Nelly Novaes Coelho
(S. Paulo University, Brasil)
FILOMENA CABRAL, A CONTEMPORARY VOICE
Between Memory and
"…the word not only says the world, but also
If there is an author
conscious of this Mexican poet’s wordings, it is Filomena Cabral (Portuguese
writer), whose literary creations reflect an organic fictional production.
Her new novel has
just been published, A COURTLY LOVE (1996), closing "The Illusion
Trilogy", that had been started by another novel, MADRIGAL (1993), and
followed by IN THE MEANTIME OF TIME (1994). The trilogy is now completed with
the seductive A COURTLY LOVE which explores one more aspect in the writer's
labyrinthical and fictional universe, edified during the last 20 years.
Synchronising her writing
with the contemporary main and strongest creative forces, her novel (and
poetry) is founded under relativity, contradiction, ambiguity, multiplicity,
non-sense, doubt and fantasy rules, which singularizes 20th century
ideas: we can find those elements not only in the thematic and dramatic
vibration, but also in the conception: language, perspectives, narrative
focusing and frame working.
The constellation of
referential names energizes her literary corpus: Walter Benjamin (the great
presence), Baudelaire, Nietzsche, Eco, Blanqui, painters, poets, novelists, and
philosophers. Their works, which reflect the immense torrent of knowledge of
the 20th century, resound in her fictional universe, justifying the
stylistic amalgamation and the Benjaminian idea, by which "the world is
the great narration".
literary procedure, always conducting to fascinating and intricate tessitura procedures, is structured
"en abîme", like a surprise-case, from which ambiguous and sorrowful
characters spring up, revealing a continuous confrontation between themselves
and the author, in a true strength or power game: who is narrating? Who is
narrated? Where is the line between reality and fantasy? Or between history and
fiction? How does the reader participate in the narration? What are the limits
between author and narrator? Shall they be, both of them, "paper
conscious of the principle through which the word founds reality, and being
simultaneously aware that the world is dramatically insufficient to express the
totality of lifetime, imagined or dreaming experiences, hesitates before the
temptation to assume the authorial omnipotence and the feeling of her
limitation and fallibility as far as her stratagems or "savoir faire"
continuous dialogue between the characters and the reader, the novelist opts
for a painful/exulting writing style, where the narrative voices - always
female voices - are in search of their own identities; or else they are lost as
a result of missing their lover, or splintered by the force of multiple
conflicts between Ideal and Real.
Absence is the
central issue in the tetralogy published between 1985 and 1992 ("TOO LATE,
MARIANNE", "LOVE HURTS", "OBSIDIANNE", "WEEPING"),
interlaced and mutually self-elucidative novels through a women’s gallery
(Anne, Marianne, Obsidianne, Ivre...), which, like a kaleidoscope, reflects
several double faced, ambiguous women, as a consequence of the patriarchal and
Christian civilization (Eve/Mary, tempting/sublime mother, demon/angel ... ),
women whose identity can only be defined through man.
The women who inhabit
Filomena Cabral’s universe are women with delirious voices, whose memory is the
great accessing channel revealed in the writing, the very exact point where the
self and the world converge, a world where those women must live. From the
first to the last book published by this female writer, memory, with its
transfigurative/eternising power, reveals lives or occurrences as a great
narrative source, exploring two great fields of human behaviour: the
ethical-existential and historical-cultural spheres.
In general terms,
during the first cycle, in "The Absence Tetralogy", the predominating
memory is limited to the existential one; it deals with women’s untransferable
own sphere, appealing to each one of those collapsed women, who are fighting to
fill an empty existence with memories, due to the absence of their lovers.
