Foto: Eduardo Sterzi


At the invitation of the Goethe-Institut, Brazilian writer Veronica Stigger wrote an essay for the "Episódios do Sul" project website.​

I Pre-(hi)stories

If I start drinking
blood, can I stay young
forever and live a long time?

If I drink
demon's blood,
will I get the power to fly?

If I drink human blood
from an HIV carrier,
can I catch the virus?

Is killing chickens to
drink their blood and drinking the blood
of other animals bad for you?

Isn't drinking the blood
of other people

Is it bad for you
to drink
your sister's blood?

Is it bad for you
to shower after
drinking blood?

Can blood
be used to
recharge batteries?

Drinking blood:
what does the Bible

Foto: Eduardo Sterzi

II (Hi)story

Imagine an accident with one of those blood trucks, said Franklin, holding the goat's head in his lap. What blood trucks? Eduardo replied, driving the red Uno with the crumpled rear bumper and broken right headlight. It'd happen here, in the middle of the Bandeirantes, right at this spot, after you cross the Tropic of Capricorn, said Franklin. What blood trucks? insisted Eduardo. The truck driver would take his hand from the wheel for one second to wipe his brow – continued Franklin, ignoring his associate's question and the smear of blood from the newly severed goat's head staining his turquoise shorts – and that same damned second the truck's left wheel would drop into the only pothole in the asphalt that hadn't been resurfaced and the driver would lose control. Even if he wasn't distracted trying to wipe away that drop of sweat threatening to get in his eye, there's no way he'd see the hole, Eduardo added, now taking a fancy to the story, because it'd be late on a particularly dark and moonless, starless night. The truck would overturn, Franklin continued, and skid to a stop two hundred meters ahead, blocking traffic and creating a mammoth traffic jam, bringing the Marginal Tietê to a standstill for hours and hours, all the way to Cumbica. The body of the truck would split and blood would spurt out of it like from a huge, gaping wound, or like a jugular sliced by the sharpest knife ever produced by our good friend Tom. No! exclaimed Eduardo. Not a knife. Cut with a sword! Yeah! Franklin agreed, a sword! A samurai sword, with a carved wooden handle depicting the creation of the world, said Eduardo, lastly. Then, Franklin continued, the blood would cascade from the truck and flow down the highway in frothy, deep red waves, forming puddles here and there, and turning both the asphalt and the vegetation on the side of the highway completely red. People would get out of their cars and go over to the truck. When the flashlights of their phones illuminated the road and they saw that absurd amount of blood, bloodshed on a scale they could have never imagined until then, they'd start screaming. Yeah, Eduardo nodded, they'd start screaming and pulling out their hair, thinking it must be end times. Men would kneel on the ground, added Franklin, women would try to rip their clothes and all the children would vomit. Except for one. Except for one, repeated Eduardo. A little boy, said Franklin. An Indian boy, added Eduardo, a boy about ten years old who used to walk down to the roadside at that time of night and watch the cars go by. The chief's youngest son, said Franklin. No, replied Eduardo, the chief himself, the future chief. This boy, Franklin continued, would stoop down and, like a thirsty dog, lap up the blood pooled in the pothole that had caused the accident. He'd lap up all that blood, like a vampire, as if it were the last of the world's water reserves. And when not a single drop of blood remained in the hole, added Eduardo, he'd go back to the roadside, where he came from, he'd hike up Jaraguá Peak and there, from up high, he'd look back at the road and think that the smell of that blood, a smell that would soak through the pavement and would still be smelt for three long days, was stronger, sweeter and more cloying than the smell of the vomit. It would be terrifying, said Franklin. Terrifying! And the two of them sat nodding their heads in agreement. Just one thing, said Eduardo finally, is there such a thing as a blood truck? Yeah. Of course there is. They're the trucks that carry donated blood from one hospital to another. I see them all the time out here. Yeah, there's such a thing, isn't there? I don't know.

Foto: Eduardo Sterzi

III Art (Hi)stories

Artist sweetens
art dealer's coffee
with menstrual blood

Tattooist makes small
incisions on inner thighs
and consumes the fresh blood

Michele prefers pig's
blood, which is easily
found at the market

In artistic experiment,
Frenchwoman injects horse blood
and feels extra-human

“I just try to avoid the
neck area: it's so cliché,”
says American

At the vernissage they
will serve Bloody Marys
made with real blood

It was Beuys
himself who
killed the hare

When the Deluge
of blood comes
Noah won't have an ark

Franklin went to see
a vampire movie
and thought of a poem

Veronica Stigger is a writer, art critic and university professor. Her published works of fiction include Os anões (Cosac Naify, 2010), Delírio de Damasco (Cultura e Barbárie, 2012), Opisanie świata (Cosac Naify, 2013) and Sul (34, 2016), as well as the children's books Dora e o sol (34, 2010) and Onde a onça bebe água (SESC São Carlos, 2012; Cosac Naify, 2015). For Opisanie świata, her first novel, she was awarded the Machado de Assis prize, the São Paulo (Debut Author) prize and Açorianos prize (Long Narrative). ​

Translation: Zoë Perry