terça-feira, abril 28, 2009
terça-feira, abril 21, 2009
Let’s go back to before The Black Book. What inspired you to write The White Castle? It’s the first book where you employ a theme that recurs throughout the rest of your novels—impersonation. Why do you think this idea of becoming somebody else crops up so often in your fiction?
It’s a very personal thing. I have a very competitive brother who is only eighteen months older than me. In a way, he was my father—my Freudian father, so to speak. It was he who became my alter ego, the representation of authority. On the other hand, we also had a competitive and brotherly comradeship. A very complicated relationship. I wrote extensively about this in Istanbul. I was a typical Turkish boy, good at soccer and enthusiastic about all sorts of games and competitions. He was very successful in school, better than me. I felt jealousy towards him, and he was jealous of me too. He was the reasonable and responsible person, the one our superiors addressed. While I was paying attention to games, he paid attention to rules. We were competing all the time. And I fancied being him, that kind of thing. It set a model. Envy, jealousy—these are heartfelt themes for me. I always worry about how much my brother’s strength or his success might have influenced me. This is an essential part of my spirit. I am aware of that, so I put some distance between me and those feelings. I know they are bad, so I have a civilized person’s determination to fight them. I’m not saying I’m a victim of jealousy. But this is the galaxy of nerve points that I try to deal with all the time. And of course, in the end, it becomes the subject matter of all my stories. In The White Castle, for instance, the almost sadomasochistic relationship between the two main characters is based on my relationship with my brother. On the other hand, this theme of impersonation is reflected in the fragility Turkey feels when faced with Western culture. After writing The White Castle, I realized that this jealousy—the anxiety about being influenced by someone else—resembles Turkey’s position when it looks west. You know, aspiring to become Westernized and then being accused of not being authentic enough. Trying to grab the spirit of Europe and then feeling guilty about the imitative drive. The ups and downs of this mood are reminiscent of the relationship between competitive brothers.
domingo, abril 19, 2009
terça-feira, abril 14, 2009
Professor em Yale, o teólogo Miroslav Volf fala de seu novo livro e diz que o esquecimento também é necessário para superar o mal
A memória de males sofridos confere energia e legitimação ao conflito
CAIO LIUDVIKCOLABORAÇÃO PARA A FOLHA
Um dos mais influentes nomes da teologia contemporânea, o croata Miroslav Volf fala, na entrevista abaixo, sobre seu livro "O Fim da Memória". Com rico repertório filosófico, literário e religioso, o livro é pontuado por lembranças autobiográficas. O hoje professor da Universidade Yale (EUA) evoca os longos interrogatórios a que foi submetido -sob o comando de um oficial de segurança que ele chama de "Capitão G."- durante o serviço militar obrigatório que prestou em 1984, na então Iugoslávia comunista. E é justamente a partir das angústias e sequelas da experiência de perseguido político que Volf investiga os meandros da "memória da maldade sofrida por alguém que não deseja nem odiar nem ignorar, mas sim amar o malfeitor".
FOLHA - Seria realista ou mesmo "humano" dizer a um pai que ele deve perdoar e amar os assassinos de sua filha? O sr. perdoou realmente o capitão G.?
MIROSLAV VOLF - Sim, perdoei o capitão G., mas o perdão não é simplesmente algo que se faz de uma só vez. Ele acontece quando nos movemos em espiral, por assim dizer, em volta da memória do fato que nos feriu. Perdoamos parte do que aconteceu, mas não o todo; perdoamos, e então retiramos nosso perdão em momentos de ira, e assim por diante. O perdoar é sempre um processo, e frequentemente um processo marcado por reveses inesperados. Não, nunca devemos dizer a um pai que ele "deve" perdoar nem pedir para outros para perdoar (embora seja verdade que "deveríamos" perdoar). O perdão é uma dádiva, e, se é dado, é dado livremente.
FOLHA - Por que existe, em suas palavras, esta "obsessão" do mundo contemporâneo pelA recordação? O 11 de Setembro é um exemplo nesse sentido?VOLF - Hoje construímos e interpretamos nossa identidade em termos narrativos: somos aquilo que nos aconteceu, o que fizemos, o que outros fizeram a nós, como reagimos ao que outros fizeram a nós etc. Se isso é o que somos, então a memória é essencial. A memória, nesse caso, é nossa identidade; se você perde sua memória, perde seu eu. Quanto maior é o impacto que um ato tem sobre uma pessoa, mais é significativo para nós nos lembrarmos dele. É por isso que juramos nunca esquecer acontecimentos como o 11 de Setembro. Entretanto frequentemente fazemos mau uso dela. A memória do 11 de Setembro, especialmente da maneira como foi manipulada e empregada pela administração George W. Bush, é um caso quase emblemático de quão danosa ela pode ser. Cada conflito -quer aconteça numa sala de jantar ou num gabinete do governo- é movido pela memória. A memória de males sofridos confere energia e legitimação ao conflito. Ao mesmo tempo em que nos asseguramos de não nos expor à violência de outros, podemos fazer da memória dos sofrimentos que nos foram impostos pontes que nos unem aos outros e fontes de motivação para consertar o mundo.
FOLHA - Soa estranho ver Freud mobilizado como defensor de algum "esquecimento" de sofrimentos passados. O sr. poderia explicar esse ponto?
terça-feira, abril 07, 2009
Virginia Woolf , Mrs. Dalloway Penguin Popular Classics.
sexta-feira, abril 03, 2009
Published: April 3, 2009
The American economy surrendered 663,000 more jobs in March as the unemployment rate surged to 8.5 percent, its highest level since 1983, the government reported Friday.