In the second cycle
(closed with the recent A COURTLY LOVE, the existential sphere is subordinated
to History: it is from an historical-cultural memory that the existential
singularities of the characters flow. In this new cycle, women are different
from the women in the previous cycle, who live/unlive in those novels. Back
then, they were obstinate beings keeping their memory of absent lovers alive,
not only because they miss or desire them, but, essentially, due to the loss of
their own self (seen as the
"desired object" by the you,
the loving object). Once the lover is lost, the self is bewildered, falling
into the depths of non-existence. So the writing and re-writing of memory in
the painful novels of “The Absence Tetralogy", become the way through
which ancient love is remembered, that is, through remembering and writing,
feelings regarding lost lovers are perpetuated. In the you, she (the woman)
searches the own self; or else, according to Lacanian theory, in the pretending
desired you-object, she searches for the desired disappeared person to whom she
would be the desired object: without him, she ceases to live.
In those living
experiences, novelistic writing tries to reach the self-emergency zone or
self-revelation zone that the character blindly searches; while the narrator
craves to be the reader's desired object (which is achieved!).
From book to book,
the problem is intensified and in "Weeping", each woman’s
particularity is extended to a plural Woman, who, nowadays, in mutating times,
is searching in agony for her true and lost identity under the hard layer of
traditions and practises.
world experience" that filters Filomena Cabral's Romanesque substance has
been remarked by several critics. Oscar Lopes had already (1985) the feeling of
the problematic, concerning "Late, Marianne", and connects the novel
to "Menina e Moça", by Bernardim Ribeiro - "the Portuguese
classic text that exemplifies the feminine identity in the una and multiple
searching; a text written by a man, but revealing feminine voices coming from
the Middle Ages period (“cantigas de amigo”)”. That searching for feminine
identity is recalled all though the first Romanesque cycle. As the novelist
"The cycle is a Requiem interweaved by all the memories, the
experiences, observation and awareness of the world, all the writers who
fascinated me, all the philosophers through whom I learned the ways,
interweaved yet by all fires in the soul, all frozen rivers passing th9rough
(…), an obsessive returning cycle (…) a continuous ‘religare’" (in
It is in search of
such ‘religare’ that women in Filomena Cabral’s universe rove.
1. 'MADRIGAL' (1993)
In "The Illusion
Trilogy" novels, the intimate memory (lyrical and existential memory) will
be filtered by the ancestral memory (historical and cultural memory).
Consequently, the feminine reaches its highest level.
‘Madrigal’ opens this
new Romanesque cycle ("pregnant of History"), confronts the real
universe (the space and the time that are actually experienced) and the virtual
universe (the gestation of culture created through imagination and words). In
this kaleidoscopic novel, there is a vertiginous succession of unfocused or
dazzling images, images that are unfolded into different images; there are
sibylline dialogues, intertwined dreams, indefinite borders between reality and
fantasy, characters and narrative voices that mix together to reveal the personas (theatre masks, characters or
Angélica (a name that
means “angelical”) is the persona elected by the narrator to mediate the hand
to hand fighting between the narrator and the Prophet ("the History
messenger”), the Knight of dreams (the utopia), the Rosaves, Penia and many
others figures or images that integrate the ambiguous narrative tessitura. And, not by chance, the
narrator named her ‘angelical', attaching her to the figure of the Angel, an
allegory that, in literary modernity, has something of “the terrible
beauty" (Rilke), excessive beauty, where the line that separates the human
from the unhuman - the passage of the invisible into the visible - vanishes.
Angélica passed through 'The Illusion Trilogy', like a mediator elected by the
narrator, but the power-game between the creator and the created figure
(continuously mixed in the narrative voice) keeps Angélica from being the
reader's sure guide (like Virgilio is to Dante), through the ways of a ripped
Romanesque weaving, that is being developed within a space called illusio.
That space (hardly
localized or defined), instead of signifying the 'illusione' (fantasy or playful
rambling) reveals itself as a virtuality, a place created by fiction (or a
creation place), under the ‘Benjaminian’ assumption: a world edified through
art... a virtual world that, however, is more true or authentic than the real
world. In Illusio, historical,
cosmic, mythic, cultural, existential times, etc, all converge through an
interaction process that could be seen as an alchemical procedure (the hopeful
times of a new utopia). The wonderland is the orbit where the new novel is
developed; it is assumed as the product of a crisis, where "the languages
were corrupted, the images were stumbling into the 'limbo', the angels were
shrugging their wings". As a new minstrel or "a new troubadour madly
walking through the galaxies", the novelist tries the exorcism of a
damaged world and sings a new dreamed world, where the space reserved to the
woman is emphasized.
