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La cabeza perdida de Damasceno Monteiro (Panorama de narrativas)
Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. We acknowledge and remind and warn you that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the dabeza reviews by any other measure. The complete review ‘s Review:.
On this occasion most of it is set in the more provincial northern city of Oporto. The novel begins there, with Manolo the gypsy finding a headless body. The Lisbon journalist Firmino, a man of some literary ambitions who works for the tabloid O Acontecimentois sent to Oporto to cover the story.
The book follows his journalistic investigations as he discovers the identity of the dead man, the crime that was committed, and the perpetrators.
Of course, Tabucchi would never write a simple, straightforward pwrdida novel, and this book is, in fact, something quite different. Indeed, there isn’t much of a mystery here: Firmino is assisted by Dona Rosa, who runs the pension he stays at in Oporto, as well as a lawyer, Don Fernando, known to all as Attorney Loton for his resemblance to the actor Charles Laughton.
Both Dona Rosa and Don Fernando seem a bit too all-knowing and well-connected, guiding Firmino easily each step of the way, but Tabucchi can get away with this here. The crime itself involves drug smuggling and police corruption and brutality: Many of the characters are outsiders, from poor Damasceno Monteiro to the Gypsies to a transvestite who witnessed the killing. Even the wealthy lawyer, Don Fernando, who comes from a family that was right at home in the old Portugal has become a rotund outsider as well as a noble defender of the poor and outcasthuffing and puffing his way around this city of contrasts where new money and old poverty uneasily meet.
As he files story after story for lots of special editions about this sensational crime Firmino is handed the evidence he needs on a platter — including Monteiro’s head.
Part of the fun is that he is in a sense a pawn, with Don Fernando carefully leading him on. In order to get justice done the press must reveal the facts behind the case, information which the police does not make public.
The fact that Monteiro was tortured, the fact that he had on a t-shirt providing a clue about his identity — it is Firmino that reveals these bits of information.
The affair can thus not be swept entirely under the rug, and comes to trial.
Cabeza Perdida de Damasceno Monteiro | Antonio Tabucchi Book | Buy Now | at Mighty Ape Australia
The outcome there is not entirely satisfactory, but Tabucchi closes the book with the small possibility of justice being done, carefully ending the book without making it clear what will finally happen.
Beside the engaging descriptions of Firmino’s small adventures, Oporto and its fine foodand the nicely drawn characters — Don Fernando, Manolo the gypsy, and others — Tabucchi also puts a lot of thought into this novel. More significantly, Don Fernando speaks extensively of being greatly influenced by the legal scholar Hans Kelsen — having gone so far as to follow him to Berkeley and Geneva as a student.
Heady stuff, but Tabucchi presents it fairly well. And, significantly, the lawyer chose finally not to write about torture or the concept of Grundnormbut to defend those who had suffered in courts of law, choosing action over words.
He decided to “dump theory and put things into practice”, and his attitude ultimately also influences his new journalist-friend Firmino. Tabucchi’s book is an odd one. It is surprisingly gentle for one about such a horrible deed. Well-written, it is affecting and thoughtful, and it resonates lightly long after one has finished it. Trying to meet all your book preview and review needs.
Der verschwundene Kopf des La testa perduta di Damasceno Monteiro – Italia.