“Comboio Nocturno para Lisboa” é um livro ficcional de Pascal Mercier, um pseudónimo de Peter Bieri – escritor e filósofo suíço nascido em Berna 1944. Cuja narrativa se move ao ritmo de um comboio noturno de longo curso numa paisagem serena, bela e introspetiva.
A personagem principal é Raimund Gregorius, um professor de línguas antigas (Hebreu, Grego e Hebraico) que um dia tem um encontro acidental com uma mulher que ele nota ser estrangeira. Assim que ela menciona a sua língua – português, ele fica encantado com a sonoridade da palavra.
Citação : “O verdadeiro encenador da nossa vida é o acaso – um encenador cheio de crueldade, misericórdia e encanto cativante”
Isso leva-o a comprar um livro em português de um autor (fictício) chamado Amadeu de Prado, um médico português que viveu durante a ditadura de António de Oliveira Salazar.
Raimund Gregorius é um professor de 57 anos que leva uma vida rotineira e solitária, daquele tipo de vidas em que um dia é sempre igual ao outro. As palavras de Amadeu de Prado despoletam uma revolução existencial em Gregorius que decide de um dia para o outro largar tudo e partir de comboio para Lisboa, em busca de pormenores da vida de Amadeu de Prado.
Assim que chega a Lisboa Gregorius encontra-se com amigos e familiares de Amadeu de Prado, através do livro de Amadeu essas pessoas tornam-se suas confidentes e amigas levando-o assim a conhecer melhor os pensamentos e questões de Amadeu de Prado.
E é no livro ficticio de Amadeu de Prado que se encontram as grandes questões filosóficas, como:
– A perceção que nós temos de nós e a perceção que outros têm de nós.
Citação: “I put myself into his look, reproduced it in me, and from that perspective absorbed my reflection. The way I looked and appeared – I thought – I had never been that way for a single minute in my life. Not at school, not at university, not in my practice. Is it the same with others: that they don’t recognize themselves from the outside? That the reflection seems like a stage set full of crass distortion? That, with fear, they note a gap between the perception others have of them and the way they experience themselves? That the familiarity of inside and the familiarity of outside can be so far apart that they can hardly be considered familiarity with the same thing?”
Citação: “Nós homens, que sabemos uns dos outros?”
Citação: “The stories others tell about you and the stories you tell about yourself: which come closer to the truth?”
Citação: “To understand yourself: is that a discovery or a creation?“
– A solidão.
Citação: “What is it that we call loneliness? he said. It can’t simply be the absence of others. You can be alone and not lonely, and you can be among people and yet be lonely. So what is it?”
Citação: “Solidão por proscrição, loneliness through ostracism, that was what had preoccupied Prado at the end. That we need the respect and affection of others and that that makes us dependent on them.”
Citação: “Is it so that everything we do is done out of fear of loneliness? Is that why we renounce all the things we will regret at the end of life? Is that why we so seldom say what we think? Why else do we hold on to all these broken marriages, false friendships, boring birthday parties?”
– A religião.
Citação: “I love people who pray. I need the sight of them. I need it to withstand the superficial and the thoughtless.”
Citação: “There are things that are too big for us humans: pain, loneliness and death, but also beauty, sublimity and happiness. For them we created religion. What happens when we lose it? Those things are still too big for us. What is left for us is the poetry of the individual life. Is it strong enough to bear us?”
– A liberdade.
Citação: “When dictatorship is a fact, revolution is a dut”
– As escolhas.
Citação: “The further one goes, the more complicated it becomes. ‘They got married because they fell in love and wanted to share their life’; ‘she stole because she needed money’; ‘he lied because he didn’t want to hurt someone’: what ridiculous stories! We are stratified creatures, full of abysses, with souls of quicksilver, with minds whose colour and shape change as in a kaleidoscope that is constantly shaken.”
