The girl at the Museum

( a piece of the romantic novel I´m writing as a hobby)

Chapter three

And there he took her as a desperate try of seduction. Being a rude male, and trying as he was to get into the pants of a clever girl (such a smart way to impress his friends, without being forced to read one single page), nothing more suitable than trying to show some fine culture, proposing as a delightful saturday afternoon ride a walk through that boring Museum. The sacrifices we are exposed to get some respect from these fucking high school teachers…

Mark wasn´t half as thrilled as he pretended he was, and never a third part of what Norma was showing, either. Actually, dating the soccer team leader was supposed to be a dance with danger, a way to propose a new self image of cool, getting s0me envy from her bitch girl friends, and, most important of all, upsetting her I- always- know-what-to-expect- from-my-perfectly-raised-daughter, even though-she´s-often-unworthy-of-all-the-sacrifices-I-made-for-her mom. Even knowing that when her mother was to see the guy returning her back home (and Norma was absolutelly sure she would, as she was always watching her come and go through the thin curtains) it would certainly cause her some freshly made wounds, the 16 years old girl felt as she had to drawn a line by showing up with that kind of guy.

Sunken into these deep thoughts, Norma suddently stopped in front of a big oil canvas. It was the portrait of a man.

And there she stood for about a quarter of hour, only staring, uncounscius of the time running out. Mark was furious. He tried to push her away, holding her hand, even saying  “I guess we should move on from here” with a throatly faked voice, while caressing her peachy arm. Useless. Norma couldn´t move, couldn´t blink, could only hardly breath. And stare. Stare at that handsome man painted in front of her, as hypnotised. Starving as he was, Mark walked away and left her there, angry and frustrated.

 Norma has never been particularly attracted by surface beauty, specially in men.  But there was something in that person, particularly.  His eyes were trying to communicate something she could not be sure about. It captured the whole attention of every cell of Norma´s body, as well as her keen accurated mind. What was that? Despair? Anguish? Existential conflict?

Not before half an hour, Norma let his eyes go and started looking at his whole figure. He was a fine man, average caucasian figure, chesnut hair, with  an Army short haircut, even though his grey vest and pants, as well as his fancy golden watch,  indicated he was an aristocratic civilian. Looking for the references, Norma read the name of the canvas; it was written “Lord Edward Gray, third earl of Rathfordshire, at age of 27. Portrait painted by his sister Gloria in 1819”. Still trying to figure out the translation of his eyes, Norma found out she was all by herself and the Museum as about to close, as she had spent almost one and a half hour standing there. So, she left, alone. 

Even without the defiance glance she had when she left, Norma was not forgiven of the usual Saturday night beating, as her mother had seen it all when she left with Mark. Not listening the common interpelations about her ingratitute, how much her mother´s body had been spoiled by the unrequired pregnancy, and how shameful she was not offering her mom a single reason to flatter herself in front of other parents, Norma put up with it all almost painless, just wondering if she had still pancake enough in stock to hide all the marks the next day at Church, when she would read the Homilia during Sunday Mass.

…Edward Gray, Edward Gray, who was he, or what kind of person had he been? She faked some painful tears, a certain way of being released sooner, but a trick she could not use often, at risk of turning it useless. Norma´s mom let her go, not before advertising that if a perfectly spelling was not presented the next day, Norma could depend herself on a replay of this scene tomorrow.

Finally allowed to go to her room, but unable to lock up the door (as her mother kept the key), Norma let herself dismay in her bed, belly down to avoid unecessary pain. Those eyes, those dark blue, mysterious eyes, where a puzzle, capturing each thought of hers. She was still thinking about them as she fell asleep; and she was thinking about them when she woke up the next morning. And she had them in the back of her mind as she read the Homilia, avoiding a second weekend beating. And she was still trying to figure them out when she got back to the Museum at Monday, after school.”


Sorry, Fellas!

Good morning, gentleman! I am sorry to confirm my absence in the night of 16th September 2012;  by then, I hope to be engaged in a romantic date with the Man of my Life – Mr. Morten Harket, who’ ll fly all his way from Norway to my tender arms.       

“É uma verdade universa…

“É uma verdade universalmente conhecida que um homem solteiro, de certa idade e com status econômico, deve estar em busca de uma esposa.” Orgulho e Preconceito, Jane Austen

“É uma verdade universalmente conhecida que um homem solteiro, de certa idade e com status econômico, deve estar em busca de uma esposa.”  Orgulho e Preconceito, Jane Austen

Jane Austen e o Papel

Jane Austen e o papel da mulher



“É uma verdade universalmente conhecida que um homem solteiro, de certa fortuna, deve estar em busca de uma esposa.” Orgulho e Preconceito, Jane Austen.