At the beginning, in
the first lines, the main issue is allegorically enunciated:
"The absence of a scenery, a sudden unfocusing, happened when (I)
was crossing the border line, something was reaching for me, from the past, (I)
supposed (...) After walking for several years, (I) consciously decided to
explore the illusio. "
In short, according
to what is revealed through reading, we understand that the narrator is
suddenly aware of the crisis of her time, and we also notice the rupture of the
basis for the inherited civilization (unfocused scenery), the threshold-moment
(“crossing the border line”), the moment where the narrator opts to live in. Simultaneously,
we testify the what has been lived ("the walking for several years"), dreaming about the
possibility of a new life. Awareness, witness and dream are demanding the
decision: "the walking through illusio",
that is, the development of a kind of virtual inventory, nowadays, the virtual
conditioned by two contradictory times: the past and future times that are
forming the new utopia, after the amalgamation of the present. The utopia is
realized in the here-and-now space and not in the Time, like in the old
The new utopia is
created by the novelist, in 'illusio',
during the narration of ‘Madrigal', and this metaphorical title already
anticipates some relevant aspects: the profound need of love, so that human
beings reach fulfilment in life. Love is, thus, amidst
"the virtual magic occurring in the book during the time of the narration
and of world history".
The structure, in
this novel, is labyrinthical, like History and Life (in 'Madrigal' we can meet
Modernity’s phantasmagorias"); the novel also deals with language crisis,
creative processes; literature, life structures, the human destiny (women’s
destiny, mainly), people’s destiny and particularly the destiny of Portugal,
his overseas deeds, namely in Africa. "The trilogy has been idealized like
a constellation formed of present and past times, where disclosing and
imprudent messengers are continuously creating magic atmospheres, representing
metaphorical desire transferences and several connections between Historical
"imprudent messengers” is the writer, herself, in whose novelistic
universe, African countries of Portuguese Language, as a portion of a new and
invigorating Utopia, are those belonging to the Community of Portuguese
Speaking Countries, which someday shall have an outstanding place in the
“global village", which the world is turning into.
That new Utopia was
already anticipated in 'Madrigal', through the allusion to an Angolan landscape
destroyed by war and lost forever – which inspires the vestal of Time to
"Everything is subject to transformation, since the world is
changeable, but now, believe me, the time to return has come: to end hate and
intolerance is harder than destroying the world…"
2. IN THE MEANTIME OF
THE TIME (1994)
The new utopia incorporates
that "returning time" (without hate, intolerance and wars), which
will be dreamed about in IN THE MEANTIME OF THE TIME (the second book of
"The Illusion Trilogy"), whose title reveals the "meantime"
that both Portuguese and African people lived, squeezed between the
apocalyptical independence wars and the titanic task of rebuilding a dreamed
IN THE MEANTIME OF
THE TIME is dramatically biographical, reflecting the pain and suffering caused
by irretrievable loss and damage, but still it is mostly a novel about
tenderness, compassion and solidarity, not so much about rebellion and
In this book, Africa
(Angola, to be more precise) is again the subject of the writing-place and
poetic invention, which Filomena Cabral has already adopted some years ago
(1979) in the poems of MUXIMA (meaning
'missing', ‘nostalgia’ ), included now in IN THE MEANTIME OF THE TIME. The
writing has deep African roots, impregnated of Portuguese culture and language,
"not only the acceptance of the culture of the Other, the African
one, on the part of the European person (Filomena), and even the metamorphosis,
by means of identification and love, that is, a sort of ‘nostalgia’ (the text is addressed to
Africa, in absence, pretending to be 'in presentia’). By means of that
metamorphosis, the text written by Filomena Cabral could be considered as a
piece of African literature, a text written in Lusophone language, due to its
identification and transformation, in touch with the reality - felt or imagined
– of the African world" (Jose Luís Fontenla).
