Letter from
the Editor

  •  Photo. © 2015 Nikos Stamatopoulos 

In Clarice Lispector’s short story “Ruído de Passos” (“Sound of Steps”) (1974) the octogenarian Cândida Raposo is afflicted by “a vertigem de viver” (“the vertigo to live”). Underlying this vertigo is an unholy mixture of desire and pleasure: “Pois foi com dona Cândida Raposo que o desejo de prazer não passava” (“So it was with Cândida Raposo that the desire for pleasure never went away”). To cure her malady, Cândida Raposo, wilted with age, visits a gynecologist. However, the doctor only has bad news: “Minha senhora, lamento lhe dizer que não passa nunca” (“My lady, I’m sorry to tell you that it will never go away”). After the patient complains that she is eighty-one years old, the gynecologist replies that the diagnosis is terminal: “É até morrer” (“It lasts until you die”). Cândida Raposo laments: “Mais isso é o inferno!” (“But this is hell!”). The doctor corrects her: “É a vida, senhora Raposo” (“It’s life, Mrs. Raposo”). The next line of the story contains a banal revelation, masked in the form of twin questions: “A vida era isso, então? Essa falta de vergonha?” (“This was life, then? This lack of shame?”). That night Cândida Raposo goes home and masturbates, leaving “mudos fogos de artifícios” (“mute fireworks”) in her wake. These mute fireworks accompany feelings of shame, sadness, and the terrible revelation that the desire for pleasure will hound her until death.

In the seventh issue of Párrafo we explore the impulses that terrify Lispector’s elderly protagonist. The Horny Issue embraces the sensations of pleasure, sex, kink, longing, and beauty. We found inspiration for this magazine in the bravado of Dirk Diggler in Boogie Nights, the muscular eroticism of Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs, the torturous nature of desire in Clarice Lispector’s short stories and novels, and the unabashed kinkiness of Peter Strickland’s film The Duke of Burgundy. Like these characters and works of art, the images, poems, and stories in this issue are perverted and impudent. We make no apologies for our twisted libidos and love of leather. What follows is unquestionably horny.

 

Zeke Trautenberg