GUIMARAES ROSA, Joao
Bedeviled in the Badlands
Nonothing. Shots that the Sir heard were man brawling not, God be. Bleach white sights on the tree in the backyard, down in the river. By my right. I do this every day, I like; from the bad of boyhood. Thereof they came to call on me. Case of a calf: a white calf, errorful, eyes of to not be—saw selves—; and with a mask of a dog! They told me; I didn’t want to catch a sight. Same that, by the defects of birth, upturned lips, looked to be a laughing man. Folkface, dogface: they determined—it was the devil. Bananas. Killed it. Do not know who owned it. They came to borrow my guns. I caved. I’ve no power to impose. Oh, sir, you laugh certain laughs…Look: when it’s a true shot, first the dogs begin to bark, instantly—after, then, you see who’s handed death. Sir, endure, this is the Sertão. Some want that it is not: that situated Sertão is in and out of those general fields, they say, end of the road, highlands, the other Urucuia. Toleima. For those of Cortino and of Curvelo, then, isn’t here said Sertão? Ah! That there’s more! To place the Sertão it’s told: it’s where the pastures lack latches; where one can tear off ten, fifteen leagues without running into a houseinhabitant; where criminalousness lives out its christ jesus. Sifted out from the tightening grip of the law. The Urcuia comes from the western mountains. But today, its banks, give all—farmlands of farms, pastures of meadows of good yield, low tides, cultures that go kill for kill, until these virgins there are. The general fields run round. These general fields are without size. Ultimately, whichever one one approves, the Sir knows: bread or breads, it’s a question of heads…the Sertão is everywhere.