December 21, 2012
Rio goes its own way, and Brazil reluctantly follows
‘My God,’ I thought, completely absorbed by my role as astronaut stranded on a hostile planet, ‘I’ll never get inside this implacable city. It’s too big, too alien.’ I don’t think I’ll ever forget my ride in that car whose destination I’d forgotten or which at least had stopped mattering to me. I have to say the therapy did work over the long run, and it was perhaps at that moment when it began to work. It was also exactly then that I began to love Rio, falling flat on top of the hard nucleus of disconsolation it hides: that mixture, that inhumanity, probably transforms it into the most terribly human city in the world. Of course, I ended up living there for two years. Myriad times, later on, I traced that same route in both directions: on foot, on a bike, in my own car or other people’s cars, in taxis that no longer seemed headed directly to hell or limbo. Later I learned to call each neighbourhood by its own name, to recognize in each one the buildings and windows of friends, to recognize my favourite buildings, which were also friends – and there are so many beautiful buildings in Rio, the city with the most joyous architecture of the twentieth century.more from Javier Montes at Granta here.
Posted by Morgan Meis at 01:00 PM | Permalink