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Translated by Alison Aiken
RRP: GBP£ 12.95
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Price: GBP£ 11.65
Out of Print
ISBN: 978 1 857543 89 6
Imprint: Aspects of Portugal
Published: October 1999
216 x 138 x 5 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
The first tale in this classic collection evokes, not Portugal, but turn-of-century Amsterdam, a city bound up in its wealth and its moral paradoxes. These are the paradoxes of Manuel Teixeira-Gomes' characters, too, the gap between seeming and being, between desire and its various objects.
A young man boasts of his sexual exploits; but the voice that tells the Erotic Stories belongs to a man reduced (if not diminished) by years and responsibilities. The teller of 'Dead Woman's Grotto' embodies all that the author despises: lack of moral fibre, abuse of position. Sardonic and even amused at the self-infatuation of the youthful lover, the author looks on. It is the laissez-faire attitude to affairs that fascinates and disturbs us: circumstances control the protagonists who, under a libidinal spell, have no will of their own. Their actions and inactions equally reveal immorality. Teixeira-Gomes's women, on the other hand, often strive to give direction to their lives.
ALISON AIKEN, granddaughter of the American poet Conrad Aiken and niece of the children's author Joan Aiken, holds a PhD in Portuguese literature and has been a freelance translator for twenty years.
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