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PAULO MENDES CAMPOS

"Os bares morrem numa quarta-feira" – Bars die on Wednesdays

"(...) bars appear, thrive, seem to become eternal and then fade. They die on Wednesdays, as Mário de Andrade used to say. The obituary of these places is registered in our collective memory. To remember these dead bars is to compile the history of a city. (...)

The strange thing is that the bars of today, because of their service and the nature of their clientele, are capable of deserving our custom without receiving our affection. The good client only loves the bar of yesteryear. Only in memory do bars lose their rough edges and become sublime (...)"

"Páginas de humor e humorismo" – Pages of humor and wit

"Then I remembered Ferreira – Maria de Lourdes’ neighbor – old Ferreira; the fifty-five year age gap between them made for the most perfect understanding. Precisely because people of the same age rarely understand each other.
– Ferreira... Come here.
Ferreira leaned over and placed his hairy old ear close to her moist mouth. The red-faced girl lowered her eyes in infinite modesty. In a murmur, the grave secret passed from mouth to ear, registered with Ferreira and filled his whole being. He merely said "Oh!...". Then, he took his umbrella from the luggage rack and used it to pull the stop chain. The train stopped. Ferreira, Maria de Lourdes, the umbrella and the parcels came down slowly, crossed the street, entered the first opened door. (...)
My father used to say that friends are for times like this."

"O cego de Ipanema" – The blind man from Ipanema

"Its been a while since I last saw him and I ask myself if he has died or been taken ill. He's a young, white man. He walks fast and carefully, his head moving back and forth, like an instrument detecting the sounds, the dangers, the earth's menaces. The blind, inhabitants of a schematic world, know where to go, unaware of our hesitancy and perplexities. His cane hits the sidewalk with a dry, rhythmic tapping, investigating the geometrical world. The city is a vast diagram, in which he knows the distances, the curves, the angles. His life is a series of mathematical operations, while ours is usually a constant improvisation, a disorganized sequence of actions. His survival is a calculated risk."