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review 2017-07-23 16:17
A Country Without (SF) Readers: “Antologia Cyberpunk” by Editorial Divergência
Proxy - Divergência

Published 2016.

 

“O Neuromante foi publicado por mim em Portugal apenas dois anos depois da primeira edição em língua inglesa. Talvez tenha sido a primeira tradução para uma língua estrangeira. Estremeci de alegria quando o livro veio à estampa. Pensei: agora sim, agora os detractores da FC vão engolir mil sapos.

Infelizmente esqueci-me de que vivemos em Portugal. Num país sem grande futuro, nem mesmo o do Gernsback. Um país sem leitores. Trataram-no como se nem sequer existisse. Ou como se se tratasse de mais umas tantas páginas de lixo escapista. Nas livrarias, foi parar às secções de literatura infantil ou às prateleiras de estudos informáticos. Enfim, não vendeu. Nas Feiras do Livro que se lhe seguiram, foi vendido a retalho por tuta e meia, como se o quisessem oferecer a um pobre. [….] E por não ter vendido, nada de nada, foi razão mais do que suficiente para o Editor me olhar, imbuído de um triste desprezo, me dizer que eu só escolhia coisas muito más, e que por isso teria de pôr fim à colecção de FC. Meu dito meu feito.”

 

("Neuromancer was published by me in Portugal only two years after the first edition in English. Maybe it was the first translation into a foreign language. I jumped with joy when the translation first came out. I thought: 'Yes, now the detractors of SF must bite the bullet.' Unfortunately, I forgot that we live in Portugal. In a country with no great future, not even Gernsback's. A country without readers. They treated the translation as if it did not even exist. Or as if it were some more pages of escapist junk. In the bookstores, it went to the sections of children's literature or to the shelves of computer studies. Anyway, it did not sell. At the Book Fairs that followed, it was sold to retail stores for nothing, as if they wanted to offer it to the poor. [....] And for not having sold anything at all, it was more than enough reason for the Editor to look at me, imbued with a sad contempt, to tell me that I only chose very bad things, and thus end the SF collection. No sooner said than done.")

 

In the foreword by João Barreiros in “Antologia Cyberpunk” by Editorial Divergência.

 

 

I've been reading some old best-of-the-year SF anthologies lately, bought on eBay, as well as this one by Editoral Divergência, a Portuguese book publishing house; it was the last one of the bunch, and in there the cyberpunk trope seems to be swimming in foreign waters, literal and figuratively speaking. While the cyberpunk stories in these anthologies are generally good, there's a distinct sense of hardening sub-genre assumptions about them -- the shared idea that computer criminals would largely be members of street gangs seems particularly far off. By the 1989 anthology, most of the authors who'd been doing cyberpunk had gone on to other things. What about 2016 when this Portuguese cyberpunk anthology came out?

 

 

If you're into SF, read on.

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review 2017-06-24 03:04
[REVIEW] The Letters of a Portuguese Nun by Mariana Alcoforado
The Portuguese Letters: Love Letters of a Nun to a French Officer - Gabriel Joseph De Lavergne Guilleragues,Mariana Alcoforado
“[…] you gave me evidence of a great passion for me. I was overjoyed at it, and I gave myself up to love you to distraction. You were not blinded as I was. Why then did you let me fall into the state in which I now am?”



The text was very hard to read at the beginning. The "f"s that were really "s"s confused me 98% of the time.

However, I immediately felt for Marianna and her plight. I was not annoyed or exasperated by her mad attachment to her unworthy lover. I believe she was a victim of love and considering that she had been living in a convent at a young age, it is sadly unsurprisingly she was taken advantage of.

She was not properly prepared by anyone on what to do when it came to falling in love and the artifices of men. Her love is genuine, honest and even manipulative once her lover disappeared from Portugal. I was moved by her lament and the sincerity of her words. To throw your life away for someone who is unworthy of you is terrible and to see Marianna come to terms with that in her own letters was heartbreaking.

