Dissimulação * Disguising

Começam os preparativos, fecham-se as casas, rematam-se os pontos, experimentam-se os fatos. O Carnaval aproxima-se e milhares de pessoas estão desejosas de encarnar personagens, deixando a imaginação fluir naturalmente. Mas não é só nesta altura do ano que as pessoas se mascaram: Em sentido figurado, de uma forma ou de outra, consciente ou inconscientemente, a capacidade de adaptação das pessoas às situações obriga-as a usar máscaras com muito maior frequência do que se imagina. Hoje, o tema é a Dissimulação.

The preparations begin, the buttons enter their houses, the stitches are tighten, the suits are worn. Carnival is getting closer and thousands of people are anxious to personify characters they love the most and to let their imagination flow. But it isn’t just at this time of the year that people wear masks: Figuratively in a way or another, consciously or unconsciously, the ability of adapting to the situations makes them wear masks with much more frequency that we can imagine. Today, the theme is Disguising.

Psycho (1959), Robert Bloch

A noite estava escura e tempestuosa quando Mary Crane se cruzou com o sinal luminoso que anunciava vagas no Bates Motel. Cansada, perdida e desesperada, Mary estava ansiosa por um duche quente e por uma cama. O seu quarto estava arranjado e a canalização funcionava. Norman Bates, o gerente, parecia simpático mas escondia algo.

It was a dark and stormy night when Mary Crane glimpsed the unlit neon sign announcing the vacancy at the Bates Motel. Exhausted, lost, and at the end of her rope, she was eager for a hot shower and a bed for the night. Her room was musty buy clean and the plumbing worked. Norman Bates, the manager, seemed nice, if a little odd.

La Belle et la Bête (a.k.a. The Beauty and the Beast and A Bela e o Monstro, 1740), Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve

O conto “A Bela e a Fera” relata a história da filha mais nova de um rico mercador, que tinha três filhas, porém, enquanto as filhas mais velhas gostavam de ostentar luxo, de festas e lindos vestidos, a mais nova, que todos chamavam Bela, era humilde, gentil, e generosa, gostava de leitura e tratava bem as pessoas. Bela acaba por se tornar prisioneira do Monstro e, com o passar do tempo, acaba por nos mostrar como esquecer as aparências e acreditar no que de melhor há nas pessoas.

Jeanne Marie Le Prince de Beaumont was a French novelist born in 1711. After her first marriage was annulled she moved to London, becoming a governess. After a successful writing career she remarried had many children and lived in Savoy. Beaumont wrote several books on education. She was one of the first to write fairy tales for children. Mme Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve wrote a story titled Beauty and the Beast. Le Prince de Beaumont revised and abridged this story producing the story that has become one of the most famous children’s tales in history. The tale tells the story of Beauty who meets a terrible looking beast. She learns to love the beast. The moral is that inner beauty is the true and most precious form of beauty.

The Elephant Man (a.k.a. O Homem Elefante, 1977), Bernard Pomerance

Uma história verídica inspirada na vida de John Merrick, que viveu em Londres na segunda metade do século XXI. Um jovem com uma terrivel deformação é uma das principais atracções de freak shows. Mas a sua esperança de um dia poder ser um homem como os outros acaba por se revelar um sonho que nunca será realizado.

“The Elephant Man” is based on the life of John Merrick, who lived in London during the latter part of the nineteenth century. A horribly deformed young man, who has been a freak attraction in traveling side shows, is found abandoned and helpless and is admitted for observation to Whitechapel, a prestigious London hospital. Under the care of a famous young doctor, who educates him and introduces him to London society, Merrick changes from a sensational object of pity to the urbane and witty favorite of the aristocracy and literati. But his belief that he can become a man like any other is a dream never to be realized.

Portraits of a Marriage (a.k.a. A Mulher Certa, 1941), Sándor Marai

Em Budapeste uma mulher conta a uma amiga como descobriu o adultério do seu marido. Por outro lado, um homem confessa a um amigo como abandonou a sua mulher por outra, e uma terceira mulher revela ao seu amante como se casou com um homem endinheirado para sair da pobreza. Três vozes, três pontos de vista, três sensibilidades diferentes desvendam uma história de paixão, mentiras e crueldade.

