A Passage to 2008

Hope you have a wonderful farewell to 2007. We will miss this year for sure. It was filled with great moments and will be part of Bloom's memories as our first year.

We hope that you enter well in the coming year. With the right foot and with 12 raisins in your hand to eat as the clock is approaching the midnight.
I don't like raisins but I still keep them in my hand as I enter the new Year!


SEE YOU IN 2008!

O verdadeiro código da Vinci

Pintor, projectista, inventor, anatomista, músico e filósofo, Leonardo da Vinci é o mais multifacetado dos grandes artistas do Renascimento - e também o mais enigmático. Embora os seus feitos extraordinários sejam exaltados há séculos, enquanto homem, a sua figura tem permanecido difusa e envolta em mistério.
Leonardo da Vinci - O Voo da Mente esboça um dos mais convincentes e íntimos dos retratos do indivíduo complexo, original e eternamente curioso, que se encontra por detrás do vulto do lendário "génio do Renascimento" e "homem universal" . O livro acompanha o notável percurso de Leonardo das suas obscuras origens, como filho ilegítimo nas terras provincianas da Toscana, até ao fim dos seus dias, nas margens do Loire, ao serviço de Francisco I, passando pela aprendizagem em Florença na oficina de Verrocchio, pelos anos em que esteve ao serviço dos poderosos da Itália Renascentista - os Médicis, os Sforza, os Bórgia - e pelo seu relacionamento com Miguel Ângelo e Maquiavel.
Recorrendo a uma vasta gama de fontes contemporâneas e esquadrinhando os recantos menos conhecidos dos cadernos de apontamentos do próprio Leonardo da Vinci, Nicholl escreveu uma biografia integral do artista. Redigida com elegância e profusamente ilustrada e repleta de pormenores esclarecedores, é uma obra prima do subgénero biográfico moderno.

A primeira sugestão do ano da Bloom, para acompanhar a exposição do grande génio patente na Torre de Macau, com os votos de um 2008 cheio de sucessos!

Leonardo da Vinci - O Voo da Mente, de Charles Nicholl

Bertrand Editora • ISBN: 9722515209 • 2006

A book everyone should read

In 1942, a dashing young man who liked nothing so much as a heated game of poker, a good bottle of scotch, and the company of a pretty girl hopped a merchant ship to England. He was Robert Capa, the brilliant and daring photojournalist, and Collier's magazine had put him on assignment to photograph the war raging in Europe. In these pages, Capa recounts his terrifying journey through the darkest battles of World War II and shares his memories of the men and women of the Allied forces who befriended, amused, and captivated him along the way. His photographs are masterpieces - John G. Morris, Magnum Photos' first executive editor, called Capa "the century's greatest battlefield photographer" - and his writing is by turns riotously funny and deeply moving.
From Sicily to London, Normandy to Algiers, Capa experienced some of the most trying conditions imaginable, yet his compassion and wit shine on every page of this book. Charming and profound, Slightly Out of Focus is a marvelous memoir told in words and pictures by an extraordinary man.
The great photojournalist infused his autobiography with the same brio and warmth that he expressed in his now classic photographs. "Victory was pleasant and exhausting," the Hungarian-born American notes after the Allies' capture of Tunisia. "During the day in the streets... we were kissed by hundreds of old women... We had enough liquor from a captured Gestapo warehouse to keep our singing throats from drying out." Always on the frontlines (he was killed in 1954 in what would later become known as the Vietnam War), Capa went ahead with the parachute invasion of Sicily even though he had been fired from Colliers Weekly--flying in with a squadron of young soldiers he refers to as "boys." When Capa's turn came to jump, he forgot to count "one thousand, two thousand, three thousand" before pulling his cord, instead murmuring, "Fired photographer jumps." "I felt a jerk on my shoulder and my chute was open. 'Fired photographer floats,' I said happily to myself." Stuck dangling in a tree all night, he didn't dare call out for help. "With my Hungarian accent, I stood an equal chance of being shot by either side."
This is a title from Modern Library, an imprint of Random House / USA, an endless pool where you can find the best books written in the world and published in english language.

It was still very early and very gray for good pictures, but the gray water and the gray sky made the little men, dodging under the surrealistic designs of Hitler's anti-invasion brain trust, very effective.
I finished my pictures, and the sea was cold in my trousers. Reluctantly, I tried to move away from my steel pole, but the bullets chased me back every time. Fifty yards ahead of me, one of our half-burnt amphibious tanks stuck out of the water and offered me my next cover. I sized up the situation. There was little future for the elegant raincoat heavy on my arm. I dropped it and made for the tank. Between floating bodies I reached it, paused for a few more pictures, and gathered my guts for the last jump to the beach.
Now the Germans played on all their instruments, and I could not find any hole between the shells and bullets that blocked the last twenty-five yards to the beach. I just stayed behind my tank, repeating a little sentence from my Spanish Civil War days, "Es una cosa muy seria. Es una cosa muy seria." This is a very serious business.
The tide was coming in and now the water reached the farewell letter to my family in my breast pocket. Behind the human cover of the last two guys, I reached the beach. I threw myself flat and my lips touched the earth of France. I had no desire to kiss it.
Slightly Out of Focus, by Robert Capa
Foreword by Cornell Capa • Introduction by Richard Whelan • Modern Library / Random House US

Picturing Today's China

Still on the subject of photography, National Geographic Traveller Magazine published, on the current Jan/Feb 2008 Issue, a journey in pictures to China. It features a beautiful collection of photographs by 14 photographers and their insights on this endless country.
There is never exhaustion when it comes to the subject CHINA. There is always a place, a detail, a building or a landscape that has never been put on paper.
It's NGT's 6th Annual Photo Issue and is a very special one for all of us who live here in China.

[Photograph by Ian Teh]

Emphasis on frozen beauty

Closing our gap to the world of photography, a section that we are going to develop at Bloom, with more books, we want to bring you the best photographers around the world, that on their own words and images can explain the art of their craft. This is one of our first issues, jumping directly from MAGNUM PHOTOS, the cream of photo agencies.
Dennis Stock is a photojournalist who works primarily in the format of multiple-picture essays. In addition to having held the first exclusive photo rights on James Dean, Stock has extensively documented the behind-the scenes milieu of Hollywood stars and jazz celebrities. He was born in New York in 1928 and currently resides in Menerbes, France. Stock has been a member of Magnum Photos since 1951. His photographs have appeared in other major publications, including Paris Match and Stern. He has worked as a writer, director, and producer for television and film, and has exhibited his work at the Art Institute of Chicago; International Center of Photography, New York; Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris; Schirm Kunsthalle, Frankfurt; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
As a photographer he explores his own perception of the world, wandering around and finding his own projects just by approaching the glimpse of an idea waiting for something to hit him. Then he follows a self-assigned journey bringing a concise reaction to what he sees and to human behaviour that he reflects with the eye of his cameras.
On MAGNUM IN MOTION we can follow all these tracks of self discovery. Is a great way to learn about the emotions of photography and the recreations of a world that goes beyond time and space. Hope you like it as we do. You can see it here.
[scroll-down and play]

These birds can't fly away

This is something you can not miss and is arriving on the next train. A superb new translation – never before published– of one of Dostoevsky’s major novels comes from the award-winning translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. The Adolescent (originally published in English as A Raw Youth) is markedly different in tone from Dostoevsky’s other masterpieces. It is told from the point of view of the nineteen-year-old narrator, whose immaturity, freshness, and naïveté are unforgettably reflected in his narrative voice.