The latest snapshot of accelerating decline in the national job market lifted to 5.1 million the number of jobs lost since the recession began in December 2007. More than two million jobs have disappeared over the first three months alone.
The severity and breadth of the job losses — which afflicted nearly every industry outside of education and health care — prompted economists to conclude that an agonizing plunge in employment prospects was still unfolding, with no clear turnaround in sight.
“It’s really just about as bad as can be imagined,” said Dean Baker, a director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington. “There’s just no way we’re anywhere near a bottom. We’ll be really lucky if we stop losing jobs by the end of the year.”
The pace of retrenchment has prompted calls among some economists for another wave of government stimulus spending to buttress the $787 billion already in the pipeline.
In January, as the Obama administration drafted plans for the current round of stimulus spending, it assumed the unemployment rate would reach 8.9 percent by the last three months of the year.
“We’re clearly looking at a worse downturn than they had been anticipating when they planned the stimulus,” Mr. Baker said. “We’re going to need some more.”
But others — not least, decision-makers inside the Obama administration — deem such talk premature. The jobs report, while dreadful, landed amid tentative signs of improvement in some areas of the economy, with recent snippets of data lifting stock markets and sowing cautious hopes that the beginnings of a recovery might be taking shape.
The pace of decline in auto sales, while still falling, has slowed. Houses have been selling in much greater numbers in important markets like California and Florida, albeit at substantially reduced prices. Consumer spending, while far from vigorous, appears to have leveled off after plummeting over the last three months of 2008.
Meanwhile, a surge of government spending is just beginning to work its way through the federal and state bureaucracies, aimed at spurring demand for American goods and services. This spending is expected to support jobs in construction and related industries later this year. The administration is distributing more than $3 billion in aid to states to train laid-off workers for new careers in so-called green industries, like manufacturing solar- and wind-power equipment, and in health care.
“We’re attacking this in a very aggressive way,” the labor secretary, Hilda L. Solis, said Friday in an interview, arguing that it was too early to consider another round of stimulus spending. “We will revisit that once we expend all the money that we have accrued.”
Much of the recent indications of potential economic improvement reflect temporary seasonal factors rather than a sustainable trend, some economists argue. Housing construction, for example, has looked more robust in large part because January’s construction activity was slowed by bad weather.
The crucial factors assailing the economy remain in force, with tattered banks reluctant to lend, and even healthy households and businesses averse to borrowing and spending in a time of grave uncertainty and fear.
The very perception that millions more will lose jobs and housing prices will fall have turned such outlooks into reality: As businesses scramble to cut costs in the face of gloomy sales prospects, many are shrinking work forces, removing more paychecks from the economy and further eroding spending power.
“There’s a lot of survival job-cutting going on throughout American business,” said Stuart G. Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Group in Pittsburgh. “There won’t be any job growth at all this year. The economy is far, far from being out of the woods.”
Still, Mr. Hoffman is among those inclined to wait for a few more months and hope for improvement before unleashing a new wave of stimulus spending.
The Treasury has recently outlined plans for an expanded bank rescue aimed at lowering borrowing costs for businesses and households, this generating fresh economic activity and jobs.
In London, leaders of the world’s major economies left a summit meeting this week with a promise to bolster the finances of the International Monetary Fund by $500 billion, lending support to troubled economies from Eastern Europe to Southeast Asia, perhaps increasing now plunging global trade and thus demand for American-made goods.
“It’s a little soon to conclude politically, and I’d argue economically, that we need some more stimulus,” Mr. Hoffman said. “You don’t just double the dose if the patient doesn’t immediately improve.”
Friday’s report catalogued the myriad ways in way American working people remain under assault. The number of unemployed people increased by 694,000 in March, reaching 13.2 million. Those on unemployment for longer than six months reached 3.2 million.
“Almost everyone’s being touched in some way,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com. “It seems like every business in every industry in every corner of the country has a hiring freeze. They’re just not in the mood or position to hire. They’re not taking résumés. They’re not looking for people.”
Manufacturing again led the way down, shedding 161,000 jobs in March. Employment in construction declined by 126,000, and has fallen by 1.3 million since it peaked in January 2007. Professional and business services employment fell by 133,000, with more than half the losses in temporary help services — a sign that companies that have already shifted from relying on full-time workers to temporary people are feeling compelled to cut further.
In the suburbs of Atlanta, Meg Fisher, 46, has been looking for work since she lost her job as a legal secretary in the middle of February. Her husband’s hours at his pharmacy job were scaled back. All told, their previous annual income of about $79,000 has been sliced to $20,000.
Ms. Fisher is planning to apply for food stamps, while seeking out freelance work as a seamstress and knitting instructor.
“It’s not going to replace my salary,” she said. “It’s not even going to come close, but it’s better than sitting around.”
The report reinforced the reality that the pains of the downturn have spread far beyond the jobless. The number of those working part time because their hours have been cut or they are unable to find a full-time job climbed by 423,000 in March to reach 9 million.
In New Jersey, Henry Perez, 34, and his family are now living in the basement of his sister’s house and struggling to find work.
A refugee of sorts from the real estate collapse in Las Vegas, where Mr. Perez once lived and bet big, he has more recently worked in online commerce and as a marketer at an office furniture company. But after being laid off at the end of last year, he has found nothing, even as he has sharply dropped his expectations, applying for jobs at restaurant chains like Panera Bread and Quizno’s.
“We’re just sitting here all day long looking for jobs on the computer, frustrated and scared as hell,” Mr. Perez said. “I’m looking for anything.”