Pereira Declares (book review) Antonio Tabucchi

A Testimony

Patrick Creagh(Translator)


080415: brisk, beautiful, clear, concise. this very short book contains many ideas, much emotion, through the narrative of a good, though blinkered and naive, journalist in Portugal 1938, through which we can sense from the ground, from small moments, what has become the rise of fascism and soon world war 2. this melancholy, aging, lonely protagonist works as cultural critic for a small Lisbon paper, who is woken in his meditations on death, his pre-dated obituary articles filed for use when subjects die, by an idealistic young man in whom he sees himself- and fights but accepts becoming a fatherly role. but fascism of the time and place does not allow him to publish works he gets from the the youth, and this political storm is seen not from the centre, from the actors, in what we will call history, but by the small voices, the quiet moral man. this 'congress of souls', this 'dispersed consciousness', and this 'dominant ego'- yes it is all in one man, all in all men, and to look away, to try and translate art, ignore censorship, is finally not enough. do what you can, no matter how little, do what you can...

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