By Milton Hatoum
As sementes das histórias de Hatoum não poderiam ser mais diversas: a primeira visita a um bordel em "Varandas da Eva"; uma passagem de Euclides da Cunha em "Uma carta de Bancroft"; a vida de exilados em "Bárbara no inverno" ou "Encontros na península"; o amor platônico por uma inglesinha em "Uma estrangeira da nossa rua". Com mão discreta e madura, Hatoum trabalha esses fragmentos da memória até que adquiram outro caráter: frutos do acaso e da biografia pessoal, eles afinal se mostram como imagens exemplares do curso de nossos desejos e fracassos. Desejos e fracassos, aliás, respondem pela rede subterrânea que amarra os contos de A cidade ilhada. Se o desejo, a literatura ou a viagem levam os personagens a expandir o raio de sua ação e a transpor as barreiras da infância e da ethical, da classe e da província, estes mesmos elementos não se dão por vencidos e, mais cedo ou mais tarde, recaem sobre os heróis como uma fatalidade que os traz de volta a um centro imóvel: "para onde vou, Manaus me persegue".
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Additional resources for A Cidade Ilhada
Ainda rastejando, a mulher imer89 giu num espaço sombrio, onde nada — salvo seu corpo umedecido e seus cabelos molhados — lembrava a chuvarada lá fora. Sem se aperceber, ela penetrara na sala de espetáculos; uma passarela em declive conduziu-a para perto do palco. Deitada no veludo vermelho, entre duas filas de cadeiras, ela esperou o instante propício para dar à luz. Uma trovoada violou o silêncio da sala e fez vibrar o lustre de cristal pendurado na cúpula. O abalo alcançou um pequeno aposento no último andar.
Uma mocinha morena, alta e magra abriu a porta: Fique à vontade. O que deseja beber? Água, respondi timidamente. A sra. Soller já vem. Na sala observei quadros de Miro e Antoni Tàpies e uma gravura do século xix com a figura de Tirant lo Blanc 103 no palco de uma batalha. Uma sala catalã. Daí a poucos minutos a sra. Soller apareceu: da minha altura, só um pouco mais magra que as mulheres de Monet. E mais bonita que as figuras femininas dos pintores impressionistas. Victoria quis saber quem era eu, e de onde era.
A descida foi lenta e penosa; mas não foi a fadiga que lhe sacudiu o corpo quando ele pisou no tapete do térreo. Seu Álvaro percebeu que essa súbita convulsão independia de sua idade e intuiu que algo fatídico aconteceria na manhã chuvosa. A porta da entrada, entreaberta, era um sinal de invasão? Lá fora, um dos barcos de bronze flutuava no centro da praça e as asas de um anjo submerso pareciam uma âncora solta no espaço. O vigia empurrou a porta com o cano da arma; depois notou no piso uma mancha vermelha que desaparecia na sala de espetáculos.