NABOKV-L post 0021860, Mon, 25 Jul 2011 22:47:50 -0300

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Re: Adamastor
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Alexey Sklyarenko: Mascodagama’s performance, cf.Brian Boyd: "Van’s singular stage name first evokes the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama (c.1460-1524), the first European to sail to southern and eastern Africa and to India. He is the hero of the epic Os Lusiadas ("The Lusiads," 1572) by Portugal’s greatest poet, Luis Vas de Camoes (Camoens, c. 1524-1580). There Camoes invents a Greek god, Adamastor, as the Spirit of the Cape of Storms (now the Cape of Good Hope), whose domain is the Indian Ocean and who represents the natural dangers Vasco da Gama’s fleet had to face rounding the Cape." In Memoires d'outre-tombe (Book Twenty Four, chapter 14) Chateaubriand calls Napoleon exiled to St. Helena "the new Adamastor:" ...Unlike Chateaubriand, Napoleon (who, like Vasco da Gama, seems to be unknown on Antiterra) is not mentioned in Ada. But he should not be completely neglected. Kim Beauharnais is a kitchen boy and photographer at Ardis; in her first conversation with Van Marina mentions Queen [sic] Josephine (1.5). Josephine Beauharnais was Napoleon's first wife. Kim Beauharnais was probably one of the arsonists who set fire to the barn near Ardis Hall (1.19); Moscow burnt down when Napoleon was in it.Mascodagama dances on his hands to the tango tune "Pod znoynym nebom Argentiny." It is the tango that Ostap Bender dances solo in "The Twelve Calf." Ostap has the tattoo on his breast: Napoleon in a cocked hat holding a beer mug...

JM: Convincing links related to Josephine Beauharnais-Napoleon, plus Ostap Bender's dance and tattoo.

btw: several sources describe Adamastor's presence in Greek mythology. Camoes, in "Os Lusiadas," represents the forces of nature, that oppose Vasco da Gama's navigation, through Adamastor's tempestuous violence" (wikipedia information in Portuguese, partially translated by me).*


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*- Adamastor is the name that has been attributed to one of the giants born to Terra and who fought against Zeus. He was fulminated by Zeus's rays and his stony massiveness was fragmented and took the shapes of islands and promontories. His name appears for the first time in Sidonius Apolinarius. He was later mentioned by Rabelais in "Gargantua and Pantagruel". Camoes reappropriation and fusion of African legends and myths recreated Adamastor and attributed to him a particular weakness ( he harbors the pains of an impossible love).

Bocage wrote a sonnet about Adamastor's prophecies and the ills he caused to the Portuguese:

Adamastor cruel!... De teus furores
Quantas vezes me lembro horrorizado!
O monstro! Quantas vezes tens tragado
Do soberbo Oriente dos domadores!
Parece-me que entregue a vis traidores
Estou vendo Sepulveda afamado,
Com a esposa, e com os filhinhos abracado
Qual Mavorte com Venus e os Amores.
Parece-me que vejo o triste esposo,
Perdida a tenra prole e a bela dama,
As garras dos leoes correr furioso.
Bem te vingaste em nos do afouto Gama!
Pelos nossos desastres es famoso:
Maldito Adamastor! Maldita fama!

He is mentioned by Voltaire in a chapter dedicated to Camoes in "Essai sur la poesie epique." He is also present in Victor Hugo's Les Miserables (Tome III, Marius, cap III) and in a poem dedicated to Lamartine (Les Feuilles d'automne, cap IX). Alexander Dumas speaks of Adamastor six times [in The Count of Montecristo, Georges (cap I), Bontekoe, Les drames de la mer, (cap I), Causeries (cap. IX) e Mes Memoires (cap. CCXVIII)].More recently he is remembered by the Portuguese Fernando Pessoa ( "O Monstrengo") and Saramago Here are excerpts in Portuguese from Camoes Adamastor episode in Os Lusiadas:


39
Nao acabava, quando uma figura
Se nos mostra no ar, robusta e valida,
De disforme e grandissima estatura,
O rosto carregado, a barba esqualida,
Os olhos encovados, e a postura
Medonha e ma, e a cor terrena e palida,
Cheios de terra e crespos os cabelos,
A boca negra, os dentes amarelos.


40 (...)
C'um tom de voz nos fala horrendo e grosso,
Que pareceu sair do mar profundo.
Arrepiam-se as carnes e o cabelo
A mim e a todos, so de ouvi-lo e ve-lo.


(...) 44
Aqui espero tomar, se nao me engano,
De quem me descobriu suma vinganca;
E nao se acabara so nisto o dano
(...)
Naufragios, perdicoes de toda a sorte,
Que o menor mal de todos seja a morte.


(...) 50
Eu sou aquele oculto e grande cabo
A quem chamais vos outros Tormentorio”
— Luis de Camoes, Os Lusiadas, Canto V,


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