The woman who interviewed me asked: "What's the difference between an Italian and a Jewish mother?"
I asked: "Is this a joke?"
"No," she answered, "this is serious. An Italian mother will tell her children: 'When you don't finish your plate I'll kill you.' A Jewish mother will say: 'When you don't finish your plate I'll kill myself.'"
I answered: "That's why I want to be Italian in my next life."
"Le congrès danse beaucoup, mais il ne marche pas." That's the famous quote about the Congress of Vienna.
I would say abut the festival here in Santos that it doesn't march either, it's mainly about eating and drinking, but probably most literary festivals are mainly about eating and drinking. Tonight we entered the German cafe/restaurant Heinz.
The food was good, I'm not sure if it was German though. God may be in the details, food is just food.
The launch of the Brazilian edition of "The Man Without Illness", the interviewer and the audience were more than pleasant, but it was freezing cold in the bookstore.
To warm me up the interviewer came up with an idea for T-Shirts. One one side the text: "Masochism can be mild." On the other side: "Sadism is always extreme."
Or a T-shirt with the text: "Men die earlier. Thank God."
If you are interested in one or more of these T-shirts, please contact my assistant.
I was ready to go to the restaurant in my hotel when the phone rang. "I'm your personal assistant," a man said.
"During the festival," he added. "Do you want to have dinner with us?"
This was a question one could only answer with: "I would be delighted."
"Perfect," the man said. "I'll be in the lobby around 9:30."
Around 9:35 p.m. I was in the lobby myself.
A man approached me. "The opening night of the festival is not over yet, so we have to wait," he said.
We waited an hour. The man turned out to be charming and informative. He showed me a picture of his daughter and he said: "My stepson wants to be a movie director."
I could have gone to bed without dinner, but Santos was going to treat me well.