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review 2017-03-17 20:44
#ITHINKICAN: "Antologia do Poesia Fã Clube Novembro 2016" by Several Authors
Antologia do Poesia Fã Clube Novembro 2016 - Manuel Augusto Antão

NB: Antologia do Poesia Fâ Clube Novembro 2016 = Fan Club Poetry Anthology November 2016

I doubt anyone else is going to review this poetry book (it’s in Portuguese, not counting my three contributions in English, and it’s poetry), so I thought I’d do it. The problem with reviewing a book with something of mine inside is that it's impossible to get any distance to it. So some of the time I'll rejoice, and some of the time I'll whimper, but I'm afraid that's unavoidable. Beware.

 

I do agree that reading is suffering as a pleasurable activity. It seems possible though that one of the reasons for this push away from a literary (and literate as some rather startling surveys have suggested) society is that people have a damn hard time finding their niche (Rilke for some of us...) when it comes to reading even though we know where we stand when it comes to religion, politics, music, and even debates on what is and isn’t art. It's almost as if there was some obvious and oppressive majority (our friends) to either instill their taste preferences in us or push us to rebellion through the "TURN THAT SHIT OFF!" gratification system. I doubt most of us (beyond the really hideously sheltered or those raised under horrifyingly religious parents) ever had our parents aware enough of what we were reading to get to the point of telling us to "put that fucking book down and get some fresh air, you pasty hobgoblin!"

 

If you're into Poetry, read on.

 

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review 2017-03-12 16:13
5th Commandment: "The Crime of Father Amaro" by Eça de Queiroz, Margaret Jull Costa (translator)
The Crime of Father Amaro (Dedalus European Classics) by Queiros, Eca de, de Queirez, Eca (2002) Paperback - Eca de, de Queirez, Eca Queiros

Re-read Project. Read originally in Portuguese in the 80s in my Eça de Queiroz phase.

 

“Her old religious devotion was reborn, full of sentimental fervour; she felt an almost physical love for the Church; she would have liked to embrace and to plant lingering kisses on the altar, the organ, the missal, the saints, on heaven itself, because she made no real distinction between them and Amaro; they seemed to her mere appendages of his being.”

 

In “The Crime of Father Amaro” by Eça de Queiroz, translated by Margaret Jull Costa.

 

 

I remember my feelings when I first read it. My take is quite different.

 

For starters, let me just state that I was raised a catholic and I'm still a practicing one.

 

Since the 80s I learnt a few more things along the way, namely that the first pope (Peter) was married and so were many subsequent ones. In the Greek Church, parish priests are required to marry, primarily to head off problems like the ones depicted in this classic of Portuguese literature. In 2 Corinthians, Paul says it is better to marry than to burn with sexual desire and risk "fornication". This biblical injunction was one reason the protestants dropped the requirement like a stone. The original reason for priestly celibacy is that priests were handing down their offices to sons, taking them out of church hands. Concubinage was winked at partially because any children would be illegitimate and thus could not inherit. The pope who declared celibacy the rule was warned about the problems it would generate, which we see to this day. I no longer believe "The Crime of Father Amaro" was an attack on Catholicism, neither to Catholics in general, but as an attack to corrupt people and corrupt institutions.

 

 

If you're into Portuguese Literature, Catholicism, and The Holy Roman Church, read on.

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review 2016-03-22 11:00
A First Novel Published with Delay: Skylight by José Saramago
Skylight - Margaret Jull Costa Jose Saramago

I love the work of Nobel laureate José Saramago and have already read a few of his books, not this one, though - his very first novel published posthumously because the editor to whom the author sent it didn't even bother to answer until decades later when Saramago won the Nobel Prize in Literature.

 

Find out more in the great review that went online here on the Read the Nobels blog past week!

 

Source: readnobels.blogspot.com
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