Carta ao Pai (Letter to his Father)


Carta ao Pai (Letter to his Father)


Fragment of handwritten letter by Kafka

Carta ao Pai (Letter to his Father) (1992)
Theater play inspired in the homonymous book by Franz Kafka. Directed by Ione de Medeiros and performed by Cia Absurda de Teatro – Paulo Lisboa and Fernando Lima.

Original soundtrack by Antonio Celso Ribeiro

Voice by Kátia Beatriz de Oliveira and Fanuel Maciel Lima Jr. (in memorian)

“Carta ao Pai” (Letter to his Father) is the name usually given to the letter Franz Kafka (1983 – 1924) wrote to his father Hermann in November 1919, indicting him for his emotionally abusive and hypocritical behavior towards him.

Kafka hoped the letter would bridge the growing gap between him and his father, though in the letter he provides a sharp criticism of both:

“Dearest Father,
You asked me recently why I maintain that I am afraid of you. As usual, I was unable to think of any answer to your question, partly for the very reason that I am afraid of you, and partly because an explanation of the grounds for this fear would mean going into far more details than I could even approximately keep in mind while talking. And if I now try to give you an answer in writing, it will still be very incomplete…”

According to Max Brod, Kafka actually gave the letter to his mother to hand on to his father. His mother never delivered the letter but returned it to her son. The original letter, 45 pages long, was typewritten by Kafka and corrected by hand. Two and a half additional pages were written by hand.

The soundtrack was reviewed by Portuguese music critic Fernando Midiões during Cia Absurda tour in Portugal and Spain in the 90. Midiões wrote: “The music for ‘Letter to his Father’ is powerful, strong, well orchestrated and supported the tension and acting throughout the performance”. The hiss sound on the background is due to the original soundtrack recorded in reel tape.

Paulo Lisboa

For score requests and other informations, please contact the composer.