Tuesday, September 04, 2007

They met at the auto-de-fe. People who weren't with the program in a way that he people who ran things didn't like a lot, were, depending on how much the scared the authorities, burned, hanged, or flogged and sent into exile.

He was at the auto-de-fe because he was a returned soldier released from duty because he lost his had, and the auto-de-fe is what was happening in town.

She was at the auto-de-fe because he mother was being sent into exile.

Her mother was wrapped around the mouth so she couldn't speak. As the mother passed by the daughter in the crowd, the daughter heard her asking, silently, "What is his name?"

The daughter knew she meant the man standing next to her, and she knew that that meant the man was the man she was going to marry. And take care of her, with her mother gone.

She turned to him, the first time she's noticed him, and asked him his name.

He said his name was Baltasar. They said nothing else as they went to her house together.

Every morning,until she ate, she could see into people souls.

Therefore, she put bread under her pillow when she went to bed, and ate it before she opened her eyes.

Her mother was sent into exile, to Angola, because she thought her visions of how the world worked were as good as anyone else's, as good as the king's, as good as the churches. She thought she was saint as good as the other saints, maybe better. For her, those visions were better.

Her mother was flogged at the public auto-de-fe before being sent into exile. Others were flogged. Two people were burned. One recanted before being burned and so was garroted and killed before being burned. The other wouldn't recant and therefore was burned alive.

Three of the four main characters in "Baltasar and Blimunda" were at the auto-de-fe, which is about two couple. Baltasar and Blimunda were there. The king was there, above it all. The queen wasn't there because she was pregant.

The auto-de-fe happens near the beginning of "Baltasar and Blimunda," Right at the beginning, the king is building a model, like the adolescent he is. In keeping with the time and place, it's a model of St. Peter's in Rome. It is not a model he is building from scratch. He is not that smart.

It's a pre-existing model, and he is way into it.

She valued her own model.

When a king with kingly power has a model, he gets much help. His servants stood by to hand him pieces of the model.

When someone with less power has a different model, they often get the opposite of help.

How hard it is to have a different model at any given time and place is kind of a roll of the dice. Sometimes you can know what you know wasy. Sometimes it is tough.

Havel, the playwright and later leader of the Czech Republic, talked about a man he knew in the time of oppression who never, under most circumstances, would have been what is called a dissident. But he cared a lot about making beer the right way, the best way. The regime didn't want it made that way. The beer wise man didn't give in, and, hey, presto, he was a dissicent and in a lot of trouble.


Fe and faith are two words for the same thing. But what is that thing?

If I've really got faith in this and that, surely I don't need all around me to think the same about this and that as I do? Needing human agreement seems like a lack of faith.