world" is the new utopia (illusio?)
remembered/dreamed by Filomena Cabral, in IN THE MEANTIME OF THE TIME, whose
agonical and bright substance - although it seems to open up a new crack in the
world created by the novelist – is blended in with the same ‘humus’ that
nourishes her writing from the beginning: the consciencialization of the
indefinition of the bording lines between past/present/future, or between
"History and Fiction"(W. Benjamin), "literature as the
projection of the desire"(Calvino); the Lacanian idea, under what,
"the unconsciousness is the pure Other" the "consciousness of
being different"); we know that the "unconsciousness is not a
pulsing, tumultuous, private resort inside ourselves, but the result of our
relation with the other people" (Lacan) ; the attraction experimented by
the author concerning metamorphosis (the association of the plastic and
literary languages, in the purpose of creating allegories, talking phantasmagorias,
hallucinating images); the conscience of the crisis in the language or the
exhaustion of known meaning (common denominator to the writers sinchronized to
In short, IN THE
MEANTIME OF THE TIME is a suffered registration of the personal experience,
transfigured by the art; there, individual and collective experiences are
mixed, in the sense of the utopia dreamed by everybody (Portuguese and African
people) ... Instead of being the "speech of the ingenuity", the novel
is a statement of love with the contribution of the intelligence and the
3. In the last novel
of "The Illusion Trilogy" the polymorphic/polyphonic Filomena
Cabral’s art reaches the highest virtuosity, in the wording capability, the
word as the "world founder" and in the fusion of literary genres (not
only annulling the borders between essay and novel, such as in the anterior
novels, but effectuating an hybrid writing weaved with fiction, poetry, music,
theatre, history, painting, dancing, song, recitation procedures…).
concerning A COURTLY LOVE is ‘en-abîme’. Intertextuality procedures are more
evident in that narrative than before, it is even the dominating technical
practising: every text is the result of preceding texts, thousands of texts,
which, through the centuries, are being amalgamated in the way of the eternal
reality or the ephemeral life which we are destined to live.
In the consciousness
of "a world losing illusions, world where the enchantment ought to be
related to the memory of the past, to the wonderland", Filomena Cabral
shows the Middle Age (magical and wars time period, when the European nations
were still organizing), like the ideal place-time to develop their tales, when
ideas, rules, limits and conclusions germinated, giving origin to a new man -
the Renaissance - who definitively founded a progressive civilization,
inherited by our century, in a transforming process, since the foundations.
The novel travels
through several aspects of an ancestral memory (memory centred in Portugal). We
will choose just two apparently independent aspects, connected by means of a
personage named Taciturne/ /Topaze, destined to the place that Woman occupies,
in the World, and the place occupied by the Man, in History. The first one - in
the novel -is the idealized loved and docile woman, faithful to "courtly
love" (which guaranteed the powers balance in the world) and the second
corresponding to the ideal of the warrior, who was on the centre of History -
which edification he aspired to, in spite of having been removed from the
pretended centre, in the meantime).
interpenetrating aspects formed a text weaved with the simultaneous times used
by novelistic intrigue: the borders between yesterday, today and tomorrow are diluted.
"The present of the narration", situated in Between Douro and Minho
rivers region (Entre Douro e Minho), is the Middle Age period, an ancient time
dialoguing, however, with the future, through the "prophecies"
concerning future occurrences (like the discover of Brazil, the allusion to
language anachronisms or references to facts that would be verified in the
future, like the mention to Caliban kingdom, which would arise in the play
"Tempest", by Shakespeare) or through the modernity spirit, contributing
to energize the novel.
