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Thread: "Sky on Fire" by Mário de Sá Carneiro

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    "Sky on Fire" by Mário de Sá Carneiro

    For those who do not know Mário de Sá Carneiro, he was part of the golden generation of portuguese Literature in the early XX century, along with such names as Fernando Pessoa and Almada Negreiros, which was then called "Geraçăo Orpheu", a modernistic and revolutionary group of artists that revolutionazed the art in Portugal.

    This particular book gathers short stories with common themes and characteristics: the Mistery is always an important part of the story. The unknown, the unachievable, the imaginary is always perceived and potrayed as the idyllic and the desirable. Mário Sá Carneiro, more than being a pessimistic and a melancholic person, is someone who despise the mundane and reality. It was someone who lived in a constant existencial crisis, and he showed it in his books, including this one, there for the glorification of the unknown and the impossible, in deprivation of what exists and what it's real. The mythical figure of the "quimera", not the mythical criature, but the idea of perfection and something that belong's to the world of dreams, is communly refered by Sá Carneiro, in another signal of the adoration of the author thorwards the unachievable and the world of the imagination.

    It's a very espiritual book, in which in every strory the emotional and espiritual aspect of the characters it's always the most important one, and the characters are always incredibly problematic in spirit. Melancholic, pessimistic, fatalistic and negativist. They even hate life, at many points of the book.

    This leads to another crucial aspect of Sá Carneiro's work: death is presented as an ideal state. Death is frequentely presented as a better state than life, a way for the human being to save and preserve his spirit, a way of the human being to achieve eternal joy and happiness. Death is portrayed as a way to get to a superior stage of the human soul, in which it's nothing and everything, in which persons become living forces of the Universe, instead of a simple and low value being that walk's around in the world as a minor form of spirit.

    Sá Carneiro's book as a strong surrealistic, metaphysical and spiritual component, which defies the commun understanding of life. A very good book, and i recommend it to everyone.

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    There is a well-known Swedish author, who wrote a 5-volume series on the history of Stockholm. See Per Anders Fogelström on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Per_Anders_Fogelström. See also the translations into English of the first 4 volumes of this work by Jennifer Brown Baverstam: https://www.amazon.com/City-My-Dream.../dp/1572160888.

    My Swedish wife suggested I read them, I did and they are delightful, bought the set while I was learning Swedish, many years ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamwoven View Post
    There is a well-known Swedish author, who wrote a 5-volume series on the history of Stockholm. See Per Anders Fogelström on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Per_Anders_Fogelström. See also the translations into English of the first 4 volumes of this work by Jennifer Brown Baverstam: https://www.amazon.com/City-My-Dream.../dp/1572160888.

    My Swedish wife suggested I read them, I did and they are delightful, bought the set while I was learning Swedish, many years ago.
    What's the connection with Sá Carneiro's book?

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    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    I was aware of Sá Carneiro as an anguished poet contemporaneous to Fernando Pessoa who comited early suicide. I didn´t know he also wrote fiction.
    Do you know which of his works where translated into English? That is important because most people on this forum don´t read Portuguese.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

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    None whatsoever, I probably didn't make a clear enough break with the previous review. It shouldn't even have been under book reviews, my bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lendo View Post
    What's the connection with Sá Carneiro's book?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danik 2016 View Post
    I was aware of Sá Carneiro as an anguished poet contemporaneous to Fernando Pessoa who comited early suicide. I didn´t know he also wrote fiction.
    Do you know which of his works where translated into English? That is important because most people on this forum don´t read Portuguese.
    I believe that "Lucio's Confession" and "Sky on Fire" are translated do english. And many of his poetry is.

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    I just confirmed that Lucio's Confession is translated to english, and available at Amazon

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    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    I found this link of his poems today. Hope the translation is ok.
    http://sa-carneiro.blogspot.com.br/
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

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