Si la vérité surgissait absolument nue, elle serait belle sans être terrifiante; mais, première née de la flamme, un voile de fumée recouvre son grand corps admirable. De se laisser ombrager le corps se devine mieux encore; le voile ambigu est à la vérité son impudeur mortelle; il se nomme SCANDALE. – Nora Mitrani, in L’Almanach surréaliste du demi-siècle, 1950
transl. by Myrna Bell Rochester, in Penelope Rosemont (Ed.), ’Surrealist Women: An International Anthology’ (University of Texas Press, 1998):
If Truth burst forth absolutely naked, she would be beautiful without being terrifying; but, firstborn of the flame, a veil of smoke obscures her long, admirable body. For allowing itself to remain in shadow, the form of the body is even better divined; for Truth, the ambigous veil is fatal shamelessness; its name, scandal.
The poets Nora Mitrani and Alexandre O'Neill met at the Lisbon Surrealist Group Exhibition, in 1949. “A Portuguese Goodbye” was addressed to Mitrani by O'Neill when she had to go back to Paris and he could not leave Lisbon.
Nos teus olhos altamente perigosos vigora ainda o mais rigoroso amor a luz dos ombros pura e a sombra duma angústia já purificada
In your highly dangerous eyes still thrives the most rigorous love the shadow of pure shoulders and the shadow of an already purified anguish