Zenosbooks

The Sad End of Policarpo Quaresma by Lima Barreto. New York. 2014. Penguin Books. Translated from the Portuguese by Mark Carlyon. With an introduction by Lilia Moritz Schwarcz. 242 pages. paperback. Cover: detail from photograph by Harriet Chalmers Adams, c.1920. First published in Rio de Janeiro in 1911 as Triste Fim de Policarpo Quaresma. 9780141395708.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

9780141395708   'The seed of madness exists in all of us and with no warning may attack, overpower, crush and bury us. .' Policarpo Quaresma - fastidious civil servant, dedicated patriot, self-styled visionary - is a defender of all things Brazilian, full of schemes to improve his beloved homeland. Yet somehow each of his ventures, whether it is petitioning for Brazil's national language to be changed, buying a farm to prove the richness and fertility of the land, or offering support to government forces as they suppress a military revolt - results in ridicule and disaster. Quixotic and hapless, Quaresma's dreams will eventually be his undoing. Funny, despairing, moving and absurd, Lima Barreto's masterpiece shows a man and a country caught in the violent clash between illusion and reality, hope and decline, sanity and madness.

 

Also published in England in 1978 by Rex Collins as The Patriot and translated from the Portuguese by Robert Scott-Buccleuch. 216 pages. hardcover. Jacket by Poty. 0860360601.

 

FROM THE BRITISH PUBLISHER -

 

  THE PATRIOT (Triste fim de Policarpo Quaresma) is unquestionably Lima Barreto’s greatest work. It is not merely because of the unforgettable character he has created, but because it is written with restraint and good-humored tolerance that is scarcely to be found in any of his other novels, He has disciplined the passionate outbursts, curbed the bitterness of his satire and avoided personal attacks on his individuals, unless we so qualify his masterly portrait of the national hero, Floriano Peixoto. The novel embraces a great deal of Brazilian life, a great deal that is typically Brazilian, Some characters and incidents may appear grotesque and exaggerated, for example such incidents as the civilian bystander being allowed to fire a gun at the enemy; to Caldas trying to find his ship; to Quaresma’s petition to Congress. Alfonso Henriques de Lima Barreto was born of mulatto parents in 1881. His father, a master typesetter, sent him to one of the best schools in Rio de Janeiro and then to the polytechnic, determined that he should become an engineer. But before he could graduate his father went mad and Lima Barreto was forced to leave school in order to support the family. He took a job as a minor civil servant. Then began to write; publishing his first novel in Lisbon in 1909. This novel is Isaias Caminha was not well received in Rio-its bitter satire of established and easily recognizable figures was much resented. He aroused hostility in the literary and Bohemian circles of the capital, To escape from the indifference of his fellow writers and the drudgery of his work as a civil servant, he took increasingly to drink, becoming a hopeless alcoholic eventually-even spending two periods confined in an asylum. Drink ruined his health and he died in 1922 at the early age of 41. Whoever knows Brazil today knows that this is Brazil. Whoever knows Brazil today knows that Doctor Campos, General Albernaz, Ricardo Coracao dos Outros, Armando Borges, Genelicio and Policarpo Quaresma as well as all the others in this rich gallery are as alive today as they were half a century ago.

 

Barreto Lima  Afonso Henriques de Lima Barreto (May 13, 1881 - November 1, 1922) was a Brazilian novelist and journalist. A major figure on the Brazilian Pre-Modernism, he is famous for the novel Triste Fim de Policarpo Quaresma, a bitter satire of the first years of the República Velha in Brazil. Lima Barreto was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1881, to João Henriques de Lima Barreto and Amália Augusta. His father was a typographer and a monarchist who had close connections to Afonso Celso de Assis Figueiredo, the Viscount of Ouro Preto, who would later become Lima Barreto's godfather. Barreto's mother died when he was very young, and he was subsequently sent to study at a private school run by Teresa Pimentel do Amaral. Soon after, he entered at the Liceu Popular Niteroiense, after the Viscount of Ouro Preto decided to pay for his studies. He graduated in 1894, and in the following year, he would enter the famous Colégio Pedro II. Soon after he graduated, he entered the Escola Politécnica do Rio de Janeiro, but was forced to abandon it in 1904 in order to take care of his brothers, since his father's mental health was starting to deteriorate. Barreto used to write for newspapers since 1902, but he achieved fame in 1905, writing for the Correio da Manhã a series of articles regarding the demolition of Castle Hill. In 1911 he founded, alongside some friends, a periodical named Floreal. Although it only lasted for two issues, it received a warm reception by the critics. In 1909 he published his first novel, Recordações do Escrivão Isaías Caminha, a contundent and semi-autobiographical satire of the Brazilian society. However, his masterpiece was Triste Fim de Policarpo Quaresma, that was published in 1911, under feuilleton form, being re-released under hardcover form in 1915. During his last years of life, Barreto was attacked by heavy crisis of depression, which led him to alcoholism and many internations on different psychiatric hospitals and sanatoriums. He died of a heart attack in 1922.

