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Pereira Maintains

by Antonio Tabucchi

Written as a testimonial, Pereira represents a personification of political conscience. I was captivated by his reluctant political awakening in late 1930’s Portugal and by his reckless final act of rebellion. This is a concise, intense, original novel; a surprisingly thrilling page-turner given the weight of its subject matter. An enthralling and somehow menacing read.

Extract

The problem is that you oughtn’t to get involved with problems bigger than you are, Pereira wanted to say. The problem is that the whole world is a problem and it certainly won’t be solved by you or me, Pereira wanted to say. The problem is that you’re young, too young, you could easily be my son, Pereira wanted to say, but I don’t approve of your making me a father to you, I’m not here to sort out your conflicts. The problem is that between us there must be a correct professional relationship, Pereira wanted to say, and you must learn to write properly, because otherwise, if you’re going to base your writing on the reasons of the heart, you’ll run up against some thumping great obstacles I can assure you.
But he said nothing of all this.
Translated by Patrick Creagh

Parallels

The Piano Cemetery by Jose Luis Peixoto
The History of the Siege of Lisbon by Jose Saramago
 

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