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The Sad End of Policarpo Quaresma by Lima Barreto. New York. 2014. Penguin Books. Translated from the Portuguese by Mark Carlyon. With an introduction by Lilia Moritz Schwarcz. 242 pages. paperback. Cover: detail from photograph by Harriet Chalmers Adams, c.1920. First published in Rio de Janeiro in 1911 as Triste Fim de Policarpo Quaresma. 9780141395708.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

9780141395708   'The seed of madness exists in all of us and with no warning may attack, overpower, crush and bury us. .' Policarpo Quaresma - fastidious civil servant, dedicated patriot, self-styled visionary - is a defender of all things Brazilian, full of schemes to improve his beloved homeland. Yet somehow each of his ventures, whether it is petitioning for Brazil's national language to be changed, buying a farm to prove the richness and fertility of the land, or offering support to government forces as they suppress a military revolt - results in ridicule and disaster. Quixotic and hapless, Quaresma's dreams will eventually be his undoing. Funny, despairing, moving and absurd, Lima Barreto's masterpiece shows a man and a country caught in the violent clash between illusion and reality, hope and decline, sanity and madness.

 

Also published in England in 1978 by Rex Collins as The Patriot and translated from the Portuguese by Robert Scott-Buccleuch. 216 pages. hardcover. Jacket by Poty. 0860360601.

 

FROM THE BRITISH PUBLISHER -

 

  THE PATRIOT (Triste fim de Policarpo Quaresma) is unquestionably Lima Barreto’s greatest work. It is not merely because of the unforgettable character he has created, but because it is written with restraint and good-humored tolerance that is scarcely to be found in any of his other novels, He has disciplined the passionate outbursts, curbed the bitterness of his satire and avoided personal attacks on his individuals, unless we so qualify his masterly portrait of the national hero, Floriano Peixoto. The novel embraces a great deal of Brazilian life, a great deal that is typically Brazilian, Some characters and incidents may appear grotesque and exaggerated, for example such incidents as the civilian bystander being allowed to fire a gun at the enemy; to Caldas trying to find his ship; to Quaresma’s petition to Congress. Alfonso Henriques de Lima Barreto was born of mulatto parents in 1881. His father, a master typesetter, sent him to one of the best schools in Rio de Janeiro and then to the polytechnic, determined that he should become an engineer. But before he could graduate his father went mad and Lima Barreto was forced to leave school in order to support the family. He took a job as a minor civil servant. Then began to write; publishing his first novel in Lisbon in 1909. This novel is Isaias Caminha was not well received in Rio-its bitter satire of established and easily recognizable figures was much resented. He aroused hostility in the literary and Bohemian circles of the capital, To escape from the indifference of his fellow writers and the drudgery of his work as a civil servant, he took increasingly to drink, becoming a hopeless alcoholic eventually-even spending two periods confined in an asylum. Drink ruined his health and he died in 1922 at the early age of 41. Whoever knows Brazil today knows that this is Brazil. Whoever knows Brazil today knows that Doctor Campos, General Albernaz, Ricardo Coracao dos Outros, Armando Borges, Genelicio and Policarpo Quaresma as well as all the others in this rich gallery are as alive today as they were half a century ago.

 

Barreto Lima  Afonso Henriques de Lima Barreto (May 13, 1881 - November 1, 1922) was a Brazilian novelist and journalist. A major figure on the Brazilian Pre-Modernism, he is famous for the novel Triste Fim de Policarpo Quaresma, a bitter satire of the first years of the República Velha in Brazil. Lima Barreto was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1881, to João Henriques de Lima Barreto and Amália Augusta. His father was a typographer and a monarchist who had close connections to Afonso Celso de Assis Figueiredo, the Viscount of Ouro Preto, who would later become Lima Barreto's godfather. Barreto's mother died when he was very young, and he was subsequently sent to study at a private school run by Teresa Pimentel do Amaral. Soon after, he entered at the Liceu Popular Niteroiense, after the Viscount of Ouro Preto decided to pay for his studies. He graduated in 1894, and in the following year, he would enter the famous Colégio Pedro II. Soon after he graduated, he entered the Escola Politécnica do Rio de Janeiro, but was forced to abandon it in 1904 in order to take care of his brothers, since his father's mental health was starting to deteriorate. Barreto used to write for newspapers since 1902, but he achieved fame in 1905, writing for the Correio da Manhã a series of articles regarding the demolition of Castle Hill. In 1911 he founded, alongside some friends, a periodical named Floreal. Although it only lasted for two issues, it received a warm reception by the critics. In 1909 he published his first novel, Recordações do Escrivão Isaías Caminha, a contundent and semi-autobiographical satire of the Brazilian society. However, his masterpiece was Triste Fim de Policarpo Quaresma, that was published in 1911, under feuilleton form, being re-released under hardcover form in 1915. During his last years of life, Barreto was attacked by heavy crisis of depression, which led him to alcoholism and many internations on different psychiatric hospitals and sanatoriums. He died of a heart attack in 1922.

 

 

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