Fado Alexandrino PDF/EPUB µ Paperback


  • Paperback
  • 497 pages
  • Fado Alexandrino
  • António Lobo Antunes
  • English
  • 15 July 2016
  • 9780802134219

10 thoughts on “Fado Alexandrino

  1. says:

    Grandmaster of MetaphorTrying to come up with the right word to describe Antunes' prose is difficult Any comparisons are superficial but I'll mention all the writers he resembles in minor ways The best single word I could find was tintinnabulation That's what his words do They rattle around in your head slide around like unsecured luggage on a freighter jostle and chortle and crowd one another out the images swarm magnify and recede searing your mind and continually and over and again tintinnabulating until you're terrorized barreling forward into Surreal fractured heavens and hellsAt times I was lost groping through the text wall eyed with indefinable sensations The difficulty level bordered on Faulkner's Absolom Absolom at first but I could feel the blockage loosening up The dams eventually burst and the rollicking hedonistic rambling phantasmagoric words flooded in with Biblical insistence The author's intrinsic reliance on crunchy noodling metaphors within metaphors sold me on the style but it took practice to acclimatize myself to the hailstorm of his method Having read The Land at the End of the World I immediately bought all 13 volumes of Antunes currently available in English Fado Alexandrino is a doubly forceful encore to that book vaster and braver and insane in every way His prophetic images nuanced through bodies and minds his visionary texturing of layer upon layer of perspective the imagination the absurdist comedy the deep pathos the bloody violence all congealed into a twisted nightmare It took me far too long to read At times I recoiled gasping but I always dove in for The book takes place in a restaurant so splattered that the colors all run together The men who tell their stories here are tied together by the tragedies of war and the semblance of lives they lead afterward some politics intrude reality blends seamlessly with their words it is sometimes impossible to tell if a line is spoken aloud by a character or not since uotation marks were missing from Antunes' typewriter There is an astounding richness of diction an abundance of syntax that is most inspiring a Nabokovian variety of descriptions endless clarifications and haunting Kafkaesaue flights of fancy all intricately interwoven with contra textual interpolations until it becomes a fabric of dispossessed roiling shamanistic visions belligerent speculations Borgesian depths of irony and allusion an ever deepening darkness a whirlpool spewed out by the most expressive articulate of cynics amid the most entertaining and gruesome business of warfare as he warps mentally between Mozambiue and Lisbon cradled by his whores the narrator abysmally in his cups indulges in luscious flashbacks which layer the novel with a hazy filterIt is a book to be treasured devoured regurgitated and savored repeatedly It is sustained dementia a mesmerizing panoply of humanity's willy nilly selfishness It's mind boggling to conceive how Antunes' brain concocted all of this controlled chaos The riveting imagery makes for an immersive experience as crowded as an Altman film with the strange toothache of nostalgia fading in and out coupled with effective motifs and repetitions as the characters vomit out the seaIt is an interior sea as detailed and manic as Javier Marias at his best The sea of human emotion and strife language as a liuid solidifying around them The narrative flows The chapter divisions become almost meaningless but stopping reading is like coming up for air before plunging back down into an ocean of grease It meanders digresses diverges submerges you You have to succumb to the galloping rhythm if you are going to make it all the way through this monumental workSchizo phrenetic with constant interruptions confusing jump cuts and scene changes often mid sentence just roll with it It's a sophisticated form of impressionistic storytelling The environment is constantly personified wilderness mingles with urban settings nurses become creatures and the wildest illusions intrude into the mundane conversations of night club drifters Get used to the feel of mud insects rot destruction toads make way for sex murder strangulation erotic fixations bursting pustules everywhere simply everywhere war torn landscapes of the mind stumbling delirious soldiers and obviously death as a hovering omniscience Antunes is as acerbic as Céline but somehow dignified in his irreverence His prose is always biting pissing and scratching as it scrambles through labyrinthine paragraphs you are grabbed manhandled and left in a slowly drying pool of excrement The book is truly fecal in texture with elephantine horrors sliding across the page dwelling too long under your nose dribbling over your mind leaving a definitive tongue shriveling aftertaste at times deliciously repulsive Reminiscences manifesting with lucid detail scenes morphing into still lives memories metamorphosed into fossilized hangover hallucinations these are the corridors of this literary convolution Remarkably it is crystalline in structure and gem like metaphors sprout in abundance The washing machine was sobbing away at its work Hundreds of profound observations about the state and nature of objects and environments parade through the narrative every character is caught with their pants perpetually down trailing afterbirths or excrement like baffled fish in the grit smeared tank of Antunes' mindThe suelching magnificent simile metaphor sandwiches are to be re read endlessly like the following Madam Simone hand in hand with the fellow in a red jacket came back on stage rolling her ancient body with all the grace of a locomotive and bending over in an awkward bow that made the vast withered mass of her mammaries pop out like cartilagenous heads of twins peeping out and hanging down in the course of a birthHow could you not read this?


