging in his trousers. She often believed he dressed in a fashion to accentuate them and positioned himself in such a way as to exhibit his endowments to her. When he talked about sexual matters, she <knew> he was lusting after her. I need to make it clear that, as I do so often, I partly trusted Gwen’s craziness and indeed believed there was something in the instructor that longed for her. She was, I must repeat, deadly cute.”

“When she returned to her next appointment, she was furious with me. She screamed at me that I was a rotten fucker, that I had sent her to her humiliation, that I took sadistic pleasure in teasing her. The force of her violence was incredible; her features contorted into a malevolent hatred that I have seldom seen. For the first time, I sensed the presence of some awesome murderousness in her, and I felt frightened. The pitch of her screaming was louder than I had ever heard. I believe, and still do, that the instructor had manipulated her and given her a dose of clever poison to choke on as he protected himself from her paranoid wisdom. I tried to get her to hear that. Her ears were closed by the noise of her own anguished, vicious screaming. She broke out of my office, fleeing from me and from her rage, almost wrenching the door off its hinges—although she probably does not weigh more than 95 pounds [43kg].”

“My beliefs, inflicted on Gwen and most others who opened themselves to me, were my armor, my sword, and my shield at that time of my life.”

“The next many months Gwen found exquisite ways to torment me, even though I could not get her to come to my office. She began, for example, to call me, usually around 3A.M.. I would stagger out of bed to answer the phone. There would be an ominous silence, then a loud screaming, You goddam piece of shit! I want you to die! or something equally vicious and abusive. Suddenly the phone would be hung up and it would be over until the next time. I believed then that my life was in the grip of some malevolent, overwhelmingly crushing principle, for Gwen’s timing was exquisite. Most of her calls occurred at times when I felt too weary, too battered to stand one more moment of anguish in my life. My struggle to build a new existence was beginning to consume me. Most of those nights I had fallen into fitful sleep after lengthy episodes of bitter acrimony with my former wife or of crying desperate tears at having to cross such a limitless desert alone. Gwen’s calls would cause me to start up from steamy, sweat-rumpled sheets in terror; I did not feel the strength to deal with her.”

“At last, after an absence of 4 months, I finally received a daytime call from Gwen. She asked to make an appointment! When she came in, she told me that she had been thinking about her therapy a lot and that she felt she wanted to enter group therapy. Having others around would, she believed, keep the 2 of us from getting into terrible trouble together. (I often notice patients possess incredible wisdom, if we would only listen!) I also, as did she, wanted and needed to dilute the horrible intensity of what had been transpiring between us. I readily assented, and Gwen started group.”

“In her middle adolescence, Gwen’s stepfather had a psychotic episode, preceded by a period of great violence during which he brandished a pistol repeatedly, screamed at his family members often in desperate viciousness, and engaged in great, raging, hallucinatory battles with his wife—during which he sometimes bloodied her or broke her bones—before he himself finally went to a psychiatric hospital. Gwen trembled violently as she remembered and related these things. During this period of treatment, also, Gwen got herself a job as a secretary, decided to attend college at night, and moved into her own apartment, separating from her family for the first time in her life. And I felt smug, pompous, and marvelously effective as her therapist. What an ass I was!”

“Once I was working with another patient. The other patient was pouting, sullen, withholding. She had come up to the edge of something and now sat stolidly, defiantly, unyieldingly. I became exasperated and started shaking her. The next thing I knew, Gwen threw herself on me, fists flailing, screaming You fucker, you fucker! It took 10 people to pry her off of me. I was very shaken.

Another marathon. Days, months, years—I do not know how much later. I had taken 20 patients into the Sierra Nevada. We were camped out in a snow-surrounded, glacial-scoured, lake-filled paradise. I had asked a woman along to share my sleeping bag at night. As I look back, I now feel ashamed of my choice. My companion was young and very pretty but had nothing more for me than sexual compliance. For this she wished to present me with a large number of emotional demands. At that period of my life I was desperate for any crumb of nourishment, did not appreciate my worth, and would hunger after anyone I believed would have me. We fought a great deal that weekend. Gwen kept watching the two of us balefully. During the 2nd day, she asked the largest man in the group to restrain her physically while she talked to me. He did so, and once again she shifted gears into her screaming viciousness, calling me a piece of shit, a motherfucker—any obscenity she could muster. He held her so she wouldn’t hit me. She struggled hard to get free while she vilified me. The gist of her tirade was, of course, that I was a moral leper, a vile sensualist, and a user of people.

As my first marriage continued to die and as I searched for the goodness I so longed for, Gwen became somehow in my mind the world’s representation of the established moral order. She had been selected to make me suffer for my sinful attempts to make a new life. The night calls and screaming at me over the telephone continued, usually when I could least bear them. Incredible vituperation also spilled out of her in group each week.”

“Weekends are always terrible when marriages are dying.”

