Life is a very short word

Elizabeth Blackadder, Italian Landscape, 1960


Commentary on the recently released book by Mário Baggio

In these media times, where the internet has accelerated reading times and increasingly requires speed of information, the art of writing concise and original stories is increasingly sought after, but rarely found successfully. In the ocean of short stories that floods the networks, we bypass archipelagos of literary blogs, cross shoals of micro stories, and dodge a lot of rubbish floating in currents of commonplaces.

That's why it's always an immense pleasure to finish reading a volume of short stories written with ingenuity and art, where the originality of the themes and psychological depth contrast with the economy of the writing. Life is a very short word, by Mário Baggio (Penalux, 2024), is a luminous island in the middle of the aforementioned ocean.

Baggio is a dedicated short story writer, with five published books. A craftsman with a fabulous imagination, he surprises at every step. The vast majority of the stories in this volume are less than three pages long, with some barely longer than half a page. The narrative voices alternate, the characters never repeat themselves, and the plots are breathtaking.

Short without being shallow, cutting without wasting steel, like daggers, Baggio's stories cover a wide range of feelings. They can be violent, but also lyrical. Deeply realistic, but without giving up the fantastic. Sometimes they seem cynical, other times they are moving. Sometimes they sound confessional, sometimes they reveal a detailed analysis of the human fauna and its contradictions.

The author's mastery allows us to experience a set of sensations and surprises, with images that remain marked for a long time after reading. Life is a very short word is one of the great releases of the year, and establishes new parameters, raising the bar of literary excellence a few more centimeters. Baggio is already one of the best short story writers working in this country. Budding writers, read and learn! Veterans, read and relearn! Discerning readers, enjoy without moderation.

* Daniel Brazil is a writer, author of the novel suit of kings (Penalux), screenwriter and TV director, music and literary critic.


Mario Baggio. Life is a very short word. São Paulo, Penalux, 2024, 222 pages. []

the earth is round there is thanks to our readers and supporters.
Help us keep this idea going.

See this link for all articles


  • Franz Kafka, libertarian spiritFranz Kafka, libertarian spirit 13/06/2024 By MICHAEL LÖWY: Notes on the occasion of the centenary of the death of the Czech writer
  • The society of dead historyclassroom similar to the one in usp history 16/06/2024 By ANTONIO SIMPLICIO DE ALMEIDA NETO: The subject of history was inserted into a generic area called Applied Human and Social Sciences and, finally, disappeared into the curricular drain
  • About artificial ignoranceEugenio Bucci 15/06/2024 By EUGÊNIO BUCCI: Today, ignorance is not an uninhabited house, devoid of ideas, but a building full of disjointed nonsense, a goo of heavy density that occupies every space
  • A look at the 2024 federal strikelula haddad 20/06/2024 By IAEL DE SOUZA: A few months into government, Lula's electoral fraud was proven, accompanied by his “faithful henchman”, the Minister of Finance, Fernando Haddad
  • Letter to the presidentSquid 59mk,g 18/06/2024 By FRANCISCO ALVES, JOÃO DOS REIS SILVA JÚNIOR & VALDEMAR SGUISSARDI: “We completely agree with Your Excellency. when he states and reaffirms that 'Education is an investment, not an expense'”
  • Return to the path of hopelate afternoon 21/06/2024 By JUAREZ GUIMARÃES & MARILANE TEIXEIRA: Five initiatives that can allow the Brazilian left and center-left to resume dialogue with the majority hope of Brazilians
  • Chico Buarque, 80 years oldchico 19/06/2024 By ROGÉRIO RUFINO DE OLIVEIRA: The class struggle, universal, is particularized in the refinement of constructive intention, in the tone of proletarian proparoxytones
  • Why are we on strike?statue 50g 20/06/2024 By SERGIO STOCO: We have reached a situation of shortage of federal educational institutions
  • Theological manual of neoliberal neo-PentecostalismJesus saves 22/06/2024 By LEONARDO SACRAMENTO: Theology has become coaching or encouraging disputes between workers in the world of work
  • Opportunism, childhood disease of leftismchair 5 18/06/2024 By HERLON MIGUEL: Considerations on the strike at the Federal University of Bahia