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  • Writer's pictureCláudio Giordano

An extraordinary volume of BVReppucci

In addition to the ever remembered episode of Noah and his drunkenness, the Bible records dozens of other wine references. Among them is the small and surprising book, the Song of Songs. Everything is enigmatic and problematic in this formally loving (and even erotic) poem: the authorship, the interpretation, the inclusion in the Bible, the translations ...

Although discredited today, its authorship is still erroneously attributed to Solomon. Discarding Solomon, scholars were unable to identify another possible author. There are even people claiming that it was an anonymous composition made of several erudite texts. Its inclusion among the canonical books provoked long and fervent debates which only ended with the adoption of the allegorical interpretation, that is, that the Song of Songs would symbolize the love relationship between God and the believer, between Christ and his Church.

Geraldo Holanda Cavalcanti, a diplomat, an intellectual, a poet, a translator, published a compelling essay entitled The Song of Songs - An interpretative essay through his translations (EDUSP, 2005, 552pp.) which also includes his translation of the Song of Songs.

Holanda Cavalcanti begins by affirming that no literary text, in the world history, has been translated and interpreted as much as the Song of Songs; there is not a single verse that hasn’t been subject of the most extensive variety of readings, so that if someone wanted to edit the poem with only the most aberrant parts, most certainly an unrecognizable text would be produced.

And Cavalcanti concludes: “At the end of the present analysis ... it is possible to say, without fearing contradiction that, despite all the effort [...] put by thousands of extremely competent exegetes, there isn’t a single verse of the Song of Songs that doesn’t continue to be susceptible to debate concerning its meaning, enabling even the most varied interpretations, often incompatible, and in most cases, controversial. [...] The poem’s text will remain an enigma forever.

This conclusion, far from being disheartening, is in fact comforting and encouraging. The Song of Songs will remain an open poem and, as long as love, with its spiritual and carnal union double expression, still blossoms in the hearts of men, the Song of Songs will continue to be alive, capable of prompting lovers to seek the images in their mysteries, always the same and always new, which one attempts to describe the ineffable. ”

These brief considerations about the Song of Songs intended to explain the inclusion, in the BVReppucci, of an absolutely unusual copy of an edition, with unique characteristics, of The Song of Songs.

Ângela Lago, a plastic artist from the state of Minas Gerais, created a visual poem inspired on the bible. It is totally pictured as if it were in the third dimension (based on the Arabic aesthetic), except for the middle page - the point where the couple meets. The artist explains: “The idea of ​​eternal return, of coming and going, in a search that never ceases, is beautiful. I used the third dimension construction to give the idea of illusion ”.

The reader can also observe the list of colors used to show when it’s day or night. The work enables several interpretations. It can be playful and amuse the children (with its “illusions”), it can amuse the teenagers which are starting the secrets of love, and it can also amuse the experienced adults who can perceive the complex existential issues in the work ”(extracted from the publisher's release).

We said “an absolutely unusual example” because it doesn’t have any writing and therefore, it doesn’t have any wine vocabulary reference; however one of the illustrations’ frame is a bunches of grapes and grape leaves ...

Translated by Mônica H. Reppucci.

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