The illegitimate son of a landowner, Arkady Dolgoruky was raised by foster parents and tutors, and has scarcely ever seen his father, Versilov, and his mother, Versilov’s peasant common-law wife. Arkady goes to Petersburg to meet this “accidental family” and to confront the father who dominates his imagination and whom he both disdains and longs to impress. Having sewn into his coat a document that he believes gives him power over others, Arkady proceeds with an irrepressible youthful volatility that withstands blunders and humiliations at every turn. Dostoevsky masterfully depicts adolescence as a state of uncertainty, ignorance, and incompleteness, but also of richness and exuberance, in which everything is still possible. His tale of a youth finding his way in the disorder of Russian society in the 1870s is a high and serious comedy that borders on both farce and tragedy.
[Wait also for The Double and The Gambler they share the same coach]

But to explain whom I met just like that, beforehand, when nobody knows anything, would be banal; I suppose even the tone is banal: having promised myself to avoid literary beauties, I fall into those beauties with the first line. Besides, in order to write sensibly, it seems the wish alone is not enough. I will also observe that it seems no European language is so difficult to write in as Russian. I have now reread what I've just written, and I see that I'm much more intelligent than what I've written. How does it come about that what an intelligent man expresses is much stupider than what remains inside him? I've noticed that about myself more than once in my verbal relations with people during this last fateful year and have suffered much from it.

Though I'm starting with the nineteenth of September, I'll still put in a word or two about who I am, where I was before then, and therefore also what might have been in my head, at least partly, on that morning of the nineteenth of September, so that it will be more understandable to the reader, and maybe to me as well.
The Adolescent, by Fyodor Dostoevsky EVERYMAN'S LIBRARY • HARDCOVER • NOV 2003
Translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky • With an Introduction by Richard Pevear

On book hunger (part IV)

«It is said that a people gets the government it deserves, but I do not think it is true of Zimbabwe. And we must remember that this respect and hunger for books comes, not from Mugabe's regime, but from the one before it, the whites. It is an astonishing phenomenon, this hunger for books, and it can be seen everywhere from Kenya down to the Cape of Good Hope.
This links up improbably with a fact: I was brought up in what was virtually a mud hut, thatched. This house has been built always, everywhere, where there are reeds or grass, suitable mud, poles for walls. Saxon England for example. The one I was brought up in had four rooms, one beside another, not one, and, the point is, it was full of books.
Not only did my parents take books from England to Africa, but my mother ordered books from England for her children, books in great brown paper parcels which were the joy of my young life. A mud hut, but full of books.
And sometimes I get letters from people living in a village that might not have electricity or running water (just like our family in our elongated mud hut), "I shall be a writer too, because I've the same kind of house you were in."
But here is the difficulty. No.

Writing, writers, do not come out of houses without books.

There is the gap. There is the difficulty. I have been looking at the speeches by some of your recent prizewinners. Take the magnificent Pamuk. He said his father had 1 500 books. His talent did not come out of the air, he was connected with the great tradition.
Take V.S. Naipaul. He mentions that the Indian Vedas were close behind the memory of his family. His father encouraged him to write. And when he got to England by right he used the British Library. So he was close to the great tradition.

Let us take John Coetzee. He was not only close to the great tradition, he was the tradition: he taught literature in Cape Town. And how sorry I am that I was never in one of his classes: taught by that wonderfully brave bold mind.

In order to write, in order to make literature, there must be a close connection with libraries, books, the Tradition.
I have a friend from Zimbabwe. A writer. Black – and that is to the point. He taught himself to read from the labels on jam jars, the labels on preserved fruit cans. He was brought up in an area I have driven through, an area for rural blacks. The earth is grit and gravel, there are low sparse bushes. The huts are poor, nothing like the good cared-for huts of the better off. A school – but like one I have described. He found a discarded children's encyclopaedia on a rubbish heap and learned from it.

On Independence in 1980 there was a group of good writers in Zimbabwe, truly a nest of singing birds. They were bred in old Southern Rhodesia, under the whites – the mission schools, the better schools. Writers are not made in Zimbabwe. Not easily, not under Mugabe.

All the writers had a difficult road to literacy, let alone being writers. I would say print on jam tins and discarded encyclopaedias were not uncommon. And we are talking about people hungering for standards of education they were a long way from. A hut or huts with many children – an overworked mother, a fight for food and clothing.

Yet despite these difficulties, writers came into being, and there is another thing we should remember. This was Zimbabwe, physically conquered less than a hundred years before. The grandfathers and grandmothers of these people might have been storytellers for their clan. The oral tradition. In one generation – two, the transition from stories remembered and passed on, to print, to books. What an achievement.»


I look for looks and I search for breaths

Charlotta making lasagna
With Mia above the clouds
Charlotta making lasagna
With Mia above the clouds
But you could have waited
You could have locked yourself up
For ten years or so
And when you finally came out
There would still be no chances for you


The devoted eyelashes

A global up-to-the-minute overview of international contemporary photography.

Curated by Shahidul Alam, Marcelo Brodsky, Joan Fontcuberta, Alasdair Foster, Dennis Freedman, Christine Frisinghelli, Shino Kuraishi, Simon Njami, Wendy Watriss and Paul Wombell

BLINK. presents the work of 100 of the world's most exciting contemporary photographers, selected by 10 internationally acclaimed critics, curators and creative directors. An exhibition in a book, BLINK. showcases up-and-coming talent from all parts of the world, enabling the reader to stay one step ahead of emerging trends in the fast-changing world of photography.
It serves as a unique reference tool for photographers, artists, designers and all those interested in contemporary culture and the image. BLINK. further provides a rare insight into the deliberations of an esteemed, international panel of selectors: the 'experts' making key decisions about the future of photography.
Each curator was commissioned to choose 10 photographers who have broken new ground on the international photography scene in the last four years. BLINK. includes some acclaimed figures, such as Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Vik Muniz and Rineke Dijkstra, whom the selectors consider set to become household names over the next few years. Other photographers, such as Tomoko Isoda, Shirana Shahbazi and Marc Asnin, are gaining recognition for their innovative work and are on the verge of global emergence.
The photographers' pages are listed in A-Z order, featuring two double-page spreads of recent, exemplary images, a short explanatory text from the curator, and detailed biographical information. In a series of 10 essays written especially for this publication, the curators describe their decision-making process and reflect on the nature of contemporary photographic practice.
In addition to the photographers, each curator has chosen an extract - written since 1995 - which they feel best illustrates the cultural context surrounding contemporary photography. The 10 works reproduced in the book range from cultural studies to fiction, from criticism to journalism.
BLINK. takes its place in a series of surveys identifying 100 of the most interesting, cutting-edge practitioners of key art forms. Earlier surveys include cream and Fresh Cream: Contemporary Art in Culture, 10x10 and 10x10_2: 10 critics, 100 artists. BLINK. is an incredibly exciting event in the world of photography and, like its precursors, is set to become a highly sought-after collector's item.

