Natália

AUTORRETRATO

    

Espáduas brancas palpitantes:

asas no exílio dum corpo.

Os braços calhas cintilantes

para o comboio da alma.

E os olhos emigrantes

no navio da pálpebra

encalhado em renúncia ou cobardia.

Por vezes fêmea . Por vezes monja.

Conforme a noite. Conforme o dia.

Molusco. Esponja

embebida num filtro de magia.

Aranha de ouro

presa na teia dos seus ardis.

E aos pés um coração de louça

quebrado em jogos infantis.


Again I wish I could translate poetry without committing some kind of murder. I can’t.

This is the self-portrait of a bird in exile, whose arms know that they are wings trapped in a human body. Whose eyes migrate but never leave. A ship stranded by cowardice and abjuration. A Woman. Sometimes a female, sometimes a nun.

From night to day.

Strong, fragile, beautiful, talented and contradictory. They said. Very dark and very tender. A force of nature is the appropriate cliché. Unjust for someone who lived like a true original. In full. Strident in controversy, provocative and original, strong, excessive and forceful.  Witch and Lark of the abolition of opposites.

My words could never come close

a heart of china

broken in childish games

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Era uma mulher inigualável. Nos caprichos, nos excessos, nas iras, nas premonições, nos exibicionismos, na sedução, na coragem, na esperança. Cantava, dançava, declamava, improvisava, discursava, polemizava como poucos entre nós alguma vez o fizeram, o somaram.

Fernando Dacosta

She was an unrivaled woman. In whims, in excesses, in anger, in premonitions, in exhibitionism, in seduction, in courage, in hope. She sang, danced, recited, improvised, discoursed, polemicized as few among us ever did and ever added.

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Acho que a missão da mulher é assombrar, espantar. Se a mulher não espanta… De resto, não é só a mulher, todos os seres humanos têm que deslumbrar os seus semelhantes para serem um acontecimento. Temos que ser um acontecimento uns para os outros. Então a pessoa tem que fazer o possível para deslumbrar o seu semelhante, para que a vida seja um motivo de deslumbramento. Se chama a isso sedução, cumpri aquilo que me era forçoso fazer.

Natália Correia, in Entrevista (1983)

I think a woman’s mission is to haunt, to amaze. If a woman does not amaze … Besides, it is not only the woman, all human beings have to dazzle their peers, they have to be an event. We have to be a momentous event for each other. So one has to do one’s best to dazzle one’s fellow human, so that life can be a cause of wonder. If this is called seduction, I accomplished what I had to.

References

NATÁLIA CORREIA – 10 anos depois

One too many

Eyes blinded by the fog of things

cannot see truth.

Ears deafened by the din of things

cannot hear truth.

Brains bewildered by the whirl of things

cannot think truth.

Hearts deadened by the weight of things

cannot feel truth.

Throats choked by the dust of things

cannot speak truth.

Harold Bell Wright, The Uncrowned King

And yet, there is no amount of self help books, “keep it simple” formulas or declutter instructions that will tame the maximalist in me.  

A euphemism for self-indulgence most probably. 

Reinterpreting – Marchesa Luisa Casati

Casati was born Luisa Adele Rosa Maria Amman on January 23, 1881

Determined to become a “living work of art”, she lived her life as a reaction to her horror of the mundane, crafting herself into an otherworldly creature whose image was her voice.

Christian Dior Spring 1998 Couture

An outsized personality, hers was a life lived in performance.

Christian Dior Spring 1998 Couture

She was in herself and in her creations an unforgettable spectacle, and although by the time of her demise she had ceased to live a gilded existence, her legacy was not about to fade away

Christian Dior Spring 1998 Couture

But life as performance seems to bear the ingredients of tragedy. As described by Jean Cocteau,

As soon as she came out of her dressing room, the Marquise Casati received the applause usually given to a famous tragedian at her entry to the stage. It remained to act the play. There was none. This was her tragedy.


Is it the common choice of those who don’t feel that they belong or are seen (or feel themselves to be) as inadequate to choose being the performance of self over being oneself?

Tilda Swinton by Paolo Roversi

Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety
William Shakespeare 

Anthony and Cleopatra

References

An Ode to the Singular Marchesa Luisa Casati

Anarchists of Style: Marchesa Luisa Casati

Marchesa Casati Goth, Glamorous and Wild 

http://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/spring-1998-couture/christian-dior

I am myself again

A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life. So said Mademoiselle Chanel. I  had my hair cut short last Friday, after two years of trying to be a long haired person. I am not. Half my hair was gone and looking at myself in the hairdresser’s mirror, I just saw happiness looking back at me. I was back to being myself.

I had my hair cut on the last Friday of the year as a way of celebrating an ending and just start moving forward. Again. I came back home to reread Joan Juliet Buck’s essay on short hair.

Women with short hair always look as if they have somewhere else to go. Women with long hair tend to look as if they belong where they are(…)

My life most probably will not change radically after a radical haircut, my perception of myself always does. I am no longer standing still, fitting others’ perceptions, I am taking back my story. This what a bare neck feels to me.