  2. says:

    Second read As is my habit I shall not attempt to summarize the story just my take on what it is about A brilliant novel by Portuguese author António Lobo Antunes Fado Alexandrino is an alcohol fuelled crawl through Portugal’s colonial wars the Carnation Revolution and the post revolution period all portrayed in their hideous glory As with all of his novels the author takes his readers into a world of violence sex drunkenness hatred and love Simultaneously he has created a work of genius in which the conscientious reader can discern the pain and the confusion in the stories of each of the central characters Most importantly he has left this reader at least in a story filled with deprivation disgust and humour with a deeply felt sense of empathy with the human condition At the end of the book I found myself wondering if given the circumstances of each of their lives I would have been able to overcome a similar fate a fate which on the surface seems to be so easily avoidable As with all of us each character wants to be understood wants to understand wants to simply live what? the good life? Don’t we all?This is the story of five men who gather to celebrate the tenth anniversary of their return from the war of counter insurgency in the then colony of Mozambiue They are the soldier the communications officer the second lieutenant the captain and the lieutenant colonel During the long night of talking drinking and whoring each relates often in painful detail the circumstances of his life Only four of the characters are speaking The fifth is generally the one being addressed Often they are speaking over each other not paying much attention to what the others are saying Often they are confused bewildered distressed by another’s story Typical human communication But I shall leave it those of you who decide to read the book to discern the story Keep in mind that António Lobo Antunes wants to portray people as they actually feel and behave so it is not always easy to sort the characters out Also as the characters speak events do not always unfold chronologically Also note that the book is divided into three sections each with four chapters Thus each character is given three chapters to tell his story in each section but it’s not always that simple If you take on this wonderful challenge I would suggest that you make a list of the four characters then write down the various names they are given throughout along with the events and the women in their lives You may also wish to list the names of the women as they come up and be on the lookout for those known by different names This is probably not at all necessary for those not addled by old age as I amDo read it It is a very human even touching story with lots of heartfelt humour António Lobo Antunes does a wonderful job of putting us in touch with our inner humanity Really


  3. says:

    Difficult dense dirty disturbing dazzling


  4. says:

    Everyone is familiar with the concept of a great american novel This book might be easily called “ a great Portuguese novel” It encompasses traumatic relatively recent past of the country including desperate bloody wars for african colonial possessions followed by the revolution against the dictatorship in 1974 and its aftermath Four main characters all ex millitary men irrevocably damaged by the war are having the reunion 10 years after coming back The book is intermingled monologue of these four during the events of this very long night To say that the characters are unlikable would be an understatement but they are deeply human all the same There is a lot of violence sex and black humour on these pages There are also very acute and bleak observations of a society under the dramatic change the meaning of this change and how each human being is forced to be a part of it It is a very male dominated novel There are a lot of female characters but we only see them through the eyes of these four men For them the women are either the objects of their admiration or instruments for fulfilling their needs This attitude reminded me the essay “Courtly Love or Woman as Thing” by Zizek It is my third novel by Antunes and i love his uniue style of writing It could be called “stream of consciousness” but it is the stream by at least three characters In this novel there are four voices talking moving forwards and backwards in time between the reality and the imaginary of their thoughts It is impossible to appreciate this novel without giving it a full concentration But it pays off in my case He manages to combine very bleak sometimes violent content with lyricism and beautiful imaginary He also is very good in showing the different layers of a moment how the outside reality is juxtaposed with the one inside someone’s head For example in the fragment below the protagonist is talking to another character the captain Mendes all along thinking about his departure from a woman in Goa many years ago She didn’t even speak in the morning when I left her in the tumbledown house beneath a huge thunderclap where invisible hands were torturing the clouds as if they were bread dough The trees were agitated with tics the brimstone light was shedding uick copper coloured flashes over the few unmatched pieces of furniture Not a word not a sound her damp fingers extended an absolute lack of expression on her face the Jeep heaving hesitantly in the windstorm battered by loose leaves trash gusts of water splashed of mud brought up be the wheels just like spit Through the body the words the face the tunic of captain Mendes he saw the house growing smaller in the distance the restless river the anguish of the woods his own heart microscopic vibrating Now you are watching the rain fall in some village or other cookstoves fashioned out of three piles of stones over a small cone of hot coals and twisted logsIt is a long novel It is a demanding novel I have to admit I felt a bit tired by the last 50 pages The knowledge of context would be probably a plus However it is a wise and stylistically superb book


  5. says:

    Two years ago Lobo Antunes pissed people off by making the unarguable statement that by the time he was 40 about the age the 2001 crowd is now he had already published Fado Alexandrino one of the greatest novels of the 20th century and they had nothing of identical power to show for It’s easier to prove 2 and 2 euals 5 than refuting that statement They’re not even trying instant success and hyperbolic adulation has curbed their development Miguel


  6. says:

