Wanderlino Arruda
Djalma Souto


Memories of Adriano

Wanderlino Arruda

It was with uncontained happiness that I received from Rachel, my sister in law, borrowed and new, the book, “Memories of Adriano”. She, a constant reader, had read only the first pages, excusing herself for the lack of time, for a so detailed subject, so repetitive by the infinite descriptions of Marguerite Yourcenar. She said that she would read it at a later date. “Take it and make good use of it,”she said. “The dame of the French Academy of Literature is now yours, all yours,” she added with malice.

I received it with anticipated gratitude and I confessed that I hadn’t yet bought Memories of Adriano because it way above the house of three digits, really too much for me. Not for lack of will, because I had already been long anxious to read it. Finally, it was because of this book that Carlos Drummond de Andrade had stayed a whole week at home, afraid that someone in the street, calling him a “poor old man that hasn’t yet read Memories of Adriano”.

That’s right really poor is the one that hasn’t yet read Yourcenar’s book. This one is poor and doesn’t know what he’s missing out on, because “Memories of Adriano” which is not taken as a romance, it is the most important jewel of present literature, an enchantment of work done with the tenderness that only a great dame of the French Academy of Literature could have done. Little does it matter that she spent so many year, almost thirty, elaborating and polishing, linking facts and choosing words, living and reliving atavism of the best era of the splendor of Rome. It isn’t easy to assume the role of Adriano, to have the conscience of Caesar, be a God and a man, fighting in the weaving of a people and of a world, at the same time, warrior, politician and lover of each face of live. No one can see where the author starts and the character ends, once that only Marguerite would have such immense liberty in “being in the shoes” of Adriano. The passion for Antinoos is above all, a sentiment of the female soul.

I have always been enchanted by the dynamism of the Roman, where power never desprezou culture and the celebration of the immortal souls, never leaving by the wayside the life of every day. A world of patricians and plebian, of warriors and artists, of the free and the enslaved, Rome expanded its frontiers with a feeling of global unity, transforming barbarians in citizens, showing life with beauty and civility, elaborating laws and directives, in other words, taching how to live and enjoy life.

I don’t think that a better model for history , than this description by “the great dame of French Literature”. There is nothing more appropriate to show a reality. A physical and psychological immersion in remoer great and small feelings, a momentary improvisation or an unconscient preparedness for each instant, of each period. Adriano isn’t satisfied only with life, he feels that he is the important and divine piece in the machinery of life. He is the owner of the present and the future, because a simple gesture of his creates cultures, permitting changes, and forging consciences. Even though he was all this, the uncertainties, the search of affirmation of the human soul, weak and fallivel in all parts and at all the time, because no one is the owner of life, not even the king of Rome.

I became richer in experience and love after I read “Memories of Adriano”. I believe in the power of literature, in the feeling of canalizing moments of happiness, uniting centuries in a fraction of a second, a gift of patrimony, the curiosity of every spirit. Of all the many invention of man, the largest up to now has been the alphabet, and in the occorencia of it, books. After we learn to read, egoism alheio, the world is ours to explore. No one can impede up to grow culturally. The anchient becomes the present, history is the page of the past that we see with our eyes now. We are participants of everything, everything!

I return the book to you, Raquel. Memories of Adriano is not to remain unread. In the last of cases, in the lack of time, do as my other sister in law, Laury does: aquire some tiny and insignificant illness somewhere and, lying down, penetrate into the soul of books; ride your dreams, realize the inrealizable!


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