queen lyre



Considerations on the recently published book by Roberto Schwarz

Upon returning to Brazil in 1973 after working at the Paris embassy where he sought to support the exiles of the time who were there, Francisco Alvim received from one of those outcasts, his friend Roberto Schwarz, some typed sheets containing a set of writings, short poems , stories, poems in prose. According to the memory of the poet and diplomat, the critic, who at the time was immersed in his radical and refreshing study of Machado de Assis, when passing him the papers must have said something like “take a look if you can do something with this in Brazil ”.

If so, recall is correct, there was no overemphasis or overbelief in the future and specialness of the material. The writer was contained in a modality of self-parsimony, with no surplus value for the work done. There were reasons for the generalization of doubt. As would be verified later, the position seemed to be in tune with the concrete matter and its form of the poems. In fact, they were recessive images, which emulated a social melancholy itself, almost mischievous things, even if very sharp for the politics of the time. The small poems, which would be published by Alvim in 1974 in a collection of poetry at the time under the title veteran hearts,[I] they were, as will be seen, attestation of radical nonconformity; not just with things in Brazil as they were, but, since those things, with the very place of poetry and intellectuals, for themselves and for the world, which at the time did not animate anything.

Shock poetry as an intense negative point in the poor life that he recognized as omnipresent, from the beginning everything seemed to indicate that the material, despite its strange strength, had no vocation to explode anything, or almost nothing. No island, no country, or life in arms, which still took place at the time, could practically count on it. Because the book seemed more suited to X-raying the slow and prosaic nature of the implosion that national life, incarnated in “subjects”, had been experiencing in all dimensions. Yet, from afar and from within, the poems made things harder and sadder, very poor and rather stupid, than the lively artists of the last century supposed. unravel Brazilian modernist of the time – other poets who, forcing happiness into a complex world of historical transformations, also observed in their own absurd and stupid way, while insisting on beauty and joy to define the same picture.

In fact, in the face of the total historical massacre of the early 1970s, which the writer unforgivably radiographed, the small contradicted, marginal and intellectual poems, of a type mental thing, by Roberto Schwarz played the role of minimal counterpoint, constrained but not constrained, to the whole situation. They openly went against the relations of subjectivity, society and politics that prevailed in the country, from the point of view of the new common life and its bad modernity, which was installed in fits and starts. Already then, knowing the size and extent of the defeat, and its nature, the critic inflected the cultural and social disgrace of national life itself on its winners, the degraded and stupid people who spoke in poetry: banal good people of the time, with its simplistic and general culture of facilitation and celebrated containment. The correspondence and the effects on the micro subjects of the great Brazil of the gross dictatorship stood out. If the world of political violence was outrageous and excessive, it was both hidden from the average conscience and well exposed in the totalitarianism of propaganda itself, official and of a new type, commercial.

Faced with the picture, then nameless, of the rapid rise of the society of the spectacle of alienation and the baseness of merchandise in the Brazilian way, it was necessary to be contained, to make the poem an almost conceptual high, fair and clear in the reach of the borderline form itself. A stone for the attempt to, at the same time, be in that social order in a sensitive way and be entirely against it. It was a way, informed, hypermodern and negative by the structure of the very understanding of reality, of fighting hard and with great bite – even if in a few lines, even if embarrassed by one's own personal decorum in participating – against the recent stabilization of the cultural ruin and satisfied politics of the middle classes, surviving and emerging, friends of the then dictatorship, a regime that was about to complete a decade.

Degraded and limited characters, blurred historical perspectives, absence of reasonable ideas, baseness raised to the order of the day, ideology like bread and social violence like air, were revealed in a direct and palpable language, simple in a way, without excess and, mainly, without any effect of imaginary beauty, illusion of hope. The hard dryness, of the non-existent beauty in that poetic world, tried to give a liminal account of the current world, until yesterday common, even personal and intimate, which had become the real and dangerous enemy in Brazil. Even so, Heloísa Buarque de Holanda would point out the minimal poem “Ulisses”, from that book. as “beautiful” to her sensibility as a scholar of the time[ii]:


Hope placed in a handsome salary,

veteran hearts

This valley of tears. These shitty spikes.

Verification, description of the social and existential situation, and simultaneous accusation, without escape, the entire history of the hero's literature evoked in the title was reduced to the typical and simple-minded imbecile with aspirations, without greatness. The adapted concrete figure appeared, who would be deceived like this, with a last flash of courage, and would be disillusioned by the disgrace of life itself. Already then, a handsome salary, and his petty-bourgeois justification melodrama, from the valley of tears, pointed to the lapidary accumulation of shit, his future. Inscribed in the character, a pauloemilian aristocracy of nothingness wrapped in shiny new paper by the horizons of Brazilian-style capitalism, with dictatorship and all, the dissolution of the success of the man with the future in shit was social. It meant both personal failure and a great and fatal historical, collective irony. Veteran hearts – those in favor, but also those who fought against – would not find a way out of the aporia in life in the valleys of the fall of money and in the eventual peaks of its accumulation, already known accumulation of ruins. At the time, long before the end of the world of generalized fragmentation and without reason that we live today, the poem already knew.

Roberto Schwarz is a Marxist intellectual with a negative critique of economic life who, however, a reader of Machado de Assis and the twisted and unusual problem of the field of culture in Brazil, does not despise the human dimension in his work. Thus, his literary research is a hypermodern anthropology, of ideology incarnated as subjectivation in social work, making its unconscious deposits of time, outlining the stupidity in people, classes and language that is presented to culture.[iii] Process of meaning and humanity that, from his point of view, has historical value. Unlike other peers from his generation and experience, the other veterans, the important thinkers of Marxism from the place of positive exception of Brazil in the world system of accumulation, Roberto always noticed, with one eye, the general progress of capital, there and here, and, with another, its cultural and existential vicissitudes, its incarnation as an ideological body in real agents in the world, in short, its disposal by current and displayed language, as incarnated formations of commitment and power. His literature, of little length, but always demanding, is in fact a political anthropology, between the valleys of tears and the heights of shit, the very subjective conception of history in a country like Brazil. In it, every illusion is a forgery and every beauty is a lie, because the complex social ties of the characters, enunciated and hidden by themselves, frequently disallow them.

As is known, the most acute critical figures of Roberto Schwarz are the result of odd structures of social domination and specific production of capital, however, historically well established. The new, modern country, with a colonial slavery matrix, producing for a world that tends to be liberal and, simultaneously, of singular subjectivation: ways of being, appearance of subjects in action in the world, ways of enjoying themselves through language, the complex and trickster character of the elite, of masters and aggregates, social equations incarnated as subjective structures not yet described – not even in the theoretical canons of literature and even less of psychology – of ideological and social volatility and the fascinating blameless, unpunished use of every word.

In this historical scale of the voice of the characters, in veteran hearts, passing through the people and subjects, so to speak, of that world system of violence from a cold war liquidation that was resolved in Brazil as reinforced conventionalism – petty bourgeois and micro Christian, pathetic without pathos – and with a cultural industry accelerating, a decorous celebration of the new order and what shone in the banal market of survival, the writer also revealed, in a kind of pau no Brasil poetry, the disenchantment of the end of the party of the independent left’s experience Brazilian. The left, also personalized, which had worked hard from the 1930s to the 1960s for the emancipation of local consciousness, of our place in the world, and which gave us the so-called old hearts of war.

The great narrator of the poems himself, the acute critical focus, violent with evil and disenchanted with the incarnated history of cultural and political enemies, the lyrical self of his own veteran heart, an interrupted generation, was also a product of the same evil historical order. Thus, in an epic minima, the final incarnation of Drummond's original perception, as white and tied to his class, was realized, that the subject of poetry's enunciation was confused, however demanding his perspective, with the evil of history that lived and embodied, as a shock, traumatic effect and irreversible adhesion of the class itself.

A moral minimum, an epic minimum of still young people, already veterans, defeated in almost everything, except that limiting aesthetic solution:

The citizen I see in the mirror

he is younger than me

more bristly than me

unhappier than me

In its own way, more structured in the critique of the mortification of class society in the Brazilian way, reflected in its micro political characters, poor humans whose character was only masked and bewildered, historically disjointed from themselves, who reorganized old prejudices for a new society that appeared as a prize, the writer aligned with the concrete vogue because it was worldly, critical because it was cynical and violent because it was direct from the general movement of the poetry of Cacaso, Charles, Chacal, Francisco Alvin and other marginals. All young people who became negative, from the urban middle class, still intellectuals, whites, it is said today, who were hit right in the face by Brazil in the 1960s and who, accepting the criticism of the family apartment in Copacabana, did not give in to the cut and the shock .

That flowering of malaise in Brazilian poetry of the early 1970s, despite being highly personal, could not refuse to be acutely social, and had its historical antecedents, closer or more distant. In addition to the obvious connection with the poetry of a synthetic Oswald and a small allegorist of history, a controversial jokester – an insolent individual enemy of his own class, against which he went to war, as he went against almost everything – and with the elegant, negative and splendid “ O cactus" and "O beco" by the old and sharp Bandeira, a climate of confrontation, more precisely of freedom in the perception of confrontation, tending to get straight to the point, also aggressive and enemy of farce, had been established in Brazil since the advent of regression spectacular politics of the 1964 coup. The failure of social democracy in the country isolated critical thinking in the broadest negativity, even if it was quite familiar.