Citação: “Amadeu de Prado was a much loved, even esteemed doctor. Until he saved the life of Rui Luís Mendes, a member of the secret police, the one called The Butcher. That was in the mid-sixties, shortly after I turned fifty. After that, people avoided him. That broke his heart. From then on, he worked for the Resistance, but nobody knew it; as if he wanted to atone for rescuing Mendes.”
– A justiça.
Citação: “Why, for God’s sake, had he thought it was his duty to free this woman, with whom he really had nothing to do, from the frozen past and bring her back to real life? Why had he seen himself as destined to break open the seals of her mind? What had given him this ludicrous idea?”
– A linguística.
Citação: “They aren’t texts, Gregorius. What people say aren’t texts. They simply talk.”
Citação: “For not only do we reveal ourselves with our words, we also betray ourselves.”
Citação: “Fear and foreign language don’t go well together”
– O amor.
“The great, untouched love of his life, Mélodie had called her. It wouldn’t surprise me if he never even kissed her. But nobody, no woman, measured up to her. If there was anybody who knew all his secrets, it was Maria João. In a certain sense, she, only she, knew who he was.”
– Memento Mori – que significa – lembra-te que irás morrer.
Citação: “Aneurysm. Every moment can be the last. Without the slightest premonition, in total ignorance, I will walk through an invisible wall, behind which is nothing, not even darkness. My next step can be the step through this wall. Isn’t it illogical to be afraid of it, knowing that I shall no longer experience this sudden extinction?”
Citação: “It is death that gives the moment its beauty and its horror. Only through death is time a living time. Why does the Lord, the omniscient God, not know that? Why does He threaten us with an endlessness that must mean unbearable desolation?”
Citação: “I held the haggard face in the morning sun and thought: they simply want more of the stuff of their life, no matter how light or heavy, sparse or lush this life may be. They don’t want it to end, even if they can no longer miss the absent life after the end – and know that.”
Citação: “Life is not what we live; it is what we imagine we are living, said a note in Prado’s book.”
Citação: “For that is the meaning of a farewell in the full, important sense of the word: that the two people, before they part, come to an understanding of how they have seen and experienced each other.“
Na minha opinião é um livro que não agradará a qualquer tipo de leitor, a ação desenrola-se a um ritmo lento numa melodia serena e não é um livro que se leia de uma forma fluida. Eu, durante a leitura de “Comboio Nocturno Para Lisboa”, tive que parar por diversas vezes para refletir ou reler. Penso que é daquele tipo de livros de que não se gosta ou se gosta muito, eu gostei muito.
Como português tenho que agradecer o trabalho que Pascal Mercier fez sobre Lisboa, provavelmente não haverá autor português que tenha contribuído tanto para a divulgação de Lisboa como Pascal Mercier.
Mais citações de “Comboio Nocturno para Lisboa”:
Citação: “A imaginação, o nosso último santuário. Imagination is our last sanctuary, Amadeu used to say.”
Citação: “Once I read somewhere the sentence Friendships have their time and end. Not with us, I thought then, not with us.”
Citação: “…disappointment is not a hot, destroying poison, but rather a cool, calming balm that opens our eyes to the real contours of ourselves.”
Citação: “Prado had asked himself if the soul was a place of facts or whether the alleged facts were only the deceptive shadows of stories we tell ourselves, about others and about ourselves…”
Citação: “When we have understood that no matter how hard we try it’s a matter of pure luck whether we succeed or not;”
Citação: “The wishes of others: What do we do with them when they strike us?”
Citação: “Why did our parents, teachers and other instructors never talk to us about it? Why didn’t they tell something of this enormous significance? Not give us in this case any compass that could have helped us avoid wasting our soul on useless, self-destructive anger?”
Citação: “Nobody knows – we are told – what is in this sea, nor can it be explored, for there are many obstacles that confront the sailor: the profound darkness, the high waves, the frequent storms, the countless monsters that inhabit it, and the strong winds.”
Nota: as imagens apresentadas foram retiradas do filme