- 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)
The Relic (Dedalus European Classics) Paperback – 24 Mar 2003
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
“the continual divergence of compatible souls in a world of eternal struggle and eternal imperfection!Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.