As early as 1965, Hélio Oiticica radicalized everything by himself and, moving away from the constructive and rationalizing logic, albeit with his own swing, from his metaschemas, closely linked to the hope of an intelligent and civilized Brazil of the 1950s, began to create true dull objects, without any aura and without foresight, uncomfortable, close to garbage and discarding, with undefined matter, from earth, wood, of glass, of canvas, in his fireballs: real confrontational and poor arrangements, in the order of the precariousness of life, obscure enigmas of minor art. And, in one of them, the B 33 Bolide box 18, the artist printed a photo of a dead friend, popular and poor, from the slums, his mythical Cara de Cavalo, shot 66 times by the golden men of Escuderia Le Cocq, the proto-militia of extermination at the time that would become the squadron of death of the dictatorship. Next to the image of the dead poor man from Brazil, he wrote on the object the words in the form of a prayer: “Here he is and here he will remain, contemplate his body … Be marginal, be a hero.”

Three years later, after the explosion of the negative and carnivalizing delirium of earth in trance and the discovery of the unusual, non-enlightenment, non-rational social experience, tending to the affirmation of direct power as a proper mode of local fascism of popular life itself in The Red Light Bandit, Júlio Bressane and Rogério Sganzerla opened wide, as a true new arrangement in the precariousness of Brazilian social matter, the violence and irreconcilability of the social divisions that emerged in urban life, in films such as the angel was born, Without that spider, Copacabana mon amour e be careful madam. Movie theater poor and concrete, limit cinema, made in the hills and in the streets, unstable in object and almost dissolute image, between the popular madness of the abandonment of a possible social destiny and the splendid alienation and protection of the rich and well-off of Brazil, which they could only deny en bloc everything they failed to think and see about life in the country, such art configured those new violent ways of passing the razor in the eyes of those inserted, of being marginal and being a hero.

If the critic Roberto Schwarz found it very strange, in a text published in Modern times by Sartre in 1969[iv], the party of rapid updating, once again overnight, of the new tropicalist modernism of 1967, super updating of super cool young people that made possible their real generational advantages in relation to their own mediocre parents who were left behind, for insertion artists who began to point out the absurdity of Brazil relatively from afar, “from the point of view of Mars” and as an emblem, vertiginously approaching the new giant wave of the emerging market, in the powerful music of Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, for example; if the critic observed the allegorical transformation of social life into a commentary and expression “a cheerful dada”, oriented pop, in a new existential and psychic position calculatedly distant from the struggle against real political violence; It should also be stressed that there were strong negative cores within all of Brazil's postmodern tropicalism, bordering even on the impossibility of living in that new world that sought to be seduced, for some of the young people revolutionized by the theories of communication and the emergence of industrial cultural reality. Also, even in the most luminous facet of the process, which intuited some future in the democratic capitalist mass market, to come one day, transformed by the very progress of modernization induced by the exploding commodity form, new thing around here, radical figures of the negative and of the non-conciliation of existences in Brazil appeared frequently: after all, here was the end of the world, the dissonant chords of bossa nova and its realized utopia were integrated with the sound of imbeciles, one should not fear death, concrete, present on the horizon and On street corners, the modern ex-hippies also transformed themselves into vultures and Nosferatu themselves, boarded the old ship, killed themselves like the poet from Terra em trance, and the multifaceted Panamérica was the antechamber of impotent madness in the face of Third World Hitler. Negative, marginal and confrontational, maniacally added to the new order of the party of what exists, of TV, or melancholy external, as a concrete piece of shock and violence referred to the whole, these were the general terms of the culture of the avant-garde of the time, radically isolated from power and politics.

From the ambiguous, luminous and critical tradition of Brazilian modernism, a time had arrived when the negative element, the perception of the social and cultural catastrophe of modernization, had become predominant, in the midst of the modernization process. Radical confrontational visions, scattered in the past, then modulated by the certainty of a modern destiny that would come in the revolutionary breach of redemption of the country, uniquely modern in the world, now appeared in every relevant culture as the real state of things of a modernity that derailed . From the vertigo of Glauber Rocha's poet/politician/employee/journalist, falling forever into the dunes of earth in trance, with his elegiac and tragic saying “it is no longer possible” suspended in history – which saw a perverse society in permanent operation, as a great allegorical machine of evil in the world from which he was expelled – to poetry as a concrete stone in the middle of the road and on the foreheads of the winners, of the “marginal” young people of the early 1970s, of poets and politicians with no destination in the time of technocracy and television, the radicalization of the negative gained a unique avant-garde perspective in Brazil, without being able to really account for anything. of what was happening around.

Left-wing melancholy with its own history, the young veteran hearts tried parallel strategies to attack a social and political reality hitherto unrecorded in the illusions of civilization here. The brilliant tropicalist musicians articulated a vision of evil and popular joyous hope, celebration and terror, sadness and industry, a body in ecstasy and exile, also seeing in the country's new modernizing key a potential for the possible transformation of evil, as a desire beyond the structures of power. In his work, desire and eroticism tried to complete what the country in fact denied. In the face of immense evil, they induced the integration of a torn society, even if as a formal and utopian gesture, which in the enjoyment of the song always seems possible. And they had in their favor the strong tradition of partnership between music, technique and the media, which came from far away in Brazil. Popular music was already born inside the market, maintaining elective relationships with the new society of the shopping center and the soap opera. Chico Buarque, in another direction, maintained the great narrative and personal epic of modern Brazilian poetry, of those who know how to sing about war, as Manuel Bandeira used to say in his own “minor poetry”. Looking at the general fall of the world from the violence of the dictatorship that was being built, mainly that of the poor, falling forever, I sought a “negative universal” perspective that tried, at the same time as understanding terror, to maintain high modernism as an alternative, in a world horizon not yet completely closed, as his work testified. While the young marginal poets, among them Roberto Schwarz, delved into the familiar and social fragments of a modernized daily life towards violence, superimposing, in a very concrete and discriminated way, the very unity of the lyrical self with the general and well-composed pathetic ruin, mainly of your own class. Minimum affections, maximum irony, mordacity, in an immense degraded world that surrounded the self on all sides, Paulos Martins of the 1970s without grandeur or perspective, inventoried the incorporated ruin, as a social fact of value of the middle class itself, which was shredded from those modes proper to the poems.

Let us remember two moments of Roberto Schwarz in veteran hearts; the first, the world from which he himself came, where life, humanity and capital are confronted, with results well known to the brothers, without destination in the order of things:

after the news

For the third time I explain the legal maneuver used against black activists to the old deaf aunt I visit in New York. Her tired eyes fixed on me, her hands too, belong to a sister growing old on another continent. She's been here since 42. She fled the Nazis in 39, was interned in a French camp in 40, moved to a barracks in Casablanca in 41, lost her mother in Buchenwald and sewed six days a week, 25 years old, in a fabric factory in the Bronx. Without understanding, he waves to his nephew from Brazil – where things are going wrong – the head that is no longer patient with the endless struggles of the planet. “I know you're going to say I explain social facts as if they were natural, and you're going to think I'm an old woman. But sometimes I believe in some genetic defect in man. Otherwise why this taste of fighting? It's all very, very sad, and they meanwhile, the owners of life as others say, the owners of the means of production – the leprosy of the world, understand me well, the leprosy of the world! – we run out of work, unemployment, war or madness.

All said. The second, a letter to the daughter of a Brazilian father in the midst of his own position in that same history, indicating where parents, children and middle-class families in Brazil were going in that same order of world capital that, here – where things iam mal – it was produced like this, denying the terror of the story in the same movement of installing itself in it with protection, even if idiotic:

Dear Natacha – I'm delighted counting the hours until tomorrow, April 12th, to pick up Sylvio at Tiradentes. It's been two months today since he was taken from me, just before we went to the lunch table. It was two months of a sad nightmare, of homesickness; of anguish and afflictions in the first month, until Marilda's birthday, when things got better with his removal – to Tiradentes – and the first promise of his release, which tomorrow, with the grace of God, should come true. God answered our prayers, I think also his, as I asked him in a letter. Only divine mercy and that of Our Lady could have obtained this miracle. I continue, therefore, in my prayers for my children, who so much need the protection of heaven. I need more and more to have a lot of faith and every day I pray a lot for all of you and I receive communion, in the same supplication, every Sunday. God will allow the reconstitution of our home, with all of us gathered around the table to render Him Thanks. Take good care of yourself, my dear daughter, and come back in good physical and spiritual health., to help us in this mission and comfort us so that I have enough strength to respond to Sylvio's trust. I need a calm environment and a lot of LOVE AND OPTIMISM ESPECIALLY to do it. TRAVEL, THEREFORE, A LOT, look away from the negative sides of all peoples and of all humanity to only keep in your retina and in your heart the positive and charitable aspects of this suffering world, in your eagerness for PEACE AND LOVE.