I want her dead! I suddenly knew it and began to fantasize the myriad ways I could kill her. I danced exultantly over her broken corpse. Her life must end so that mine could go on! (…) That shitty, stinking little cunt-bitch! I arrived at work trembling in fearful awe over the intensity of my own murderousness. That night in group my patience was exhausted. The 2 of us got into a screaming battle with each other. I told her how I longed for her to die. We traded insults and murderous fantasies. I felt momentarily better.

Another night—weeks later. I am talking to someone else about masturbation. Gwen’s paranoia flares up again. She accuses me of sitting with my legs apart to compel her to stare at my crotch. She insists that I am talking about masturbation to shame her. She yells that I should get it straight once and for all that she does not masturbate. I get furious. I tell her that she is a stupid little bitch. I tell her she is 20 years old and that it is time she started masturbating. I describe to her how to do it and order her to go home and carry out my instructions after group. I add that I never want to hear anything about masturbation from her again. She becomes silent. Finally, I start searching my heart about her accusations. I tell her that they are partly justified, that when I first met her I had indeed tried her on in fantasy as a possible lover. I assented that I had probably teased her provocatively and flirted with her in subtle ways. I admitted to her the crazy desperation that seized most of my life then, the hunger to be at rest in a good woman’s arms. I added that my fantasies about her had died, though, soon after my getting to know her—that she was not my other half, nor what I needed for me. I said that I regretted that fact. I believed that my inability even to imagine her any longer as a partner to me was a sad tragedy. I felt forlorn as I talked to her. I closed the group by expressing my wish that a day might come before either of us were dead when once again she could stir me in such a way as to invoke in me imagery of her being my woman. I knew that that would be a sign that something profound had happened to each of us.

Early the next morning, Gwen called. She asked if she could have an individual appointment with me. I had a cancellation that afternoon and readily assented. At the appointed hour, I opened the waiting room door. Her face was contracted with rage. As she walked by me, she slapped my face. When we entered my office, I asked her what the hell that had been for. She screamed that I had exposed, shamed, and humiliated her in front of her friends in group. Then she went berserk and threw herself on me, trying to claw my face and spitting at me as we tussled. We crashed to the floor, spilling furniture and books everywhere. I finally subdued her, and as she began to feel the assertion of my strength and control she murmured between clenched teeth: Go ahead, you bastard. Fuck me. I told her I wasn’t interested. She began to sob convulsively. I had never seen her like that. She was suddenly very little and helpless, a 3-year-old who had been running around in murderous fury, trying to pretend that she had adult competencies lest the world penetrate her disguise and annihilate her. An image is indelibly burned into my awareness: the two of us sitting there on the floor in the midst of the rubble of my office, Gwen sobbing helplessly in my arms, my rocking her and feeling rubber-kneed and weak from the awe and fearfulness of what we had just experienced.”

“She began describing her stepfather coming into her room one night. Gwen stopped, flushed, went incredibly tense, and would not go on.” “My instructions to her to enter into a dialogue with the half-fantasied, half-remembered shade of that man on that nameless occasion precipitated a kind of trance-like state. Gwen became 14 again. She relived and reproduced what I knew was in store for all of us—her stepfather’s feared, longed-for, luscious, tormenting, lacerating, hungering attempted rape of her that awful night of her memory. Who knows whether the events were real or not? I still do not. But their reality was powerful that evening she described them to us.”

“Her tear-drowned eyes remained closed. I picked her up and rocked her as I would my own daughter. At first she drank me in. Then I felt her stiffen. I knew intuitively what was happening, and I said to Gwen, No, I don’t have an erection. She realized it too, at the same time, and turned to rubber once again in my lap. Yet, at that moment, I sensed our relationship was doomed and hopeless. If I held her at some emotional distance to placate her longing, terrified struggle over being penetrated, she would rail at me for being no help, disinterested or worthless to her. If she captured my attention, and I started to move closer to her, I would become the bearded satyr—too exciting, too forbidden, and too dangerous to deal with. Either way the end result was an outburst of fearful hatred. I talked to her often about this frustrated, impotent dilemma into which she thrust me. It never did any good.

Instead, Gwen began to separate from me. She started to come to group less and less. At first I felt comfortable with this, for the events of her life demonstrated a thrust toward increasing competency and mastery. She received a significant promotion at work. She separated from her boyhood lover and began to explore the possibilities of loving a much more capable man a few years older than she was. (…) One day she called me to ask me for a referral. A friend who did not have much money wanted to enter therapy and asked her, so she said, for the name of a good clinic. I provided this to her, and I added that the friend should ask for Dr. X, if possible, at that agency for I knew he had a good reputation. Three months later I found out, when Gwen began to talk matter-of-factly about it in group, that it was Gwen herself who had gone to see Dr. X and that Dr. X had begun seeing her, not at the clinic, but in his private practice!”