 

 

Check zenosbooks.com for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.

 

 

 

 


Search

Zeno's Picks

Neglectedbooks.com

The Neglected Books Page

www.NeglectedBooks.com: Where forgotten books are remembered
  • The Way Out of Berkeley Square, by Rosemary Tonks (1970)
    Rosemary Tonks is now known as the poet who disappeared, thanks to a 2009 BBC program (“The Poet Who Vanished”) and features in the Guardian, TLS, the London Review of Books, the Poetry Foundation and others following her death in May 2014 and the reissue that fall of Bedouin of the London Evening, a collection... Read more
  • Talk, the National Industry of Ireland, from Irish Literary Portraits, edited by W. R. Rodgers (1973)
    It was not only the well-known writers who had contributions to make; one is forever being surprised in Dublin by the high standard of knowledge displayed by ordinary citizens in any walk or on any level of life. I had many instances of this; as he pulled me a pint, a Dublin publican said to... Read more
  • A Man on the Roof, by Kathleen Sully (1961)
    I don’t think it qualifies as a spoiler to say that the man on the roof in A Man on the Roof is a ghost. Specifically, he’s Wilfred Clough, late husband of Peony. Obsessed with stamp collecting while living, he returns to haunt — or rather, berate — his wife after she sells his collection.... Read more
  • McCabe, by Edmund Naughton (1959)
    Edmund Naughton’s 1959 western, McCabe, is mainly mentioned as a footnote to Robert Altman’s first masterpiece, his 1971 film McCabe & Mrs. Miller. Reissued as a tie-in to the film when it came out, it’s been out of print for over three decades now and fetches some fairly steep prices. (My tip: the cheapest copies... Read more
  • A Man Talking to Seagulls, by Kathleen Sully (1959)
    Kathleen Sully uses death as punctuation in A Man Talking to Seagulls, a tale of one day in the life of Dundeston, a resort somewhere on the east coast of England. She opens the day with the body of a young woman washed up on the beach. Scratcher, a vagrant living in a shack on... Read more
  • The Club, by A. D. Wintle (1961)
    Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Daniel Wintle MC, or A. D. Wintle for short, was one of the great characters of the 20th century, a genuine war hero, egoist, eccentric, and defender of all things gentlemanly. He died before finishing his autobiography, but when his friend Alastair Revie condensed the million-some words of manuscript that Wintle left... Read more
  • Skrine, by Kathleen Sully (1960)
    None of the four novels by Kathleen Sully I’ve read so far is anything quite like the others, but I feel safe in saying that Skrine is the most unlike the rest. In fact, in his TLS review, Arthur-Calder Marshall observed that Sully’s critical reputation (back when she had one) would have been higher if... Read more
  • “Pass On!,” from “Can’t You Get Me Out of Here?” by Julia Strachey (1960)
    I’m not sure I can reprint the entirety of Julia Strachey’s one New Yorker piece, “Can’t You Get Me Out of Here,” which I mentioned in my post on Strachey’s autobiography (posthumously edited by Frances Partridge), without running afoul of someone’s copyright, but I can’t resist sharing its sublime opening: My father, whose failing eyesight......
  • Julia: A Portrait of Julia Strachey by Herself and Frances Partridge (1983)
    Julia Strachey is hardly forgotten. In 2009, Persephone Books reissued her 1932 novel Cheerful Weather for the Wedding with a cover featuring “Girl Reading,” a gorgeous painting by Harold Knight, and way back in 1978, Cheerful was reissued along with her 1951 novel The Man on the Pier (using her preferred title, An Integrated Man)......
  • My Name is Frank, by Frank Laskier (1942)
    I wrote about Frank Laskier’s fictionalized autobiography, Log Book, over six years ago, but it wasn’t until recently that I had the chance to read My Name is Frank, the collection of BBC broadcast talks that brought him to fame. Even slighter in length than Log Book, My Name is Frank still manages to carry... Read more
Copyright © 2018 Zenosbooks. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU General Public License.