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Abúndio Martins de Sousa
Lawyer / Writer

Let’s have culture!

Culture, in terms of knowledge, is intrinsically linked to the evolution of the human being, as a person and as a citizen, both individually and socially, as an activity of assimilation of systematised and organised information in different branches and areas. Like all other phenomena of humanity, culture has to be arranged and distinguished, according to differentiating contents, its own methodologies of expression and singular fields of experimentation, which may correlate on common and even complementary levels, but without ever losing the fundamental identity that characterises each area of knowledge.
All modern, humanist, democratic and developed societies should commit themselves to the creation, preservation and development of mechanisms of cultural evolution and stimulation, in its various aspects, as the only way to true collective and individual development, because it is through cultural assimilation and development that each person and each society will be able to project itself, with success and distinction, among all the others, not in a competitive perspective, but of complementary and constructive personal enrichment. This process should be democratised to the highest degree, providing cultural access to all subjects, independently of their socio-economic condition, sex, race, religious conviction, political options, because, otherwise, it would be retrograde and inadmissible to sectorise cultural access, according to other differentiation requirements, other than the fundamental interest in evolving and learning.
In turn, cultural dialectics is very much rooted in the assimilation of facts and experiences, but not necessarily on a strictly empirical level, since it would be absurd to pretend that, in order to reach certain results, we all have to go through the same situations and phenomena. On the other hand, the aim is to establish a link between various testimonies, in a universal line of continuity and in a generalised cultural exchange, but no less rigorous and profound for that. What is at stake is the possibility of assimilating, even if not with one’s own eyes, the testimony of those who were there and directly witnessed the facts. Hence the importance of putting in writing the cultural experiences of those who have lived them directly. The fact is that the areas of knowledge are so vast that it would be absurd and impossible to claim to be in all of them at the same time. Hence, the crucial importance of promoting the ways of cultural transmission, among which reading plays an irreplaceable role, since through it we acquire the extraordinary possibility of crossing various and different universes, passing through places where we have never been, and in situations whose reproduction is not, and perhaps never will be, within our reach, but whose result is given to us by those who were present, so that we may enjoy and draw the respective benefit and the necessary utility.
Precisely for this reason, to try to contribute positively to the wider discussion that culture represents, in my writings I am concerned to say things that seem important to me, or at least interesting, and endowed with some usefulness for those who read them.
By this I do not mean that the good rule will be to be permanently philosophising. Not a little more or less. That would cause an unbearable “intellectual drunkenness”. What seems more important to me than anything else is that we can transmit experiences and certain points of view, for the confrontation of opinions. That is, so that those who read can form their own opinion, even if it may eventually differ from the position expressed by the characters.
“The Judge”, my latest book, is no exception, since it portrays various aspects of the environment experienced in the courts, among legal professionals, from the point of view of magistrates and lawyers. It also confronts the perspective of sociology with that of law as human behavioural sciences. It shows the importance of realising how intrinsically and umbilically linked we are to emotions, even if we pretend not to be, if and when it is necessary to be exempt and objective. Of course, all this is not presented by me, but by the characters, who in the novel are autonomous from the author who, eventually, in some points of view, may even be in disagreement with them, which is not to be deepened or even dissected here.
It is worth highlighting the enormous power of literature, because besides transfiguring reality, it can also demultiply personalities, perspectives and universes, as often as the writer wants, with a view to transforming the world for the better.
Let’s have culture.