With the blessing and much-missed kiss of


If the first prose poem, Baudelairean, but also Brechtian, Machadian or, even, by a hypermodern Graciliano, with a dry negative spirit and without emphasis, condenses a complex conjuncture in the conversation with the foreign aunt and makes explicit the processes of meaning of consciences and bodies, shaken by the modes of power, consciences that still rigorously judge those historical processes, the second, on the contrary, carefully hides in its matter the sense of the surrounding violence, which exists and which has put everything to lose against the conventional life of the father of the family, religious and loving, but only for his children, ciphered a friend of the executioner himself. The feeling of the world versus the mythical protection of the family, in both poems, history, wider political and social violence, and thought and ideology solutions embodied in real class positions and places in the world, speak loudly. But in totally opposite directions. Always interested in the relationship between class, consciousness and forms articulated to them, the dialectical character of these compositions is remarkable, even when they demonstrate the social intimacy of a thought that methodically suspends all criticism.

On the one hand, the historical experience with the Nazi-fascism of the European world war of capital at the beginning of the XNUMXth century and with the ever-deadly and universal exploitation of the life of work leads to a clear notion about the nature, embodied, of the law of capital, the leprosy of the world, biology or history?, permanently valid, in the midst of the great confusion of a new historical round of violence and wars – the black activists of American television commune with the internationalist socialists who watch the new coup, of democracy against the people, and a young Brazilian, critical of the general order of things here, gives quick news, in the midst of an angry world, of a country where things are also going badly. Precisely, the historical context illuminates the detail. The contingent of life, watching the newspaper on television with the old exiled aunt, sister in arms, and her real veteran heart in the universal class struggle and in the continuing tragedy of the century, shines as historical matter, political of greater magnitude. Roberto Schwarz announced, with his concrete idea of ​​hearts marked by that kind of world at war without end, which constantly leaves us with work, unemployment, war or madness, much of what would become the position, almost structural, sharpened in consciousness, but without weapons for action, from the critical left to come.

On the other hand, calculation and permanent self-censorship for not saying the name and truth of violence reduce the destructive movements of time to a desire for a pacified family order, in which fate is still decided by God and the Virgin Mary, in pathetic impossibility of the class actually assuming history and politics head on, as right and truth. Thus writes the protective father, who is moved by trying to maintain a trace of love in his children's troubled world: the young man, imprisoned by the dictatorship in Tiradentes prison – a harsh term that he avoids, so as not to reveal the strength and historical nature of the violence that surrounds everyone, but lets it leak –, the girl, sent out of Brazil on a journey of peace and love around the world, the famous unravel behavior of the 1970s, to avoid the very risk of history and the generation here, so that the generic principles and of little social cutting of equestrianism, already adapted to tourism, are intimately in line with the simplistic and conservative Catholicism of the father.

While the crisis of the Brazilian family in history, the son imprisoned for reasons that must not be named – absolutely contrary to the conscience of everything, the conversation between the Brazilian nephew and his working-class aunt in New York – is resolved as a degraded, regressive structure , of typical social life, of personal favor addressed to power, the traditional way of its profound sociological and economic confirmation. It is the poetry’s perverse and strong social moment, in which the father of a Brazilian-style family asks his daughter to return with love in her heart for him and for the family, to “help us in this mission and comfort us so that I have enough strength to match Sylvio's confidence”; that is, ciphered like everything else in that world, Sylvio Frota, the bloodthirsty general of the dictatorship who commanded the First Army and the machine of repression and murder that was spreading across the country, to whom his father had asked, please and for the love of god, for the liberation of the family son.

Systematically avoiding saying what actually happened, framing political alienation with the cheap and common religion of local Catholicism, the father of the family also ends up saying everything: from the order of real and ideological, subjective and political violence, to which the family was subjected by submission to the dictatorship, even if somewhere, rendered unconscious, in a contradictory way. And, as a shadow of what is not said, it realizes against the grain of self-censorship the revolting picture of the surrounding world – that which, in the United States at the time was resolved as legal maneuvers against black activists, here was the kidnapping, imprisonment and torture of dictatorship, or… the protective unfolding of the revolution of customs, which appears as possible within order, family and classes.

This is how the plot, apparently simple and without trumpets, of Roberto Schwarz's social prose was presented. The progress of history, in its moment of now, long-term social formation, ideology, current language of life and subjectivation appeared in balance and mutual equilibrium, fragile and accentuated at the same time. No factor, intimate or global, can be dissociated from each other. All speak simultaneously, all are, in the life of history, to ask what time it is of lost illusions or the corrosion of character.

Let's advance the hours. After time, with a lot of work in between, the Brazilian dictatorship of the cold war was “resolved”, as it was seen, in a process of conciliatory democratization with its own poisoned roots, protected by amnesty for the crimes committed and with a general capitalist perspective. A corrosive hegemonic social and cultural process of negativity and criticism, with its masses of market men without income doing anything or any business, social or mental, to survive in that new world, that of dictatorship without dictatorship.

Already at the time of the great hopes of the bourgeois toucans in the 1990s, when democracy gave the illusion of finally starting in Brazil, that dry and broad social prose of the critical writer would reach another configuration. It was necessary, pursuing the method of thinking in a simple way of life, the subject with history, desire with ideology, that the forced pacification of tensions and the interpenetration of the perspectives of formative capital and the regulated democratic left would arrive at a prose model with even more mediations, stylistic, historical and theoretical.

Accompanying the ideological unfolding of the time when left and right shuffled, all in favor of progress and society and all sequestered in the global automatism of local accounts payable, the writer reaches the peak of his own complexity, in my view, in a short story landmark of the end of the Brazilian twentieth century, “Contra o retrocesso”, from 1994[v]. After all, as capital itself acts as a civilizer and mediator, at the same time as it always presses the surrounding order of ruin, inscribed in the rationalizing wave of globalization tautologies whose result was the transfer of direct income to the most general winners – which , at the time everyone denied it – with their contemporary intelligent aggregates, national sales elites, men also became, in the new national stage, as modern and conscious as they were automatic, and fully available.

With the new cultural volutes of the enlightened 1990s, with its encyclopedia of old novelties of the new agenda – from the Homeric nonsense zero to the left tucanas, by Paulo Arantes[vi] – along with the constant social tightening that now appeared as a stroke of technical genius by the financial and property classes, a new, living character of ideology and consciousness actually emerged. A character as tall and sophisticated as the technology of the time, as permeated with national and global theories as the medallions, his grandparents from the past – or the economics columnists in today's newspapers… – that, trying to hide it, he still cultivated, and so available to throw to the air scruples, whatever nature they may be and well recognized by himself, and go upwards, to the old melee of any sovereignty in the country that simulated actuality over the very order of delay. Subject, therefore, to an anything goes, which oscillated between the small investment in the market that was already known to be bankrupt, or the cruel and preliminary assault, at the last minute, by a gang of protégés and family crony to the same country, which he seemed to understand as a technique and as a culture.

Some resemblance to the voracious tragedy of Brazil's cultured and cosmopolitan right, informed and at the forefront of world knowledge, full of Washington consensuses and tours of major world museums, clouds that pass when Wall Street crashes, which became a Bolsonarist overnight the day, twenty years later? All, as far as can be verified. It was the general structure of power, subjectivation and ideology, in the general kaleidoscope of progress and the market, with the greater management of the unemployed and sub-literate masses for the self-satisfaction of the masters, while tung anything, that became the truth of democracy and which was revealed in the habitus of the speaking class body.

The system of literary correspondences in that tale had also shifted. It was now Machado's much-meditated formal irony, hyper-aware of social life and its derisive effects on presupposed universalities, but also missing and suspended in place. Plus the attention to well-placed mediocrity and shrouded in semi-literate self-justification, which confuses basic calculation with culture. And that was also expressed in the acceptance of the everyday marital guerrilla warfare of the petty-bourgeois couple whose love is in fact ascension, coming from the traditional radical prose of the same small illustrated kitsch cynicism from São Paulo and São Paulo that appeared now with touches of technical rhetoric and a new agenda , by Paulo Emílio Salles Gomes and Zulmira Riberio Tavares.[vii] And even with echoes, conscious or not, in the well-disguised modernized conscience, totally false, that makes a good “intellectual” role for itself, permanently marrying ridicule with civilization, of Carlos and Carlos Sussekind; It is this tradition of high cynical formal reason and its comedy of style, of class life in Brazil, even more than Baudelaire and Brecht, that is the background of references that can be noticed in the story, which is very convoluted.

In the new time of the local world, of fantasy of the power of democratic development and practice of the power of simultaneous national scrapping, the structural solution since Machado de Assis of high rhetoric and total use of language, which scrambles world knowledge and situated social, technical and anything goes, still had a lot to say.