After all, “A Courtly
Love” tries the recuperation, through the memory, not under Middle Age way of
life (like the historical novel demands) but apprehending essentially the
spirit of those forms. Such purpose is obvious in the choice of the
"historical time" in which the novel is situated, the Age above
alluded, when the western civilization had taken root and Portugal was
preparing the Discovering Adventure. In such time, little Courts in Galicia and
southern France were arising, as well as the "troubadour’s poetry",
which had been started through the song, giving so origin to the "art of
loving", the wonderful link that, in an invisible way, impregnates the
narration interstices, creating a fairy-tale atmosphere, which the reader feels
from the beginning to the ending of the novel.
In order to complete
the understanding of the purpose concerning the stylistic singularity of the
novel (always tending to the theatrical representation, the attitudes resulting
from musical sounds), it is advisable to emphasise that troubadour’s poetry
mixed music, song, gesticulation… having given origin to performances in the
midst of Middle Age Courts, as well as in squares, markets, contributing to the
spreading of the idealized "new man"; the courtly lover (instead of
the warrior predominating for a long long time) subdued to a new loving code -
the code of the "self delivery to the loved you", seen as the supreme
achievement in life. .
Such idealized love
is shown through this labyrinthical novel, by Filomena Cabral, pursuing the
track of Dame Bela (Pretty) and her daughter Topaze; for one hand, exalting
'feeling of Love', indispensable to the person; for another hand, denouncing
the defective aspects which are obstacles to the ideal, an erosion period
conducting to the frustration of lovers. Further on, such aspect will be also
As a great allegory
of Love, troubadour’s poetry unavoidably shows the signs of the time: the
intense spirituality movement through which the Church has fought barbarian
people, as well as human instincts, preparing the field for the new
civilization that was being devised (the Christian-middle-class civilization).
So, it is understandable that woman has been elected as the new poetry source,
poetry under two poetic structures resulting from the duality, that, since
biblical origins, stigmatized the woman, the pure and impure one, the virtuous
and the not virtuous one ... Virtue depending on the obedience (or not) to the
sexual interdiction established by Tradition.
circumstances, poetry arises like a privileged way for the principles
transmission; the sexual practising being restricted, social control was so
practised since the sources.
writing, under the rules of fusion or dilution of the limits, gives so origin
to a character mixing the spiritual love - the eternal love - to the erotic
love. Dame Bela is the captivating and moving allegory of that fusion and also
the eloquent image of the idealized loving failure that, in spite of body and
soul acting, remains in a closed-circle, that is, I and you restricted circle,
Topaze will denounces the failure of the ideal through the enunciation of a new
loving project: I and you + world. We shall see as the
novel develops the new procedure.
One day, at the dusk,
while the dame weaved,
the sweet music
Here is the beginning
of the novel. The epigraphic words reveal a dame weaving, the self as the
source of Dame Bela "romance", here told and song,
"romance" registering the labyrinthical Romanesque narration
re-discovering the "loving art", the "courtly love" ideal,
under the perspective of the woman hesitating between the ideal and the real,
both fused in the only existential and dominating energy.
During the first
lines, the narrator's voice indicates to the reader that he is coming into the illusio world, through new ways and
"I turned round to my shadow,
taken for the grief. As the weeping willow, I allow that a so many times
splintered memory sparkles on the endless leaves, even being paper sheets (…).
A new way is tempting
me, the seducing paper trap, drawing a new line in the tessitura, in writing ( ... ) I'll tell you about the feminine
character denominated Angelica, perhaps a demoniacal figure, already outlined in another book (Madrigal),
where she inhabited nothing and everything".
Assuming herself as a
creator of fate and tessituras, her
writing weaves the strings of memory and imagination, the narrator- persona
advises us that, in the meantime, she is not going alone, she needs Angélica
(the threshold-character, oscillating between present, past and future times
"the real and dreaming land", 'nothing' and ‘everything’…) not only
to decide about new tracks but also to advise the reader about the continuation
of the journey (through History, Myth and Language, Literature, Life ...)
iniciated in the first book of "The Illusion Trilogy" which is
reaching at the last stage.
indicated to me several exits and the key of the safe where are kept the
intonations, the clef of every meanings,
the possibility, at last. I told her to open the first door. She seized the key.
