Log in

Previous 10 | Next 10

Mar. 24th, 2011



In June my LiveJournal will have been continuously active for ten years. All along I've made a point of posting a certain number of public entries. It's important for me to do that because I want to be available to people who may read my comments in their friends journals and become interested in reading some of my own journal. That's how I "met" some really interesting people around the site. But now, much as I dislike the idea, I may have to make my entire journal friends only. I don't understand how these things happen, but I'm suddenly being over-flooded with spam being sent as comments to old entries that were posted "public." All sorts of things are being offered to me, from discount sales, to travel agency special tours, down to the inevitable sex sites. Most of the messages are screened. They all contain links, most of which are probably corrupted and may damage the computer of whoever tries to open them. I find it lamentable that it should be happening. I wonder if it's happening to my LiveJournal friends. And what do you think could be done about it?

Mar. 19th, 2011


Born on March 19

Happy birthday, vaneramos. I wish you all the best, always.

Mar. 3rd, 2011


A Big Mess

How would you react if you found out someone plagiarized your work and published it?

I would of course sue. If I won, the case would be settled and I would occupy my mind with other things. If I lost, I wouldn't try again, because for all I know in cases of plagiarism the first decision is hardly ever revised, and insisting on a lost cause would only bring me more damage. I would tell everything in my journal, all the details, from the moment I found out that I had been plagiarized to the indignity of loosing the case. Then at the right moment I would look for a publisher willing to stand by me, have the journal published, and bear with the consequences. But it's a mess, this whole business of plagiarism. I once saw Carolina Nabuco, the lady whose novel A Sucessora (literally, The Successor) was scandalously plagiarized into Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca, in a TV interview done when she was quite elderly. She was an immensely dignified woman, not in the least inclined to making a fuss about anything. Asked why she had never sued, she asked back, "Can you quickly give me the name of an author who, being the claimant, came out unscathed of a plagiarism lawsuit?"

Feb. 27th, 2011

sétimo selo

No Meaning

Oscars. Bah.

Feb. 25th, 2011


Waiting for Godot at the Bookshop

I haven't visited LiveJournal in quite a while. Yesterday I (at long last!!) got the photos taken in December of 2009 during the final performance of 1948: O Ano da Iluminação de Samuel Beckett (1948: The Year of Samuel Beckett's Illumination), the second part of which was Act I followed by the end scene of Waiting for Godot. Soon after taking these pictures, the photographer (Leonardo Miranda) left for São Paulo, where he had got a job, and only now did I get in touch with him about the material. I had never seen his work before. There's no way I could know I was in for such a big surprise. They're wonderful photos done by a fantastic photographer. He's definitely got an eye for photographing live performances, not the easiest of jobs, calling as it does for a very specific kind of feeling that goes beyond mere technical expertise. I don't think there are many photographers around who can do it so well. Looking at his work made me remember very vividly the thrill of doing this beautiful play in a small bookshop, with the audience so close to us. It was one of the happiest moments of my entire life, and somehow I think it shows through the first picture, showing me as Vladimir in the famous scene in which he questions the contradictions in the way the four evangelists deal with the story of the two thieves that were crucified together with Jesus ...

Read more...Collapse )

Dec. 30th, 2010

sétimo selo

La Vida Es Sueño

My last post in 2010. Last night I was randomly going over past entries in my own journal through that new tool that enables you to find very easily everything you've written about, or simply mentioning a certain topic. That's how I spent the best part of what should have been a much needed night of healthy sleep. Awful! But then, that's how I found out something really peculiar. While writing again and again, in entries with big intervals among them, about something that happened to me in the past I couldn't disagree more about how old I was. Like my first trip to America. Sometimes I say I was twenty when it happened, sometimes I say I was twenty-one. Sometimes I go as far as shaving two years off my age at the time of a certain episode. Sometimes I say I was older than I really was.

My first impulse was to edit the stuff correcting all the errors. Then I decided to leave it as is. I will never understand why, but I find inconsistencies in journals and other autobiographical writings absolutely fascinating. In some sort of a crazy way, they seem to confirm that life is inconsistent, to the point of making it impossible for anyone to use the written word to entrap time. What you're trying to catch ends up being slippery and much too elusive for your feeble attempt to succeed. Music stands better chances. The written word is forever bound to failure, and that's the beauty of it. Inconsistencies in journals, letters, memoirs, and other reminiscences are as beautiful as the vagueness of dreams. They should be preserved, not edited. Nobody edits his own dreams.

Dec. 23rd, 2010

funny & alexander & mother

They Do Things Differently There

Christmas again. So fast! This way I'm going to get up one day just like Tom Hanks in Big, go to the bathroom, watch myself in the mirror just the way he did in the movie, and find out that I've become not a 30-year-old guy like Hanks, but the Highlander. Centuries have gone by and I'm still around. I don't know that I like the idea. But then, who does?

As my family's celebration approaches, I think of the same occasion in the past. Considering that I'm fast becoming the Highlander, that's one hell of a lot of thinking we're talking about. So many people I loved have now turned into ghosts. Benign, full of warmth and light, but ghosts all the same. I can see them, but I can't touch them. In a way, I envy them. They can read Mário Benedetti's latest poems, listen to Lennon sing a ballad, or go to places like the movie theaters I loved so much, but where I cannot go anymore, because they were demolished along with the old houses where my childhood friends used to live, perhaps to see Fellini's latest outing, with Giulitta and Marcello once again as the leads. Then I think of the children who will come tomorrow, and about how odd it's going to be to see them with their children. How's that? Surely they must have been to the same amusement park where the thirteen-year-old Tom Hanks said "I want to be big" to that strange fortune telling machine.

