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This title in other editions

Manual of Painting and Calligraphy

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Manual of Painting and Calligraphy Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In the last days of Salazar's dictatorship, H., a second-rate artist, is commissioned by a wealthy client, S., to paint his portrait. H. begins to work, but he has conflicted feelings about doing yet another flattering, bland depiction. He resents his client's success and confidence, he envies him and is fascinated by him. In frustration, H. starts a second, secret version of the portrait, painted to adhere to his own developing ideas of art and truth. But this portrait too begins to seem like a failure. He then turns to writing, hoping that its very different nature will allow him to achieve an accurate depiction of S. and will also somehow clarify and free him from his obsession with the man. But writing leads H. back to himself, to his chilly relationships with his lover, Adelina, and his small group of friends, and to his engagement with great art of the past. Only when his friend Antonio is arrested and he meets M., Antonio's sister, a political organizer working toward the toppling of the regime, does H.'s confusion lift. Suddenly it is clear to him how and what he wants to paint. A novel about intellectual and political struggle that presages the development of Saramago's celebrated style, The Manual of Painting and Calligraphy has the power of Rilke's famous lines on an "Archaic Torso of Apollo": "For here there is no place/ that does not see you. You must change your life."

Review:

"After publication of the late Nobel Prize winner's final novel, Cain, along comes the first English-language translation of his first book. The first-person narrative centers on H., a disgruntled artist who paints flattering yet vapid portraits for wealthy clients while living in 1970s Portugal. H. has a circle of friends that he rarely sees, and midway through the book, his girlfriend breaks up with him. Increasingly alienated and dissatisfied with his painting, H. turns to writing. While he claims that 'life is extremely simple,' H. tends to overthink things and sees himself in everything. The question becomes, will H. find a way to reconcile his art, writing, and philosophy with his relationship to people? Themes that flourish in Saramago's later work — including leftist politics and alternative histories of Christianity — are also present in H.'s diatribes. Saramago's novel succeeds as a meditation on the writing process and a philosophical look at fiction and reality — for Saramago devotees, this is an insightful and meaningful work. Agent: Nicole Witt, Literarische Agentur Mertin." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

An early example of Saramago's mastery, this novel takes us into the last days of Salazar's dictatorship when a second-rate artist is commissioned by a wealthy client to paint a portrait and the political and intellectual struggles that ensue.

Synopsis:

Manual of Painting and Calligraphy was José Saramago’s first novel. Written eight years before the critically acclaimed Baltasar and Blimunda, it is a story of self-discovery set against the background of the last years of Salazar’s dictatorship. A struggling young artist, commissioned to paint a portrait of an influential industrialist, learns in the process about himself and the world around him. The brilliant juxtaposition of a passionate love story and the crisis of a nation foreshadows all of Saramago’s major works. A must-have for any devotee of the great Portuguese Nobel laureate, Manual of Painting and Calligraphy is available in the United States for the first time.

About the Author

JOSÉ SARAMAGO (1922-2010) was the author of many novels, among them Blindness, All the Names, Baltasar and Blimunda, and The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis. In 1998 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780547640228
Author:
Saramago, Jose
Publisher:
Mariner Books
Author:
Pontiero, Giovanni
Author:
Jos
Author:
&
Author:
Saramago, Jos
Author:
Saramago
Author:
eacute
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20120531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Nobel Prize Winners
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Debut Fiction
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Sale Books

Manual of Painting and Calligraphy New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$13.95 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Mariner Books - English 9780547640228 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "After publication of the late Nobel Prize winner's final novel, Cain, along comes the first English-language translation of his first book. The first-person narrative centers on H., a disgruntled artist who paints flattering yet vapid portraits for wealthy clients while living in 1970s Portugal. H. has a circle of friends that he rarely sees, and midway through the book, his girlfriend breaks up with him. Increasingly alienated and dissatisfied with his painting, H. turns to writing. While he claims that 'life is extremely simple,' H. tends to overthink things and sees himself in everything. The question becomes, will H. find a way to reconcile his art, writing, and philosophy with his relationship to people? Themes that flourish in Saramago's later work — including leftist politics and alternative histories of Christianity — are also present in H.'s diatribes. Saramago's novel succeeds as a meditation on the writing process and a philosophical look at fiction and reality — for Saramago devotees, this is an insightful and meaningful work. Agent: Nicole Witt, Literarische Agentur Mertin." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , An early example of Saramago's mastery, this novel takes us into the last days of Salazar's dictatorship when a second-rate artist is commissioned by a wealthy client to paint a portrait and the political and intellectual struggles that ensue.
"Synopsis" by ,
Manual of Painting and Calligraphy was José Saramago’s first novel. Written eight years before the critically acclaimed Baltasar and Blimunda, it is a story of self-discovery set against the background of the last years of Salazar’s dictatorship. A struggling young artist, commissioned to paint a portrait of an influential industrialist, learns in the process about himself and the world around him. The brilliant juxtaposition of a passionate love story and the crisis of a nation foreshadows all of Saramago’s major works. A must-have for any devotee of the great Portuguese Nobel laureate, Manual of Painting and Calligraphy is available in the United States for the first time.
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