In Puppet: An Essay on Uncanny Life, Kenneth Gross describes Sicilian puppeteer Mimmo Cuticchio’s L’urlo del mostro (The howl of the monster), a puppet theater based on the Odyssey. In one scene, Cuticchio
plays Odysseus himself, encountering the ghosts of puppets in the underworld, seeking his identity there among lost comrades and dead family members. Of one skeletal wooden figure he asks, in Sicilian, “Chi pupu eri?” (What puppet were you?).” Continue reading
On our last day in Portugal, there was much to do: purchasing gifts for family and friends and a pilgrimage to the Café-Restaurante Martinho da Arcada. The café is another favorite Pessoa haunt, with a table reserved for him in perpetuity. As the café was in the Praça do Comércio, we decided to end our Portuguese journey where most tourists would have begun, in the Lisboa Story Center. Continue reading
Illustrious Gama, whom the waves obey’d,
And whose dread sword the fate of empire sway’d.
—Luís de Camões (from Os Lusíadas)
The Museu Coleção Berardo, described as “the main museum for modern and contemporary art in Portugal,” lured us to spend a day in the Lisbon parish of Belém. The Museu is housed in the vast Centro Cultural De Belém (Belém Cultural Center or CCB), which was “erected as a showpiece for Portugal’s 1992 presidency of the European Union.” [Time Out Lisbon, p. 98] Continue reading
To get at even a modicum of what I wanted to know about Portugal, which I visited for the first time this March, would have required a good bit of research, preferably in the context of a university course. (I wondered, for example, what impact Portugal’s colonialist history and the Salazar dictatorship might have on its current collective mind.) Continue reading