The time wheeled:
the face and veiled the body, she would be unable to act, if she saws herself
nude: she knew about being silent, what she had accepted."
The novelist, using
the enchanting language spoken in fairy tales or archaic novels, introduces us
in the magic period where the events will occur, we are face to face with
Taciturna, a docile, feminine character, complying with the body and the
Meanwhile, as we
shall verify during the narration, Taciturna (Topaze) was not alike the other
girls. As she was solitary, pensive, sad, she looked for the isolation, walking
through the fields, the shadows, "the rooms, searching for small
treasures, rolled up parchments with crimson ribbons, which the time had
burned, such of them in languages unknown to her (…) The words fascinated her
although she was unable to understand them, since she couldn’t find the key
which should allow her access to those meanings.
Her fascination about
meanings, her curiosity about unknown things, her attraction to the past
testimony and magic events she had participated in the company of the knight,
Trevaluz, that will lead her into the sense of a project of life, metaphorising
the new woman of our century, once that she assumes and transforms the ancient
one who practised the "loving art within a closed circle".
On the other hand,
Dame Bela - Taciturna's mother - was bewitched; she gradually disappears from
family convivial, her daughters, still on the childhood, were not aware of the
fact. The great “Courtly Love” allegory is projected in the meaning
idealized love legated by Tradition.
Through Dame Bela and
Topaze, Filomena Cabral tries recover the ideal of loving (essential to the
human being), but transforming that ideal of loving (essential to the human
being), but transforming that ideal into a new generating force, by means of
the more fascinating narrative movements: the "romance" of Dame Bela,
whose husband, D.Valdevino, Master of Entre Douro e Minho region, had left to
the Crusades, from where he had not returned, leaving her alone in their
castle, in the company of their three daughters and nurse Clarimunda.
… On a "fairy
tales time", while the dame was weaving, the music, a "very sweet
music" invades the castle, annulling the routine; the fire dances, the
pottery became splintered, the flowers, in the vases, were sparkling mixed
perfumes ... People, plenty of joy by effect of the mysterious sound which,
Dame Bela, as a
bewitched being, would live from then on waiting the return of the music, and
music was arrived and gone, several times; certain night, the melody waves were
metamorphosing into a very handsome "donzel", invisible to everyone
but Dame Bela who, burning in passion, starts dancing with him… Clarimunda,
observing the occurrence, would see, later on, Dame Bela dancing with someone,
in spite of being quite alone, and, when in the bedroom, Bela, naked and happy,
embracing herself, pretending to be in the company of someone; so, the nurse
concluded that her mistress was bewitched.
By that time,
Clarimunda was already accustomed to the music, as well as the dance, Dame Bela
simulating loving scenes, playing with the invisible.
supplication of Dame Bela, the music didn’t come back: "Tell me you want
me! Don’t go away! Come back, come back to me! ". Dame Bela was alone again,
"rhythmless", closed in a remote room, which door was covered by
thick spider’s webs. "Closed with the memory" of hers absent lover,
like a living dead, from whom the people kept a very slight remembrance.
This long paraphrase
is here justified, once that the de-codification of the allegory becomes
easier, allegory concerning the appeared shapes created by the novelist in
order to express the ideas concerning the focused loving ideal.
identifications are as follows:
- Concerning the fluid,
unexplained and unthoughtful abstraction both Love and Music (sounds, rhythms,
resonances...connected, in the novel, to the troubadour’s poetry chanting the
feeling of love);
- the feeling of love
seen under the particularity of who feels (the lover sees the loved one under a
different and unique way), the invisibility of the young man that only Dame
Bela can see.