Paperback Version • 448 pages • 480 colour photographs • 320 black and white photographs

National Book Award

It happened last November, Denis Johnson was the winner for Fiction of the National Book Award (NBA) of the United States of America, the prize was given to Tree of Smoke, an epic novel of bungled espionage and small mercies in the Vietnam era. We give you a highlight of the ceremony and the connection to the author's information as well as an excerpt from the book.
Denis Johnson was born in 1949 in Munich, Germany, and raised in Tokyo, Manila, and Washington. He has received many awards for his work, including a Lannan Fellowship in Fiction and a Whiting Writer’s Award. He has published several books, including Seek: Reports from the Edges of America and Beyond (2001), The Name of the World (2000), Already Dead: A California Gothic (1997), Jesus’ Son (1992), Resuscitation of a Hanged Man (1991), The Stars at Noon (1986), Fiskadoro (1985), and Angels (1983). His works of poetry include The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millennium General Assembly: Poems, Collected and New (1995), The Veil (1987), and The Incognito Lounge (1982).

Last night at 3:00 a.m. President Kennedy had been killed. Seaman Houston and the other two recruits slept while the first reports traveled around the world. There was one small nightspot on the island, a dilapidated club with big revolving fans in the ceiling and one bar and one pinball game; the two marines who ran the club had come by to wake them up and tell them what had happened to the President. The two marines sat with the three sailors on the bunks in the Quonset hut for transient enlisted men, watching the air conditioner drip water into a coffee can and drinking beer. The Armed Forces Network from Subic Bay stayed on through the night, broadcasting bulletins about the unfathomable murder.

Now it was late in the morning, and Seaman Apprentice William Houston, Jr., began feeling sober again as he stalked the jungle of Grande Island carrying a borrowed .22-caliber rifle. There were supposed to be some wild boars roaming this island military resort, which was all he had seen so far of the Philippines. He didn't know how he felt about this country. He just wanted to do some hunting in the jungle. There were supposed to be some wild boars around here.

He stepped carefully, thinking about snakes and trying to be quiet because he wanted to hear any boars before they charged him. He was aware that he was terrifically on edge. From all around came the ten thousand sounds of the jungle, as well as the cries of gulls and the far-off surf, and if he stopped dead and listened a minute, he could hear also the pulse snickering in the heat of his flesh, and the creak of sweat in his ears. If he stayed motionless only another couple of seconds, the bugs found him and whined around his head.

He propped the rifle against a stunted banana plant and removed his headband and wrung it out and wiped his face and stood there awhile, waving away the mosquitoes with the cloth and itching his crotch absent-mindedly. Nearby, a seagull seemed to be carrying on an argument with itself, a series of protesting squeaks interrupted by contradictory lower-pitched cries that sounded like, Huh! Huh! Huh! And something moving from one tree to another caught Seaman Houston's eye.
He kept his vision on the spot where he'd seen it among the branches of a rubber tree, putting his hand out for the rifle without altering the direction of his gaze. It moved again. Now he saw that it was some sort of monkey, not much bigger than a Chihuahua dog. Not precisely a wild boar, but it presented itself as something to be looked at, clinging by its left hand and both feet to the tree's trunk and digging at the thin rind with an air of tiny, exasperated haste. Seaman Houston took the monkey's meager back under the rifle's sight. He raised the barrel a few degrees and took the monkey's head into the sight. Without really thinking about anything at all, he squeezed the trigger.

The monkey flattened itself out against the tree, spreading its arms and legs enthusiastically, and then, reaching around with both hands as if trying to scratch its back, it tumbled down to the ground. Seaman Houston was terrified to witness its convulsions there. It hoisted itself, pushing off the ground with one arm, and sat back against the tree trunk with its legs spread out before it, like somebody resting from a difficult job of labor.

Seaman Houston took himself a few steps nearer, and, from the distance of only a few yards, he saw that the monkey's fur was very shiny and held a henna tint in the shadows and a blond tint in the light, as the leaves moved above it. It looked from side to side, its breath coming in great rapid gulps, its belly expanding tremendously with every breath like a balloon. The shot had been low, exiting from the abdomen.

Seaman Houston felt his own stomach tear itself in two. "Jesus Christ!" he shouted at the monkey, as if it might do something about its embarrassing and hateful condition. He thought his head would explode, if the forenoon kept burning into the jungle all around him and the gulls kept screaming and the monkey kept regarding its surroundings carefully, moving its head and black eyes from side to side like someone following the progress of some kind of conversation, some kind of debate, some kind of struggle that the jungle—the morning—the moment—was having with itself. Seaman Houston walked over to the monkey and laid the rifle down beside it and lifted the animal up in his two hands, holding its buttocks in one and cradling its head with the other. With fascination, then with revulsion, he realized that the monkey was crying. Its breath came out in sobs, and tears welled out of its eyes when it blinked. It looked here and there, appearing no more interested in him than in anything else it might be seeing. "Hey," Houston said, but the monkey didn't seem to hear.
[Copyright © 2007 by Denis Johnson]
B. R. Myers, contributing editor of The Atlantic magazine, didn't praise the book as the other critics who stood up for the prize and its general acceptance among literary circle as well as the common readers. The selected members of the NBA jury don't give such space for flaws, who are a group of well known writers, editors, publishers and literature lecturers, well qualified to judge the work of Denis Johnson. Myers jokes of Johnson usage of words and sees "no reason to consider him a great or even a good writer". What we can say is that a great book always calls for different and contradictory opinions. What you should do is check for yourself.

a from the PUBLISHER]
"A Bright Shinning Lie", B. R. Myers at THE ATLANTIC]

Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson
Published in September 2007 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux • SOON AVAILABLE AT BLOOM

On book hunger (part III)

