By Guy Goffette
Que Mariana Alcoforado soit ou non l'auteur des célèbres Lettres de l. a. religieuse portugaise parues en 1669 importe finalement bien peu au regard de l'extraordinaire determine de femme qui s'en dégage, dont quelques trois siècles d'ombres et de lumières n'ont pas terni l'éclat. Pas plus qu'ils n'ont affaibli los angeles ferveur des cris, des suppliques, des mots d'amour de los angeles dame, ni changé d'un iota le cours vertigineux de l. a. ardour. ardour tout humaine et trahie qui trouve dans ces cinq admirables lettres sa plus haute expression – et tous les mouvements contraires de l'âme y sont à jamais réunis.
Il a suffi à un homme d'aujourd'hui de lire ces lettres dans une certaine solitude pour tomber amoureux de ce visage de femme et pour épouser, à travers lui, les transports et les douleurs de l'inconnue.
Ni glose, ni paraphrase, cette lecture amoureuse est un chemin de croix. Les genoux écorchés de l'auteur prouvent qu'il est allé jusqu'au bout de los angeles compassion. Il n'y a pas d'autres reliques.
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Additional info for Mariana, Portugaise
3 4 : part i : 1931–1936 And I go out alone! Oh, boy, what a time I’ll have trying to ﬁnd these summer cottages and the people in ’em. But it’ll be great fun anyhow. And they require a white collar—so Mother’s going to ﬁx one tomorrow while I wear the blue. —I kicked around with the carriers today. The fact that they know you’re a carrier makes it easier for me, I think. Poor Freary Hodgkins has to relinquish his title of tallest man in the last 25 yrs! —Tomorrow morning I breeze out in my new uniform!
It prompted those letters I wrote to you last summer. I know that now. I know also now that your answers were hard on the truth: I was indulging in the worst of all sins, self-pity. It’s not two weeks ago I came to see this cheap, disgusting pity clearly; intuitively, out of love, you saw it long ago. Nor am I out of the woods yet. I think (you see, I no longer “fear” and that’s good, because when we fear we run and hide and I would, typically, hide in myself); I think I have naturally a weak will—Mary T.
Olson was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship with the backing of Van Wyck Brooks (see letter 9); he spent it in Gloucester, working on a major book on Melville that he later discarded. May 1940 Met two people of future importance to him: the artist Corrado Cagli (letters are unavailable at present) and his wife-to-be Constance Wilcock; see letter 11. November 1940 Moved to New York City to look for work. Met Melville scholar Merton Sealts; see letter 57. The correspondence between Olson and Sealts was published and discussed by Sealts in his Pursuing Melville, 1940–1980.
Mariana, Portugaise by Guy Goffette