A Imagem na Ausência: Leitura de Paisagens com Figuras de João Cabral de Melo Neto
Joaquim, José Guilherme Pimentel
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The assignment develops a reading of João Cabral de Melo Neto’s book Paisagens com Figuras (Landscapes With Figures) (1956; 2003) - firstly published in his collected works volume Duas Águas (Two Waters) -, seeking out to reconsider the relations between visuality and talk as another interpretation possibility for the concept of critical poetry in complement to the one established as metapoetry. In this sense, beyond a tension between to speak/to talk and to make, as points out João Alexandre Barbosa’s study A Imitação da Forma (The Imitation of Form) (1975), the poet’s work allows the reading of a tension between to see and to talk. The image’s and the metaphor’s arrangement in the poem involves not just a movement of “internal rectification”, as expose Luiz Costa Lima(1968), or “reflexive disassembling” proposed by João Alexandre’s concept of “Critical Metaphor” (1974), but it has an overlapping relation where the complex articulation between figure and landscape seems to create a dynamical spatiality movement in the poem accordingly as the figures interactions give us to see the landscapes, and the landscapes enable a new interaction of figures. This overlapping movement, concept lent from Flora Süssekind (1993), or articulation and interaction movement, occurs not just by the exposition of this images like in an assembly, but by narrative elements, recovered in Cabral’s readings of the Spanish literature tradition, that weaves and gives rhythm to that presentation in a tension between storytelling and exposition, concepts also proposed by Flora Süssekind, creating, in my viewpoint, a spatiality that, even with a propose of objectivity by the language concision and the non-directly lyrical subject enunciation, opens itself to an intersubjectivity experience between that one who present us the landscape, most of time not exposed, and us while spectators readers. To read the poem is to read the landscape as well, and in a structural dimension of this tension between storytelling and exposition is possible to note a historical convergence of middle-age Spanish poetry aspects, including the affinities with 27’ Generation, and modern aspects that had been object of poetical reflection in the works of João Cabral before 1950. This complex game that goes weaving itself during the book, involving figure and landscape, seems, however, to cease against the desert landscape from Brazil Northeast, in Pernambuco specifically, where the sterility is accentuated by the lack of image, word or talk that could nominates that landscape, paralyzing the eye when confronted by the incessant death reproduction led to extreme in the poems denominated Cemitérios Pernambucanos (Cemeteries in Pernambuco), where figure and landscape seems to lead to a tautological relation in which death and cemetery are indifferent one from another, they become an opaque object against we are not able to escape. “Ineluctable modality of the visible”, as affirms Didi-Huberman (2010) from James Joyce, that divides what we see from what look back at us.