E se os Textos Malditos (nem mais) de Luiz Pacheco tivessem sido publicados na Polónia? Foi este o conceito com que participei no concurso de capas polacas imaginárias do 50Watts de Will Schoffield. Quatro propostas “originais” e um pastiche directo de uma capa da editora Iskry de 1971. Um divertimento de Domingo à tarde.
1) “What if Pacheco’s texts had been published in Poland in the 1950s/60s? No sexual references in sight, hand drawn typography (by me, only the word “Przeklęty”) and a cartoonish portrait of the author (by me). Many arrows shot in the air, in all directions, since his targets in these texts were many and all over: it was war.”
2) “What if Poland had had a 2nd political and cultural spring right at the end of the 80s? This cover could have been made then: a dirtier, post-punkish in-your-face kind of thing. Note: the inclusion of the word “chuje”, meaning “dick/cock”, is a direct reference to a famous episode in Pacheco’s life, when he typed four letter words in red for every word he didn’t understand in the original he was translating (Voltaire’s “Philosophical dictionary”), hoping to correct them later… A putto is holding a book from which arrows shoot forward.”
3) “Again in the 50s and 60s, a comic jab at his diabolical verve and his appetite for young women in every shape or form. The little putto again holding the book from which Pacheco’s venomous arrows shoot.”
4) “The riskiest cover, perhaps. Let’s say this could be a cover some Polish designer did in the early 60s, during Gomulka’s cultural “spring”, and later had to throw in the bin at the end of the more liberal political period. Two important women in Europe’s intellectual heritage share central stage, Simone de Beauvoir and Saint Teresa of Avila, no doubt known to Pacheco (a supremely well read man) at that time: up to you to find who’s who. The poor putto, horrified from such a shock, is now shot by one of the arrows that fly around dangerously.”
5) “I chose to pastiche the very simple and yet striking 1971 cover for Dumas’ “Czarny tulipan” (published by Iskry). Just classic Baskerville (I believe) for type and a silhouette fused with another image intimately connected with the former: in this case I chose again Bernini’s Saint Teresa with her ecstatic pose, allowing readings of sexual frustration and/or drive but also of a very intense intellectual who took her mission dead seriously, which could be a very accurate portrait of Luiz Pacheco. Considering Pacheco was imprisoned for writing a preface to Marquis de Sade’s Portuguese 1966 edition of “Philosophy in the Bedroom”, it’s also a very explosive fusion.
All covers are as if published by ISKRY since that, browsing through Polish ebay or antiquarian online booksellers, I found that almost all the covers coming from this publishing house are very seductive eye-catchers. A tip of the ol’ hat to them for that.”
FIVE POLISH COVERS FOR LUIZ PACHECO
My five entries for Will Schofield’s 50Watts Imaginary Polish Covers Contest. Luiz Pacheco’s Damned Texts is not actually a “classic book” (far from it), but this was quite a bit of fun for a Sunday afternoon.