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Articles tagged "Portugal"

João and Maria: An Excerpt from Susana Moreira Marques’s “Now and at the Hour of our Death”

The following is an excerpt from Susana Moreira Marques's Now and at the Hour of our Death, a nonfiction work that resulted from Moreira Marques's trip with a palliative care team to Trás-os-Montes, a forgotten corner of northern Portugal, a rural area abandoned by the young. While there, she visits villages where rural ways of life are disappearing. Her book presents stories from families facing death in their own words and through Moreira...

Cousins from Overseas

What if Brazilian imperial prince Dom Pedro Afonso had survived instead of dying as a child in 1850? By the end of the 1860s he would become a hero at the War of the Triple Alliance after capturing the Paraguayan tyrant Solano Lopez. Relying on his heroic male heir, emperor Dom Pedro II abdicates in favor of Pedro Afonso in 1886, who will rule as “Dom Pedro III”, the most beloved monarch of the Empire of Brazil. His coronation will assure the survival of Brazilian imperial...

The Devil Lives in Lisbon

On Mondays Mother always got up at five o’clock. She would leave half an hour after getting out of bed, once she had gathered up all the breakfast crockery, and then, looking at us again with a smile, she would not be back home till Saturday. When she’d come back down the same path that she had gone up on Monday. Nieves was seven at the time. I was six. Elisa, just three. Mother worked as a schoolteacher. In La Comba, a small village in the mountains. The little bus would come...

Antonio Lobo Antunes’s “The Land at the End of the World

For many years, António Lobo Antunes and the late Nobel Laureate José Saramago have been widely considered the two leading men of letters in Portuguese literature, each with his own defenders and detractors. As men of Portugal, their various approaches to the country provide a striking comparison. Many of Saramago’s novels, for instance, might be called globally nonspecific, set in locales without name or where the backdrop is ancillary to the story. But for Lobo...

Portuguese

The Woman Who Stole the Rain

I go to Lisbon on business fairly regularly. I get on a plane to go there, if not every month, then at least every six weeks or so. I understand the language well enough not to need an interpreter, having spent a good deal of my childhood and adolescence in Brazil, where my parents lived for some years, again for professional reasons. I know the city reasonably well too. Places we travel to frequently eventually do start to feel familiar, at least superficially, even when, at a deeper...

Rimbaud in America

Fever in the knees gold in the belly and-almost forgot- the varicose veins: so you arrive drenched to the bone by the salt of Abyssinia. Deep inside, a desire to be ever departing as if poetry were -horror at solid ground- the edge of an absolute coast. But there are reefs along the shore and shark teeth on the high sea. Beyond that, it's impossible to predict when the spirit- blessed or maligned- will speak. For this,...
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