«Very recently, anyone even mildly educated would respect learning, education, and owe respect to our great store of literature. Of course we all know that when this happy state was with us, people would pretend to read, would pretend respect for learning, but it is on record that working men and women longed for books, and this is evidenced by the working men's libraries, institutes, colleges of the 18th and 19th centuries.
Reading, books, used to be part of a general education.
Older people, talking to young ones, must understand just how much of an education it was, reading, because the young ones know so much less. And if children cannot read, it is because they have not read.
But we all know this sad story.
But we do not know the end of it.
We think of the old adage, "Reading maketh a full man" – and forgetting about jokes to do with over-eating – reading makes a woman and a man full of information, of history, of all kinds of knowledge.
But we are not the only people in the world. Not long ago I was telephoned by a friend who said she had been in Zimbabwe, in a village where they had not eaten for three days, but they were talking about books and how to get them, about education.
I belong to a little organization which started out with the intention of getting books into the villages. There was a group of people who in another connection had travelled Zimbabwe at its grass roots. They reported that the villages, unlike what people reported, are full of intelligent people, teachers retired, teachers on leave, children on holidays, old people. I myself paid for a little survey, of what people wanted to read, and found the results were the same as a Swedish survey, that I had not known about. People wanted to read what people in Europe want to read, if they read at all – novels of all kinds, science fiction, poetry, detective fiction, plays, Shakespeare, and the do-it-yourself books, like how to open a bank account, were low in the list. All of Shakespeare: they knew the name. A problem with finding books for villagers is that they don't know what is available, so a school set book, like the Mayor of Casterbridge, becomes popular because they know it is there. Animal Farm, for obvious reasons is the most popular of all novels.
Our little organization got books from where we could, but remember that a good paperback from England cost a months wages: that was before Mugabe's reign of terror. Now with inflation, it would cost several years wages. But having taken a box of books out to a village – and remember there is a terrible shortage of petrol, the box will be greeted with tears. The library may be a plank under a tree on bricks. And within a week there will be literacy classes – people who can read teaching those who can't, citizenship class – and in one remote village, since there were no novels in Tonga, a couple of lads sat down to write novels in Tonga. There are six or so main languages in Zimbabwe and there are novels in all of them, violent, incestuous, full of crime and murder.
Our little organization was supported from the very start by Norway, and then by Sweden. But without this kind of support our supplies of books would have dried up. Novels published in Zimbabwe, and, too, do-it-yourself books are sent out to people who thirst for them.»

Qualquer Um

Julga-se que Philip Roth foi buscar o título original deste livro, Everyman, a uma peça de teatro medieval de um autor anónimo em que Deus, descontente, diz à Morte que está na hora de Everyman empreender a última viagem pois tem de lhe prestar contas do seu comportamento na Terra, o usual: a procura da riqueza (material) e a busca dos prazeres. A narrativa desta novela inicia-se com o funeral de uma personagem não identificada e depois em inversão (flashback), o narrador desfia as memórias da sua vida até ao momento em que é submetido a uma operação a uma carótida que estava obstruída onde opta por uma anestesia geral da qual não acordará. Esta não é uma narrativa moral como a mencionada peça, é de arrependimento, e diferentemente do que diz a canção de Sinatra, Everyman tem muitos e que se revelam com a falta de saúde e da aproximação do ocaso, para os quais de resto também não estamos preparados. Esta revisão, segundo o narrador de Roth, deveria merecer o simples título de Vida e Morte de Um Corpo Masculino, porque "os nossos corpos nasceram para viver e morrer nos termos decididos pelos corpos que tinham nascido e morrido antes de nós". E assim a par da decadência física de Everyman, particularmente desde que se muda para uma aldeia de reformados na costa de Nova Jersey, Starfish Beach, numa sequência de complicações renais, inserção de stents para reparar obstruções arteriais até à implantação definitiva de um desfibrilador, na história da vida e da morte deste qualquer um, recrimina-se finalmente das coisas que tinha desperdiçado contra si sem qualquer razão aparente. Da boa Phoebe de quem se separou para juntar-se a uma dinamarquesa vinte seis anos mais nova, da má relação com os filhos do primeiro casamento, que não se empenhou em tornear e do irmão Howie que sempre lhe ajudou e de quem se afastou por lhe invejar a saúde. A distorção do seu carácter e as suas insuficiências estavam a deixar-lhe só quando se preparava para enfrentar a sétima operação. Decididamente, "a velhice não era uma batalha, era um massacre". É o génio de Roth que através da vida de um simples personagem faz-nos reflectir sobre os nossos receios, os nossos valores e o que conseguimos realizar. É por isso um bom livro.

Todo-o-Mundo, de Philip Roth
Editado em Maio de 2007 pela D.Quixote • Tradução de Francisco Agarez

Start your engines!


Everyone knows the New York Review Books as a literary magazine, but that's not all. The fact is that they didn't stop there and apart from the weekly publication the brand is also embedded on the cover of a set of different books published and organized in different assemblages: the NYRB Classics, the NYRB Collections and the New York Review Children's Collection.
NYRB Classics, the one shown above and available now at Bloom, is an innovative list of outstanding fiction and nonfiction from all ages and around the world. Beginning in 1999 with the publication of Richard Hughes's High Wind in Jamaica, more than 200 NYRB Classics have been published. They include new translations of canonical figures such as Euripides, Dante, Balzac, and Chekhov; fiction by modern and contemporary masters such as Vasily Grossman, Mavis Gallant, and Upamanyu Chatterjee; tales of crime and punishment by George Simenon and Kenneth Fearing; masterpieces of narrative history and literary criticism, poetry, travel writing, biography, cookbooks, memoirs, and unclassifiable classics on the order of J. R. Ackerley's My Dog Tulip and Robert Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy. Published in handsome uniform trade paperback editions, almost all NYRB Classics also feature an introduction by an outstanding writer, scholar, or critic of our day. Taken as a whole, NYRB Classics may be considered a series of books of unrivaled variety and quality for discerning and adventurous readers.

That's it. For now on you can find them in Macau and we guaranty you that each of them is a stunning piece of machinery that you can fly at the pace of your imagination and take the trip of your dreams. Something you cannot find anywhere else. Not even in one hundred Venetians, two thousand Luxury Jets, or even at the Internet. In a book there's no sky. There's no limit. And it's so easy! Just come and get one!

George Simenon

Georges Simenon (1903–1989) was born in Liège, Belgium. He went to work as a reporter at the age of fifteen and in 1923 moved to Paris, where under various pseudonyms he became a highly successful and prolific author of pulp fiction while leading a dazzling social life. In the early 1930s, Simenon emerged as a writer under his own name, gaining renown for his detective stories featuring Inspector Maigret. He also began to write his psychological novels, or romans durs—books in which he displays a sympathetic awareness of the emotional and spiritual pain underlying the routines of daily life. Having written nearly two hundred books under his own name and become the best-selling author in the world, Simenon retired as a novelist in 1973, devoting himself instead to dictating several volumes of memoirs.

The Man Who Watched Trains Go By has just arrived to Bloom. There are no trains in Macau though, probably, if he can jump the line, he can keep looking at the pages of other books. This is one of the fresh paperbacks from the New York Review of Books, a great publisher with an unmissable collection of books you can now get in at Bloom Station.

Every artist has a personality, his own spectacles through which he sees the world; by his spectacles he is known, and we decide whether we like his work or not. Simenon's spectacles may be said to be of pure glass, distorting nothing... A copy of a Simenon book can be said to appear somewhere, in some language, every few minutes around the clock. It almost matches the birth rate, and the product is considerably more interesting.
Kees Popinga is a solid Dutch burgher whose idea of a night on the town is a game of chess at his club. Or so it has always appeared. But one night this model husband and devoted father discovers his boss is bankrupt and that his own carefully tended life is in ruins. Before, he had looked on impassively as the trains to the outside world swept by; now he catches the first train he can to Amsterdam. Not long after that, he commits murder.
Kees Popinga is tired of being Kees Popinga. He's going to turn over a new leaf—though there will be hell to pay.

