Translation: Versions of Guilherme Gontijo Flores’s Troiades


Tombs of Palmyra, Syria, 1935 by Pierre Antoine Berrurier (Source: Wikicommons)

Guilherme Gontijo Flores is a Brazilian poet, translator and editor, born in Brasília in 1984. He has published brasa enganosa (false blaze, 2013) and translated, among others, Robert Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy (1621) and Roman poet Sextus Propertius. Guilherme Gontijo Flores lives in the outskirts of Curitiba with his wife and two children, in a farmhouse that he himself designed.

His Troiades project (2014) is “a collage between voices of the defeated” that cuts, freely translates, reworks and rearranges texts from three ancient tragedies: Euripides’ Hecuba [referenced as H below] and Trojan Women [T] and Seneca’s Trojan Women [S]. The texts are then juxtaposed with public domain photos and—in the online version—music. The full project is available in Portuguese and, now, English version online at and a selection on the Berlin-based Cabaret Wittgenstein.

The versions here are alternatives—remixes of remixes to accompany the director’s cut, as it were—that I’ve been working with Guilherme on over the past few months.

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Now, this person has just two places—this world and the other world. And there is a third, the place of dream where the two meet. Standing there in the place where the two meet, he sees both those places—this world and the other world, and as he moves through that entryway he sees both the bad things and the joys.

This is how he dreams. He takes materials from the entire world and, taking them apart on his own and then on his own putting them back together, he dreams with his own radiance, with his own light. In that place this person becomes his own light. In that place there are no carriages, there are no tandems, and there are no roads; but he creates for himself carriages, tandems, and roads. In that place there are no joys, pleasures, or delight; but he creates for himself joys, pleasures and delights. In that place there are no pools, ponds, or river; but he creates for himself pools, pools and rivers—for he is a creator.

— Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (translated by Patrick Olivelle)

Why do we read anything? How do books deposit themselves somewhere within our field of vision and itch on the eyes and mind until they’re read? That’s where the Upanishads have been sitting for the last couple of months. The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, the first in my OUP copy, means the “great-wilderness-upanishad” or “great forest of knowledge”. Journeys through real forests can be impenetrable and metaphysical, then open out into a clear vista: when you look closely, you can see the smallest parts of the smallest insects of the forest.

Cantonese Proverbs in One Picture

A Cantonese take on Brueghel’s painting of Netherlandish Proverbs. It’s absolutely wonderful – take a look.

廣府話小研究Cantonese Resources

阿塗(Ah To) , a graphic designer and part-time cartoonist who concerns about the survival of Cantonese in Canton and Hong Kong, has just published a comic called ” The Great Canton and Hong Kong Proverbs” on Hong Kong independent media “ Passion Times “. The cartoon contains illustrations of 81 Cantonese proverbs.

“The Great Canton and Hong Kong Proverbs”
In 1559, Dutch artist Pieter Bruegel created the oil painting “Netherlandish Proverbs” which illustrates many Dutch proverbs to praise the Dutch culture. In 2014, Ah To imitated the idea and created “Great Canton and Hong Kong proverbs” illustrating 81 Cantonese proverbs to propagate the Cantonese culture and defend Cantonese.

81 Cantonese Proverbs 

(I attempt to finish this table in a week.)

 Cantonese Proverbs Meanings
 cantoneseproverb1鬼揞眼[gwái ám ngáahn]

(a ghost covers one’s eyes)

1. to fail to see something
2. to fail to find something
3. to make a mistake

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