ENCONTRO MARCADO    
VIDEO    PROFILE    BIO    OPUS    EXCERPT    CRITICAL 
MÁRIO PRATA

Apelido (Nickname)

"(...) One day Zefirelli, the movie director, was in Portugal, and he went to visit a woman friend at an elegant estate. When the butler came to the door, the director presented himself: Zefirelli. The butler went to the lady of the manor and repeated the name: "Mr. José Firelli is here." She replied, "It isn’t Mr. José Firelli, it’s Mr. Zefirelli. And the butler rebutted, "You can call him Zé because he’s your friend. To me, he’s Mr. José Firelli." "Zefirelli is his last name!" While we’re on the topic, there’s a law determining which names can be given to people born in Portugal. There are very few names on the list. That’s why all the men are called Manuel, Joaquim, Antônio, José, Luiz, Nuno, Vasco, Paulo, Fernando and two or three more. And the women are all Maria. Maria something-or-other, but always Maria. In the two years I lived in Portugal, I knew six Antônio Reis (two of whom were brothers), four Fernando Gomes, three Francisco Manso and seventeen Maria João. (...)"
Schifaizfavoire, p. 17-8

Você é um envelhescente? (Are you a teen-aginger?)

"(...) If you are between the ages of 45 and 65, pay close attention to what follows. If you are younger, pay attention too, because you’ll get there one day. And if you’re older, check this out.
They’ve always told me that a man’s life is divided into four parts: childhood, adolescence, maturity, and old age. Almost right. They forget that in between maturity and old age (between 45 and 65) comes teen-aging.
Teen-aging is nothing more than a preparation for old age, just as adolescence is a preparation for maturity. Anybody who thinks a mature man grows old all over a sudden, overnight, is wrong. No. First comes teen-aging. And if you’re in the midst of teen-aginghood, have you noticed how much it’s like being a teenager?
Put on your glasses and see how wonderful this phase of ours is:
Have you noticed you’ve been getting some pimples? Especially on your butt?
(…) In a few years, when we insist upon remaining in teen-aginghood rather than entering old age, they’ll say: "He’s still just a teen-aginger!" That’s great, just wonderful, too much! (...)"
Filho é bom mas dura muito. Short narratives. pp.201-3

as translated by Diane Grosklaus