This is how the tale of the well-off in Brazil began – albeit from the bottom, between capital and ruin, intelligence and insanity, the understanding of the reason for power and the vertigo of seeing yourself without a destination in front of it, without a penguela:

“My wife and I got up early today to buy a bridge. According to what they say, it will be the last privatization carried out in the country. The penguela was built many years ago by the State, more precisely by the mayor's brother-in-law. It goes from one side of the stream to the other and is crossed by practically everyone several times a day. Its usefulness is beyond doubt. Perhaps deliberately, the notice for the sale does not explain whether the government used to charge tolls from residents. We know not, but it is clear that the intention of the buyer cannot be otherwise. For my part, as I am not in the business, I confess that I am submitting myself to the tender more out of curiosity. A penguela does not have to be expensive and can serve as an entry point for those on the margins of modern economic activity. It was reading the economics page of the newspapers that warned me against the danger of sitting still. Still, the prospect of owning the bridge disturbs me and feels like a dream. Aren't I repeating the cardboard of the smart redneck who bought a streetcar? Anecdotes aside, what to think of my sudden tachycardia, not to mention the outbreak of undignified grimaces, in which I don't recognize myself and which unbalances my spirit? The pinguela is a small thing, but it changes everything, if the deal is done. The comings and goings in the municipality will never be the same, and I will also leave changed. Will I still have the strength to overlook, to leave the innocence of ducks without comment? Capital does not laugh while it grows. To ducks around the world, that hug! In my dream, in addition to paying, all users will say hello to me, which I will not be there to receive, due to the many tasks”.

This is how commitments and the drive to mortgage with the times, of any upstart in Brazil, in the era of general upstarts, who considers taking advantage of fashion and changing classes. High economy and low sadism oscillate in the municipal life of a man who wants to join the expropriated rent club in some, or any, way. Even if it is by establishing ownership of the last footbridge, a public thing in final scrapping, the last illusion of boarding, albeit at the tail end, on a global plane that flies over the dissolution of the world itself – like that world dream of Chico Buarque, with its pale economists who ask for calm, more or less from the same time. Because, alerted by his wife about the economic and social mystery of the eccentric expression of the last privatization that surrounds the pinguela business, the narrator, who sends his “missive to nobody”, will fall into an amusing, pathetic and even painful ideological and conceptual screw-up. throughout the entire tale. In fact, he is the last duck that arrived at the door of the paradise of property, or, even worse, the world of capital itself collects the last justification to account for the mass unemployed world that it already produced, of which the story spoke. for the first time around here, people who could pay little or nothing for the use of the neoliberal emerging bridge in a small town in the interior? Would small capital, of the local and national aggregate, go down the drain, along with the general, all-sucking hole that belongs to the wider capital in the world?[viii] Once again, Roberto Schwarz's incarnated ideological man seems to know everything, at the same time that he avoids talking and tries to rhetorically and mentally escape everything.

With the ideological fixed point removed from the pinguela, the magical privatizations towards which the entire system of toucan reasons of the time was heading, it is enunciated, well before the history of Brazilian democracy synchronized with the fact, the general dissolution on the horizon. And nothing else. So, you don't know what to think anymore. Because that is not a world in which one actually thinks, but a world of semblance of thought, common repetition of an interested newspaper, in favor of what one does not know and does not want to know. The ruin itself? It's very interesting how everything is structured as a question, ideological quibble and crisis, without losing the tenderness of the presupposition of any superiority. The crisis, which reaches those who think well in favor, dissolves the subject, theories, references and makes the tics and nervous twitches their own unconscious of the historical malaise, without definition, but well defined, their own truth. Along with good old rhetoric, class style.

Throughout the story, the narrator will parade this complex disassembly, economically oriented and social deconstruction, which goes from the most sublime anti-critical modern metaphysical idea of ​​the time, against emancipation and socialism..., to the most pathetic use of vices and the most traditions of a country of colonial and slave-owning origin which, in the last resort, is still taken up as salvation.

All with new flair and mannerisms, of a realist thinker of the new order, in his terms: “That is in a dream, because in reality I am an enlightened man, a friend of facts, averse to the finesse with which one and others like to decorate the simplicity of things . I was never convinced, for example, that ownership was the crowning achievement of merit. I don't even appeal to fate to explain the existence of the miserable, which I consider a normal effect of the lack of money. Thus, I do not shy away from the difficult moral problems posed by the problem of privatizing the bridge: why me? Why not another? And why not myself, there being no undue for others? In my opinion, the paradoxes of justice and injustice lead to anything goes, the catch-as-catch-can of the Anglo-Saxons, preferable nevertheless to the doctrinal egalitarianism of 1793 or 1917, when the lack of pragmatism of the Latins and Slavs respectively was manifested”.

The slippery balance between rational argumentation, the exercise of finesse for one's own image that poses well in the mirror – which is also a class aspiration – and the ferocious descent into anything goes at any moment is remarkable. This trait, structural of me and society at the same time, from above, will cross the entire composition, as it crosses the country. Seen as ideology, rhetorical technique and science of technique, of the smart economism of the time, the story happening in the very life of the character who considers himself minimally superior already appears as barbarism, which once again occurs in the very enunciator of his worldview , now on top of the dried meat, which rots quickly. In this witty, ruinous intelligent tropical nonsense, there is also a small Kafka, of classical European rationality who takes his own enunciator to the scaffold.

And everything will reach its apex, almost definitively, in the overthrow of all justification and fantasy of the time, of all salute to contemporary capital as the true truth of democracy and of lives, reaching, then, the old core hidden and present for everything , the local order of direct, long-lasting violence and stupidity, without the mummies of the justification technique: “And without the toll, the bridge would remain linked to our name only in the old-fashioned way, through anecdotes and nostalgia, something like, for example, the Rua do Piolho or Travessa do Sapateiro? Retreat is not for me, and I will defend myself against the default of the dispossessed. I take for granted the matrimonial function of the very negative economic prognoses, which sometimes project the lack of a way out of marital embarrassment onto society. Those who remember say that the ancient aspiration for a society without the oppressed was nothing more than the absurd amplification of the malaise in the family of some messianic temperaments. I think it's possible. But I maintain that the opposite impulse also occurs. The breath that animates the days of combat in great style in my house is a clarion call that comes from outside and from above. How can I not see in my disdain for the misplaced crasis the right of command of the classes that dominate spelling? Those who know how to write know how to govern. The raging controversy over the arrangement of salad leaves on the plate ultimately refers to the indiscipline of the Brazilian workforce. The disorder that ebbs and flows in our living room is clearly insurrectionary in nature. I like her. They are anticipations of a day I look forward to, in which we Brazilians will settle accounts outside the narrow rule of profit and interest, with the freedom and ample movements that make the evolution of the shark in cinema an unparalleled spectacle. I fully agree with the king who had the most beloved of his landscape painters hanged because he was suspected of exalting a feeling of nature with no place for private property. Whose inauguration with pennants middle-aged people remember. At this point, my wife and I sympathize with the people, as we actually think that the best thing about TV is to turn it off. It is said that upon arriving in Manhattan, the war refugee Ernestina Roth refused to bend her knees and said, with unforgivable ingratitude, that what she had before her eyes was nonsense, that it did not stand up conceptually in case humanity ever leads to death. serious. Well then, I'll go to the bidding anyway. I don't know if I want the penguela, which is going to give me crap for I don't know how long, which I'll try to prolong as long as possible, with bullets or whatever is possible, after which I won't stay in the country a minute longer. I must not forget my cousin card from the mayor's niece”.

The affirmative vertigo of the narrator's position changes makes the thinker the object, and not his thought, which, however, qualifies him at every moment of the text. Each position carries its own truth, so to speak, and the whole, which is not whole and tends towards regression or ruin, is what matters. Advancing in constant clashes of their truths towards nothingness, between the marital war as a social fact, the aesthetic shark of absolute economic freedom and the codification of the desire for revolution, which crosses all life, popular and personal, the vanishing point with no way out of that staged dialectic, he arrives at the truth of the thing: the property, and its income, is maintained at gunpoint. Or any other similar method.

And yet, in the historical conditions of this country and its misunderstood democracy, gangs that put their renewed stamp on politics, old relics of the original social past, can organize again, by excess of power and overnight, the looting . Once again abandoning him to the fate of a false realization. The link between modernity, corruption and strong anti-social conscience was signaled, which gave the ideological bond between theory and subjects of a peripheral elite that had recently arrived in the world of global contracts between “equals”, with its pathos multiform. The agenda – as Paulo Arantes used to say about it – deepened the subjectivization of tucanas at the beginning of the neoliberal race in the country, giving a picture of the national elite in the mirror of its comedy, of that time and in fact of what would come. And, again, if all of the subject's matter is history, history is also represented as subjectivation.

Turning the pointer of our swing back once more, in our zigzag and zagzig, Roberto Schwarz had also perceived, 20 years before, another dynamic of culture and life, of yet another important new order of jouissances proper to alienation and satisfaction with what exists. This time, satisfaction of the left itself and intelligence and its sociology of social commitment, which stopped being critical and demanding to be cultural and apologetic.

