A Look at the Portuguese World

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Once upon a time in the atlantic

Written by  yvette vieira fts bárbara fernandes

 

In the first international festival of short stories in Madeira, Cláudia Fonseca, an accidental storyteller and psychoanalyst by profession, made the delights of the public narrating tales about her complicated, almost mythical, but colorful and lively Northeastern family.

Would like to know how a person becomes a storyteller?
Cláudia Fonseca: Look, this is a difficult question to answer, because I have the idea that each one takes a different course. Each one's way is like each other, there is an uniqueness to be a storyteller. We know that modern accountants, urban, do not have the familiar tradition of telling stories that pass from parents to children, for that very reason, my investigation indicates that they are very particular paths.

Has your journey started with a family tradition or the research you are doing?
CF: Not one, or the another. It started by chance, if I look back, I would say that there was in my family a person who told me stories, I have a vague idea that, I am investigating now in the doctorate, that there is a transgenerational transmission nothing explicit, but there is always an identified narrater in the family, not every generation, but one in two. If I look at it, I can say that there was a paternal grandmother who told stories. My journey began by chance in the municipal library of Oeiras, where I went with my daughter, very small, baby, I took her there a lot, because I wanted her to grow up surrounded by books, enchanting stories and I would sit with her in my lap, In front of me, I would move the books, tell them, sing them, and one day the librarian told me that she had noticed that I came every day with my daughter and asked if I wanted to do a training session with Cristina Tabelin about narration. I had no idea what a storyteller was and I did not know what it was, I came, I was in a session, and that was ten years ago.

But, now you are doing a PhD and why did you choose this subject?
CF: I am a psychologist-psychoanalyst, five years ago I made a proposal of investigation joining these two parts, psychoanalysis and narration and tried to perceive that first question that you asked me, how does one become an oral narrator?

Are there differences between the tales told in Brazil and in Portugal?
CF: All my narrator's course was done here in Portugal, that of modern narration, urban I know little about. The knowledge that I possess is of the traditional narration, that is, because my family is northeastern and in the Northeast there is a great tradition of storytellers, guitar players.

In the Northeastern tales, of those you've heard all your life, what they talk about?
CF: The oral tradition in Brazil is very curious, because if you see the traditional tales are all equivalent to the European narratives, but there is a mixture, a mess, a fusion and then you find stories that join two or three traditional European tales in one. There is a story that is the Dona Labismina that merges three stories that is cinderella, the princess of ass skin and the narrative of the two cobra brothers. These are stories that often result from the Portuguese colonization, then the slaves who went there and the indigenous population and from this fusion come incredible mixtures. But you recognize very well in the Brazilian tradition the journey that the European tales made to Brazil.

Do you have any favorite stories?
CF: Yes, I think our repertoire over time is changing, but there are those who are the most beloved ones and stay with us throughout our lives and from these narratives I have two or three that I have told a long time ago. It's a love relationship.

When you tell a story, you change something, it is not textuale?
CF: Yes, there are narrators who seem to have almost a script, tell the same way, until we can perceive, who often hears these stories, where the comma will enter. I think it's beautiful, but I cannot do it! When I tell a story I already have it inside me and every time I narrate I see how people will interact, they will talk, as if composing the session, it makes a difference, whether I'm alone or I'm counting with someone, Because in Portugal has this very beautiful tradition of sharing sessions, turns out to be always different.

And in your experience telling stories in Portugal, the public is different?
CF: I would say that the audience is always different in every session, regardless of where they are. I have already told stories in different countries and places and each session is unique, I cannot tell you that such a day the public will be like this, or that, I do not know, I cannot. It's like a birth, we know more or less what happens, but in fact we do not know how it will run and the sessions are like that too, we have an idea of what we have taken and of the audience to whom it will told, but we never know how it goes, that is the delight, gives you a sense of butterfly in the belly, because there is the joy of each encounter.

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