- the vital vibration
allegory produced by lovers, joy and disquiet condition, associated to the
music invading the castle;
- the enduring nature
of true love (leading lovers to the full achievement) shown through the
fidelity of Dame Bela, separated from the world, in order to nourish herself
from her memory of the absent lover, who had abandoned her to the sorrow).
It would be the last
characteristic (the abdication of living among the other people, to live the
memory of loving the cause of the changing in the attitude of the woman
exemplified later on in Dame Bela’s daughter, Taciturna/Topaze, when her turn
of loving arrives.
Jumping over the
magic Romanesque tessitura that
reveals Taciturna/Topaze personality, we propose the analysis of the final
meeting between knight Trevaluz and hers,
moments that, in our opinion, constitutes the new ideal of love and budding of
the new woman, nowadays:
1. Taciturna, at
night, in her room, looking herself on the mirror, perceives Trevaluz (through
the mirror). Using the symbology of the mirror, we know that the self meets
really itself, when reflected on the other or recognized by the other: that is
the basic component of love).
2. Taciturna asks
Trevaluz why he was there, and the knight answers “I want you to be mine,
before my leaving, I have to commit to a great enterprise". (The experience
of loving, the giving of itself to another one, the other, is a fundamental
detail, in order to live "great enterprises", regarding the
3. Following on,
Trevaluz tells her "that he had come to take her, without blood, but
through the burning of the soul, much more dreadful". And he concludes:
"You will continue to be a virgin but you will be no longer pure, just
like the one who is conscious of the good and the bad, the one who plays the
game" (Here is, literally expressed, the next conception of loving, not
only bonded to sexual intercourse, but (with or without sex) through the
conquest of the critical awareness of the self in communion with the other
people, as complementary forces within the universe).
It is the new vision
of the world (or of the woman) that Filomena Cabral allegorizes during the last
pages of the novel, appreciating the metamorphosis of Taciturna in Topaze.
tried, for the first time, the turbulence of desiring, the convulsions of a
madden heart and a radiant brain, he involved her in an armless embrace, and
the burning was taking her from inside, as though she was crossing a river of
fire, of lava. She was coming from the place where she got lost with the
knight, and she would be different, forever".
Here is the moment of
Taciturna's transfiguration: like in an alchemistic procedure (melting body and
soul), the libidinal energy (the burning of the soul") revealing and
dynamising the action.
From then on,
Taciturna disappears, giving place to Topaze: just like a knight, she wears her
father's armour, and, taking the warrior’s spear, leaves to challenge the
"monster" in the "magic fountain", that one which seduced
women through his sweet songs, making them forever prisoners of love and
sorrow. Plugging her ears with cork-tree acorns, to avoid the seduction of
sounds, Topaze kills the monster. After that, she galloped to Guimarães, the
birthplace of the nationality, and, before the castle, she made a declaration
of faith, which is, simultaneously, a sign or prophecy concerning events that
shall occur from then on:
- I swear that I
shall cross the seas, for the wording, loyal to may language, so that Portugal
is more and more respected!
I swear that between
the battles - as I' m a woman, I'll be always attacked - I'll set the sword
down and I'll seize the pen, I'll write, as best as I can, to honour my
The earth will turn
round, incessantly. We shall be an Empire, Masters of the World, like Spain,
and everything will be lost but there is something that shall belong to us
forever, in the meantime: the Lusitanian language".
In the conclusion of
the novel, two main axles are converging: one concerns “Courtly Love", the
woman in search of her new identity, the other concerns Portugal that, in the
new cycle, where the world moves, is striving again for achievement as a
nation, through revival of the greatness of the Discoveries.
"caravelas" are quite different from the ones indicated by Filomena
Cabral; in truth, it has been dreamed like the "great caravel" on
which Portuguese language users (about 190 million) should consciously sail to
the Third Millennium: the lusitaneous language - the "lusa phala",
original cell from several speeches that, nowadays, from Brazil to Africa and
Asia, are connected to the archaic trunk, which transformed them into branches
pertaining to the great western tree, largely grafted, nowadays, and in a
period of changing of leaf.