In 1972, at the time of the self-ruining and provocative poems of veteran hearts, Roberto wrote another story, which went deep into new social matters of great relevance, which now involved progressive young people, from any country. The short story, a dry Marcusian social parody, which then appeared as realistic literature, always centered on the self that enacts the world together with its own experience, was this[ix]:


The party was in full swing, and we had already forgotten its pretext. Cloé, to whom I had just suggested, lowering her eyes sharply and indicatively, to put her hand on my cock, is sitting next to me, still angry. But I think she reflected on my proposal. There is talk of a cello concert that she will soon give at the B. Bartok Seminar. I sit on the floor, and turn my back to him. While appreciating the difficulties of the situation, I attentively follow the conversation of some young men, who are discussing the price of soybeans. Without further ado, I slide my hand inside her skirts, and with my middle finger I find her small lips. Cloé, who had been standing still and listening, became even more still, as if she were made of wood. But she slowly let herself be, and began a slight rocking, as if considering what the others had to say. Soon my finger was hot and moist, and if I took it off it would be shiny. I felt a great tenderness for Cloé, and I was sure it was reciprocated. At that moment, silent, surprising as a pistol shot, Aurora appeared in the doorway. She has the secret of these quiet and showy entrances, which is why I will never forget her. I made him a sign of silence, and with my eyes I indicated what was happening. She brought her hand to her mouth, leaned back and widened her laughing eyes. Then she crossed the room, swaying very purposefully. She was having ideas. Cloe turns to me, and asks with amiable petulance, "Would you allow it?" He takes me by the wrist, and pushing my hand away, goes out to walk in the garden. I got up and passed Aurora in the center of the room. - I want something like that, she told me, with a reproach in her eyes. I told him no, that I was excited and that it wasn't the finger I wanted to give him. She looks at me with contempt, saying that in this case she doesn't matter. It is rare for two people to understand each other.

When, in the early 1960s, Roberto Schwarz was doing his graduate work in literary theory at Yale University in the United States, a classmate, Peter Marcuse, approached him one day and said: “The things you said in the seminar, this way social understanding of literary form, it is similar to my father…, maybe you would like to meet him…”. From the account he gave me, Roberto Schwarz was not clear who he was when he had lunch with Herbert Marcuse and his family one weekend. He would be astonished to hear the old German bang the table in response to the sharp provocations of his son, an American progressive, about capitalist development and liberal democracy as a sufficient and effective value for the regulation of all life.

In conversation Marcuse would tell him that with his work of late – eros and civilization it came out in 1955 and began to have a political and social effect on American youth critical culture, an effect that, with the French 68, would become worldwide; It is The ideology of industrial society, the one dimensional man that was being written at that moment, would appear in 1964… –, he was in fact helping Marxism to hibernate. For the young Brazilian critic, engaged in the perception of the concrete, national socializing revolution, which was taking place with all the energy of mobilization on the periphery of the system, thinking global capitalism and its world dialectic from elsewhere, and the experience of history from Brazil, the The radical Freudian-Marxist theoretical effort of the critical philosopher was significant, but, however, displaced from what it summoned. Continuing the prose, Roberto Schwarz asked him about another theorist, and found him to be of mutual interest: – And Adorno, professor, do you know him? What do you think of him? – Ah! Adorno is my beacon! Adorno is my lighthouse..., replied the philosopher of the sexual revolution of advanced capitalism, which should be a radical, critical, anti-capitalist revolution.

The question about Adorno was on purpose. On October 7, 1961, Roberto, a young disciple and scholar of Antonio Candido and his own dialectical theory of literary form developed in Brazil, wrote the following letter to the German philosopher and critic[X]:

“Dear Prof. Adorno, forgive me for this letter I am writing to you without having been introduced and my bad German, I had no alternative. I'm Brazilian, I've just finished my degree in sociology in São Paulo and I'm going to work as a collaborator in the “Department” [in Portuguese in the original] of Literature in the future. I am deeply interested in your writings and would like to use a possible grant that started in October 1962 to attend your aesthetics classes. So, I would like to know if you will continue to teach this course in the period 1962-63, which, of course, cannot be inferred from the catalog available for 61-62.

I am currently at Yale and I am irritated by the lack of theory of literary theory that is done here. I hope you are sorry for the inconvenience. Thank you very much, yours”

Right now, the similarity of the synthesis of great concentrations of meaning, always clear, personal and social, even if in balance, that takes place between this concise letter – which presents and aligns an intellectual with another, an intellectual from another world but who the same is known – and the dry, realistic literature with broad historical-subjective implications by Roberto Schwarz ten years later. The lapidary sentence, with a sharp dialectical wit – which appears after the presentation, without excess, of the writer's qualification, in a text that is expressed in the structure of language, direct to the subject and contained, at the same time – “I am currently at Yale and I it irritates the lack of theory of literary theory that is done here”, is one of those findings, it seems to me, between the self and the world, in which subjectivation and culture are composed and constituted, interpenetrate and collide, with all of history of a contained life in the broadest sense that is conveyed by the phrase, as well as, the evocation of entire ideological systems. In the case, everything put on a conscience of refusal.

It is possible that Adorno had not come into contact, before this one, with a poem pau Brasil do country inserted disinserted, a synthetic intensity in a way that conveyed, in a special way that has historical foundation, a radical critical experience, from another place in the world . Apparently, Roberto Schwarz was referring, for the good reader for whom the right word is enough, to the lack of dialectical theory in understanding the production of form, the lack of generalized social theory and the real lack of critical theory of the American department . Very likely. But, everything said as an ellipse of the story, without being everything said, since the reader's conscience was supposed to complement the meaning of the form and the statement. Adorno would respond, in the same coin, with his own writer's weapons:

“Dear Mr. Schwarz, To my astonishment, I see that your very kind letter of October 7th still has not received a reply. I beg your pardon, apparently it sank into the flood of papers on my desk, over which I no longer have control.

The thing is not, however, that tragic, because in the next semesters I will not be teaching aesthetics, I am finishing this course now, in the last weeks of the semester. The theme of my summer semester course is an introduction to philosophical terminology. I'm still not sure what it will be in winter; it's not impossible for me to take a sabbatical to finally get some more extensive stuff done. In any case, your letter is of such a nature that I would be particularly pleased if you would come and study with us. I am immodest enough to believe that you would not leave empty-handed if nothing immediately concerning aesthetics were dealt with.

With the most cordial recommendations, from your faithful”

This tension in the life of experience, between the Marcuse of the structural eroticism of psychoanalysis as criticism and the Adorno of aesthetic theory and radical negative dialectics, which at some point informed the critic and the writer, along with Machado de Assis and Antonio Candido and their own dialectical presuppositions, perhaps they are present in the erotic, dry and social tale at the same time, “Utopia”, from the party of the new young people, from the new cultural life as acceptable, expansive and also consumable eroticism, already without any cut in the sphere of the powers of the world.

After all, on the horizon of the event in the 1972 story, almost a snapshot, a portrait of time, the price of soybeans was already high and interesting – something in the world market for the circulation of money, which would make the country rich in the future… – when no one paid attention to the matter as much as the high culture of the aesthetic seminar that descended to the ground of the surrounding life. Oswald commented on the price of coffee in a poem that Roberto Schwarz highlighted and Drummond ciphered the price of iron in his search for lost poetic time. boitempo, revealed by José Miguel Wisnik. But the social situation of the “Utopia” of now was very different from those heroic and parochial visions of Brazil's modernization of global flows of primary commodities. Now, middle class or rich, chics among themselves, cultural homo or just the culturettes to come, they casually went out to the garden of the party in a house with a garden and, between conversations about the market and the musical avant-garde, they sat on the floor. There is no politics in the scene, except this one. The shocking anti-bourgeois modernity of the past has recently coexisted, full of another order of incorporated power, with the very bourgeois life that appeared to be desirable. Those young people enjoyed their new body and sex prerogatives in a world thus pacified, between high culture as a common culture and the potentials of eros, stabilized in that new modern life. Because the seminar B. Bartok – or B. Brecht… – took place wrapped in a concert for cello, high culture and new unrepressed eroticism, all in a chamber situation, of class, which can be anywhere in the world, of merchandise as culture and of your excitement.

Solving in this way the problem that he had pointed out in 1969, of the hyper-aesthetic posture as a political – and also erotic, as is known – of the young tropicalist artists of the 1968s, however, aesthetics in true dissociation and sometimes opposition to the life of popular commitment that had been massacred in the post-64 period, Roberto Schwarz completed the perception that something entirely new, and not necessarily good, was happening in the very world of his culture. Avant-garde and conformism, as he would say in another essay[xi], sex and capitalism, desire and life reduced to the aestheticization of the present, criticism and conservation of the reasons for power as a market for life, Marcuse and Adorno, it can be said metaphorically, were fused in a new experience of class and production, configured in the I count it as excitement without politics, though it's all society.

When all of Brazil's culture turned to the radical negative, the new effort to create political bridges for the necessary redemocratization and the new eroticism of desbunde, which easily merged with the cultural industry, as an acceptable modernism of customs in favor of the expansion of commodity form and its world, Roberto Schwarz gave us a clear glimpse of another formal social dimension, in the party of cultured, erotic young people, in tune with the market. That young left, presumed, in its class and chamber experience, was already very much against retrogression, as it had its own erotic conception of progress. Moreover, the same new social experience that in the mid-1980s would come to be called, by critics such as Frederic Jameson and David Harvey, postmodern: with its informed cynicism, its naturalization, shielded by TV, video clips, video cassettes of Bergman and French supermarket wine, of capitalism in a new chapter of globalization and its subjects who, while frequenting avant-garde culture, live it in the sphere of individual life, confusing the autonomy of art with private individuation. It was life as “micropolitics”, constantly approaching small fun, entertainment. Even more than in the theory of his essays of the time, in his literature, “if the end of the Cold War is at the same time the emergence of our own historical moment – ​​for which 'postmodernity is as good a word as any – so what Roberto Schwarz was describing, as he could not have known at the time and could not have wanted it, was nothing more than the model of postmodern cultural production.”[xii]

In fact, in a very critical tale of the Marcusian destiny of the logic of eros and civilization of the world kept well divided and violent, of subjects enjoying the broad and new market culture, of art, of things and of men – the same critique that also Marcuse, already in 1964, realized, with his concept of repressive desublimation proper to advanced industrial societies, that that was exactly it – Roberto Schwarz pointed out in the history of culture around here a dimension that had no name, a true class subjectivation that would reduce to a fetish the critical life. Everything was resolved as a body and direct enjoyment, while the world, producing money far away, and the environmental crisis to come, was already just the cipher of interest and a spectacle for private use, which was general logic.

