At the beginning of January, a jargon-free bridge was created between the complex worlds of philosophy and literature in a workshop based at Casa Álvaro de Campos. Building on a series of successful Cafe Philosophical workshops in Faro, Maria João Neves Ph.D. led the interactive discussion in English. Two more workshops, (both in English) will take place in February and March.

In the January workshop, Lydia Jorge was under the lens for discussion. Her work “The Day of Prodigies” (book) published in 1979, focused on wonder and astonishment. Eight people listened and reflected on the idea of how and why we experience astonishment. Lydia Jorge’s work recalls the April 1974 revolution in Portugal. It is an allegory of the closed and stationary country under a dictatorship. The scene is set in a local Algarve village awaiting change while attaching significance to a frightening event leading to astonishment.

One participant Samantha Bernie, said, “Having lived in the Algarve for 3 years now, the chance to explore the work of a local literary author through a philosophical perspective was both fascinating and intriguing. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will certainly be back for the next one.”

Cafe PhiloThe second of the three literature based Philosophical Cafe sessions will take place on Friday, February 9th. The workshop is an informal opportunity, to look at portions of the work of a local writer who has been influenced by and has influenced the Algarve psyche.

This second workshop will consider the poems of the Olhao poet João Lúcio: The poem “Descendo” will be explored through the theme of the intimate mystery of things

On Friday 9th March the work of author Sophia de Mello Bryner Andresen will be discussed. She is not from the Algarve but spent a lot of time here and has an affinity for the region. She was both a writer and poet. The surname ‘Andresen’ came from her paternal great, grandfather, a Danish merchant. She won acclaim as a storyteller with Contos Exemplares (Exemplary Tales) and “Histórias da Terra e do Mar” (Stories of Land and Sea).

The facilitator, Maria João Neves, is a warm, open woman with a wealth of knowledge and a depth of understanding.  She said, “I studied philosophy and my Ph.D. is the only study of Maria Zambrano in Portuguese.” Zambrano was a Spanish intellectual who actively campaigned for the establishment of the Spanish Second Republic. She wrote Filosofía y poesía (Philosophy and Poetry) (1940).MJN USA

The Philosophical Cafe is a grassroots forum for philosophical discussion, founded by philosopher Marc Sautet in December 1992 in Paris.

Each Cafe session will be at Casa Álvaro de Campos. (The Casa is on the steps going up to the Misericórdia Church in Tavira).

The session will not be a lecture, but a discussion based on a text. It will last about one hour and thirty minutes.

Please confirm attendance with Maria João She will send you the text for discussion.

The suggested contribution is €5