Since its inception RC has laid to the commendable virtue of non-conformity. Presented with a wide variety of options, we have ventured down quite a number of avenues, while abandoning quite a few other escapades. The latter mentioned discontinuities can be partly attributed to an anxiety to explore more stirring proposals as well as the paucity of the time that is really essential for the maturation of greater projects. Nevertheless, incrementally, we have hastened our pace.
One of RC's greater obstacles, among others, has been the dearth in contribution towards areas concerned with Sinology. From being amongst the first of the West's great Sinologists, by the eclipse of this century, the Portuguese have had to grapple with the harsh reality of not having once produced a soundly authoritative Sinologist. Hence, it was with great disquiet and much humility when we recently proposed the introduction of a stimulating branch of Sinology to complement the turbulent mosaic of Portuguese culture, at the twilight of this millenium.
This RC issue on poetry tends to reinforce this sentiment in an attempt to articulate some select references from Chinese poetry, which is amongst the most sublime of mankind's intellectual manifestations.
The texts by François Cheng and Ramón Lay Mazo comprise the part dedicated to classical Chinese poetry, objectifying the complexity of the structure of this poetry and presenting the problems arising from its interpretation.
Beyond the comprehensive introduction evinced in these two texts, we thought that this would be a good juncture to review the contacts maintained between Portuguese and Chinese poets. In relation to this, historical material is scarse so we channeled our energies towards publishing illustrations from the most distinguished works of this century.
RC ventured to print the Chinese Elegies translated by Camilo Pessanha with the assistance of some of his more talented Sinologist friends, together with some explanatory notes of his. Compensating for the latter's insufficient knowledge of Chinese which was obviously proved to be a significant bar to the proper recreation of the original Chinese writings, Jinguo Ping recent addenda to Pessanha's notes should be seen as a timely novelty.
In parallel with the interesting renditions by W. H. Auden of 'his' Macao, we thought fit to take a look at the actual works of some Chinese poets living in Macao, providing illustrations from some of their contemporary poems, and this is introduced by Yao Jingming, a poet from Beijing who currently resides in the territory.
The history of Macao, traditionally characterised by periodic cycles, entered a new era during the 1980s decade. In the knowledge of the creative genius expressed through the visual arts in Macao during these past two decades, the recent increase in settlement of outside artists of the territory, and the spiritual solidarity amongst local poets, it is with a certainty and optimism in which we may rejoice, the vision of this city of history as a city of culture having seen solidified.
Luís Sá Cunha
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