Let's jump, finally, to today and to Roberto Schwarz from now on... The jump seems huge, and indeed it is. But, as it turns out, not so much. Following the story very closely generates the connections of affinities that are usually hidden and gives lines of coherence to the diagnosis. Roberto Schwarz has just published a play, of a political and social character, about the ruinous intensities of our national present, the queen lyre[xiii]. A theater play is not poetry, nor the measured prose of a short story, however, many of the subjectively political procedures described, with the greatest historical reach and their theoretical everyday life well amalgamated in the voices, are present in the performance of multiplicities and fragmentation of characters, subjects of the world of our new trance, which are everywhere in the new writing.

queen lyre it is organized from the recognition of everything, the incorporation into the play of social agents of any nature or order of our current very broad crisis. Thus the play evokes the idea of ​​the whole, which would still matter somewhere in critical thinking and history. At the same time, it describes and emphasizes the somewhat pathetic impossibility of two positions in life and in the country coming close to agreeing on something, thus dissolving the very idea of ​​everything in multiple voices and frayed perspectives. It emerges very clearly, which is a feat of thought and form, the new general jelly – a new order of trance, but also something that has been historically described before, since 1967 at least, which gives the special tone of updated dejá vu. The play thinks about contemporary capitalism, nation and subjectivities in impasse, all over again. Because everything is in fact at stake, in the very life of a national space that has been ruined in many ways, in a time and a world that is ruining in its own way. Looking at the process under the social code forgotten by contemporary theories – theories of life and experience – of classes, many things that are misunderstood gain names, while misunderstanding becomes itself, in addition to democracy, the very form of history around here.

In fact, after fifty years of writing negative chanchada for the stage The Trash Can of History – which aligned with the 1968 avant-garde of the local mismatch of the moment of world consciousness, of aesthetic technique that questioned the idea of ​​an updated and free nation staged against the spectacular regression of subjectivation and taste, that sought to sustain underdevelopment as a modern and eternal destiny – Roberto Schwarz now restores the research of all new mismatches, of an updated complex sociology of social differences and the voices. It accompanies the continuous micro scale of life of class fragmentation, experiences of oneself and of the country, in Brazil, in terms that are impressive because they are still there but which, after time, are no longer committed to some presupposed image of the future.

It is clear how the opening scene indications of the late 60s chanchada, published in 1977 and then labeled as farça, republished in 2014 already as chanchada, because “from then on, a lot has changed, but not everything”, continue to give notion of the general picture of even now: “On stage there are puppets of black people and animals, who will be mistreated in various ways, depending on the circumstances. There is also a mirror. Scenes are separated by seconds of darkness. In this piece, everything is a question of rhythm and cut, as it is built on canceled transitions. The passage from chanchada to atrocity, the very quick transitions in matters of conviction, the brevity with which the speeches are dispatched, as well as the alternation of blunder and cynicism, are a figure of contemporary history”.

In the new piece, there is an effort at historical unity as a conception of form, so to speak. For it is from the imagination of history that the broad reading of the process of political, cultural, institutional degradation and of the old, old character of the elites is organized, including the splendid fragmentation of the left, in Brazil in recent times. The thread that advances the problems and the scene of multiple and multiple actors is an intensive reading of what has happened in Brazil since the events of 2013. This diagnosis, of a social political temporal process that has marks on all of us, summons us and reminds us you will even find at some point in the story, it is the common plane from which the play, farce or wack, departs, from which the multiple voices emerge and position themselves, the multiple positions and subjects that carried out that historical sculpting that, in fact, we are still fully aware of. dipped.

Raising the ideas that moved the process, in all its contradictory actors, the play flows entirely into the present. Cinema Novo, Brecht, CPCs' social theater, Arena and Opinião, are historical models, which are at the origin of the critic's own path, of this representation that wants to engage in the historical now.[xiv] “The Ipiranga Fibratures”, The king of sail, Earth in a trance they also appear as ghosts of a tradition of modern political and formal restlessness, which is confirmed but undoes itself in an impasse together with its object. Updating the references, the play actually calls for positions in the face of a historical drama that is still alive, at least among the country’s “intelligents”, a call that, in today’s culture, only the technical vanguard action of the radical rearguard of the right in search of of power and in social networks seems to know how to perform.

Everyone, in the pathetic political drama, from the last popular one who watches everything and continues in his private war with no place in the country, to the highest capitalist, opportunist and rapas, passing by politicians who play with the country in flawed calculations, which doesn't matter they go right or wrong because they win anyway, by the left organized by the power that does not know how to evaluate what is happening in its own time and by the new student autonomist left, which demands who knows what, from who is not sure , have a significant voice in the new order that is emerging. Everyone counts, but, it's very clear, something in the story can outright dismiss everyone. And everyone feels the overcoming, even if they think about it with difficulty or with ease..., which is already known under the feet of their own positions. Incidentally, as the small cynical investor in “Contra o retrocesso” had already announced twenty years earlier with simultaneous confusion and awareness of the thing, at the root of the process of Brazilian-style democracy.[xv]

The diagnosis of the general crisis is one of the strong elements of the play, the critic's own reading of the contemporary moment of the country in the world, and of the world in the country, named in the farce as Brazil. O que ele nos diz é, do ponto de vista político, com alguma variação, mais ou menos o seguinte: (1) a crise antigoverno de 2013, movida por milhões que tomaram as ruas no Brasil, foi uma espécie de revolução enigmática, sem conteúdo político, mas plena de mal estar social, que ninguém assumia as consequências, (2) a esquerda estudantil que deu origem à ela pouco sabia sobre o que fazia e desejava de fato, daí nada fazer ou realizar após a entrada em cena da própria insurreição, (3) a esquerda institucional, que sofreou o golpe, por seu lado, sabia ainda menos do sentido histórico do processo, nem o que fazer, nem como sobreviver ao levante, (4) este governo de esquerda, o da rainha Lira na peça, era instável e fraturado, dividido entre os interesses desde o alto da rainha (o PT) de civilização retórica, o lastro do grande dinheiro nacional que o sustentava e limitava então em definitivo, o pacto político corrupto com os conservadores, que faziam parte do mesmo governo e a presença contida e ressentida de alguma esquerda, que queria virar a própria mesa (representados na peça como as três filhas da rainha), (5) observando a justa insatisfação popular que rompeu com o governo na rua, e ganhou a cena nacional, setores vorazes do dinheiro e amigos oportunistas da política trataram de aprofundar a crise ao máximo, (6) o golpe de mestre, mesmo que catastrófico ao final, foi colocar a população em estado de revolta contra a esquerda no governo, isolando a esquerda do país, e apresentando a burguesia como sua principal vítima…, (7) para isso foram utilizadas estratégias de controle e comunicação de massa, com o alinhamento, consciente, dos grandes interesses burgueses com seus meios de comunicação, grande máquina de propaganda, que agora tinha base popular e falava do roubo petista toda noite no jornal nacional da sala de jantar, sem resposta, (8) a revolta popular deixa de ser por demandas de justiça para o pobres e trabalhadores, e passa a ser uma revolta perversa, que se aprecia como justa, contra o trabalho no Brasil, (9) a rainha Lira, sem entender o que acontecia, dividida entre o povo que não correspondia à sua política e as três “filhas” que compunham o governo – burguesia controladora da economia, conservadores corruptos controladores da política e a esquerda institucional, em conflito mas sem povo – perdeu a legitimidade, o governo e o poder, (10) no mesmo processo em que os espertos abrem um abismo no plano do poder, levando a opinião pública a desejar o massacre da esquerda, surge, do fundo do poço, que já virava abismo civilizacional, a direita com base popular real: mafiosa, policial, ciente de como dominar, hábil para o caos que ela mesmo cria e gerencia, (11) o pais se torna um grande objeto ridículo de assalto, fora do tempo, fora das ideias, incompetente e degradado, mas sem medida para a própria incompetência e desorientação, fora da ciência, política ou material, (12) o fantasma que acompanha tudo ausente da cena, pois está preso, O Rei (Lula), faz um discurso final, crivado de ironia e amargura, com pedido de mão na consciência de quem foi sujeito de tudo aquilo – na peça, como no país, simplesmente todos… – lembrando que, para o desconsolo de tantos, e para a fantasia de outros tantos, só ele pode por alguma ordem, ainda, do que se convencionou chamar civilização, naquela casa.

