Guide Saudade: The Possibilities of Place

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He enjoys politics, history, literature and conversation.

Timothy writes not just for himself, for he hopes that he may ignite some deep-rooted emotion that everyone hides away, whether it is loneliness, love or pain, or perhaps all in rigid combination. Skip to main content. No votes yet.

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Write a review. Available formats Paperback. Similar Books. Privacy Policy. Help Centre. Cookie Policy. Our Green Policy. Another feature is that it is so deeply personal that it does not occur to the one feeling it that others would have similar experiences and so is rarely communicated verbally. For most people it is something which cannot be put into words. Indeed the present description of Sehnsucht is itself inadequate and is only suggestive of it.

Yet, though difficult to define, Lewis maintained that this is a universal experience. In "The Weight of Glory" Lewis says I am almost committing an indecency. I am trying to rip open the inconsolable secret in each one of you -- the secret which hurts so much that you take your revenge on it by calling it names like Nostalgia and Romanticism and Adolescence; the secret also which pierces with such sweetness that when, in very intimate conversation, the mention of it becomes imminent, we grow awkward and affect to laugh at ourselves; the secret we cannot hide and cannot tell, though we desire to do both.

We cannot tell it because it is a desire for something that has never actually appeared in our experience. We cannot hide it because our experience is constantly suggesting it, and we betray ourselves like lovers at the mention of a name.

Our commonest expedient is to call it beauty and behave as if that had settled the matter. Wordsworth's expedient was to identify it with certain moments in his own past. But all this is a cheat.

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If Wordsworth had gone back to those moments in the past, he would not have found the thing itself, but only the reminder of it; what he remembered would turn out to be itself a remembering. The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing.

These things -- the beauty, the memory of our own past -- are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited. But if it should really become manifest -- if there ever came an echo that did not die away but swelled into the sound itself -- you would know it. Beyond all possibility of doubt you would say 'Here at last is the thing I was made for.

It is the secret signature of each soul, the incommunicable and unappeasable want.

Does Saudade Keep Portuguese People From Being Happy?

Your place in heaven will seem to be made for you and you alone, because you were made for it -- made for it stitch by stitch as a glove is made for a hand. While under the right circumstances I can encounter snatches of Sehnsucht in everyday life as in the sound of ocean waves that Lewis mentions , it is music, in my case, that has always been the primary provider.

But unlike the "basking" poignancy of saudade in the Brazilian song, Sehnsucht hits all of a sudden with delightful transport, not usually lasting for more than a few seconds.

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It shows up almost exclusively in "classical" music. Among major composers, I find such brief "ecstasies" most often in the orchestral works of Mahler or Ravel and sometimes peeking through in Copland -- when suddenly "all heaven breaks loose.

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Both Saudade and Sehnsucht are frequently found in poetry and attempted in painting think of light, late-afternoon light, the end of summer, the first chill of autumn -- my personal favorites. I have always been trying to write or compose about both experiences in one way or another.

I have pursued the experience down many avenues -- the sense of time passing, of ages passing, being one of the strongest. I feel that the secret of life, love, death, life's paths taken or not taken -- the Universe itself -- is somehow embraced in its achingly beautiful promise. For more about Saudade and Sehnsucht, use these links:.

Saudade and Sehnsucht It wasn't until later in life that I discovered that there were words to express feelings that have haunted me all my life: Saudade and Sehnsucht.

"Saudade"-new age music