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The Relic (Dedalus European Classics) Paperback – 24 Mar 2003

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Dedalus Ltd; New edition edition (24 Mar. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0946626944
  • ISBN-13: 978-0946626946
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.8 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 443,859 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Written in 1930, this book contains an introduction by John Garrett Underhill. Novelist and short-story writer, and one of the leading intellectuals of the Generation of 1870, Eca de Queiroz introduced naturalism and realism to Portuguese literature. He is considered the major novelist of his generation. "The Relic" was a picaresque story of religious hypocrisy and truth. Its writing coincided with his marriage and drew on the travels with his wife's brother to Egypt and the Near East. The young Teodorico wants to escape from the chains of his religious home. He visits Jerusalem to acquire a healing relic, soon he is transported back in time with his companion, the German scholar Topsius, and meets Jesus himself, witnessing the crucifixion. He sees the still-living Jesus, who is smuggled in a grave, and after these adventures Teodorico returns back to his own century. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This humorous tale was written in 1887 by the Author of The Crime of Father Amaro and The Maias. Eca was a follower Zola and likened to Flaubert. The Relic is not so much in the 1800 naturalism style – it is rather more picaresque fantasy.

Young Teodorico is brought up by his aunt, a highly religious but rich woman. He is a bawdy, womaniser but how will he get to inherit her money? The idea of a trip to Palestine gives him the cynical opportunity of recovering a relic and thereby gain her favour. The book opens with Teodorico’s history and young, debauched life (though not in any forthright way as Zola might do) and funny attempts to appear pious. The middle 70% of the book in an extend sequence of his experiences in Palestine with a dream of the real events of Jesus (the depiction of which the Portuguese Church of the time didn’t like). A key event is his attachment to a girlfriend’s brown paper rapped nightdress. The last part is the comic reckoning.

The book is a mix of The Brook Kerith by George Moore (a story of Jesus surviving the crucifixion, interestingly in similar fashion as Eca’s does) and Don Quixote.

The story is amusing in places and the drive to the inevitable conclusion for our hapless hero is entertaining; but somehow I didn’t get on with it. I don’t know perhaps it was an indictment of the Christianity, a naturalist attempt at womanising and greed and at the same time a comedy – all of which didn’t really mix. A good translation.

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“the continual divergence of compatible souls in a world of eternal struggle and eternal imperfection!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The usual superlative read, well up to his terrific standard. I read it in one sitting.Buy it and read it with every other book he weote (except the Mystery of the Sintra Road, which is poor by comparison. It was his first novel.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sarcastic and vivid 25 April 2003
By Guillermo Maynez - Published on
Format: Paperback
One has to be very cautious when reviewing this book, since there is much to give away about the plot and then ruin the reading for people. Teodorico Raposo becomes orphan as a child and is sent to Lisbon to live with his aunt, a terrible, unlikable and tyrannical religious fanatic who terrorizes everybody around her with her puritanism and obsessions. But she happens to be very rich and Teodorico her only relative alive. So he has to pretend ALL the time that he is just as fanatic as her aunt, while living a double life of pleasure and sin. One day, his aunt decides that before dying someone has to go to the Holy Land and get her some authentic relic of Jesus' times. And guess who she chooses to go there.
So Teodorico embarks towards Egypt and Palestine in what becomes a very funny adventure alongside his companion, the wise scholar Dr. Topsius. To go further would, as I said, risk giving away parts of the plot which are really unexpected and good. Suffice it to say that the travel includes a wonderful, colorful and vivid narration of the day when Jesus was crucified. It turned out to be a very enjoyable book by one of the best writers of the XIX century.
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read 16 July 2016
By Jennifer Oliveira - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
This is an excellent book. I loved the main character, Teodorico, and his escapades. The way he manipulates his pious aunt is astounding and the ending is not what you would expect. I have read this book multiple times and each time I read it, the book becomes more and more enjoyable.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Correction 7 Dec. 1999
By Clara Sarmento - Published on
Format: Paperback
Actually, I just want to correct the first on-line review about Eça's The Relic. That review or whatever that is does NOT refer to Eça's book. There must have been some kind of mistake. There are no brothers, haunted museums or anything of that sort in Eça's Relic which I, as a Portuguese enthusiastic reader and...professor of Literature, have read several times and studied/taught in College. Eça is unique, his writing equals only Saramago and Pessoa and he is the best possible approach to the Portuguese masterpieces of literature. I discovered his work when I was in my early teens and that decided my career. Please try to find a good translation of The Maias, Cousin Bazilio, The Sin of Father Amaro, The Illustrious House of Ramires or The City and the Mountain and bring them to the american public. I know some good translations by Carcanet Press in Manchester, UK. But please,correct your on-line review!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long live Eça de Queiroz 24 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is not, in my opinion Eça's best book. But for me everything he wrote has to be "5 stars" rated. it's a shame other books of his are not available on I consider Eça de Queiroz to be the best Portuguese novelist so my suggestion is that you discover his magnificence through those I consider to be his best novels: (I'll translate them but I'm not sure these are their titles) "Cousin Basílio", "The Maias", and "Cousin Basilio" (you can see this is my favourite). If you want to know about the Portuguese society of the late 18th century you'll find it all there. It's not that it had much to be proud of...
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A postmodern novel. 27 Feb. 2008
By C. E. R. Mendonça - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a work that in its day was seriously underrated because of what was considered its "unbalanced", "confused" structure (a mix between genre comedy with an attempt with serious historical reconstruction and Biblical criticism). But then it is actually a "premature" postmodern novel, reflecting good humouredly on the relations between truth and lie, history and legend, reality and writing. Therefore the fact that what could not be fully appreciated in the late XIXth Century, and that it should be universallt praised in the early XXIst. Century.
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