Parece-me que não tenho paciência para livros portugueses nesta altura. Ando a ler BD. “Estes Dias” de Bernardo Majer é uma série de retratos de pessoas em transição sem enredos fortes. Em cada um, seguimos a vida do protagonista durante algum tempo e logo a história chega ao fim e começa a próxima. O “ritmo” do diálogo e a lentidão do enredo (na medida que existe) fizeram-me lembrar as BD do Jiro Taniguchi mas falta o foco (e a qualidade dos desenhos) de Taniguchi cujo génio fica nas delongas e no silêncio, que sublinham os pormenores da vida. Ah ah, porque é que estou a fazer esta comparação? Taniguchi é um gigante e quase ninguém chega aos calcanhares dele. Mas ainda assim, este livro parece estar em busca daquel mesma atmosfera na introspeção das personagens, nas lacunas e nos momentos de reflexão na natureza à sua volta.
Este livro de Miguel Pires e Majory Yokomizo é uma banda desenhada que conta a história de um velho que vive numa ilha. Todos os dias, pesca no mar com romãs como isco e apanha pedaços de vidro que, ao ser montados (tipo puzzle), revelam as suas memórias. O leitor vem a entender que este homem tem demência e a sua ilha é uma alegoria – um exílio mental onde fica prisioneiro enquanto não se lembra da sua própria vida.
Acho que o escritor lida com este assunto desafiante de modo muito sensível. Os desenhos e o argumento funcionam bem juntos e o resultado é tocante.
I think I’ve banged on about comics a few times, mainly in the page I wrote about the best Portuguese graphic novels.
Just to show it’s not just me though, I can testify that my daughter, who has just started A Level French, and is a big fan of the Walking Dead video game series, has been getting just as much out of the French version of the Walking Dead graphic novel series as I got out of the Portuguese ones. She’s only a couple of volumes deep but she’s already better able to unravel complicated sentences, recognise new vocabulary that has come up before, and read out loud. I’ve been nagging her for ages to try the Astérix books but they’re not something that appeals to her and I’m glad she’s found her way to a series that suits her.
If, like me, you’re a fan of Portuguese graphic novels and comics, you might enjoy this “fio” (thread) in which a podcaster discusses some of his favourites
I updated the list of portuguese graphic novel recommendations. I keep seeing peeps on social media asking for decent easy reads, and I find it’s helpful to have a list I can point to. It’s almost twice as long now!
If you look over there on the right 👉 on a laptop or down on a phone 👇 you’ll see there are a few of these resources pages now, covering learning resources and so on.
Toutinegra é uma banda desenhada portuguesa escrita por André Oliveira com ilustrações de Bernardo Majer. Conta a história de duas crianças de nove anos que moram numa aldeia esquecida. A mãe adoptiva do menino é uma louca que provocou um acidente de carro que causou a morte da mãe biológica dele e a quem, por alguma razão que não compreendo é permitido ficar com o bebé que ela encontrou no carro.
Os dois encontram uma criatura negra num moinho abandonado na floresta que “traz más notícias” a quem vai morrer ou a quem vai perder alguém. A influência da criatura inicia uma série de eventos trágicos. Gostei do estilo e dos desenhos (bastantes simples e ingénuos) mas acabei por não me sentir satisfeito com a história. Quase deu em êxito mas… Sei lá… Ficou muitas coisas* por explicar e o enredo parece um pouco rebuscada e incompleta.
*This is a weird one. A lot of people will just say “muita coisa” in spoken portuguese, just like “muita gente”, or like you might say “a lot of stuff” in English. But it is meant to be plural according to Ciberduvidas.
I had been putting together a list of Portuguese Graphic Novels for a while and it’s not quite finished yet but someone just asked a question about it so I’ve gone ahead and published it in draft form along with the other resources. If you’re looking at this on a computer it’ll probably be over on the right, and if you’re on a phone screen, you’ll probably need to scroll down a bit. Or just click here.
The plot thickens though because after I published it I saw a reply from another Redditor (is that what you call them?) with this link to a list of the supposed fifteen best. Some are on my list too, and some I don’t know. I’ve no idea why they have Caos e Ordem on there. I liked the look of that too but it’s a huge disappointment.
