Derek Walcott: Reborn In Brasília

Image of Nobel Literature Laureate Derek Walcott

By José Carlos Gentili, President of the Brasília Academy of Letters

“EVERY effect has a cause. Every intelligent effect has a clever cause. The power of intelligent cause lies in the reason of the greatness of effect.” A Kardecian thought that leads us to the fact that the Academy of Letters of Brasilia honoured, in life, the Caribbean writer Derek Walcott, winner of the 1992 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Image of Sir Derek Walcott
Sir Derek Walcott

At the suggestion of confrere Marco Coiatelli, a visionary of intelligent causes, our institution granted the title of honorary member of the Academy of Letters of Brasília in 2015, in Saint Lucia at a reception at the Embassy of Brazil hosted by confrere SérgioCouri, ambassador plenipotentiary in that country.

In this party of lights, dressed in pomp and circumstance, the official speaker, academic SérgioCouri, said: “On behalf of the Academy of Letters of Brasilia, in a humble but sincere tribute, the first one of the kind for the Academy, I would like to request Academician Marco Coiatelli, who excels in tales for children and came to Saint Lucia especially for this ceremony, to deliver to you the diploma of Honorary Member and to impose upon you the appertaining award.”

He added: “Allow me to express my utmost admiration for the conquest by Saint Lucia of two Nobel Prizes. It is a prowess chanted out by the breeze in all quadrants of the Earth, celebrated by the Hesperides in their unique Garden and lit out by starlight to all galaxies in the universe!”

The reception to receive the author of “Omeros”, the Homeric epic poem, who passed in the Honour Roll of the House of Culture together with the authors emeritus ArnaldoNiskier, Deonísio da Silva, JoãoMalacaCasteleiro, Vamireh Chacon, Stars of the constellations of the World-wide Letters.

The letters are stateless in their genesis. They are not confined to the limits of their origin. They are metaphysical creations that navigate the Olympus of the human intelligence. Its participants are winged mercurial beings travelling through the universe of our memories.

It is a memory that the Academy of Letters of Brasilia keeps the figure of this theatologist, Professor of Poetics, at the University of Essex, who leaves no trace on the plain of men.

Derek Alton Walcott, a member of two literary academies, of the Academy of Letters of Brasília and of SvenkaAkademien, Sweden, died on March 17, 2017 at the age of 87.

We live in a global village, according to the Canadian philosopher Herbert Marshal McLuhan, who by the way Sir Derek enunciated: “Our archipelago is synonymous with separate pieces of an original continent.”

In the shape of the ancient Greece, they stand in the Capital of Hope to sing their poem:

“I am a just a red nigger who love the sea, / I had a sound colonial education, / I have Dutch, nigger and English in me, / and either I’m nobody, or I’m a nation.”

Mulatto as Machado de Assis, one of the founders of the Brazilian Academy of Letters, Derek used to recall Boris Pasternak, reaffirming: “Great poets have no time to be original.”
The original text was written in Portuguese.

Submitted by the Embassy of Brazil in Saint Lucia.

The Embassy of Brazil mourns the loss of Derek A. Walcott, a great mind, a friend, a brother. Go gently into the good night. Farewell.

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