Sunday, July 22, 2012

António Lobo Antunes

Main masterpieces: 

  • Memória de Elefante (1979)
  • Os Cus de Judas (1979)
  • Conhecimento do Inferno (1981)
  • Auto dos Danados (1985) 
  • Tratado das Paixões da Alma (1990)
  • A Morte de Carlos Gardel (1994)
  • Manual dos Inquisidores (1996)
  • O Esplendor de Portugal (1997)
  • Exortação aos Crocodilos (1999)
  • Não Entres tão Depressa Nessa Noite Escura (2000)
  • Boa Tarde às Coisas Aqui em Baixo (2003)
  • Eu Hei-de Amar uma Pedra (2004)
Historical period in literature: 
21st Century Literature

Subjects and style

The novelty introduced by António Lobo Antunes's novelistic reveals itself in several features that makes it unique. 

Many of the books of António Lobo Antunes refer or are related to the whole process of moving from the end of the Estado Novo till the deployment of Democracy. The end of the Colonial War, the end of a bourgeois world marked by retrogade and conservative values. The problems of the quick social change on April 25 1974, and therefore the political instability experienced in Portugal. This process of change is reflected in family relationships. Usually in this author's novels appear dysfunctional families in which the individual is losing his references, in which communication is either null or superficial among its members. In general the anti-heroes are people from the liberal professions of "good families".
At the same time, the cruel self-knowledge of the country's pre-and post-revolutionary is done with violence and negativity. The aim is not the lyricism of a helpless rebellion, but on the contrary, playing the black humor, the annulment of any sentimentalism in desacralization of the images of a recent past and lucid analysis of the collective madness and collapse.

It is consensual to consider his writing as complex, obsessive with simultaneous descriptions and constantly changing of narrators. In fact the reader has some difficulty on reading his novels because, for example, it is not unusual to have changes of narrator and the reader has a tendency to "lose the thread".
However although he is not an author who chooses to write in an easy way, Lobo Antunes is a sales phenomenon and is widely read internationally, especially in Continental Europe.

Literary Awards

Among the awards stand out the following: Prize of Portuguese Writers' Association (1895 and 1999); France Culture Prize (1996 and 1997); The Austrian State Prize for European Literature (2000); Jerusalem Prize (2005); Camões Prize (2007); France Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (2008).

A Morte de Carlos Gardel adapted into movie in 2011

Director: Solveig Nordlund
Cast: Albano Jerónimo, Celia Williams, Rui Morrison, Teresa Gafeira, Ruy de Carvalho

Watching movie trailer

Consulted sources:  

Portal da Literatura Portuguesa

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