The Man Who Watched Trains Go By, by Georges Simenon
Translated from the French by Marc Romano • Introduction by Luc Sante

If you liked Grotesque you'll love this one

A shocking and explicit story about obsessive love and Japanese youth counter-culture that sold over a million copies in Japan.
This tale of sex and darkness is narrated by Lui, an alienated young Japanese woman who becomes disastrously involved with two dangerous men. Lui first meets her boyfriend Ama in a bar after finding herself mesmerized by his forked tongue. She immediately moves in with him and begins following him down the path to body modification by having her tongue pierced and planning a beautiful tattoo for her back. Ama’s friend Shiba creates this exquisite tattoo and as he works on it Lui begins an illicit and brutal sexual relationship with him. Then, after a violent encounter on the back streets of Tokyo, Ama goes missing and Lui must face up to her choices...

Snakes & Earrings, by Hitomi Kanehara
Vintage / Random House UK • Modern Fiction • 128 pages • 2005

Welcome to the World of Balzac

Have you ever fantasized about how a book can truly change your life? For this question, you might be able to find an answer in Dai Sijie’s debut semi-biography Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress ---a story about literature, love, passion, and cultural revolution.

Set in the early 1970s when China’s Cultural Revolution reaches its peak, all books are forbidden except certain textbooks and Chairman Mao Zedong’s ‘Little Red Book’. Also, thousands of young intellectuals are sent to remote areas for re-education, an ideological policy which forces the city youth to reject western influence. Two boys, the sons of doctors who are labeled ‘enemies of the people’, are unconditionally banished to a village mountain locally known as ‘Phoenix in the Sky’ where they come across and are attracted to the daughter of a local seamstress.

Without hope for returning to their families and the place where they belong, the boys can only live through difficult times and unfortunate misery by escaping to the world of imagination. Unexpectedly, after the discovery of a suitcase packed with literature from the 19th century Western canon, they begin seeing the world with new eyes and even the little seamstress is changed. What happens to the three characters whose fates are considerably intertwined is proof of how literature can transform and impact on their lives.

Undoubtedly, Dai Sijie is a promising storyteller. His elaborate prose is extraordinarily vivid and full of humour, but, still, the story is so touching, and it profoundly breaks our hearts.


How tragic not to believe in human perfectibility!
And how tragic to believe in it!

Letter to Santa Claus

Good times for a change
See, the luck I've had
Can make a good man
Turn bad

So please please please
Let me, let me, let me
Let me get what I want
This time

Haven't had a dream in a long time
See, the life I've had
Can make a good man bad

So for once in my life
Let me get what I want
Lord knows, it would be the first time


Guess how much we love you...

If you come to Bloom during these days you might hear at our sound speakers the story of Little and Big Nutbrown Hare, a love story written by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Anita Jeram in 1994. The book is called "Guess How Much I Love You" and it's the best book in the world. We have some of the different versions made available by the english publisher, Walker Books. The one that is playing now is the CD that comes along with paperback version.

I love you right up to the moon - and back.
The story of Little and Big Nutbrown Hares' efforts to express their love for each other has become a publishing phenomenon, selling more than 18 million copies worldwide. First published nearly 15 years ago, these lovely editions are either for children or adults and they can make the best present of all time.


Sam McBratney
In his own words, Sam spent his postwar childhood "in short trousers and Fair Isle jumpers." He remembers studying for his 11-plus exam, before going to grammar school, and then on to study History and Political Science at Trinity College in Dublin.
Sam became a teacher and taught at a further education college, a grammar school and a primary school. He took early retirement from the teaching profession to concentrate on his career as a writer. Sam is married with three grown-up children and a teenage tortoise, and lives in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Sam has won many awards for his children's books and is best known as the author the multi-million selling Guess How Much I Love You which was shortlisted for the 1994 Kurt Maschler Award, and is now one of the world's best-selling picture books. In 2004, Sam reunited with Guess How Much I Love You illustrator Anita Jeram to produce the follow-up, You're All My Favourites.

Anita Jeram
Born in Portsmouth, 1965, Anita worked in a variety of jobs after leaving school (in a factory and a kennel) before becoming a children's book illustrator.
Anita is married to a palaeontologist and has three children and a menagerie of animals, including cats, dogs, rabbits, toads, a lizard, a snake and a tortoise. She lives in Northern Ireland, and hopes, eventually, to set up a wildlife sanctuary there.
Anita did a foundation course in visual studies at Manchester Polytechnic, followed by a degree course in illustration. Her first book, Bill's Belly Button, was published a year after she graduated. Anita is best known for her illustrations for the picture book Guess How Much I Love You, which was shortlisted for the 1994 Kurt Maschler Award, and is now one of the world's best-selling picture books. Illustrating was a labour of love, she says. "Every time I read this book, I want to cry. The story reminds me so much of my own son, who often plays this kind of game with when it's time for bed." In 2004, Anita reunited with Guess How Much I Love You author Sam McBratney to produce the follow-up, You're All My Favourites.

Guess How Much I Love You, by Sam Mcbratney and Anita Jeram • WALKER BOOKS

A Beauty Fool X'mas for all!

Down right on the strip

I was driving doing nothing on the shores of Great Salt Lake. When they put it on the air I put it in the hammer lane. I soon forgot myself and I forgot about the brake. I forgot all laws and I forgot about the rain. They were talking on the 9 and all across the amy band. Across the road they were turning around and headed south with me. It got so crowded on the road I started driving in the sand. My head was feeling scared but my heart was feeling free. The desert turned to mud it seems that everybody heard. Everybody was remembering to forget they had the chills. Then I heard the voices on a broadcast from up on the bird. They were getting interviewed by some Goodman whose name was Bill. I'm almost there to Vegas where they're puttin' on a show. They've come so far I've lived this long at least I must just go and say "hello".

On book hunger (part II)

Next day I am at a school in North London, a very good school, whose name we all know. It is a school for boys. Good buildings, and gardens.
These pupils have a visit from some well known person every week, and it is in the nature of things that these may be fathers, relatives, even mothers of the pupils. A visit from a celebrity is no big deal for them.
The school in the blowing dust of northwest Zimbabwe is in my mind, and I look at those mildly expectant faces and try to tell them about what I have seen in the last week. Classrooms without books, without text books, or an atlas, or even a map pinned up on a wall. A school where the teachers beg to be sent books to tell them how to teach, they being only eighteen or nineteen themselves, they beg for books. I tell these boys that everybody, everyone begs for books: "Please send us books". I am sure that everyone here, making a speech will know that moment when the faces you are looking at are blank. Your listeners cannot hear what you are saying: there are no images in their minds to match what you are telling them. In this case, of a school standing in dust clouds, where water is short, and where, at the end of term, a just killed goat cooked in a great pot is the end of term treat.
Is it really so impossible for them to imagine such bare poverty?
I do my best. They are polite.
I'm pretty sure of this lot there will be some who will win prizes.
Then, it is over, and I with the teachers, ask as always, how the library is, and if the pupils read. And here, in this privileged school, I hear what I always hear when I go to schools and even universities.
"You know how it is. A lot of the boys have never read at all, and the library is only half used."
"You know how it is." Yes, we indeed do know how it is. All of us.
We are in a fragmenting culture, where our certainties of even a few decades ago are questioned and where it is common for young men and women who have had years of education, to know nothing about the world, to have read nothing, knowing only some speciality or other, for instance, computers.
What has happened to us is an amazing invention, computers and the Internet and TV, a revolution. This is not the first revolution we, the human race, has dealt with. The printing revolution, which did not take place in a matter of a few decades, but took much longer, changed our minds and ways of thinking. A foolhardy lot, we accepted it all, as we always do, never asked "What is going to happen to us now, with this invention of print?" And just as we never once stopped to ask, How are we, our minds, going to change with the new Internet, which has seduced a whole generation into its inanities so that even quite reasonable people will confess that once they are hooked, it is hard to cut free, and they may find a whole day has passed in blogging and blugging etc.

