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Archive for Maio, 2007

Dúnia

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O que ando a ler

É um romance em forma de diário. A autora chama-se Mariyah Saalih. Nasceu no Reino Unido, de pais tunisinos, e vive nos Estados Unidos. O tempo e lugar da acção é a Arábia Saudita no início do século XX e a história é a duma jovem ocidentalizada que consegue, por curiosidade e espírito de aventura, ser admitida temporariamente num harém tradicional, onde vive a vida de qualquer odalisca. Um excerto para aguçar o apetite:

Supposedly, it was forbidden to talk amongst ourselves about what took place in the bedchamber between the Master and his night companions. Fortunately, the girls ignored this rule, and my journal writing benefitted greatly from these morning discussions. They often discussed and compared the most intimate details of encounters and it took me a while to grasp the meaning of words used to describe various goings on. Phrases such as, lady position, moist embrace, making the sword dance, and lazy man, each had a special meaning and were new to me.

At first I thought the girls were exaggerating and embellishing their stories with wild immagination, but I have learned that it was not so. The Master was most inventive and varied in his ways with women, and so were the girls with their Master.

Many who are oposed to slavery will have to forgive me for writing this, though some, no doubt, will understand. To many, I know it will sound trite and condescending, but it was the truth. Although the women were his slaves and lived daily under his whim, they understood and accomodated, even enjoyed, this relationship with him and lived contentedly with it, rarely lamenting their position or openly wishing for something else. Even those indifferent at times to his advances served graciously.

I saw emotions that swept through love and respect, boredom and enthusiasm, but never through fear and hatred. In their small world, defined by the four walls of the harem and Sheik Ali’s callings, this was what life had to offer, and they grasped it gladly. They saw nothing extraordinary in their presence and purpose in a slave harem – it was their vocation, their duty and their purpose – just as I understood the terms of my commitment and had no complaint.

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