In the end I think of myself at nineteen, and about how tremendously impressed I was with the voice in off reading a quote from the novel on which the film was based, right at the beginning of The Go Between. I had waited impatiently for the film to be released in Brazil and wanted to see it in all haste because Julie Christie was in it. Some four years earlier I had seen Far from the Madding Crowd and fallen in love with her. I've been in love with her ever since. That explains why I know everything about her. I know for example that last April the beautiful girl with the irresistible smile turned seventy. I think of that voice in off (Michael Redgrave's) and about how much that quote impressed me even then: "The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there."

Dec. 20th, 2010



It's like this: I used to have a HP notebook that died the death, the repair guy telling me that, besides being a tricky business, fixing it would cost so much money that I might as well buy another one. I did. I took a deep breath and bought a state of the art Sony/Vaio for approximately the double of what other, perfectly reliable brands would have cost, but as soon as I started using it, I didn't give it another thought. This baby has won my heart. Now for the reason to post such an operatic cry for help:

My capacity to work for a great number of hours without a break is way above the average. I'm not being boastful. On the contrary, I see it as a flaw, kind of a freakish characteristic bordering on the obsessive that doesn't do me any good and has already caused damage in many ways, like having trouble with my back and my eyes (last year, when I was badly pressed for time, having to come up very urgently with the script for the first part of the Beckett show, I once wrote uninterruptedly for nineteen hours--and then got scared for having done it). When the HP notebook collapsed I immediately thought I might have caused it by overheating the machine. But the repair guy didn't buy the idea. His theory was that I had had the bad luck of getting just the one model HP produced with a processor other than the customary Intel Pentium.

Whatever. Thing is that I'm again working many hours. I'm worried about my back and about the new notebook. I know what to do about my back: I set the alarm for every fifty minutes, stop for ten minutes, walk all over the house, lie down, and do the series of stretching exercises recommended by the pyisiotherapist before getting to work again. But what about the notebook? I'm beginning to get slightly hysterical to think of the possibility of this baby following in the footsteps of its predecessor. I've been trying to find out two things:

1) What is the maximum number of hours a notebook should be on without the risk of being damaged by overheating?

2) How long (minimum) should it be kept off before being turned on again?

Question #2 seems to have a consensus, sort of, about it. Most sources say two hours. Trouble is #1. Theories vary from "Six hours" to "No such a thing exists. A good notebook can stay on for twenty-four hours!" No consensus whatsoever. It doesn't help matters that the cooling tray so many people have adopted to protect their notebooks from overheating is now being said to have no effect at all after a certain number of hours. So, as I've done before, I decided to post this message in the bottle to my LiveJournal friends:

Please tell me what you know about this matter. If you do, this Johnny here will be as cheerful as Linus appears to be in the icon picture being used with this post.

Dec. 17th, 2010


Madame in Pepperland

I wonder if the year-end has anything to do with it, or if it could be having just moveded out of the apartment where I lived for seven years (which was my mother's house before that, for eight years), being able to occupy the apartment I've bought in another part of town only at the end of the month, and everything I own being piled up in cardboard boxes. Whatever the reason, I seem to have embarked on a trip in time the same way people go spend their holidays in Europe. I'm all the time running into something that makes my mind flow to the distant past. I don't know if it's good or bad or what, but it's funny! Music, for example. The Beatles, for example.

Once again I had an appointment (the last one) with the root canal specialist my dentist had recommended, to see about a tooth that had been misbehaving very badly. He didn't seem to find it funny when he told me that I have very strong teeth and I replied, "Well, maybe that means I won't see you again, or at any rate, not so soon." That's how I learned that making wisecracks under the effects of anaesthesia is not a good idea. Read more...Collapse )

Dec. 8th, 2010


Across the Universe

I remember that day. I remember how incredibly young I was. How can anyone ever be that young? We all are, at one point, I know. But once the sensation of being so light inside flies away from you, whenever a glimpse of it crosses your mind you think you've just had a brief episode of hallucination. Better watch what you've been eating. Surely such an exhilarating state doesn't have to do with reality.

I was at my aunt's. She had a garden. It was very beautiful and required a lot of care. There was this girl who, some years before, had been her dresser and played a bit part in it when my aunt produced and played the title role in a revival of Somerset Maugham's The Constant Wife (called Constantina in Brazil), which became the biggest hit of her entire career. No other play she ever did ran for so long, first in Rio, then in São Paulo, and finally on tour to several cities. Nothing she ever did brought in so much money, or made theatergoers love her so much. The play succeeded Tiro e Queda (A Shot in the Dark), a French comedy by Marcel Archard, in which I made my professional debut as an actor in the same theater. The icon picture being used here is from the program. Whenever I look at it I feel like talking to this young person who looks so outrageously hopeful to ask him, "What do you see in front of you that makes you look ahead so intently?"

As Tiro e Queda approached the end, my aunt and three other members of the cast, along with a number of other actors, were already rehearsing Constantina, in which there was no part for me because all the male roles in it were middle-aged and I looked like a school boy. So I took the money I had got for Tiro e Queda, plus the unbelievably generous "nice trip" present my aunt gave me, meaning the full amount becoming the double, and left for New York on my first visit to America.Read more...Collapse )

Previous 10 | Next 10