Christmas Season Working Hours

During these festive days Bloom will be working on the following schedule:

Thursday 20th December: 11:00 - 21:00
Friday 21st December: 13:00 - 21:00
Saturday 22nd December: 11:00 - 21:00
Sunday 23rd December: 11:00 - 21:00
Monday 24th December: 11:00 - 20:00

Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26, it will be closed.
The normal working hours will resume on Thursday, December 27th.

On book hunger (part I)

Something that should be taught at schools, since children are able to read, is the speech of Doris Lessing for the Nobel prize acceptance. A ceremony she could not attend due to health problems. On her prerecorded speech Lessing recalls her vivid memories back in Africa where people starve for books and for the bread of knowledge, while those in more favored countries have a different vision, giving up their time into the immediacy of short term information. Judging the world is a difficult task. Reason flows in a tight craft. Lessing shows the importance of a book, a coordinated mastery that bends along its pages. The mystic zone where oneself has an endless chemistry and a free road to expand. Going beyond his own imagination. And then grab emotions, physical sensations and deep voices, those that come from the immense forest of creativity. From the happiness and pain of others. Who, on their own time, on their own life and expectancy, give away everything they got, creating a grid of eternal worlds that are easily spread on the dominions of a book, on behalf of the simple task of the act of reading. Something everyone would find difficult to get through other sources.

I am standing in a doorway looking through clouds of blowing dust to where I am told there is still uncut forest. Yesterday I drove through miles of stumps, and charred remains of fires where, in 1956, there was the most wonderful forest I have ever seen, all now destroyed. People have to eat. They have to get fuel for fires.
This is north-west Zimbabwe early in the 80s, and I am visiting a friend who was a teacher in a school in London. He is here "to help Africa", as we put it. He is a gently idealistic soul and what he found in this school shocked him into a depression, from which it was hard to recover. This school is like every other built after Independence. It consists of four large brick rooms side by side, put straight into the dust, one two three four, with a half room at one end, which is the library. In these classrooms are blackboards, but my friend keeps the chalks in his pocket, as otherwise they would be stolen. There is no atlas or globe in the school, no textbooks, no exercise books or Biros. In the library there are no books of the kind the pupils would like to read, but only tomes from American universities, hard even to lift, rejects from white libraries, detective stories, or titles like Weekend in Paris and Felicity Finds Love.
There is a goat trying to find sustenance in some aged grass. The headmaster has embezzled the school funds and is suspended. My friend doesn't have any money because everyone, pupils and teachers, borrow from him when he is paid and will probably never pay it back. The pupils range from six to 26, because some who did not get schooling as children are here to make it up. Some pupils walk many miles every morning, rain or shine and across rivers. They cannot do homework because there is no electricity in the villages, and you can't study easily by the light of a burning log. The girls have to fetch water and cook before they set off for school and when they get back.
As I sit with my friend in his room, people shyly drop in, and everyone begs for books. "Please send us books when you get back to London," one man says. "They taught us to read but we have no books." Everybody I met, everyone, begged for books.
I was there some days. The dust blew. The pumps had broken and the women were having to fetch water from the river. Another idealistic teacher from England was rather ill after seeing what this "school" was like.
On the last day they slaughtered the goat. They cut it into bits and cooked it in a great tin. This was the much anticipated end-of-term feast: boiled goat and porridge. I drove away while it was still going on, back through the charred remains and stumps of the forest.
I do not think many of the pupils of this school will get prizes. [...]
[BY DORIS LESSING] • next part

Fresh as it should be

Hitchens, an avowed atheist and author of the bestseller God Is Not Great, is a formidable intellectual who finds the notion of belief in God to be utter nonsense. The author is clear in his introduction that religion has caused more than its fair share of world problems. "Religion invents a problem where none exists by describing the wicked as also made in the image of god and the sexually nonconformist as existing in a state of incurable mortal sin that can incidentally cause floods and earthquakes." The readings Hitchens chooses to bolster his atheist argument are indeed engaging and important. Hobbes, Spinoza, Mill and Marx are some of the heavyweights representing a philosophical viewpoint. From the world of literature the author assembles excerpts from Shelley, Twain, Conrad, Orwell and Updike. All are enjoyable to read and will make even religious believers envious of the talent gathered for this anthology. What these dynamic writers are railing against often enough, however, is a strawman: an immature, fundamentalist, outdated, and even embarrassing style of religion that many intelligent believers have long since cast off. It could be that Hitchens and his cast of nonbelievers are preaching to the choir and their message is tired and spent. However, this remains a fascinating collection of readings from some of the West’s greatest thinkers.

One is continually told, as an unbeliever, that it is old-fashioned to rail against the primitive stupidities and cruelties of religion because after all, in these enlightened times, the old superstitions have died away. Nine times out of ten, in debate with a cleric, one will be told not of some dogma of religious certitude but of some instance of charitable or humanitarian work undertaken by a religious person. Of course, this says nothing about the belief system involved: it may be true that Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam succeeds in weaning young black men off narcotics, but this would not alter the fact that the NoI is a racist crackpot organization. And has not Hamas—which publishes The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion on its website—won a reputation for its provision of social services? My own response has been to issue a challenge: name me an ethical statement made or an action performed by a believer that could not have been made or performed by a non-believer. As yet, I have had no takers. (Whereas, oddly enough, if you ask an audience to name a wicked statement or action directly attributable to religious faith, nobody has any difficulty in finding an example.)

No, the fact is that the bacilli are always lurking in the old texts and are latent in the theory and practice of religion. This anthology hopes to identify and isolate the bacilli more precisely.

It also involves ignoring or explaining away the many religious beliefs that antedated Moses. Our primeval ancestors were by no means atheistic: they raised temples and altars and offered the requisite terrified obsequies and sacrifices. Their religion was man-made, like all the others. There was a time when Greek thinkers denounced Christians and Zoroastrians denounced Muslims as "atheists" for their destruction of old sites and their prohibition of ancient rituals. The source of desecration and profanity is religious, as we can see from the way that today's believers violate the sanctity of each other's temples, from Bamiyan to Belfast to Baghdad. Richard Dawkins may have phrased it most pungently when he argued that everybody is an atheist in saying that there is a god—from Ra to Shiva—in which he does not believe. All that the serious and objective atheist does is to take the next step and to say that there is just one more god to disbelieve in. Human solipsism can generally be counted upon to become enraged and to maintain that this discountable god must not be the one in which the believer himself has invested so much credence. So it goes. But the man-made character of religion, from which monotheism swore to deliver us at least in its pagan form, persists in a terrifying shape in our own time, as believers fight each other over the correct interpretation and even kill members of their own faiths in battles over doctrine. Civilization has been immensely retarded by such arcane interfaith quarrels and could now be destroyed by their modern versions.