“Devo ater-me a meu próprio estilo e seguir meu próprio caminho. E, apesar de eu poder nunca mais ter sucesso deste modo, estou convencida de que falharia totalmente de qualquer outro.” Jane Austen, sobre a própria Literatura.


Por muitas décadas, o longo período em que Jane Austen teria ficado sem escrever foi atribuído ao luto pela morte repentina de seu pai. No entanto, estudos sociológicos recentes apontam o alto preço do papel como fator determinante dessa pausa – sem o pai/provedor para assegurar os meios de produção, Jane não tinha como dar continuidade à sua extraordinária obra.

Nascida em uma família rural na Inglaterra do século XVIII, Jane Austen é uma das maiores autoras do cânon literário mundial, tendo produzido antes de falecer, aos 41 anos, seis romances completos. Sua obra, comumente classificada como “comédia de costumes”, desvela os conflitos de toda uma geração de mulheres sem outra opção de carreira senão o matrimônio.

Na época, uma moça nascida de uma família tradicional e com alguma instrução[1] tinha geralmente como maior objetivo de vida estabelecer um casamento vantajoso, sobretudo se não contasse com um dote. Jane Austen sentiu na pele os dramas existenciais de muitas de suas heroínas que, órfãs e sem maiores possibilidades de matrimônio, vivem precariamente da caridade de parentes, pois uma mulher adotar uma profissão e prover o próprio sustento era considerado um “escândalo”.

Ao contrário de suas personagens – que, após alguma dificuldade, sempre encontram uma união vantajosa nos desfechos – , a autora ousou recusar uma oferta de casamento com um rico herdeiro e exercer uma profissão que asseguraria não apenas um meio de vida, mas a imortalização de seu nome. Jane Austen, tendo o irmão como agente literário, corajosamente afirmava que uma mulher poderia escrever sobre temas impactantes, com seriedade e utilizando a melhor das linguagens. Convém ressaltar que o romance era então considerado um subgênero vulgar, sendo a poesia a produção literária mais nobre da época.

A autora, elegantemente, desafiou muitos convencionalismos de seu tempo ao apresentar-se como escritora profissional, manter-se por meio da venda de seus livros e defender o gênero do romance com temas domésticos, obtendo inclusive o elogio de uma das maiores referências de seu tempo, Sir Walter Scott.

Graças a contribuições de mulheres como ela, hoje temos meios de cumprirmos e comprarmos nosso próprio papel.

[1] A educação ideal feminina inglesa incluía piano, costura, geografia e desenho – as habilidades intelectuais não eram desejáveis e, caso existissem, deveriam ser dissimuladas.


Raising (Grand)children

Okay now, being raised by my Grandparents, instead of my parents (who where too busy having adulterous affairs to bring up a kid properly) have given me a lot of bad experiences to discuss eventually with my therapyst (and also providing him a brand new car, gladly to his and sadly to my personal expenses).

But one particular thing comes above it all: their constant forbiding. I could not talk on the phone after 8 pm. Could not attend to school out rides (including museums and parks). Could not go to my colleagues’  homes not even to do social school works and researches. Could not receive friends in my own house.  Could not receive a phone call if the speaker´s voice as male (and that was a REAL problem once my best high school girl friend had a boyish, throat voice). And their worst lectures were all about things, now pay attention, dear readers, that today, at age of 28, I STILL HAVE NEVER DONE.

For example: Once, aged 16, I asked my grandfather if I could attend to my best friend´s 15 years old (that means, a débutant) party, that would take place some 15 blocks away my own home. Nedless to say, if a lift was not provided (since we used to have 2 cars parketd at our own garage and many guests would go with parents, assuring many other cars too) a cab would easily do that distance without being too expensive (yeah, spending money at “useless events” used to be a great deal too). Wisely  – perhaps not so – I asked/begged/cried for an outstand up to 10 pm, when it was obvious the ball would finish about 2 am. And what the answer? Obviously, not. First, the entire idea was bullshit. Second, why spend such time outside when it was so warm inside? Third, that party would be a TOTAL FREAKING MESS with free drugs, abundant alcohol and sex in the bathroom corridor. Fourth, and that is the major point, I WAS SO GETTING PREGNANT IN THAT PARTY, and my grandfather was too old to bring up another bastard kid.