A rediscovered masterwork from the famed Hungarian novelist Sándor Márai, Portraits of a Marriage is in fact a startling exploration of a triangle of entanglement. A wealthy couple in bourgeois society, Peter and Ilonka appear to enjoy a fine union. Their home is tastefully decorated; their clothes are well tailored; they move in important circles. And yet, to hypersensitive Ilonka, her choice in décor is never good enough, and her looks are never fair enough to fully win the love of her husband, who has carried with him a secret that has long tormented him: Peter is in love with Judit, a peasant and servant in his childhood home. For Judit, however, even Peter’s affection cannot transcend that which she loves most—the prospect of her own freedom and a future without the constraints of the society that has ensnared all three in a vortex of love and loss.

Set against the backdrop of Hungary between the wars, Portraits of a Marriage offers further “posthumous evidence of [Márai’s] neglected brilliance” (Chicago Tribune) and his exquisite, acutely observed evocations of sacrifice and longing.

As Máscaras do Destino (1917), Florbela Espanca

É uma obra totalmente dedicada ao seu irmão Apeles – A meu Irmão, ao meu querido Morto (Florbela Espanca, dedicatória de «As Máscaras do Destino») -, e inspirada pela tristeza e dor que a perda do irmão causa em Florbela. Escrito no final de 1917, o mesmo ano da morte de Apeles e altura em que Florbela não consegue editor, “As Máscaras do Destino” reúne uma série de contos muito sentidos.

This is a book dedicated to Florbela Espanca’s brother Apeles, inspired by the sadness and pain that his death caused her. Written in 1917, “As Máscaras do Destino” compiles various tales with many meanings.

La Troisième Fille (a.k.a. The Third Girl and A Terceira Inquilina, 1966), Agatha Christie

Hercule Poirot tem a companhia da autora de romances policiais Ariadne Oliver na sua tentativa de provar a inocência de Norma Restarick, uma jovem acusada de um crime. O mistério leva-nos até 18 anos atrás, ao suicídio da mãe de Norma, mas Poirot descobre que a solução do caso envolve uma chocante revelação.

A desperate woman seeks the aid of Hercule Poirot in a matter of life and death. A near-lethal dose of poison, a blood-stained knife, a revolver, and a family who aren’t what they seem all figure in an extraordinary case that takes the celebrated Belgian detective from a village estate to the bohemian streets of London.

Measure for Measure (a.k.a. Medida por Medida, 1604), William Shakespeare

Durante séculos Medida por Medida foi vista com reservas pela crítica. Tal deveu-se, sem dúvida, ao facto de as mentalidades do passado tolerarem mal tanto o tema da peça como o tom agreste de algumas das suas cenas e de alguma da linguagem de Shakespeare nelas usou. Porém, nos últimos 30/40 anos a peça tem sido repetidamente aproveitada não só pelo teatro, mas também pela televisão e pelo cinema ao ponto de se poder considerá-la uma das obras mais populares de Shakespeare, com certeza por retratar alguns aspectos presentes nas sociedades contemporâneas.

The plot centres on Angelo, the righteous deputy empowered by the Duke of Vienna, to rule whilst he wanders about disguised as a friar to investigate the moral decay of his dukedom. Resorting to an archaic law against fornication to enforce his strict standards of morality, Angelo proceeds to condemn fornicators to death. One of these fornicators is Claudio , a young man who has had pre-marital sex with his fiancee. When Claudio’s virginal sister Isabella comes to plead for her brother’s life, Angelo’s lust is aroused and he uses his power to blackmail Isabella into his bed. It’s her virtue or Claudio’s life. She threatens to expose him but is told “who will believe you?” Fortunately the Duke overhears. Angelo ends up in the bed of Mariana , a woman from his undisclosed past, Claudio is allowed to live happily ever after with his fiancee, and the virtuous Isabella ends up the Duke’s bride.

Máscaras * Masks

Although I know it’s unfair I reveal myself one mask at a time.
Stephen Dunn