It is sometimes argued that disbelief in a fearful and tempting heavenly despotism makes life into something arid and tedious and cynical: a mere existence without any consolation or any awareness of the numinous or the transcendent. What nonsense this is. In the first place, it commits an obvious error. It seems to say that we ought not to believe that we are an evolved animal species with faulty components and a short lifespan for ourselves and our globe, lest the consequences of the belief be unwelcome or discreditable to us. Could anything show more clearly the bad effects of wish-thinking? There can be no serious ethical position based on denial or a refusal to look the facts squarely in the face. But this does not mean that we must stare into the abyss all the time. (Only religion, oddly enough, has ever required that we obsessively do that.) [...]
The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever,
by Christopher Hitchens

Random words

evocative photos from our childhood REMINISCENTE, suggestive, redolent; expressive, vivid, graphic, powerful, haunting, moving, poignant.

Is there any life before death?

On the first day of the New Year, no one dies.
This understandably causes great consternation amongst religious leaders – if there’s no death, there can be no resurrection and therefore no reason for religion – and what will be the effect on pensions, the social services, hospitals? Funeral directors are reduced to arranging funerals for dogs, cats, hamsters and parrots. Life insurance policies become meaningless. Amid the general public, on the other hand, there is initially celebration: flags are hung out on balconies and people dance in the streets. They have achieved the great goal of humanity – eternal life.
But will death’s disappearance benefit the human race, or will this sudden abeyance backfire? How long can families cope with malingering elderly relatives who scratch at death’s door while the portal remains firmly shut?
Then, seven months later, death returns, heralded by purple envelopes informing the recipients that their time is up. Death herself is now writing personal notes giving one week's notice. However, when an envelope is unexpectedly returned to her, death begins to experience strange, almost human emotions.

In his new novel José Saramago again turns the world on its head – an everyday event is snatched away, and humankind is left to make of it what it will.

Death at Intervals, by José Saramago
• 208 PAGES • ISBN: 9781846550201 • PUBLICATION DATE: FEB 2008

Por tudo aquilo que é meu

Se pudesse escolher um autor e um livro de entre os já milhares que ocupam as estantes da Bloom escolhia Henri Michaux e o título As Minhas Propriedades. Livro de recortes e pequenas histórias escrito entre 1929 e 1935 e lançado pelas Edições Gallimard, simboliza algo que na elaboração da escrita existe para sempre e não se perde e que o torna uma obra de todo o tempo, do passado e do futuro, desde o cheiro dos dinossauros ao fim do mundo.
Poeta e pintor de génio, Henri Michaux nasceu em 1899 em Namur, na Bélgica, numa família burguesa, e faleceu em 1984, em Paris. Aos 20 anos abandona a escolaridade universitária (era estudante de Medicina) e emprega-se como marujo num veleiro, viajando até às Américas. Um ano depois, porém, devido ao desarmamento mundial dos navios, vê-se obrigado a deixar o mar, regressando «à cidade e às pessoas detestadas», e emprega-se em diversos ofícios e biscates, «medíocres e mediocramente exercidos». Começa a escrever em 1922, na sequência de uma aposta e impulsionado pela leitura dos Cantos de Maldoror; mas não deseja ter de escrever. Em 1941, autor já de uma obra escrita e de uma invulgar obra pictórica, é «revelado» por André Gide numa célebre conferencia proibida, depois editada em livro: Descubramos Henri Michaux. Toda a sua obra tem o cunho de uma marcante originalidade, tendo sido sempre uma investigação pessoal dos processos mentais do indivíduo confrontado com a sua estranha presença no mundo. Os seus livros são poemas, descrições de mundos imaginários, inventários de sonhos e também uma exploração dos infinitos às vezes suscitados por outras substâncias.

Às vezes, num repente, sem causa visível, percorre-me um grande arrepio de felicidade.
Vindo dum centro de mim, tão interior que eu o ignorava, ele leva, embora rodando a extrema velocidade, um tempo considerável a alcançar as minhas extremidades.
Esse arrepio é perfeitamente puro. Por mais extensamente que circule dentro de mim, nunca encontra nenhum órgão inferior, nem qualquer outro, de resto, nem encontra ideias, nem sensações, de tal modo é absoluta a sua intimidade.
E tanto Ele como eu estamos perfeitamente sós.
Talvez que, percorrendo todas as partes de mim, ele me pergunte à passagem: «Então, como vai isso? Posso fazer alguma coisa por si, neste sítio?» É possível. E que à sua maneira me console as entranhas. Mas eu não sou posto ao corrente.
Eu gostaria de proclamar a minha felicidade, mas que dizer? É uma coisa tão estritamente pessoal.
Dentro em pouco, o prazer é demasiado intenso. Sem eu dar por isso, no espaço de segundos, torna-se um sofrimento atroz, um assassinato.
A paralisia! digo cá para mim.
Faço depressa alguns movimentos, rego-me com muita água ou, mais simplesmente, deito-me de barriga para baixo, e a coisa passa.
«Para além e para aquém da lógica - seja como for, a frase é uma metáfora - obras como As Minhas Propriedades continuam sem igual na literatura do nosso tempo, vendo-se, quase inexplicavelmente, prenhes de alarme, de fatalidade, de pressão.»

É um título da Fenda Edições, representada e distribuída pela Editora 90 Graus, e que se encontra na Bloom a imaginar outras coisas. A imaginar um mundo imenso onde o tempo está mal assinalado. A seu lado está também Equador, perdido nos trópicos, outra obra do grande Michaux a não perder.

As Minhas Propriedades, de Henri Michaux • FENDA EDIÇÕES

A Pop-up Christmas!!!

For the younger ones, a suggestion for this Christmas' gifts.
One more great pop-up story by Robert Sabuda, a construction of a series of varied and well-engineered scenes: Santa pops in and out of the chimney, beds fold out, a window shade rises and falls, and, in a clever nod to Moore's not-a-creature-was-stirring text, it's a family of mice who are receiving Santa's nighttime visit. A pull-out tab even lets readers interact, when Santa's sleigh glides out on the clouds and over an intricately realized village. It's hard to pick a favorite scene here, but you can bet that kids will love the book's pop de résistance, in which Santa's lead reindeer nearly fly right up your nose (if they don't knock you out of your chair first).

To learn about the amazing process of creating this pop-up book visit Robert Sabuda's world here. This and other books from Sabuda's collection are available at Bloom, and waiting to make this X'mas a magic one for the little ones!

The Night Before Christmas POP-UP, by Clement Clarke Moore & Robert Sabuda Little Simon Publisher • ISBN: 9780689838996

What will I cook for Christmas dinner?