“She finally mustered the courage to tell her new lover that she was falling in love with him and to ask him for more of himself than he had been willing to give her thus far. He smiled, told her that she was a sweet thing, but that all he wanted her for was an occasional night in the sack. He laughed delightedly at her precious gift of her avowing that she wanted him, and he went to the refrigerator to break out a bottle of champagne. Gwen went berserk, tore up the man’s apartment, and forced him to throw her out bodily. She then came to group the next week, started up her screaming machine again, complained that I was an evil monster who ruined people’s lives, and stormed out of the office. I did not see Gwen again for three months. I was relieved. I thought she was gone forever, and I was happy. I had at last left my previous life, was living alone, and felt joyously in love with the woman who is now my wife. Gwen’s seeming departure was a mystical sign to me that my perilous journey was at last over and that I would be able to rest in my wife’s arms, exhausted, ecstatic, and optimistic about what we were beginning to build.

Much to my surprise, Gwen signed up for a weekend marathon [!] I held the next January. My soon-to-be wife accompanied me on that occasion. As I relive those moments, I remember how Gwen stared at the two of us in hateful envy. She detested my happiness. She tried to interfere, with sarcasm and cruel mockery, in any work I attempted to do. I finally stopped everything to contend with her. I was quaking with tension. After Gwen played many screaming broken records over and over again, I asked her what the hell she wanted from me. To my astonishment, she softened and asked to be held. Haltingly, I agreed. She came and sat next to me. I put my arm around her and she leaned against me, but I felt some kind of stiffness and unyieldingness in her manner and bearing. I told her I missed the vulnerable child she had—on a precious very few occasions—allowed herself to be with me. My wife, in her usual marvelously intuitive fashion, saw the look in Gwen’s eyes and began to speak to her of her own struggles with pride and envy. They swapped tales of being children, of longing for good fathers, and of all the turmoil and fear such longings create. My wife urged that Gwen be resolute in searching for what she wanted and that she not allow her fears of other women’s retribution to turn her aside from her quest. Gwen softened and allowed herself at last to surrender to being held. Later in the night one of the women in the group asked Gwen for permission to, and indeed did, feed her from a baby’s bottle. [Ah, kleinianos!]

Gwen then disappeared from my life. Once in a while I would get a phone call from her complaining bitterly about the cold, cruel, and vicious treatment she was receiving at the hands of Dr. X. I urged her each time to discuss her grievances, real or imagined, with him and told her she was always welcome, if she wished, to return to group—that many people missed her and asked about her. Last June, I got a call from her again. She and Dr. X had gotten into a fight, and he had thrown her out of therapy, saying that he was sick of her vicious bitchiness, would not put up with it anymore, and was not going to see her again. Gwen sounded crazy and frightened on the phone. I began to get anxious.

Two weeks later I came into my office and found it at shambles. All my books had been thrown on the floor. The furniture was overturned. Papers had been ripped up. A cover from Time magazine, the one with Jesus Christ Superstar on it, had been ripped off. A knife, thrust through the face of Jesus, impaled it to my couch. I knew immediately who had done it, and I began to fear for my life. Then Gwen called and asked for an individual appointment. I refused, telling her that I was afraid of the violence in her. I urged her to come to group so that we could talk where we would both be safe. She screamed at me and hung up.”

“Three weeks later, a fireman came into my office. Gwen had been gathered in off the roof of my building after having threatened noisily for an hour to jump.” “The physician in charge called me. He said Gwen had confessed to him it was the 3rd attempt she had made on her life in 48 hours.”

“The mother reported that Gwen had assaulted her parents and her father’s psychiatrist during the past week. I begged the mother to have Gwen hospitalized. Instead the mother screamed at me for being <one of the fucking Jew-doctors> that had ruined her daughter’s life. Screaming in fury, she told me she was going to take Gwen home. For the next 3 weeks I walked in dread, not knowing whether Gwen was alive or dead, not knowing if she would come at me out of some other dark night, this time with a weapon.

Late in July, Gwen called again. She asked for an appointment. For some reason known only to my sense of the uncanny¹, I granted her request. I was terrified, but I needed to confront some primitive dread in me. I was sick to death of being a person who always ducked bullies and fled from the possibility of violence. She would be the occasion for me to confront me.”

¹ Referência freudiana

“She related to me that she had made appointments with 8 different therapists in the past 4 weeks and had physically assaulted all 8 of them and fled.”

I guess I’ll live. But I don’t think I’m going to go on with therapy.”


“As she disappeared down the hall she smiled bravely and called out over her shoulder, You’re the only one who always lets me come back. I have not seen or heard from her this past 3 years.”

“Gwen served me well as my vicious companion at a time I needed one. The impress of her being will always be with me.”

Hobart F. Thomas


“On several occasions I have experienced deep feelings of love and/or sexual attraction for clients. At other times I have felt and expressed feelings of irritation and anger. None of these emotionally charged situations, however, seems to provide the devastating frustration of those in which no truly personal contact occurred. I am recalling the long and seemingly fruitless hours spent with depressed patients in m