    Over the course of one long long night five military men who fought in the Portuguese Colonial Wars get blasted and tell their life stories from before the revolution during the revolution and after the revolution Each chapter centers on one of the particular characters the lowly foot soldier the lieutenant colonel who returns from the colonies to find out his wife has died the communist supporting communications officer the second lieutenant whose rich wife leaves him for another woman but voices mingle across chapters and the past and present become nearly indistinguishable a literary muddle of moments some humorous but most pretty emotional and dire And filled with detritus In Antunes's world everything is a bit broken dirty faded fat and gross It's as if all of his characters are living in the entropic end times and trying to figure out how to keep themselves together In many ways this is the prototypical Antunes novel


  7. says:

    As other readers have said this is NOT an easy book to read due to the stream of consciousness the characters not being given names described by military rank very slow reading But worth it I thought Five men are having a reunion on the 10th anniversary of their return from Mozambiue having served in the Portugese army at the very end of the occupation of Mozambiue returning home just before the overthrow of the Portugese dictatorship It helps to know at least a little of mid 20th Century Portugese history For 500 hundred pages we follow these soldiers and their wives girlfriends bosses oomrades lives for better or worse mostly for worse A fascinating rather beautiful book


  8. says:

    literature as tapestryDrowning in words that crash rumble streak past drip down through the cracks in the ceiling swell up from the pages and invade my brain stumble drop fall plunge from every page topple my usual sense of books I made it through FADO ALEXANDRINO to the very end sometimes wondering why I was subjecting myself to such a difficult novel sometimes rejoicing that I'd heard of it by chance many years ago Lobo Antunes whose other works I didn't know has written a nearly 500 page masterpiece which definitely is not for everyone It demands close attention it demands patience and you have to like the flow of language That this is the case even in English is a tribute to the famous translator Gregory Rabassa who almost single handedly brilliantly has brought Portuguese language literature to English readers Five men gather in the 1980s in a bar They served together in Mozambiue around 1970 fighting in one of Salazarist Portugal's colonial wars The novel covers their return to Lisbon the resumption or crumbling of their previous lives and then the onset of the bloodless Portuguese revolution of April 25 1974 One man never speaks but we feel his presence There's a soldier become a furniture mover for his uncle's tottering business There's a second lieutenant from a humble background married into a rich family who flee to Brazil when the Revolution occurs Third is a lieutenant colonel whose wife dies just as he returns from Africa and who takes up with a cloud of perfume in silver high heels and oyster colored eyelids Fourth is a communications officer also referred to as Lieutenant which caused me no end of confusion at first an underground Communist agitator jailed for his pains before being freed after April 25th What happens to the men during that confused period in Portugal's history and then when things settle down is the subject of the rest of the book There's a lot of their sex life a murder and a denouement Set down like that the `plot' of FADO ALEXANDRINO doesn't amount to much No you'll read this because you want to read a highly unusual work of art one that weaves stories the gritty side of Lisbon times voices dreams thoughts imaginations and moments together like a collage like a Pollock painting like a tapestry Lobo Antunes changes direction on pages in paragraphs and even in sentences some of which are extremely long He draws a detailed picture of Portuguese society seen from the bottom up; no touristy views for him You can't just skim along; you have to pay close attention Let's face it Either you're going to be blown away by this incredible book or you're going to toss it after the first 20 pages


  9. says:

    Not an easy read I found myself struggling to distinguish the characters locations and times because much of the narrative is stream of consciousness and not everyone is given a name However the language is so evocative and uite extraordinarily well translated that I was moved and thrilled with sensations created by a large number of passages throughout the book This is a book I will mark down to read again as I am sure that with re reading the plot and characters will become clearer and the smells and sounds will remain just as strong


  10. says:

    The novel is about five Portuguese soldiers returning from the civil war which took place in Angola in the 70’s As they sit around a table all five discuss the madness of war and eventually commit an murder which affects the town they live in as well and works as a sort of wake up callFado Alexandrino displays war in all its cartoon insanity there are passages stuffed with sex violence and corruption crossed with complex emotions and anecdotes The author himself was part of this conflict so I’m sure the novel is autobiographicalMy problem is that I found it dragging Passage upon passage of detail which I found superfluous sure the novel is written in the fado style twelve chapters of 26 verses if i’m not mistaken but I found it a tough slog many times


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Fado Alexandrino 'In this new work by the foremost Portuguese novelist the reunion of five men on the tenth anniversary of their battalion's return from Mozambiue Portugal's Vietnam ends in a fatal stabbing which ultimately serves as an act of liberation for the corrupt city of Lisbon' Newsday


About the Author: António Lobo Antunes

At the age of seven António Lobo Antunes decided to be a writer but when he was 16 his father sent him to medical school he is a psychiatrist During this time he never stopped writingBy the end of his education he had to join the Army to take part in the war in Angola from 1970 to 1973 It was there in a military hospital that he gained interest for the subjects of death and the other T