Friday, 29 May 2009

Porto II

A feira do livro do Porto já começou e estará na Avenida dos Aliados até 14 de Junho.

A Feira do Livro estreia uma nova imagem, pavilhões renovados, duas praças e um Auditório Central. Os visitantes poderão contar com debates, apresentações, lançamentos e todo um conjunto de actividades centradas no Livro.

O Coxo estará lá.

Porto I

Weekend @ Porto, Serralves museum is celebrating its twenty years.

O Coxo will be there.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Notre monde en guerre

Des photographes ont été chargés par le Comité International de la Croix Rouge de saisir l’impact que la guerre et la violence armée ont sur la vie des gens dans huit pays : Afghanistan, Géorgie, Haïti, Liban, Libéria, Philippines et République démocratique du Congo.

L'exposition aura lieu du 8 Mai au 30 Juin au Espace SIG:

Pont de la Machine 1

Lundi – vendredi : 9 h – 18 h
Samedi et dimanche : 10 h – 17 h

Ainsi que du 31 août au 20 septembre 2009, Quai Wilson, Genève (exposition en plein air)

morir cada día

In my trips, whenever I am so fortunate to speak the language of the country I am visiting, I like to buy a book from a local writer. If I can't buy it in the original language I buy it in English, even if I know that good translations are extremely difficult to achieve, especially in poetry.

Poetry is made with words, but words are not always subjugated to their meaning. Words can be a playing ground and often rhythm is even more important than the message. Especially in modern poetry.

That is why I find that, in poetry, free (non literal) translations are often much more interesting then literal translations, although extremely risky.

Jorge Luís Borges said once that: "To translate the spirit is so enormous an intention that it could remain innocuous, translating literally so extravagant a precision that it will be risky to practice but it is difficult to renounce one of them".

Our own Mário Cesarinny said that "Free translations demand the most high poetic spirit". As an example, I would classify his free translation of Rimbaud in "Illuminations - une saison en enfer", which I am presently reading, as brilliant.

I found a good example of the problem in a note (by Luisa Fernanda Rodríguez) talking about Borges' essay on the translations of The Arabian Nights. Borges quotes an impressive list of examples which shows how one translator after the other cut, added, deformed and falsified the original to make it conform to his own artistic and moral norms. The list culminates in the literal translation by Enno Littmann, which is, in Borges' words scrupulously exact but inferior to the others because it lacks the richness of literary association. It lacks style.

So, avoiding polemics, I leave you with a poem by a peruvian poet, Blanca Varela, in her own language: castellano. I bought this book in a library in Arequipa, Peru. and it is called "Concerto Animal".

morir cada día un poco más
recortarse las uñas
el pelo
los deseos
aprender a pensar en lo pequeño
y en lo immenso
en las estrellaas más lejanas
e inmóviles
en el cielo
manchado como un animal que huye
en el cielo
espantado por mí

Friday, 15 May 2009

Deep Blue

Too long without hollidays and one easily gets nostalgic.
This photo was taken when walking down from Everest Base camp.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009


(by O Coxo)

So it goes like this:

The only way to real happiness is low expectations.

Now that I slipped that in, let me say that I agree: this is a far too simplistic approach to a subject that concerns us so much. But we're in desperate need of simplistic approaches. We've tried complicated: it got us confused. We've tried therapy: it drove us crazy. We've tried blogging: it made us lonely.

When I say high expectations are the problem, it is not so much a question of disappointment with what life brings you. It is much more a question of disappointment about what life means. The point to make is the importance of accepting life as it comes, with all its absurdities: of not looking for a higher meaning in things, not searching for an underlying logic in the events that shape our daily life, not driving our actions based on self made presumptions and believes. That is the only possible way to happiness.

In that sense one could say that faith is the comfort of the perplexed. Confronted with our earthly life's failed expectations, we find in religion the promise of their fulfilment in another life. A life less absurd than this one. A life where Good and Evil are two clearly distinct entities, where there are no ambiguities.

In this context science is a heavy burden. Our understanding of the world increases our expectations: we get the false impression that we're able to control it.

Art is even worse. Art is dangerous. Art thrives on the absurdity of life. It feeds itself from it. That is why Art has often been an antechamber of madness. The problem of the artist is that he knows too much.

The whole subject is reminiscent of a poem of Fernando Pessoa and I'll use it to finish this post:

She sings, poor reaper,
Thinking herself happy perhaps;
She sings and she reaps and her voice, full
Of joyfull and anonymous widowhood,
Quavers like the song from a bird


Ah, to be able to be you, being me !
To have your joyful unconsciousness,
And the conciousness of it ! Oh heaven!
Oh field ! Oh song ! Science

Weighs so much and life is so brief !
Enter into me ! Turn
My soul into your lofty shadow !
Then, carrying me away, pass on !

Translation of the poem "Ela canta, pobre ceifeira" taken from the book "An introduction to Fernando Pessoa" from Darlene Sadlier

Monday, 11 May 2009


It is not the first time that I post in this blog an add from Geneva's Red-Cross Museum temporary exhibitions. The museum has been presenting during the last years several photography exhibitions on humanitarian subjects.

This last exhibitions, STIGMATA, groups together seven contemporary photographers whose work seeks to capture our attention through pictures of both people and places dealing with situations of crisis. More concerned by the aftermath of chaos than chaos itself, they all grasp the slight, obvious, or even ambiguous marks of past violence.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Caves ouvertes 2009

Every year, hundreds of people invade the streets of the small villages of La Plaine, Dardagny, Essertines, Les Baillets, Peissy, Satigny, Choully, Bourdigny, Taboret, Noirettes et Russin, in the outskirts of Geneva, for some wine tasting in this open day. Very good ambiance and a great variety of Geneva wines are a recipe for success.

Known as ‘Caves Ouvertes’ in French, this annual event happens when the wine from the the previous autumn’s harvest is put on the market. Some 100 wineries are open for tasting.

More information here.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

O avesso do avesso

This weeks' proposal is a dance performance from ALIAS. The Geneva-based dance company is back to Théâtre Meyrin for a performance where the dancers find themselves lost in a human forest. The immobility of the actors creates a playground from the dancers which is also a space of increased freedom.

I have seen several performances from ALIAS and every single one of them was powerful, precise and at the same time of a surprising simplicity. I can only recommend it.

The only thing I regret is that they will only be on scene from the 5th of may to the 8th of May...

Théâtre Meyrin
Du mardi 5 au vendredi 8 mai 2009 à 20h30