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Found in a trunk 24 years after its author’s death, The Yellow Sofa
is a delightful little masterpiece. Just released in the U.S., one
century after Eça de Queirós’s death, it still keeps its
freshness.

 

The Yellow Sofa, by Eça de Queirós, trans.
by John Vetch 
(New Directions, 112 pp., $10.95 paper) 

 

By Brazzil Magazine

Morre aquela criatura,

depois, a pobre coitada,

no rumo da sepultura,

vai numa rede imbruiada.

Um adjunto de gente,

uns atrás, ôtras na frente,

num apressado rojão,

quando um sorta, o ôtro pega:

é assim que se carrega

morte pobre, no sertão.

 
That creature dies

and then the poor devil

on his way to the tomb

goes wrapped in a hammock,

A little throng of people

some behind, some in front

in a hurry like a skyrocket

when someone lets it go someone else holds

that’s the way you carry

poor dead people in the backlands

 
Excerpt from Cante Lá que Eu Canto Cá (Sing You
There That I Will Sing Here).

Sansão nasceu no Japão

por meio de uma fratura,

sua mãe era Maria

Filostomina Ventura,

seu pai, João Pitolomeu

e o seu avô Galileu

etc. rapadura.

Com trinta ano de idade

batizou-se na Suissa,

premêra comunhão

fez no quartê da poliça,

com istudo incognoto

foi ele o maior devoto

pregador de má notiça.

 
Samson was born in Japan

by means of a fracture

his mother was Maria

Filostomina Ventura

At age thirty three

he was baptized in Switzerland,

his first communion

he had at the police barracks

even though illiterate

he was the biggest devotee

preacher of bad news.

 
From “Biografia de Sansão” (Samson’s Biography) in the book
Aqui tem Coisa (There Is Something Here)

 

TV

Blonde Star Wars

Xuxa

It is more
than a little odd that in a country of mestizoes like Brazil only the blondes
seem to appeal to kids on TV. The latest star of the highly disputed children’s
TV market is a veteran of show biz with 172 model assignments and 22 TV
commercials to her credit, including one for Nestlé in which she
sings “Como é Grande o Meu Amor por Você” (How Big Is My Love
for You) in a duet with romantic balladeer, King Roberto Carlos.

Blue-eyed blondie Debby just got her own show on TV at Manchete,
the same station where Xuxa and Angélica, two other
famous blondes, started their own kid programs and their ascendance to
show business stardom. While Angélica began her career as a precocious
12 year old, Débora Cristina Lagranha, is less than half
that age. “I like to tell stories,” says the little star, trying to explain
why she was chosen by Manchete.

At a mere 5 years old, Debby and her daily morning show Clube da
Criança (Kid’s Club) will be competing head to head with Angélica’s
Caça Talentos (Talents Chaser). She will also battle yet
another blonde, Eliana Michaelicheh, 23, who is becoming a force
on SBT (Sistema Brasileiro de Televisão—Brazilian System of Television),
where she started working at 17. Using her Eliana e Cia (Eliana
and Company) as a springboard, the TV presenter also does commercials and
has licensed more than 70 products. A recent recording contract with BMG
will guarantee her $18 million in five years. Nothing new there. Eliana
started her career as a child singing in the Patotinha band. She is already
making around $250,000 a month, $70,000 of which comes from her TV show.

It’s not only fun and games in the blonde kingdom, however. Xuxa apparently
still hasn’t forgiven Globo network for bringing her rival Angélica
in May of 1996 to work in the same station. José Bonifácio
B. de Oliveira
, the Boninho, who is the director of Angel Mix and
Caça Talentos, Angélica’s programs, invited Xuxa to
appear on one of the shows to put to rest rumors of war between the beauties.
Xuxa’s answer, delivered by her shoot-from-the-hip manager Marlene Mattos,
was a livid: “How dare you!?” The encounter never materialized.

 

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