For my English spoken friends, curious about my participation in The Script Road literary festival, here is my interview for the "Macau Culture Guide":
_ What are your thoughts on the concept of The Script Road?
. For me, The Script Road is a marvelous concept, associating this literary event with the Portuguese Past, as it awakes the memory of the ancient Silk Road, used by our merchants and adventurers, in the Sixteenth Century. It establishes a significant connection between Literature and History, renewing ties with China and other nations, and, in this particular case, among Portuguese, Lusophone and Eastern world writers.
_ What do you feel The Script Road aims to do?
I would say that The Script Road, with this important meeting of literates from China and Portuguese speaking countries, aims to improve the understanding and cooperation among these nations, preventing the loss of the Portuguese cultural and historical remains in Macau, which was built from nothing by our ancestors and developed and preserved by the Portuguese for almost five centuries.
I believe it also pretends to draw attention to the study of the Portuguese language, so important in the future, mainly for China and the business world, as it is spoken by approximately 250 million people in Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Timor and Cabo Verde, being the third European language and the eighth most spoken worldwide.
And, as everybody knows, the knowledge of any language cannot be accomplished without the understanding of the country’s culture, which can be easily and enjoyably acquired through the works of its writers and other artists.
By the way, I hope that most (if not all) of the conferences and roundtables will be held in Portuguese, otherwise it would be rather awkward, given the special aims of this festival.
_ Do you look forward to participating?
. Of course, I’m eager to participate in such an important event! It will allow me to meet other writers, not only from the Lusophone world, but also from China and other eastern countries. And, as The Pirate of the Seven Seas (O Corsário dos Sete Mares), my new historical novel’s subject is Fernão Mendes Pinto – a sixteenth century Portuguese adventurer that sailed for almost 20 years on the China sea –, I was preparing my trip to China and Macau, in order to follow his trail, when I received the Casa de Portugal’s invitation, from Mrs. Maria Amélia António, to present my book at The Script Road. It was the most delightful surprise!
So, I’ll be in Macau for the Festival, where I hope to participate in some events and visit some schools, and on the 17th I’ll leave for my two weeks tour in China.
_ What do you hope to achieve by being a part of it?
. I hope to learn a lot by listening to my fellow writers and, it is also a great opportunity for me to present my work during The Script Road festival, making myself known to the Macau readers. And (who knows? – in the Year of the Serpent anything is possible!), as half of my book is about China and the early contacts with Portuguese merchants and diplomats, maybe “The Pirate of The Seven Seas” will attract the attention of a publisher interested in making a Chinese edition.
_ Do you feel that Macau has potential in terms of becoming a hive of expressed creativity?
. I have never been in Macau, I don’t know its way of life and thinking, as a live community, so it is rather difficult for me to express my opinion on this matter. However, Macau was (and still is, I believe) a multicultural crossroad, which generally makes the perfect conditions to potentiate creativity and original works of any art.
_ Do you believe this literary and arts festival is a good way to lure out talented folk in Macau?
. I think it is already doing it, motivating potential new writers, for example, with the short-story competition and other events. But it is essential to have a very good, even aggressive, advertising campaign of the festival, namely among the young people, students and others.