Wanderlino Arruda
Djalma Souto


The Mule Darcy Ribeiro

The presentation of the second romance of Darcy Ribeiro – “The Mule”- at the Montes Claros Academy of Literature, on one of those languid Friday nights in December, was an encounter with happiness and contrasts, with a loved and respected, even feared, son of the city, to pour in our ears the honey and bile of saintly heresies and virtues. Sometimes tender, dripping romanticism, loved son of Mrs. Fininha Silveira, sometimes the demolisher, pregnant of war, brother of Mario Ribeiro, sometimes compulsively creative, a spiritual cousin to Konstantin Christoff. It’s because Darcy Ribeiro was born far from the adapted, calm, tranquil ways of the people from Minas Gerais, never able to appreciate silence or isolation. He was quite the contrary, bothersome to people who were lazy of feelings and intelligence, unflinchingly flailing out with scalpel or whip, all the while self-proclaiming himself to be the best of the best.

Contrary to Cyro dos Anjos, another famous writer and son of Montes Claros, this serene, extremely organized, universal intellectual, well accommodated to his position of public employee, enjoying an invisible silence, Darcy Ribeiro is agitated, fiery and tropically Brazilian, heated in his body and soul and displays it to all, in his daily work and at war, instinctively, feline as a jaguar. He, the owner of a savage, unlimited intelligence; Darcy rationalizes like a hurricane of love, always tuned to all that is culture. He was weathered and molded primitively in the sun and dust of the hinterland of Montes Claros, telluric fruit of tenderness and instinct, of a voluptuous, world ambition, Darcy is an effervescent cauldron of ideas, wanting to live all lives in only one. Mortal, he wants immortality and immortal he became by his thousands of realizations.

Darcy the mule, very Brazilian Latin lover, brings in his soul, the tastes of the flesh of all races: the color of the Indian, the color of the negro, memories of atavism and mysticism of the Celts, the warlike force of the old Godos, the taste for power of the Iberian soul, a conception so grand of space and glory that only Phoenician navigators could have fathered the blood of the sailors of old Portugal. There’s more to it: Darcy is as lascivious as a new Christian, fiery as a nomad Arabian horseman. In truth, he is a man with the heart of all races, not just Indian, Portuguese and African peoples, joined together in the Brazilian melting pot. Darcy represents the human race, because he is the bearer of so many virtues and defects, a well-seasoned soup of genes cast upon the winds of time… why he was born in Montes Claros, I have no idea.

The “Mule” is this city bursting with monumental force, humanly a partner of God and men, in the distribution of life and death; divinely eager, thirsty in the search of love, creatively involved in the quest of command and power. Sensual, opportunist, materialist, religiously mystic, hungry for new experiences and dreaming of the future. “The Mule” represents the part of every creature that lives totally together with his own homeland, be it man or woman. “The Mule” has a lot of João Valle Maurício in it, both in word and in subtlety, a lot of Konstantin, in the opening of anatomy and in the force of his drawings; much of Crispim da Rocha, in the ability of a man of the jungle, strong and intelligent, a lot of Filomeno in the need to have and to command; a lot of Plínio Ribeiro, in the mysticism, in the taste of producing thoughts and ideas, in the to be and not to be of life. “The Mule” is Darcy Ribeiro and his brother Mário, inconsequent and perseverant, always determined.

“The Mule”, center of a well romanced plot of Realism and Naturalism; Baroque, perhaps due to their contrasts, it was hereditarily marked by destiny, fruit of love and no love, feet unchained, with no origin and no destiny, product of land and flesh. “The Mule” in truth, is all of us, small great creatures, in suffering and in enjoying life.

…And God forgive us…Amen!

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