I once phoned up the greatest cartoonist in the world. His name is João Abel Manta and he has given up cartooning in favour of portraiture. I wanted to conduct a brief interview, but forget about it. He doesn’t like those black and white things he did in the sixties and seventies. He would only have old man things to say, boring things, he insists. I hang up the phone feeling guilty for having disturbed the dust. I feel deeply shamed, as if I had been conducting some kind of telephone scatologia. João Abel Manta’s silence is politics’ silence, we have given up on something precious in favour of passive-aggressive ways of being. That giving up seems beyond repair.
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