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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

on 13 July 1999
Pereira is a paradigm of the difference of characters that exists between the three mean nations from southern Europe: a mature and obscure Portuguese journalist whose life has been written by an excellent Italian author (Tabucchi)... but whose problems comes from my country, Spain. Yes, for Pereira declares with great intelligence while in Spain the civil war is roaring with terrible fury -"Live the death"! - cryed with insany Millan Astray, the commander of the Spanish legion. But Pereira loves the life. In 1938, not only Portugal, but entire Europe was watching that... "Mussolini is providing several submarines to Franco, and the germans, many aircraft..." The democracies made nothing. Only a few persons like Pereira "declared" while looking and talking to the portrait of his wife, dead because his delicate health, and the perennial love of his life. -"I also have read to Vico and Hegel"- declares Pereira. There was a certain parallelism of characters between Salazar, the somber Portuguese dictator, economist by profession, strongly religious, and Franco, a soldier equally ascetic: both were two chiefs -or "jefes"- very little human; they were no "leaders", because Spain, Portugal and Italy are too much individualist countries for a leader, but for "Jefes", Caudillos" or "Duces": an autoritary, hard and usually cruel man. Even spanish football teams were different in your style of play that british, or german. In the Iberic peninsule this figure has is origins in the chiefs of the autoctonous, wild tribes. It is mentioned in this novel that the Portuguese brigade in the side of Franco is named "Viriato", the legendary "guerrillero" who fought against the invasion of the Roman empire 2000 years ago. In 1938, legal democracy looked to Franco as it were Stalin: poor that the romans and moors. Fortunately, in the middle of this chaos, Pereira and Tabucchi represents the best and more rational of these three countries. To the side of Spain, usually identified by the fury and ardents passions we have the calm, portuguese intelligence of Pereira. Perhaps this difference between the two Iberic and brother countries will be by the traditional alliance between England and Portugal? By the climate? The wine of Oporto? I don't know , but, I want to think that in Spain, Portugal and Italy, there was, and still are, many Pereiras to figth with his kindness and intelligence the stupidity and intransigence of the Caudillos. Very well declared Pereira! I invites you to a ice cold lemonade very, very sugared... though I know the doctor has forbidden it to you.
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on 11 March 2015
Intriguing stuff. Delighted.
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on 6 August 2009
This short novel is either very dated. Or it is pastiche.
The Portuguese man of letters who is its hero is very much a figure from between the two word wars. His literary sensibility is his all.But finally the brutalities of Salazar s fascist regime cause him to take an active moral and political stand.
The plot clunks. But even in translation you can tell that it is a very stylishly written piece.
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on 7 May 2003
Pereira Declares is a delight. It reveals an intense political climate, slowly, in the mirrored time of a character who is outgrowing his old ideas. There is nothing extraneous in the text, and the terseness of its simplicity maintains a tension which pulls you to its inevitable conclusion. What seems accidental becomes part of the wave which carries the main character to a new shorline of his psyche. A novel which explores the impetus which moves us from complacency to action.
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