Dom Casmurro Chapter 97


Everything worked out as planned. My mother hesitated at first but eventually gave way after Father Cabral, having consulted the bishop, returned to say yes, it could be done. I left the seminary at the end of that year.

I was then little more than seventeen years old … This should be the middle of the book, but my inexperience let my pen carry me away and here I am almost at the end of my paper and the best of the narrative still to come. What has to be done now is to stride on, chapter by chapter, with few corrections, little reflection, everything briefly related. This chapter alone covers several months, others years, and in this way we shall proceed to our conclusion. One of the sacrifices I make to this harsh necessity is the analysis of my feelings as a seventeen-year-old. I don’t know whether you were ever seventeen years old. But if you were, you must know that it is the age at which the half-boy, half-man forms a curious being. A most curious being, as my friend José Dias might put it, and he would be right. What this superlative quality meant to me could not be told here without falling into the error I have just condemned, though the analysis of my emotions at the time did in fact form part of my plan. Though the child both of the seminary and of my mother, I could not help feeling beneath my chaste exterior some immodest and coarse impulses; they were of the blood but were also provoked by the girls who, in the street or at their windows, never gave me a moment’s peace. They found me handsome and told me so; others wanted to examine my beauty more closely. And vanity is the starting point of corruption.