Saturday, 28 September 2013

Important Announcement: Eça de Queiroz' The Mystery of the Sintra Road

Dedalus Books continues the translation of Eça de Queiroz' oeuvre into English. This October readers will finally have the opportunity to buy The Mystery of the Sintra Road (1870). Dedalus Books could easily have overlooked this novel because it belongs to the first stirrings of Eça's literary career and has a minor place in his oeuvre, and because he co-wrote it his friend Ramalho Ortigão, co-authorship always casting doubts about the authenticity of a work of literature. How much of the novel belongs to Eça? Is this a real Eça de Queiroz novel? I'd say, yes, vehemently yes, it's Eça through and through, in the humour, the imagination and the critique of manners. Especially because Ramalho Ortigão played a vital role in the development of Eça's humour, inviting his former student to co-write As Farpas (The Splinters, 1871), monthly satirical articles on Portuguese culture, politics, literature, society, serving as an experimental lab for Eça to hone his skills before embarking on his solo novels. So reading this novel written with two pairs of hands is essential to appreciate his development. In the past I wrote about The Mystery of the Sintra Road and its place, as I see it, in the history of the detective novel, both as a satire of then current tropes and also as precursor of several modern ones. I still think it's a good post, but for those who didn't read it, I advise you to read the novel first since it contains lots of spoilers. I of course expect everyone will be interested in reading this little novel.

Now if Dedalus Books would translate O Conde de Abranhos...

11 comments:

  1. I really love it when some less then super popular titles become available in translation. It kind of gives me a warm feeling inside. Thus I am really glad that Dedalus did not overlook this one.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good news. Margaret Jull Costa, too, all right. Thanks for the heads up.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Brian, yep, it's always a victory for translations!

    Tom, I do hope you read it so I can know your thoughts on it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. "Vehemently yes," eh, Miguel? Sounds like good news and yet another reason to hurry up and read read Cousin Bazilio so I can buy my next Eça book...after The Maias, of course.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Richard, Cousin Bazilio is one of my favourite ones, certainly more entertaining than The Maias, for all its flaws; Bazilio and Juliana the maid are two of the most despicable characters of fiction, it's hilarious to read their repulsive behaviour.

      Delete
  5. Tagus Press also has two Eça in their series.
    http://www.upne.com/series/TABS.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tagus is a small translator of Portuguese literature that needs to be better known; it has a pretty good catalogue so far.

      Delete
  6. I missed this when you posted on it. Thanks for passing it on. Yet another book to add to the stacks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Dwight, it would be glorious if I got everyone reading this novel!

      Delete