The dissolution of the illusions that sustain positions, which in the historical process and of desire itself always discover themselves bankrupt and passed over, as something stronger that everyone wants to live up to and control – and politics here is that, the last lord of the last pinguela, or from the dustbin of history, with its high and low language to pretend to be in control – surpasses everyone.

If there is a troubled reading of the story that gains unity in the play, which is organized with the very simple parody of Shakespeare, because reality, even if complex, is rough, it refracts and multiplies in infinite positions, between individuals trying to save skin and belly, and trying to save his own psychic skin in the open but aimless war that the country has become. At the same time, the process of banal and boçal reaffirmation of power in the Brazilian style is revealed – who will deny it? – as the last card of those who still know what they want because, after all, they count on the police to actually know it. If there is a critic and sociologist's effort to put real forces on stage, the whole is fragmented in the polyphony of the parts, which is a writer's thing. Polyphony of class fragmentations, of the loss of ballast of the unity of the poor’s politics on the left – the play openly refuses the imaginary position “as if defeat were not a defect”, which Schwarz criticized in the “revolution in the theater” of Teatro de Arena and the left in the 1960s -, and the ambivalence of the powers that be, who also, despising popular life, want the scenario of civilization as the right to “keep up the crap for I don't know how long, which I will try to prolong as much as possible, by bullet or whatever else is possible.”

Between the undefined figure of the whole, the intuition of capital's moment of crisis as an explosion of all its possibilities, modulated by classes and traditions of multiple national traits, and the infernal polyphony of voices that reduce all history to each point of view, the show revolves around the same figures in permanent agitation, in a destructively stable ensemble. Everything changes all the time, and everything seems equally fixed. With a touch of dispatch and arrogance very local to each character, from this assumed constant tension, the humor of the escracho of saying how things are appears, which runs through the whole play. Saying how things are, that it falls into the emptiness of the other, who will say yet another thing, and the ship goes, without waking awareness of where. Negative dialectic in the Brazilian peripheral historical mode, well embodied in people and events of the day? Yes, but always wondering where is the way out, from top to bottom, because, similar to what Althusser once said “even in the field of maneuvers, good politics needs good theory”.

The best way to give an idea of ​​this infernal piece of organized barbarism today, and its thought found in the world itself, something made of lead, new concrete conceptual stonework, of the new order that seems to be the reproductive acceleration of old structures in Brazil and their flaws, but with a new horror and comedy status, it is to let it speak for itself a little – as Mário Sérgio Conti also did in his writing about it, Shaved feet and supermen, Roberto Schwarz puts on stage the misery that gives money. For now, I leave the heart of the multiple and the one of the social history of the play and the farce in Brazil, the chanchada of 2016, 2018 and 2021, a tension that crosses it in its entirety, reappearing countless times, as in a kaleidoscope. It is the fragmentation of voices, modulated by the ghost, faint or real, of a virtual, possible or lost consciousness of classes in Brazil:




Calm mother's ass. I'm not your partner, nor is Brazul yours. A communist's place is in jail.


You ignorant people, victory will belong to the workers. Just do the math. We are countless and our adversaries a mere handful. As few times, reason and physical strength are hand in hand in this valley and will prevail. Our cause is just and shines in the light of day, while yours is tattered and advances only in the dead of night. No wonder, because it would take a lot of courage to publicly defend the exploitation of man by man. As the saying goes: for capitalism, secrecy is the soul of business. They're all oldies. Do not believe them, because they will deceive you. By the way, I'm controlling myself not to break the face of this money man who offended my mother. Owner when he's thick there's nothing like it. In the future they will be studied like the scum of mankind.


All this that the exploited allege seems Christian and fair, but it has been contradicted by the facts. It's a shame to argue with such outdated people. Are you not aware of the one-way victory of capitalism over socialism? It's in the history books and newspapers. Read about it before claiming nonsense. Why this insistence on the impossible?


Want to take more hits? Did our argument not convince you? Huh? Huh? (Shows a club and gives another bump). We are the minority, but you don't chase us away because you need a job, without which you are zero. And who employs us. Or do you have money to employ someone? They know they were born inferior. Barely comparing, a kind of brainless cripple: trunks and limbs to work, lacking the gray mass, which is ours. A race of complexes.


In fact, the fear we were given of socialism has sunk deep. We were branded with iron. I don't even know how to explain what goes on in our poor head. If we employed ourselves, don't tell me it wouldn't be better. When we repeat like parrots that social justice is a danger, that it brings unemployment, desolation. Police state and other disasters, I wonder who the idiot is with the word. Shut up, just! Don't be a coward! Don't be a sucker! The voice is ours, but the idea is all theirs. So much so that, despite the misery we live in, we don't punch the wall or demand decency at the top of our voices. What a lack of reaction! In this tune, we will never taste the good and the best.


Do not change the subject. The workers know perfectly well that human beings are worthless, including them, and that socialism is too good for us. When they risked the boat in Russia, it was a disaster and humanity was vaccinated forever. Whatever one may say, capitalism is the right system for a species cursed by original sin, unable to improve.


Blah blah blah. Do not blame the species for the injustice you do. But it is true that for moments we are terrified, I feel my bones shake, in front of the radiant future that challenges us.


With death in my soul, like someone giving up their reasons for living, the other day I heard myself saying to our opponents that it's okay, that we've learned from history and that we no longer want the expropriation of the expropriators – the beauty of that formula brings me to tears – nor the socialization of the means of production. All so as not to appear anachronistic, not to starve in the middle of the sidewalk, not to get an electric shock… Stay – I said, in a speech that made history – stay with your many-room houses, secret accounts in Switzerland, industries and large estates, your Miami apartments, investments off shore and jets, in addition to councillors, deputies, senators and governors bought with cash. In parentheses, you don't even have the nerve to sign under the indecent laws that this bunch passes in your favor. So, please, remain with the direction and profits of the society in which we are the ones who care. As long as unemployment doesn't exceed the limit and the salary is enough to not die, we consent that they continue to be our bosses, better said, our conscience. But you see, trust is a string that wears out. And at least have the goodness to acknowledge our restraint. Thus, what brought hundreds of thousands of inconsequential people here, depending on the word of the bananas from the top of the viaduct, was not the liquidation of capitalism. Far from it. This wormy building, in whose stinking cubicles we live our lives, will remain standing. On this earth-shattering D-Day, the greatest platform in our history proclaims that the number of suckers is colossal. Anyway, we've waited a long time. In fact, what got us out of our minds and caused this flood was a little something that is even embarrassing to confess, an insult that we will not accept under any circumstances and whose name, incidentally, we no longer remember. Everything has limits. Too bad the magazine is wet. One thing is the fuse, another the explosion. And then they say that class struggle does not exist.


The vagueness of the disinherited makes me nauseous. One hour they are workers on a war footing, another, poor things trampled underfoot. Have a stomach for the ups and downs. Why don't they play within the rules? Need to stamp, give a low blow, dig a foul, buy the judge? Who warns friend is. If the common people happen to think of retreading this joke, which causes more trouble than profit, and dishonors us in the eyes of the world, everyone know that mayonnaise is going to go away. The boat will sink with everyone in it (except us). As my husband, who is a mega-cafajeste, in addition to being a prime minister, says, we are going to screw up the project of the resentful as much as possible, sabotage as much as we can, throw nails in the gear, just to piss off, in fact to blow up the plane (and this time we go together). For those who don't understand, we are owners rather than Brazilians. Point. Better suicide than a decent society.


That's it. Capital has neither judgment nor country.


Frankly, I don't know what to conclude. Is there no culprit here? The damage was too great to end it all on pizza. Capitalism, as is common knowledge, is a hell whose accounts do not close. The exploited, in turn, did not know how to overturn the table. Are you going to tell me that it's nobody's fault? The oppressors are even in their role. We are the ones who failed.


Self-criticism out of time doesn't clear anyone's bar. If you want a less bad world, you're a communist and you can't walk around freely. Put the woman in the van! Brazul will not be red! The streets will be yellow-green again!


Red, which makes it itchy over there in the dondoca, is the color of equality. If it's up to me, our flag will not only be green, yellow and blue, according to tradition, but also red – yes ma'am, see me there –, in four horizontal bands. It would look pretty. A little corny, but representative. Green for the forest they are cutting down, yellow for illegal mining, universally condemned, blue for our smoky sky, and red for the equality we don't have. What about? Hoisting in the strong wind of the homeland, against the sluggishness, an invitation to controversy. “Let us be civil, ma'am. We're not here to kill or be killed, let alone swearing. It is by talking that we understand each other.


No democratic frills at H-time. Do you see that skull? There are thirty militiamen inside, each with his snarling dog. Get out of here because it's going to be a horror movie. From now on the color red is prohibited. If you look poor, it's better not to walk in a group. More than three is subversive gathering and will be treated accordingly.


