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The Manual of Painting and Calligraphy

Jose Saramago

Translated by Giovanni Pontiero

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RRP: GBP 14.95
Discount: 10%
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Price: GBP 13.45
Out of Print
Hardback
ISBN: 978 1 857540 43 7
Categories: Portuguese
Imprint: Aspects of Portugal
Published: March 1995
222 x 141 x 8 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: Paperback
  • Description
  • Translator
  • José Saramago, award-winning author of Baltasar and Blimunda, The Stone Raft and The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis, and incontestably the greatest Portuguese novelist since Eça de Queiros, began his career with an extraordinary little book which set the agenda for all that followed.
        
    The last years of Salazar's dictatorship provide a backdrop for The
    Manual of Painting and Calligraphy
    . The story is told by H, a second-rate
    artist commissioned by a wealthy client to paint a family portrait. As he
    works, he reflects on his struggleto survive in a bourgeois world obsessed
    with status and affluence. His portrait focuses animosity, his sitters are
    left uncomfortably exposed. The novel explores wider issues: the functions
    of art and literature; the critic's role; and, in H's tour of Italian
    galleries, a meditation on the influences shaping western culture. Back in
    Portugal, H is embroiled in political fear and mistrust when a friend is
    arrested by the secret police. He falls in love, too, and by the end of the
    story defines his objectives and achieves an inner freedom. This coincides
    with the Portuguese Revolution of 1974 and Salazar's overthrow.
    Giovanni Pontiero
    ... read more
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