Looking for some ideas for a different Christmas day? Whether with family, friends or in a romantic duo, there is always something that you will love in this great cookbook for this special season!

The Essential Christmas CookbookMURDOCH BOOKS

Faz parte da época...

Sob o tema do Natal e da Natividade, reúnem-se os mais belos textos inspirados na quadra natalícia. Fernando Pessoa, George Sand, Marcel Proust, Jules Verne, Machado de Assis, Thomas Hardy, Michel Tournier, David Mourão-Ferreira ou Alphonse Daudet, entre outros, descrevem-nos esta festa tradicional em função das suas vivências, da sua época, das suas crenças ou convicções. Esta diversidade de olhares convida-nos a reflectir sobre os valores humanitários que desde sempre marcaram esta quadra.

Símbolo supremo da fraternidade e do altruísmo, o Natal sempre inspirou os escritores ocidentais que sobre ele escreveram textos que atravessaram gerações e alimentaram o imaginário de crianças e adultos.

As 101 Noites de Natal prometem fazer sonhar grandes e pequenos com os seus relatos maravilhosos de uma noite em que tudo pode acontecer…

A poucos dias desta noite, para muitos mágica, a Bloom sugere esta antologia de contos maravilhosos de Natal, para não falte o espírito natalício na literatura destas mini férias.

101 Noites de Natal, de Vários AutoresEDITORA 101 NOITES

Para ouvir e sentir

Depois do seu lançamento, com que o IPOR assinalou o Dia da Mulher, 7 histórias de mulheres surge, agora, numa edição diferente, em colaboração com o Instituto Cultural do Governo da R.A.E de Macau.
Cumprindo o IPOR a sua missão de divulgar a língua portuguesa, não só na sua forma escrita mas também falada, a edição anterior de 7 histórias de mulheres inspirou a criação de um CD áudio, gravado no Centro de Recursos dos Serviços de Educação de Macau e com sonoplastia do Estúdio SinoLux.
Assim, o retrato destas 7 mulheres no Oriente pode ser lido e escutado, tendo o livro um novo conto e um formato diferente.
A apresentação da nova edição do livro vai acontecer hoje, dia 18 de Dezembro de 2007, pelas 18:30, na Galeria da Livraria Portuguesa, contará com as palavras da Professora Doutora Maria Antónia Espadinha sobre "A Mulher e a Escrita", acompanhadas por iguarias dos diferentes países que servem de palco a cada uma destas histórias.

Não falte!

Bonito em rosa

Sade, O Terror na Alcova do francês Serge Bramly, conta, ficcionando, uma determinada época já decadente, mas provavelmente uma das mais interessantes, da vida do eterno Marquês de Sade.
A acção passa-se toda ela em plena Revolução Francesa, no mais aceso período do terror. Sade, então, estava preso, embora sob a atenta protecção de uma amante influente, a quem chamava Sensível. E só por isso escapou à guilhotina. Dando-se mesmo ao luxo de escrever um dos seus mais importantes livros: A Filosofia na Alcova. Protegido, volto a sublinhar, por Sensível, que se curvava, submissa, ao seu despótico jogo, cumprindo as suas fantasias. Sensível, que ia ao ponto de levar até ele não somente papel e penas, mas igualmente mulheres, para que fossem as suas próximas vítimas. Sensível, que tentava protegê-lo de si próprio. Tarefa verdadeiramente impossível.
Serge Bramly, num exemplar fresco, consegue mostrar-nos Sade tal como ele então deveria ter sido: envelhecido já, mas nunca inofensivo. Antes pelo contrário: libertino e perverso, com uma ferocidade implacável, tentando vencer o tempo que, impiedoso, nele vai deixando as suas marcas.
"Em 1794, os cabelos tinham virado louro acinzentado, assim como as espessas sobrancelhas que sombreavam os olhos de gato. A testa estava desguarnecida: o queixo e as faces tinham inchado, tornaram-se enormes, não se lhe via o pescoço." Mas, Bramly logo se apressa a acrescentar, como que retratando-se: "Apesar da corpulência, o porte continuava, entretanto, erecto, e a aparência bastante nobre." E esta ambiguidade contrita, acompanha do princípio ao fim todo o romance. Pois o seu autor ora mitifica o Marquês, porque o admira, ora o mostra vil e desprezível, provavelmente porque, também, o horroriza, na sua assumida perversidade, que ia, se necessário até ao crime.
Pois para Sade não era, afinal, o desmesurado prazer sexual que contava de toda a sua vida, pondo em prática, precisamente, aquilo a que chamou, a filosofia na alcova. Na qual as mulheres, todas elas, não importavam senão como objectos sexuais. Aos homens, dividia-os ele pela inteligência, poder e classe social. Embora para Sade nem todas da sua classe, contassem.
Dizia-se republicano, defensor da liberdade. Exigindo no entanto ser reconhecido como senhor absoluto dentro do círculo em que se movia, como lembra por carta a sua mulher: "Fui feito para ser servido, e quero sê-lo."
Sade era um ser cruel, genial e terrível, que fez de si próprio este impressionante auto-retrato: "Imperioso, colérico, arrebatado, extremista em tudo, dum desregramento de imaginação sobre os costumes como não há igual, é o que eu sou, em duas palavras: e mais, matem-me ou façam-me de morto, porque não mudarei." Deram-no não por morto, mas por louco, e internaram-no no pior hospício, onde o maltrataram com a brutalidade com que no século XIX tratavam aqueles que eram considerados alienados. Mas isto acontecerá depois do período que Bramly trata neste seu livro, que para além de uma biografia romanceada de Sade é, também, um excelente levantamento histórico.
O que, no entanto, mais me atrai em Sade, o Terror na Alcova é o elogio da perversão, feito através do Marquês de Sade, dois séculos atrás, por um jovem autor dos nossos dias, nos quais a perversão é tão quotidiana e medíocre, que logo se banaliza e se nega a si mesma.
Creio que aquilo que Bramly procura, é recuperar para a versão sexual, a grandiosidade de um Marquês de Sade, no seu permanente desafio à hipocrisia e aos costumes. No seu sentido mais profundo: "Que nada é mais belo, mais grandioso do que o sexo e que, fora do sexo, não há salvação." Ou seja, há que fazer novamente a abordagem do pecado, para que a inocência volte a fazer sentido.

A minha maneira de pensar - diz você - não pode ser aprovada. Ora bem! O que é que isso me importa! Louco é o que adopta uma maneira de pensar para os outros! A minha maneira de pensar é o fruto das minhas reflexões; tem a ver com a minha existência, com o meu modo de ser. Não posso mudá-la; isso é uma coisa que não posso fazer. Esta maneira de pensar que me censura é a única consolação da prisão, compõe todos os meus prazeres neste mundo e quero-lhe mais do que a vida. Não é a minha maneira de pensar que faz a minha infelicidade, mas a dos outros.
Sade (Carta a Madame de Sade)
Sade - O Terror na Alcova, de Serge Bramly • EDIÇÕES SÉCULO XXI

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