Pequena antologia goiabal

Saul Bellow (1915-2005)

"For a long time, perhaps from the middle of the nineteenth century, writers have not been satisfied to regard themselves simply as writers. (...) They have found it necessary to take a position, not merely to write novels. In bed last night I was reading a collection of articles by Stendhal. One of them amused me very much, touched me. Stendhal was saying how lucky writers were in the age of Louis XIV not to have anyone take them very seriously. Their obscurity was very valuable. Corneille had been dead for several days before anyone at court considered the fact important enough to mention. In the nineteenth century, says Stendhal, there would have been several public orations, Corneille's funeral covered by all the papers. There are great advantages in not being taken too seriously. Some writers are excessively serious about themselves. (...) There is such a thing as overcapitalizing the A in artist. Certain writers and musicians understand this. Stravinsky says the composer should practice his trade exactly as a shoemaker does. Mozart and Haydn accepted commissions -wrote to order. In the nineteenth century, the artist loftily waited for Inspiration. Once you elevate yourself to the rank of a cultural institution, you're in for a lot of trouble. Then there is a minor modern disorder -the disease of people who live by an image of themselves created by papers, television, Broadway, Sardi's, gossip, or the public need for celebrities. Even buffoons, prizefighters, and movie stars have caught the bug. I avoid these 'images'. I have a longing, not for downright obscurity -I'm too egotistical for that- but for peace, and freedom from meddling."

(Trecho da entrevista de Bellow, romancista e ensaísta morto hoje nos EUA, à "Paris Review", em 1966. O site da revista tem a íntegra e mais um sem-número de entrevistas bacanas. Passeie por lá.)