Saudade

Bernard Comment, “Bernard Comment: I Write Fiction, to Engrave Time,” The Guardian 14 June 2012

The practice of writing résumés, or the more recent example of Wikipedia, is as chilling as taking an X-ray, when all that remains is a skeleton. In these documents, the hazy tide of a life is reduced to a few dried-out drops — dates, diplomas, geographical locations, professional history – and you can’t find any of that complex, contradictory, muddled pulp that is memory, with its radiant points and its miserable moments, its pride and its shame, its desires and its remorse — not to mention what’s entailed by the Portuguese word “saudade,” that is, nostalgia for what was, but also for what wasn’t and could have been.

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