Sunday, July 17, 2011

Discovering Lisbon


I am wondering why the traveller’s much anticipated visit to Lisbon starts on a somewhat dejected and somber note. Here he is, ready to witness the marvel of this port city, the museums and the monasteries whose architecture takes you on a journey through various ages. But all he could muster is the bitter memories evoked by objects revealing horrendous crimes committed in the past. He is thankful to the museums for preserving some of the objects in order to testify what, according to him, is “necessary” for us to remember.
The traveller is clearly occupied with these thoughts as his indecision gives way to questioning:

“The traveler regains the street and feels lost. Where should he go now? What is he to visit? What shall he leave aside, either on purpose or because of the impossibility of seeing and commenting on everything? And anyway, what does it mean to see everything?”
~ Journey to Portugal

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