2018 – Thank be to you Maria Gabriela

Thank be to you Maria Gabriela
Preface of the Collected Works of the Portuguese poet Maria Gabriela Llansol (1931-2008).
Editions Pagina d’arte, 2018


I never read prefaces. It seems to me it’s always more urgent to get to the source immediately. What could others – however learned they might be – have to say to me, too far as they are from the nerve of a writer’s language to be able to advance in his enigma and solve his riddles? with what comments would they screen its glare? In fact, I am wary of prefaces when they are not composed by the author himself. However, I gave my total consent to the one I was asked to write for the anthology of Maria Gabriela Llansol, so much fresh is the memory of my joy at discovering her work. The way of those loving and definitive encounters where, speaking the other person’s language, one marvels at the sudden stream the meaning of words acquires afresh.

What Llansol’s work stands for is a red sea that wide opens to let the Hebrews pass. It is an Easter that promises the freedom of a desert, a passage – Pessah, “Easter” in Hebrew means “the passage »-. It is a small boat. We cannot embark on a small boat very many. But one can allow oneself to be most discreetly carried away from one world to another, through the mists of some mysterious water, without knowing the precise geography of the shores. What Llansol is, is a story about shores and coastlines, about a hand ready to help so that one could reach the opposite shore.

I owe him the ability to transcend my inner limits and an emancipation, in other words, the acceptance of the deep solitude that any demanding relationship with the writing process presupposes. And hence a certain total surrender to it. This is exactly what it demands. She expresses it when she confesses that she has been criticized for being too hermetic at times and that she wouldn’t be discouraged. On the contrary. For her solitude was only increased by the incomparable presence of the Word the way only a lover is capable of bringing into existence all the love that needs to be heart-felt and written down. These are choices one must pay for.

Traduction de Narjisse Moumna