Blank gaze by Jose luis Peixoto

SOURCE – LIBRARY

Jose Luis Peixoto is a Portuguese  writer that grew up in the southern Alentejo region in Portugal  ,he is a journalist ,poet and critic ,he teaches languages and contemporary literature .he has a love of heavy metal and gothic music one of his other novels was a collaboration with the gothic band moonspell .he has written seven novels with this his début in English his latest in english is piano cemetery .

Well the main ingredients for Blank gaze are a Shepard ,a pair of Siamese twins ,an old man 120 years old Gabriel and a blind prostitute as you can see a strange mix all set in a southern portuguese village that is unnamed .when I first read the dust jacket II was expecting something  a little off the wall,but much to my size the novel is homely told in little tales as we see the village life births deaths and marriages through the eyes of the people who live there and a narrator .these moments are all caught vividly through Peixoto eye ,this is very much somewhere the writer new and char caters he grew up knowing adding to a real sense of reality to the prose .

People are a small part of the world ,and I don’t understand people .I know what they do and the immediate motives for what they do and the immediate motives for what they do , but to know this is to know what’s plain to see ,it’s to know nothing at all .I think : perhaps they exist ,with no explanation for it ; perhaps people are pieces of chaos on top of disorder they enclose .

some of Peixoto poetic writing .

This book has a real poets voice through out it and this has been wonderfully retained by Richard Zenith in the English translation .It in parts reminded me of stones in a landslide which I had read earlier in the year a similar sort of village isolated and timeless ,but there is a lot more wit in this book than stones in a landslide .I feel Peixoto is a talent to watch only in his mid thirties he may be the next big Portuguese writer to break through to the English market hopefully .

HAVE YOU REREAD HIS BOOKS ?

DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURIE BOOK FROM PORTUGAL ?

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Simon
    Jan 04, 2011 @ 14:00:48

    Sounds really good. Poetic writing seems to be something that is alive and well in translated fiction. Thanks for a great review

    Reply

  2. nymeth
    Jan 04, 2011 @ 14:21:37

    I met him once when he gave a talk at my university and he seemed like a really nice guy. Sadly, I didn’t like the one book of his I read at all :\ I’ll keep this one in mind if I decide to try him again, though. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

    Reply

  3. cousinsread
    Jan 05, 2011 @ 03:07:26

    I love stories about small towns/villages and with humor and a poet’s voice, what could be better?

    Reply

  4. Heather
    Jan 05, 2011 @ 18:20:07

    This is a new author to me. I have added him to my wish list as it sounds like a fascinating book.

    Reply

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