Thursday, 28 April 2011

Maria Andresen ... the choice between to look and to see ...

I have just been "taken" by a book ... or maybe I should say a collection of interviews by Maria João Seixas using the anniversary of the Portuguese Republic as the scenario setting to gather opinions from 14 Portuguese  (female) poets and novelists on a number of issues related to the Republic, as well as their "writing" adventures.

Among the various questions "tell me a word of your choice" is the one she finishes the interviews with and in spite of the fact that I  have read more than once many of the women's answers when it came to this particular question, Maria Andresen's answer struck me as reflecting my personal opinion.

"Could it be a verb? The word of my choice, as requested, will then be, to look. I enjoy looking and equally enjoy been looked at, I enjoy the impact of the look. I enjoy looking at people, things, everything around me, the world. I feel one understands, assimilates and organizes as in accordance with what one sees, before doing it in any other way. It is by looking that one "sees" and understands. I enjoy the light shed by things: When I refer to things I may be talking about a mountain, a gesture,  a leaning against a shoulder. It is because of the shed light, when one's look captures it, that one perceives what is not immediately discernible or even comprehensible by any other senses or the  understanding itself. I have hesitated in selecting to look or to see, but feel that  to see is more conceptual and to look  more "at the skin surface", thus having a lot more to do with what I am talking about ".

(free translation from the original in Portuguese)

Looking beyond my blurred image (Cappadoccia 2010).

Information on the above referred book:
Seixas, Maria João, Republica das mulheres, Bertrand Editora 2010 

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