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W240

Agustina Bessa-Luís

“Frankly – Why do you think I write? For annoy as many people as I can, with maximum intelligence. By narcissism, that is a civilizing fact.”

 

Biography

Agustina Bessa Luís, née Maria Agustina Ferreira Teixeira Bessa (born October 15, 1922, Vila Meã, Portugal), novelist and short-story writer whose fiction diverged from the predominantly neorealistic regionalism of mid-20th-century Portuguese literature to incorporate elements of surrealism.

The best-known of Bessa Luís’s early novels is A Sibila (1954; “The Sibyl”), which won the Eça de Queirós prize and in which the boundary between physical, psychological, and ironic reality is tenuous and the characters gain an almost mythic quality. In Bessa Luís’s fiction, notions of time and space become vague, and planes of reality flow together, dimming the sense of a logical order of events. Her prose has been called “metaphysical” and “ultra-psychological,” and the influence of Marcel Proust and Franz Kafka may be distinguished in the fictional worlds she created.

Other well-known novels of Bessa Luís include Os incuráveis (1956; “The Incurables”), A muralha (1957; “The Stone… read more

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JHB

25Jan12

"Agora, o que se diz da Sibila surpreende-me bastante. Dividem-na em porções, como os mapas de campanha, e descobrem nela teoremas de Lacan e de Freud. Eu sempre pensei que A Sibila era a minha tia Amélia, vaidosa e com jeito para coisas de tribunais, e que sabia como ninguém estufar um pato com pimenta, num lume de rama de pinheiro. A resina, ao arder, dava ao pato um sabor especial. Entre isso e Lacan não sei que relação haverá." em 'Contemplação carinhosa da angústia'

Ferah likes this

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The Stunner

21Jan12

drives me crazy.

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nathaniel drake carlson

19Oct09

Still almost no translations of her work into English (and even the French editions aren't easy to come by). A ridiculous situation but one I really don't expect to be rectified in my lifetime.

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