Shii, this is bad. They want to take the square and the right to complain from us. Make no mistake, they work for the political castration of the working class. Hmm hmm. Ladies and gentlemen of the plutocracy, majority shareholders of the planet's great corporations, whose post-modern skyscrapers, in hideous taste, attack the civic tradition of this valley, know that the city belongs to everyone, everyone but you, who live here – when they live – but it's like they're Martians. Out in the open and face to face, the revolutionary mob throws its bitterness at your face for the shitty existence that the owners of the world offer us. Driven out of the heart of the city by cangaceiros with more salaries than a university professor, what will we have left to do? What's the use of preaching to converts, repeating our complaint in the desolate outskirts of the metropolis, where the public is bald knowing that outside of God there is no way out? You want to lock us in the we-with-us, so that we torture our eardrums with our own whining, aggravating the sad gastritis of the vanquished. Well, we won't accept it. We will make ourselves heard here, loud and clear, in the nerve center of decisions, even if you are in Guarujá and don't even know it (but send your detectives to film everything, so they can chase us later). Whatever the cost, we are going to dialogue on equal terms with the antagonist that fate, or rather, capital, has imposed on us. “The square belongs to the people, as the sky belongs to the condor”, recited Castro Alves one hundred and fifty years ago. Romantic indignation has not lost its relevance.


This fight, fortunately, is uneven. As always, justice will be slow and fail. The plebs want to be included in civilization and ask for our consent. They frown, they talk about their rights, they put their foot down, but they count on us. Only a few call for our extermination. In general, they expect that at some point, pressured by an elementary feeling of humanity, or by the need to expand the consumer market, we will unlock the gate. We, on the contrary, want them to remain excluded, earning nothing and living at our disposal like animals. A part of them rebels and becomes a bandit, which frightens us, but is less worrying than their promotion to citizenship – this indeed is a dreadful vision, the decline of the West. Has anyone ever thought about what it would be like to treat, or rather be forced to treat, a maid as equal? Especially if it's dark. Or, even worse, live without a maid at all? And as little disgrace is silly, let's imagine the apocalypse soon. What if the market roller coaster, with its disregard for the color and quality of people, made us, in the short space of less than a generation, the employees of our employees? What if they gave us payback for the injustices we did to them? My dear ones and my dear ones, that's what revolution is about, have no doubt. As far as it depends on me, this gate will not be unlocked. God forbid.


Have you seen the rot she has on her head? You don't even notice it from the outside, you even look like a normal woman... This is not the march of my dreams. It wasn't to listen to lowlifes that I left home on the most hopeful day of our lives. With a raised fist, side by side with thousands of good people, marching for a better world, we weighed on the right side of the scale, for general happiness and progress. With firmness and joy, we said no to the reign of cafajestagem, which does not stop getting worse. I already know that they will call me naive, because what oppresses us is not a scoundrel, but capital. For me, if we remove the cafajeste, it's too good.


The popular wave – so we thought – would grow magnificently, sweeping away the debris of centuries of obscurantism, to later spread out on the peaceful and democratic beach of renewed life. All without encountering noteworthy resistance and even with the applause of our bosses, whom we deeply admire and whose regeneration we very much hope for. Impressed by our political, administrative and aesthetic capacity, not to mention our enlightened vision of the country and the future, they would know how to greet the rising sun in us. Our years of learning were not in vain.


Well, that's not what happened. Shortly before the decisive moment, scheduled perhaps for the end of the afternoon, we come across a horde of little bells and little bells drooling rancor, willing to do anything and supported by armed battalions that it would be crazy not to know. Howling insults and hairy curses, our elite advanced on us, they didn't care. If it weren't for the troops that separated us, the civil war would start right there. Remembering better, there is an important detail. The peacekeepers' guns were pointed at us, not at the sky, as they should have been, not even at the lumpesinate that challenged us. Bullies with hot backs, pffff.


The workers messed up their pants, the rest is irrelevant.


Overwhelmed with joy, sisterhood with the jagunços, in a patriotic transport unprecedented for me, my family and I cursed the poor people of Brazul, who recoiled in horror before the unforgettable choir. No more guilt complex! No more hypocrisy! They wanted to take over the city, but it's not theirs. Just look at the title deeds. The Brazilian people are us! They are here to serve! Outside working hours, they are just invaders! The strength of our cry won, finally found again.


Landlords abound have a fanatical determination to class struggle that we lack. It should be the other way around, but it isn't. Did you see how easily they dispersed us? It's hard to say – after all, we're compatriots – but when we have to, they order us to kill, and we don't want to die. Just look at how that preppy guy shoos me away like I'm an insect. Go fight someone your own size, man! A little respect! Anyway, they defend the bone they won't share. At the same time, the mass fights for a very vague, less miserable Brazil, with room for everyone – something complicated, hypothetical, difficult to achieve, in which nobody really believes. The bone, on the other hand, is here and now, an indisputable section.


Come on whatever. But just to dream a little, or better, for the purposes of reasoning, let's assume that one of us resisted and didn't let himself be pushed. Would he be talking to himself? Did we all end up in a concentration camp? We are many, but they are stronger.


They are not stronger. The state is on their side.


But is the state theirs? I thought it was everyone's, or at least no one's.


*Tales Ab´Sáber He is a professor at the Department of Philosophy at Unifesp. Author, among other books by Dreaming restored, forms of dreaming in Bion, Winnicott and Freud (Publisher 34).



Robert Schwarz. queen lyre. São Paulo, Publisher 34, 2022, 124 pages.



[I] Coleção Frenesi published, by Editora Mapa, in addition to Schwarz's title, the following books, school group, by Antonio Carlos de Brito, Motor, by João Carlos Padua, In pursuit of the Seven-star, by Geraldo Carneiro and, by Francisco Alvim, Passatempo; all from 1974.

[ii] Heloisa Buarque de Holanda, travel impressions, cpc, vanguard and desbunde, Rio de Janeiro Rocco, 1992, p. 103, where one reads about that poetry, “the feeling experienced in everyday life is also a theoretical problem.”

[iii] “After it entered our daily lives, modernization has been causing a mess that will certainly be secular. Psychoanalysis, linguistics, advertising, capital, marvels of technique, etc., in degraded form, have become part of our natural environment. What will happen, nobody knows. In any case, it is natural that for the time being this second nature, so recently manufactured, lacks naturalness. The undeniable falsity of the commonplaces of modernization, its ready-made expressions, in precisely what is new becomes an old habit, are testimonies of this. To the writer however, this language is precious (after having been abhorrent). They are unconscious deposits of time.” Robert Schwarz, “terms of comparison, by Zulmira R. Tavares”, in The Father of the Family and Other Essays, São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 2008, p. 115.

[iv] “Culture and politics, 1964 – 1969”, in the father of the family, op. cit., p. 70.

[v] Em Brazilian sequences, São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 1999, p. 239.

[vi] “Pocket dictionary, from Almanaque Philosophico Zero à Esquerda”, Paulo Eduardo Arantes, Petrópolis: Vozes, 1997.

[vii] See “About The three women of three PPPês” and the aforementioned “terms of comparison, by Zulmira R. Tavares”, in the father of the family, on. cit..

[viii] The material theory of the crisis of the world economy in globalization, which underlies the short story, was made explicit by Roberto Schwarz at the time in the essay “The Audacious Book of Robert Kurz”, his reading of The collapse of modernization: “Thus combined with global competition, contemporary productivity wins and makes a large part of the planet's productive activities obsolete, which under the new conditions is the same as making them unusable. The ideological debate was not focused on this burning, but on the generic merits of the free market, understood as an abstract model. Meanwhile the concrete market, which is historic, raises its access requirements to more and more unattainable heights.” In Brazilian sequences, op. cit., P. 184.

[ix] Em the father of the family, on. cit., P. 117.

[X] See regarding the correspondence, “Schwarz-Adorno: Unbekannt verzogen – unknown address. Presentation of a correspondence”, by Eduardo Soares Neves Silva, Magazine of the Institute of Brazilian Studies, n.74, Dec. 2019.

[xi] “Notes on avant-garde and conformism” (1967), the father of the family, op. cit..

[xii] Nicholas Brown, “Tropicália, postmodernism and the real subsumption of labor over capital”, in Roberto Schwarz, a critic on the periphery of capitalism, organized by Maria Elisa Cevasco and Milton Ohata, São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 2007, p. 295.


[xiv] See the comment on Brecht's theorizing incorporated into theater and cinema in Brazil in the 1960s, in which “if the artistic form ceases to be the exclusive nerve of the group, it is because it accepts the effects of the social structure (or of a movement ) – which is no longer opposed in essence – as equivalent to their own”, in “Culture and politics, 1964 – 1969”, on. cit. p. 97.

[xv] Or: “If true, the unviable aspect that the development of the productive forces took, leading capitalism to an impasse, confirms Marx's central prognosis. On the other hand, the novelty of the present crisis comes from the incorporation of science into the productive process, from which the weight of the working class, either from the numerical point of view, or from the point of view of the nature of the process, begins to decline. Thus, contrary to another of Marx's predictions, the crisis of capitalism is sharpened at the same time that the working class no longer has the strength to reap its results. The ultimate version of antagonism will not be given by the confrontation between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, but by the destructive and excluding dynamics of the fetishism of capital, whose absurd career amidst the social collapses it is provoking can be followed daily by the newspapers. The movement goes towards a new age of darkness, of chaos and decomposition, although the productive process, considered in its materiality and planetary scope, and separated from the competitive yardstick, exhibits the elements of a solution (...)” Roberto Schwarz, “ The Audacious Book of Robert Kurz” (1992), Brazilian sequences, on. cit., P. 186.

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