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In “A Confissao De Lucio” The Identity Of Marta Is The Principal Mystery Essay, Research Paper

Much of what happens in “A confissão de

Lúcio” seems inexplicable.

Sá-Carneiro’s presentation of the supernatural in

the story is a mystery that both the characters and the reader

try to solve. Marta’s identity is indeed a great mystery

since the question of her existence has a major bearing on the

outcome of the story. The relationship between Lucio and Ricardo

also ties in with Marta and is an aspect that should be

considered. ??????????? There is little rational evidence to show that

Marta is a real human being. Indeed, the only active dialogue

that we encounter is at one of Ricardo’s dinners: “Que beijo tan desengraçado!

Parece impossivel que ainda não saiba dar um

beijo…” It is still perfectly possible that Marta really exists in the

context of the supernatural nature of the story, especially since

we must often look for irrational evidence to make sense of the

plot. Despite the fact that Ricardo refers to Marta vaguely in

his letter, he is still mentions her as another human being.

Ricardo’s separation from Lúcio suggests that there

is little ground for interaction between the two. It is on these

occasions when there is less clarity about Marta’s physical

existence. Marta’s actions are often described in relative

detail as opposed to a vagueness which would cast her in a less

realistic light. For example, her lovemaking with Lúcio is

described in detail. Interestingly, her body is that of a

female’s: Lúcio describes her as having long hair

and female sexual organs. If Ricardo and Marta were to be the

same person, this would be a conflicting detail if we were to

look at it literally. One could argue that Sá-Carneiro had

to make a strong linkage with reality to make such a character

viable; otherwise the reader would look to Lúcio’s

experimental mind and his possible insanity for an answer. ??????????? There is significantly more evidence suggesting

that Marta does not physically exist. It is Ricardo’s

words: “…para ser amigo de alguem…forçoso

me seria antes possuir quem eu estimasse, ou mulher ou homem. Mas

uma criatura do nosso sexo, não a podemos possuir. Logo eu

so poderia ser amigo de uma criatura do meu sexo, se essa

criatura ou eu mudassemos de sexo…” which create the need for Marta’s supernatural

existence. Indeed, Lúcio doubts about her reality. No

mention is made about her background and despite his

often-unsubtle attempts to extract information about her,

Lúcio never finds out conclusively about Marta.

Lúcio says that once an event is forgotten it is as if

it never existed. This ambiguity runs throughout the story

– since events are recalled in retrospect there is the

chance that they are not remembered correctly or did not even

take place. The culminating evidence that Marta does not exist

must be her vanishing at the end of the story; Lúcio also

sees her disappear at a musical soiree and states that it was if

she never existed. It is bizarre that Lúcio

“forgets” to enquire about her and that he cannot

remember the crucial event which started the relationship. It is

as if Lúcio has realised that, in telling his story he has

missed out crucial details about Marta and has attempted to

obscure them. If this were true, one could take a less probable

view: that Lúcio is covering up for Marta and is

purposefully making her a vague character.? ??????????? Marta is an intermediary in the relationship

between Ricardo and Lúcio. One of the mysteries in the

story is whether her existence ( in the supernatural sense )

facilitates a homosexual relationship between the two men or

whether she is a part of a real love triangle. Indeed,

Lúcio speculates as to whether she has had relationships

with every single man she has had by her side. This concept makes

her identity even more obscure. Did Ricardo need to use Marta on

men such as the Russian count and Narciso do Amaral? He does

admit that he: “…sent her off to embrace that

Warginsky …he seemed so loyal…so worthy of my

affection…”which hints at a failed relationship. The

fact that Ricardo never mentions her infidelity hints at the

direct relationship between the two men. Much of the emphasis

that Lúcio places in the novella (mainly the italicised

sentences) depicts Marta as being a figment of the imagination.

She could be said to embody the “além” –

a concept that both protagonists believe in. There is great

ambiguity about the sort of relationship between Ricardo and

Lúcio. Ricardo needs to feel affection for someone to be

his friend, previously he had only felt tenderness. This attitude

describes a feeling of possession on Ricardo’s part.

Despite the fact that it is Lúcio who describes enjoying

the relationship with Marta/Ricardo, it is the latter who

actively suggests his love for Lúcio: “Só se te beijasse, te enlaçasse, se te

possuisse…” Possibly, the outcome of the story is as such because Ricardo

can never fully realise what he believes to be a complete

friendship/relationship and that Lúcio does not

reciprocate in the same way. Indeed it is Lúcio who

appears startled at Ricardo’s revelation: that he has

realised that Ricardo truly thinks in the same way as

him:????? ??????????? “Eu era alguem a cujos pés, sobre

uma estrada lisa, cheia de sol e árvores, se cavasse de

súbito um abismo de fogo.” ? Marta’s identity certainly does have a great relevance

to the outcome of the story. If she were a real physical

existence, the shooting event would appear to be too obscure. One

would suppose that the characters on the periphery of the plot

like the police, the judges and the servants would have a

realistic conscience and that someone as crucial to the case as

Marta would be discovered. The reader could well conclude that

Lucio is insane or that this image of Marta has evolved to such

an extent that she is a real human being by the time of the

murder. On the other hand, if Marta were just an illusion, the

final scene would be equally unclear. We can rationally conclude

that Ricardo tries to kill her (who is within his soul) and so

kills himself. ??????????? The “além” is another

mysterious aspect of the novel. One can categorise the bizarre

scenes in the novella. “O fantástico” is

different to the supernatural in that it is an indecision between

two domains and types of interpretation. There is a

“strangeness” that can be seen through a natural

unveiling that the narrative seems to present or there is the

“maravilhoso” which is simply the acceptance of an

irrational world. Lúcio especially presents the reader

with seemingly irrational thoughts and visions, whether we should

look into the less important aspects of Lúcio’s

conscience is debateable. The supernatural does however, give the

reader an insight into Lúcio’s character as well as

giving grounds for Marta’s existence. The very fact that

the supernatural is irrational is a reason not to find a fixed

meaning in the “além”. One should investigate

these supernatural thoughts to find evidence on the split

personalities and interpretations in the story.?????????????

? ????????? ? ??????????? ???? In conclusion, Marta’s identity is the

principal mystery in “A confissão de

Lúcio” ?since there are so many inconclusive

theories about her. Lucio’s portrayal of her through his

visions of the “além” gives her a completely

unrealistic character but at the same time her actions often lead

the reader to believe that she must physically exist.

Lúcio’s relationship with Ricardo is a provocative

one and is equally inconclusive. In the context of the plot it

has less relevance but Ricardo’s outpouring of his emotions

at the end of the story goes a certain way in establishing their

feelings for one another. The murder is obviously a great mystery

and hinges on whether or not Marta is physically present. But if

one were to take the view that Ricardo had killed his soul (and

thus Marta) it would therefore be suicide and not so much of a

confusing end.?


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