Monday, April 08, 2013

A-Z Blog Challenge. G = Great Writer

Of the many excellent Portuguese writers one in particular (for me) stands out: José Maria Eça de Queiroz. He's been likened to Dickens and Tolstoy but has been largely ignored by the world outside Portugal.
Born in 1845 to unmarried parents, he grew up either with his grandparents or in a boarding school. Although his parents later married, his father only acknowledged him as his son when Eça de Queiroz was forty. 
Having served as consul in the UK and Paris, he had a sophisticated view of the world which translates into his books and enables them to be read with ease today.

There are a couple of his quotes that I can relate to (they're my translations):

"There are those who prize what others think and forget to live their own lives."
"Don't be afraid to think differently to others. It's far worse to think the same as them and then discover that they're all wrong."

My favorite books: 
The Maias: A portrayal of Portuguese life in the 1870s, the spoilt rich and the desperation of the poor (just my kind of thing!)
The Crime of Father Amaro: A controversial theme (and we all have to read those, don't we?) of corruption in the church in the 1870s when a new parish priest seduces, or rather is seduced by, the landlady's daughter. This was also a film but it bombed, unfortunately, even though I enjoyed it.