This is an attempt to translate the blurb of a book as literally as possible to avoid the lazy trap of sticking to words and grammar I know how to say when writing texts. Thanks again to ThisCatIsConfused for the help
Estamos* no fim de semana do solstício de Verão e cento e cinquenta mil pessoas reúnem-se numa quinta a nordeste de Inglaterra para assistir** a um festival de música ao ar livre. No início, uns salpicos de chuva parecem ser a única coisa capaz de estragar a diversão – até que surge uma doença misteriosa. Rapidamente, a doença espalha-se com uma velocidade electrizante*** e parece resistente aos antibióticos todos.
Será que a jornalista Zoe Meadows (hum… O resumo diz “Meadows” mas dentro do livro ela se chama Zoe Beck…) consegue rastrear o surto à sua fonte, e será descoberta uma cura antes da doença se tornar numa pandemia?
Um thriller empolgante, Resistência imagina um cenário de pesadelo**** que aparenta ser demasiado credível no rescaldo***** do covid-19
*=estamos no (“we are in the weeekend of…”) works better than está no… (“it’s the weekend of..”)
**=it’s been three years since I wrote a blog post specifically about the word “assistir” and I still haven’t got over the discovery of the weird interlinking meanings.
***=electrizante means electrifying and I’m a little surprised it works here but it seems to pass muster!
*****=the original English version has a couple of colloquial phrases in it that seem to have caused confusion. One was “bug” as in “stomach bug” which was corrected to “inseto” but that was a misunderstanding because the person who kindly translated it for me thought I meant the illness was transmitted by some kind of insect. This word “wake” might be the cause of a second mis-correction. The original says “in the wake of” which I put as “na sequência de” but I think the person who corrected it might have thought “wake” had its more usual meaning, as in “wake up” because they changed it to “no surgimento”. I discussed it with my resident expert who advised “no rescaldo” was better
I can’t say I really agree with the blurb. If you want to know more about the book and what I actually thought of it, have a look at my Goodreads profile.
Esta BD foi lançado para comemorar o centenário da CUF, uma empresa que (nas suas próprias palavras) trouxe a revolução industrial para Portugal on 1908. A história é contada do ponto de vista de uma mulher de 2008, que é a bisneta dum engenheiro francês, um empregado da empresa. Até certo ponto, esta decisão, faz todo o sentido porque o leitor pode ver as ligações entre o mundo de hoje e os eventos do passado. Mas… Para mim, os autores focam demais na protagonista (que é jovem, bonita, mais fácil no olho do que o bisavô dela!) e por isso não temos um entendimento nítido do crescimento da empresa, o impacto dela na vida do país, os raízes dos problemas laborais (tal como a greve), e a evolução da empresa desde o século XX até agora (acredito que se trata de um rede de hospitais hoje em dia não é?)
Ainda por cima o arte não é assim tão incrivel.
Meh. Interessante mas não passa de ser um panfleto de publicidade. 3 estrelas.
I thought this graphic blog post by José Smith Vargas was really interesting. I can’t actually remember now where I heard about it – presumably in the blurb in the back of a printed magazine, but it was a few weeks ago now and my mind basically gets wiped every 3 days or so. I like to see cartoons, BDs, graphic novels, whatever you want to call them, being used to tell stories about people’s lives and environments in creative ways. This one has enough palavras desconhecidas in it that I thought I’d translate it into english for the learns.
A Square in the Centre of the City
Demolitions in the Mouraria to make way for Martim Moniz Plaza, 1946
With the urge toward progress and social cleansing, the Estado Novo [Salazar’s Dictatorship] demolished the lower part of the Mouraria neighbourhood
The urban regeneration of the city was working through the plan to link the airport to Rossio Square via an almost straight line… a continuous link.
One of the oldest neighbourhoods in Europe, and the Bohemian centre of the city of Lisbon was thus broken up, stone by stone.
…Which wasn’t interrupted by widespread confusion and difficulties affecting people’s quality of life in ways that were hard to control*
Simultaneously, the artists and poetic icons of the area were depicted in films and in respectable theatres, thus completing the santisation of urban culture.
