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Lucio's Confession by Mário de Sá-Carneiro
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Lucio's Confession

by Mário de Sá-Carneiro

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After spending ten years in prison for murder, Lúcio is writing the story of how Ricardo de Loureiro was actually killed in order to prove his own innocence. This was considered quite shocking at the time of publication and it's somewhat unnerving even today, because of the eerie mood caused by the reader never getting to be completely sure of what is reality and what is the narrator's madness. Also, the questionable sexualities may not be disturbing today, but for an early 20th century audience, it may have been outright alarming. Sá-Carneiro was part of the "Geração D'Orpheu" (named for the avant-garde publication Orpheu) which was responsible for introducing Modernism to Portugal, but his style is very purple compared to someone like Pessoa, for example, so be prepared for some very flowery language. I've not read anything else by the author, but I will be reading more for sure, since I am intrigued to see if his other works are as "trippy" as this one. As usual, Margaret Jull Costa shines as translator - you can't go wrong when you're in her safe hands. ( )
  -Eva- | Sep 10, 2016 |
Di alcune scene vorrei vedere la versione cinematografica di Kubrick, ma ahime' troppo tardi per chiederlo. Di sicuro ricorda Schnitzler, ma qui c'e', oltre al senso di disagio e di sospensione, anche qualche nota di poesia tipicamente belle-epoque parigina. Poi, pensieri e riflessioni comuni ai giovani artisti di inizio secolo scorso - che conosco assai poco, ma nel 'Diario' di J.Renard si trovano echi molto simili ai malesseri di Sa-Carneiro. ( )
  bobparr | Dec 14, 2014 |
Aestheticism and decadence meet existential crises of gender, sexuality, identity, and the tenuous boundary between reality and fantasy, illusion and madness. Sá-Carneiro killed himself at age 26, and I believe this is the only one of his novels to have been translated into English. Apparently, there are many others from this quizzical genius; I hope someone translates them soon—they must be similarly wonderful and maddeningly surreal as Lucio's Confession was, and more people should read his work and know his name outside of his native Portugal. ( )
  proustitute | Jul 17, 2014 |
Aestheticism and decadence meet existential crises of gender, sexuality, identity, and the tenuous boundary between reality and fantasy, illusion and madness. Sá-Carneiro killed himself at age 26, and I believe this is the only one of his novels to have been translated into English. Apparently, there are many others from this quizzical genius; I hope someone translates them soon—they must be similarly wonderful and maddeningly surreal as Lucio's Confession was, and more people should read his work and know his name outside of his native Portugal. ( )
  proustitute | Jul 17, 2014 |
Written by one of Portugal’s greatest Modernists, Lucio’s Confession is a short novel that defies a logical explanation of its plot. The narrative purports to a confession in which Lucio, recently released from jail after serving ten years for murder, decides to tell the truth; Lucio maintains that he is innocent and that now he will state the facts of what really happened when his friend, Ricardo, died, even if those facts defy reason. And so begins a mind-bending story about art, literature, love, sexual obsession, deceit, madness and guilt.

Lucio is a struggling artist in Paris in 1895 when he meets the poet Ricardo de Loureiro. Their friendship quickly turns into a secret obsession for the timid Lucio, who admires the lively Ricardo. Trouble steps in when Ricardo, who seemed unable to ever devote himself to a married life, suddenly introduces his wife to Lucio. This changes everything between the two, but Lucio believes things can still be the way they were before.

This all seems very banal until the facts in the novel start contradicting themselves and the protagonist starts running out of explanations for the inconsistencies. Slowly it becomes obvious we’ll never know the whole story, and we’re drawn into a world of fantasy and madness for a fascinating ride through a shattered mind.

This prose nightmare was written in 1914, just two years before the author committed suicide in Paris. ( )
1 vote Heteronym | Sep 22, 2008 |
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mário de Sá-Carneiroprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cosa, Margaret JullTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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