Wanderlino Arruda
Djalma Souto


It’s Good to Speak of Marília

Wanderlino Arruda

My daughter, Wladênia, arrives home and says that her teacher Neide Pimenta wants me to give a speech to her students at the St. Joseph high school. The day and hour have already been scheduled according to my available time. At the auditorium will be over one hundred students of different grades, everything indicating that they are very interested in knowing a little more about “Marília de Dirceu”, particularly in relation to Thomás Gonzaga’s conflicting writing styles. It is because Gonzaga, as well as Machado de Assis later on, was in the habit of absorbing writing influences of his own century, and then going back in time and having adventures in the future, the writing then seeming Baroque, Neo-classical and incorruptibly Pre-romantic. From the very start, I know that Neide, an excellent Portuguese and Literature teacher, should have already taught them everything, or almost so, and only wants me to give a complimentary class, to help stimulate their enthusiasm.

I ask Wladênia about the indicated theme, and possible variations to it, about the interest of her classmates in the subject, their tastes in literature, and also about their relationship with their teacher. I go even further: As Neide had already introduced the subject to her class, I ask what her opinion is of the different writing styles reigning at the time, which differences she notes from one to another as elements of instructive emphasis. I continue: Which book is used in the literature courses at St. Joseph, and what degree of attention have her students given to this particular book? Wladênia goes on filling me in about her teacher and classmates. I am not completely satisfied, and ask to see her class notebook, because I wish to know Ms. Neide’s suggested or imposed order. She gives me the notebook and all her additional written instructions. It seems to be an exaggerated exigency on my part, but my experience as an old politician tells me that I should first familiarize myself with all facts possible before entering the auditorium, particularly the ones pertaining to St. Joseph, a school for which I maintain the deepest respect.

Having all necessary information at hand, and having all necessary conditions fulfilled, the final date and hour adjusted, I confirm and take the responsibility for the speech. At this moment, for me, a new battle has begun, the most complicated part being the search for details that will enrich the short sixty minutes that I will share with my young listeners. By weight of my professional decision, Thomás Gonzaga, whom I have studied many times, though considering his writing style somewhat passive on paper, remains a loyal counselor still, spiritually speaking, as he has been in my many years of study and teaching. I immediately search for my copy of the book “Marília de Dirceu”, completely covered with pencil notes, “Introduction to Brazilian Literature”, of Afrânio Coutinho, a literature dictionary, a book of gods and heroes of the ancient world of the Greeks and Romans, and I also pick out a few junior high school books, besides the original class text. Now starts the research phase and all my disposable time will be encumbered with this new project.

What a great pleasure it is to go back to “Marília de Dirceu”! With what urgency I speed to the rhythm and musicality of Gonzaga’s poetry! How grateful is this dream of work, this search of poetry, this trip of reencountering with what is most beautiful in the lyrical literature of our language! How important it is to see, feel, understand and follow the joys and the sorrows contained in this marvel of poetry. I am now ready to closely analyze love, the plot of the lyrical and the impassioned forty-year-old bachelor that falls in love with Marília, an adolescent girl of only seventeen. Great!

Three days later, I arrive at St. Joseph, to speak to an auditorium full of kids around the same age as Marília, many of them having the same life experiences as the young woman of Vila Rica. I, myself older than Gonzaga, with such a lovely literary theme at hand, confess that I felt even younger than he, himself. Much, much more…

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Academia de Letras
Automovel Clube
Elos Clube M. Claros
Espiritismo Online
Folclore Brasil
Fundacao Marina
História de M. Claros
História M. Claros
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Montes Claros
Poema Virtual
Poetry Poem
Rotary Club