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OURIQ

Um diário trasladado

OURIQ

Um diário trasladado

11
Jun10

Um autodidacta


Eremita

 

 

Neste nosso mundo imperfeito, o autodidacta é apresentado como uma criatura que faz um percurso de aprendizagem à margem do ensino tradicional. Num mundo perfeito, o ensino tradicional apenas existiria para formar autodidactas eficientes, tão depressa quanto possível. A verdadeira função do ensino seria colocar todo o indivíduo diante daquela floresta virgem onde ninguém lhe pode dizer "agora vais por ali", só lhe restando ir abrindo caminho à catanada. No fundo, um investigador é um selvagem na floresta tropical que é o desconhecido. Naturalmente, o verdadeiro investigador é um autodidacta, só se distinguindo do autodidacta amador porque este resolveu pegar na catana para desbastar caminho por entre as sebes ordenadas do jardim do Palácio de Versailles, o que geralmente não produz grandes descobertas para a humanidade, apenas satisfação pessoal. A incapacidade de perceber estas noções tão elementares criou duas figuras trágicas: o investigador que não é autodidacta, uma figura que nunca produzirá conhecimento,  e o autodidacta que não é um investigador, uma figura que só colecciona conhecimento alheio.

 

Um dos traços mais apelativos de Moby Dick é o modo como o conhecimento de um autodidacta nos é transmitido. Melville já era um autodidacta amadurecido quando escreveu o livro. Compare-se a sua sapiência com os rudimentos de fado à wikipedia que João Tordo debita no seu romance Hotel Memória, para percebermos a diferença. Melville estudou para escrever o livro, mas antes disso adquiriu bagagem, aparentemente sem grande propósit; Tordo surfou a web entre a escrita de dois capíitulos para sacar umas cenas de fado e compor uma personagem. Melville escreve como um nerd; Tordo tem a eficiência de um escriba da Lonely Planet. E quem queremos levar para a ilha deserta? A nerdiness de Moby Dick, claro. É uma nerdiness tolerável, porque genuína, e uma nerdiness essencial, pois prepara o caminho para a verdadeira literatura. O capítulo sobre cetáceos lê-se com o entusiasmo de quem, para leitura de mesa-de-cabeceira, só encontrou no quarto de hóspedes uma chave dicotómica de escaravelhos, mas muitos capítulos depois encontramos uma descrição do olho e da visão do cachalote que é provavelmente o que de melhor li até hoje sobre qualquer animal, sem excluir a mulher. E quando aí se chega, o capítulo sobre cetáceos faz finalmente sentido, como se a dissonância de um prolongado acorde finalmente resolvesse. Hitchens, Amis, McEwan, beat this:

 

Now, from this peculiar sideway position of the whale's eyes, it is plain that he can never see an object which is exactly ahead, no more than he can one exactly astern. In a word, the position of the whale's eyes corresponds to that of a man's ears; and you may fancy, for yourself, how it would fare with you, did you sideways survey objects through your ears. You would find that you could only command some thirty degrees of vision in advance of the straight side-line of sight; and about thirty more behind it. If your bitterest foe were walking straight towards you, with dagger uplifted in broad day, you would not be able to see him, any more than if he were stealing upon you from behind. In a word, you would have two backs, so to speak; but, at the same time, also, two fronts (side fronts): for what is it that makes the front of a man--what, indeed, but his eyes?

 

Moreover, while in most other animals that I can now think of, the eyes are so planted as imperceptibly to blend their visual power, so as to produce one picture and not two to the brain; the peculiar position of the whale's eyes, effectually divided as they are by many cubic feet of solid head, which towers between them like a great mountain separating two lakes in valleys; this, of course, must wholly separate the impressions which each independent organ imparts. The whale, therefore, must see one distinct picture on this side, and another distinct picture on that side; while all between must be profound darkness and nothingness to him. Man may, in effect, be said to look out on the world from a sentry-box with two joined sashes for his window. But with the whale, these two sashes are separately inserted, making two distinct windows, but sadly impairing the view. This peculiarity of the whale's eyes is a thing always to be borne in mind in the fishery; and to be remembered by the reader in some subsequent scenes.

 

A curious and most puzzling question might be started concerning this visual matter as touching the Leviathan. But I must be content with a hint. So long as a man's eyes are open in the light, the act of seeing is involuntary; that is, he cannot then help mechanically seeing whatever objects are before him. Nevertheless, any one's experience will teach him, that though he can take in an undiscriminating sweep of things at one glance, it is quite impossible for him, attentively, and completely, to examine any two things--however large or however small--at one and the same instant of time; never mind if they lie side by side and touch each other. But if you now come to separate these two objects, and surround each by a circle of profound darkness; then, in order to see one of them, in such a manner as to bring your mind to bear on it, the other will be utterly excluded from your contemporary consciousness. How is it, then, with the whale? True, both his eyes, in themselves, must simultaneously act; but is his brain so much more comprehensive, combining, and subtle than man's, that he can at the same moment of time attentively examine two distinct prospects, one on one side of him, and the other in an exactly opposite direction? If he can, then is it as marvellous a thing in him, as if a man were able simultaneously to go through the demonstrations of two distinct problems in Euclid. Nor, strictly investigated, is there any incongruity in this comparison.

 

It may be but an idle whim, but it has always seemed to me, that the extraordinary vacillations of movement displayed by some whales when beset by three or four boats; the timidity and liability to queer frights, so common to such whales; I think that all this indirectly proceeds from the helpless perplexity of volition, in which their divided and diametrically opposite powers of vision must involve them.

 

But the ear of the whale is full as curious as the eye. If you are an entire stranger to their race, you might hunt over these two heads for hours, and never discover that organ. The ear has no external leaf whatever; and into the hole itself you can hardly insert a quill, so wondrously minute is it. It is lodged a little behind the eye. With respect to their ears, this important difference is to be observed between the sperm whale and the right. While the ear of the former has an external opening, that of the latter is entirely and evenly covered over with a membrane, so as to be quite imperceptible from without.

 

Is it not curious, that so vast a being as the whale should see the world through so small an eye, and hear the thunder through an ear which is smaller than a hare's? Capítulo 74

 

 

 

 

 

 

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    Só no intervalo do 1º parágrafo para o 2º é que de...

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