Got it? I think the example above did the trick. But, correct me if I am wrong, last time I checked, I was not pregnant and ilegal drugs have never touched my inner system. Plus,  today I do go out at parties that finish at 2 am, can legally buy as much alcohol and cigars as I wish, and also have a small but interesting list of ex dates with whom I could have gone as far as I wished to (for all of them obviously always wished to… you know. With or without me!) Oh, did I mention I already know 7 foreign countries, and always returned home in one piece? Yeah. I am AWESOME.

What´s the lesson to be learned here? KNOW YOUR KIDS. Look at them, know who they are or how they are before speaking nonsense crap they will have to pay a lot of money to learn how to cope with. Of course, I am the first one to admit kids must be advertised or even kept away from a lot of perils, but the speech must be connected to must-avoid behaviours based on their TRUE characters, necessarily. Duh.

Mansfield Park – Jane Austen´s Masterpiece

Jane Austen – Mansfield Park

Amo este romance, de modo que fica como meu presente de Páscoa aos fiéis leitores. Com um click no link acima, você pode baixar a tradução ao Português em PDF.

Ao contrrário dos demais enredos elaborados por  Jane Austen, que se inciam mal, pioram ao transcorrer da narrativa, ao ponto de deixarem as leitoras mais empáticas angustiadas com a deplorável situação das heroínas, e se resolvem magicamente nos dois últimos capítulos – quando não nas duas últimas páginas –  este romance já se inicia com as relações de tal forma estabelecidas que tudo poderia se resolver da mais cômoda das formas, com naturalidade e sem esforço quase das partes envolvidas. 

Trata-se de uma situação inédita no contexto austeniano: todas as moças têm um possível match – Maria Bertram, Mr. Rushworth; Julia Bertram, Henry Crawford; Mary Crawford, Tom Bertram;   e a insípida heroína Fanny, com o herói que eu mais admiro, em sua serena força e plácido comportamento: Edmund Bertram. 

No entanto, aqui, pela primeira vez, vemos como as paixões humanas entram em desacordo com o bom senso vitoriano, quando ambas as irmãs se apaixonam por Henry Crawford, que por sua vez pede a mão da não-dotada (em todos os sentidos) Fanny, e Mary toma-se de amores por Edmund, apesar de estar destinado a uma modesta vida como clérigo,  o quê, para desespero de Fanny, é aparentemente recíproco.

Um pouco sobre Fanny Price, a mais insuportavelmente insossa das heroínas austenianas.  Fanny é modesta, não possui o mais mínimo resquício de auto estima, é dependente emocional e intelectualmente de Edmund e masoquista a ponto de aceitar os mandos e desmandos da mesquinha tia Mrs Norris (quando supostamente deve gratidão somente aos Bertram)  sem questionar. Tanto seu intelecto quanto aspirações sociais são inexistentes – apesar de ficar aterrorizada com o curto período no qual retorma à própria família, mas não o suficiente para aceitar uma união mais que vantajosa com o carismático Crawford.

Uma cena bastante enfática para demonstrar a  vitimização constante desta personagem ocorre quando a tia a obriga a colher as rosas da irmã durante todo o dia sob o sol,  levá-las a própia casa e ainda voltar uma segunda vez, sob o pretexto de que não a havia trancado e trazido a chave. De volta à mansão dos Bertram, Fanny sente vontade de atenuar sua dor de cabeça com uma taça de vinho, mas não o faz porque Edmund não está presente e ela própria não sabe a proporção com que o primo lhe serve o Madeira misturado com água. Mais patética, impossível. O que acentua seu contraste com a rival Mary Crawford: cínica, ousada, esta personagem tem a imprudência constante de transmitir tudo o que passa por sua analiticamente perspicaz mente aos rosados e atrativos lábios.  E vai além: a valente senhorita, ao descobrir que sua paixão não terá o mesmo status do irmão mais velho, trata de convencê-lo a adotar uma carreira lucrativa, como advogado. Mary Crawford choca o reacionário e moralista Edmund, mas conquista minha eterna admiração.

De fato, fosse eu a autora do romance, em 2012, Fanny casar-se-ia com Henry, Mary com Edmund, Julia com Mr Rushworth e Maria assassinaria o irmão mais velho e os pais e assumiria o comando da Mansão Mansfield. Indeed.