The fragile charm of cities

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1. New Yorkers know as well as anyone that great cities are works in progress, but disturbed by disasters provoked by avarice, ideology and politics. Now, New York has seen firsthand how acts of terrorism – a variation of such factors – can affect a great city.

2. But every great city rests, in part, on the broken stones, walls, and foundations of its own past. These foundations are strong enough to recover, like the inhabitants themselves. Leveled with the ground, cities rise again, building on what came before.

3. As New Yorkers set about designing and building whatever will stand in the place of the Twin Towers, they would do well to consult Anthony M. Tung’s Preserving the World’s Great Cities. He wrote it after visiting 22 cities, from Amsterdam to Vienna, from Cairo to Kyoto.

4. This wonderful book mixes well-told tales of urban destruction and renewal, using preservation and planning as the prism through which history is viewed.

5. For example, Tung examines Warsaw’s painstaking postwar restoration of its 17th century Old Town, itself a reconstruction of an older neighborhood destroyed by fire.

6. He also looks at how religious conflict has devastated Jerusalem, and how Berlin recovered from World War II and three decades of being split by the Wall.

7. In each chapter, Tung evaluates varying approaches to preservation, seeking solutions that might conciliate the destruction and loss of historical treasures with development.

8. The earliest attempts at preservation, he tells us, date from the seventh century B. C. in Mesopotamia. Anyone who dared to damage the appearance of the Royal Road of Nineveh was hanged from the roof of his own house.

9. By the fifth century A. D., punishments had eased: in Rome workmen found stripping marble from imperial monuments had their hands cut off. Regardless of these draconian measures, Rome’s physical deterioration was far from being halted.

10. Modern sanctions – some would say because they are not so strict – were not able to prevent the attack on New York either. But New Yorkers will surely rebuild – it does not matter how – what they lost last year.

(Adaptado de “The Fragile Charm of Cities” de David Rocks,

in Business Week, 22 de outubro de 2001.)

Questions 1 - 5 (1 pt – 0,5 each)
1. Segundo o texto,

  1. qual é a descrição que se aplica às grandes cidades?

  2. o que os nova-iorquinos vão construir no lugar das Torres Gêmeas?

2. Releia o parágrafo 4 e explique

  1. como está organizado o livro Preserving the World’s Great Cities.

  2. a referência feita à história.

3. Com relação aos esforços de preservação de monumentos,

  1. onde e quando eles tiveram início?

b) qual era o castigo aplicado a quem desobedecia à lei de preservação nesse local?

4. No parágrafo 10 do texto, o que se afirma com relação

  1. ao ataque terrorista a Nova Iorque que destruiu as Torres Gêmeas?­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

  2. aos nova-iorquinos?

The Celts were an ancient, elusive people, who occupied the central stage of Europe and the British Isles for about 800 years, between 700 BC and their almost complete assimilation into the Roman Empire around 100 AD. The Celts built no cities, founded no empires and never developed a written language, but, although their world is now dead, their culture influenced a good part of the continent and spread all the way from Ireland to the shores of the Black Sea. (…)

The gods and goddesses of the ancient Celts were living forces in their imagination and worship, and although Victorian scholars thought that their savage war-goddesses, their sea-gods and the mysteries of the Otherworld were bizarre, barbaric and often incomprehensible, these myths reveal the beautiful and often profound beliefs of a passionate, resourceful and creative people. For the pagan Celts, the essence of the universe, and all its creativity, was female and they left permanent traces of a culture in which women were the spiritual and moral pivot.

The mother goddess, and all her personifications of fertility, love and healing, was an essential basis of their very role in the world. Women featured prominently in Celtic myth and their goddesses occupied positions that represented women of practical, everyday Celtic life. They were free to bear arms, become Druids and engage in politics, unlike their Greek sisters, who were highly idealised in myth but not representative of the reality governing the lives of Greek women.

The very phrase ‘Celtic women’ evokes all kinds of images — fearsome warriors, romantic heroines and tragic, wronged queens (…). The women of the Celtic myths are a reflection of the historical women of early Celtic society with all their problems, loves, heartaches and triumphs. They display a range of characters and positions in society, being powerful, weak, serious, capricious, vengeful and ambitious — there are no emptyheaded beauties. As Moyra Caldicott says in Women in Celtic Myth “one of the things I find so refreshing in the Celtic myths is that the women are honoured as much for their minds as for their bodies. The dumb blond would not stand much of a chance in ancient Celtic society”.

Celtic women achieved high positions in society and a standing which their sisters in the majority of other contemporary European societies did not have. They were able to govern; they played an active part in political, social and religious life. They could be warriors, doctors, physicians, judges and poets. They could own property and remain the owner even when married. They had sexual freedom, were free to choose their partners and divorce, and could claim damages if molested. Celtic women could, and often did, lead their men into battle. The Roman Deodorizes Sickles observed that “The women of the Celts are nearly as tall as the men and they rival them also in courage”. Yet another report by Amicus Marcelling stated that “A whole troop of foreigners would not be able to withstand a single Celt if he called his wife to his assistance!”

So women went to war in the ancient Celtic world and took command of men. The training of a warrior was a long task, frequently undertaken by warrior women, who were responsible for teaching boys the arts of combat and of love. (...)


Questions 5 –10 (1,5 pts - 0,75 each)
5. A escolha de um bom título facilita a compreensão do texto.

Explique como a idéia contida no título “Women of the Celts in Myth and Reality” é desenvolvida no texto.

6. A whole troop of foreigners would not be able to withstand a single Celt if he called his wife to his assistance!” (_. 30 - 31)

A presença de citações é freqüente em textos argumentativos.

Indique com que objetivo a autora inclui a citação acima e identifique o recurso argumentativo que ela emprega ao citar Amicus Marcelling.

7. The dumb blond would not stand much of a chance in ancient Celtic society.” (_. 22 - 23)

Estabeleça a comparação entre o estereótipo feminino atual citado por Moyra Caldicott e as mulheres dos mitos celtas.

8. Celtic women achieved high positions in society and a standing which their sisters in the majority of other contemporary European societies did not have. (_. 24 - 25)

Reescreva uma outra frase do texto que expresse a mesma idéia de caracterização e de comparação contida no fragmento.

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