4500 people left
The neighbourhood was reduced to an insalubrious hill, an open wound that would never heal.
The plans for the square were repeatedly frustrated for a wide variety* of motives
For more than 50 years, this hole was a cadaverous gap in the architectural continuity of the capital.
The Plaza of Martim Moniz was finally ready in 1997.
Having always been a zone of transition since the 70s, a flow of migration, largely from Africa and Asia established itself in the surrounding area to live and work
“Tell me, Shifat, are you still working for your cousin?”
“Yes, God help me!”
“This place is impossible – it’s all blacks and asians**”
The square began to gain its own character in this context – a multiplication of communities using it and at the same time, becoming part of the landscape.
The local council installed a series of kiosks to try and revive the area but, not having achieved much success, the ended up being withdrawn.
Now that the area was less cluttered, the kids started skating, and playing cricket and football there.
And demonstrations took place there for the rights of immigrants, out of which grew the 1st of May Procession organised by the CGTP***
[Documents for Everyone]
And there were also processions for neighbourhood festivals, the procession of Our Lady of Health and the commemorations of the end of Ramadan
Life breaks out however it can and with whomever wants it. But for the local council, the square was still unfinished business
The neighbourhood of the Mouraria, which was still pretty run down, was an obstacle in the downtown area. With tourism on the rise, it was a no-go area.
“Where are we? I don’t feel good here”
In 2011, another enormous plan was put into action by the council using funds from a European program
“This is also a way to combat povery and social exclusion”
The streets were put in order and the construction companies and real estate agencies got to work.
The Plaza of Martim Moniz was a strategic point, essential for the execution of the plan. The Lisbon Public Works Agency, EPUL, tendered for a concession. NCS, a company linked to the entertainment industry was the only bidder.
“Since I was little I has a dream of a world hand-in-hand”
“I know that it’s a naive idea”
“At the time, I thought of being a volunteer in Africa or Asia but then I discovered this plaza that had been thrown out with the rubbish…”
“…and I understood that my calling was the Fusion Market” ****
The result would be to show the multicultural plaza to a younger audience, well disposed and with more money, attracted by the plan to regenerate the city.
The few kiosks that remain in the square were used as a streetfood zone
“This is like any commercial centre anywhere. You go and get some food and sit down here in the middle”
And at the weekends, there would be an arts and entertainment fair and the drinks would be laid on by NCS
NCS had a concession contract with EPUL until 2022.
“Look! the beanbags are free!”
Despite the brutal growth of tourism in the city, Martin Moniz still hadn’t begun to be used for business.
In 2018, NCS had got behind with the rent to the tune of €150,000 and left the scene. However, its CEO got together with members of some other property development companies and founded Moon Brigade. The new company renewed the contract with the council to install a new shopping centre in shipping containers.
The failed Fusion Marker transformed itself into Martim Moniz Market
The space would have private security and would be sealed off at night
In no time, protest movements arose and other ideas were put forward for the future of the square.
[We don’t want Martim Moniz rented out to private companies]
[Martim Moniz Gardens now!]
A movement was established to plant Martim Moniz Garden with the support of the inhabitants, neighbourhood associations and the parish council.
The owners of the joint venture reacted
“You want a garden? You’re crazy!”
“It’ll be a den of prostitution and drugs!”
“There’s a car park under the plaza. You can’t plan tanything!”
“This area is dangerous. Vandalism everywhere!”
“I have a lot of money invested here. You can’t annul the contract”
“I’m the one who’s bringing true social integration”
The municipal assembly stopped the project and grilled the president of the city council about the controversy
“That isn’t good or bad. It’s shit but it’s better than what was there before.”
“What is this going to become in the end?”
In 2019, 73 years after the first demolitions to make way for Martim Moniz Plaza, the interventions continue…”
* = The word “entulho” can mean an abundance but also seems to mean the rubble from demolition so this seems like it might be a pun…?
** = I think the words he uses are a bit more deprecatory than these simple descriptors but I’m not about to try and find english words with the same weight for fear of over-egging it.
*** = Portugal’s largest trade union federation: Confederação Geral dos Trabalhadores Portugueses
**** = No, I don’t know who that guy is either.